Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Ronald Reagan Library

By Jon Konjoyan

Walt Disney pictured with his most famous creation.

Do you admire Walt Disney? Then you’ll want to see Walt Disney’s most treasured archives, now on display in a 12,000-square-foot exhibition at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum inSimi Valley. Presented by D23, Disney’s official fan club, it is the largest assembly ever created by the Walt Disney Archives, displaying more than 500 artifacts from nearly a century of Disney history.

The picturesque, hilltop Reagan Library location was chosen because the former president and Walt Disney were very close friends. A section of the showcase includes letters written between Disney and Ronald Reagan plus photographs of the pair.

A highlight of the presentation is a full-scale replica of Walt Disney’s formal office including books on the shelves and items in drawers. Many of these items have never been made public before. Newly discovered inscriptions in books and other items are bound to please fans. One example is the inscription in a book given by C.S. Lewis to Walt Disney reading, “From one visionary to another.”

The marvelous collection includes early original drawings of Disney’s first cartoon star, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, as well as the first ticket ever issued for Disneyland. Famous Disney theme-park attraction pieces and ride vehicles are here, as are props, set pieces, and costumes from such iconic films as Mary Poppins, 101 Dalmatians, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, TRON, and Marvel’s The Avengers.

The exhibit is open through April 30, 2013. Entry is included in the price of regular admission to The Library, and tickets can be purchased online at ReaganLibrary.com/Tickets or at the Reagan Library box office. For more information call (805) 522-2977.