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23 Things You Can Find in Walt Disney’s Office Suite at Walt Disney Studios

At a recent event celebrating the addition of an anniversary edition of Peter Pan to the Walt Disney Signature Collection, we had the honor of taking a tour of Walt Disney’s offices in Suite 3H, at the Walt Disney Studios lot, which in 2015 was lovingly restored to its original layout and design by the amazing folks at the Walt Disney Archives, with the assistance of Disney studio craftsmen (who used reference photographs from the late 1960s to faithfully recreate it).

 

Walt worked in this office from 1940 until his passing in 1966, after which the office was occupied by subsequent Disney executives: including Ron Miller, Frank G. Wells and Roy E. Disney. Its most recent occupant was television producer Marc Cherry. After Marc’s departure in 2015 the office was renovated back to its 1960s appearance.

We’ve wanted to pay a visit to these historic offices for the longest time, and we were so lucky to be able to take pictures that we can now share with you! In honor of the year The Walt Disney Company was founded (1923), here are 23 things you can find in Walt’s office suite.

  1. Awards

    One large Academy Awards statuette with 7 smaller ones in a row behind it

    One of the first things we noticed in Walt’s office space was a giant display case filled with several of Walt’s awards that he received throughout his life (he received over 950 awards and citations in total!). We couldn’t help but be completely delighted by this replica of the special Academy Award Walt received for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)—complete with seven mini statuettes that was made for the movie Saving Mr. Banks (2013). The original award is currently on display at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.
  2. Miniatures

    A shelf showing off a collection of miniature figurines

    Walt collected miniatures as a hobby, and this collection was made up of gifts from friends and family. There’s even a miniature of Bambi that Walt made himself! You can see it in the picture below, just in front of the award statuette in the center of the photograph.
    A shelf behind a desk with an award atop it. In front of that award is a tiny minature figuring of Bambi, a deer.
  3. Family photos

    A streamlined office with a large bell and a model airplane on the glass-top desk. Behind the desk is a shelf of miniatures.

    Behind Walt’s desk in his formal office are photographs of his daughters, Sharon and Diane. Walt’s office suite was made up of multiple rooms: including his formal office and his working office. This is an image from his formal office, which was originally Walt’s only office when he moved here in 1940, until his conference room was converted and became his working office.
  4. Original furniture

    Furniture in the office was designed in a Streamline Moderne style by industrial designer and architect, Kem Weber, who was the supervising designer of the original animation building, along with several of the original studio lot buildings.

  5. Pencil sketches by Norman Rockwell

    Because no office is complete without original work by a prolific American artist, right? The pencil drawings were given to Walt Disney in 1941 by Norman Rockwell. The prints above of Walt’s two daughters, Diane and Sharon, stand in for the originals.

  6. A large ship’s bell

    A large golden bell sitting atop a desk.

    This bell was presented to Walt by the United States Coast Guard, in recognition of a film Walt produced showing how icebreakers make their way through heavy Arctic icepacks. One day, Walt’s secretary rang the bell to get his attention to remind him about lunchtime, and he then asked her to do it every day at 12:30, so he would remember that it was time to go to lunch.
  7. Mousecar Award

    A bronze statuette shaped like Mickey Mouse sitting on the corner of a piano

    The “Mousecar” was an award created in the 1940s and used by the Disney company to honor both employees and select individuals outside of the company to recognize their extraordinary contributions to Disney’s work. This Mousecar was given to Walt by his brother, business partner, and company co-founder, Roy O. Disney.
  8. Piano

    A brown grand piano with sheet music and an award shaped like MIckey Mouse sitting atop it, Behind the sheet music are framed photographs of a blonde woman, a young woman, and a baby

    This 1914 Knabe grand piano was purchased and customized for Walt by Kem Weber in 1940, so that it would match the other furniture Weber designed for the office. Later, Disney songwriter Richard Sherman, one half of the famed Sherman brothers, frequently played Walt’s favorite song from Mary Poppins (1964), “Feed the Birds,” on this very instrument.
  9. Books personalized to Walt

    A woman with brown hair and bangs stands in front of a book shelf filled with books.

    Behind me is a bookshelf painstakingly arranged to match reference photographs taken in the 1960s, with books placed exactly in order to perfectly replicate the office as Walt left it. Many books are autographed and personalized to Walt by the authors themselves.
  10. Original blinds and drapes

    A photograph of orange drapes against a white windowsill with white blinds

    Just as Walt would have seen them!
  11. Praxinoscope

    A vintage animation device which looks like a lamp with images on the inner edge of what the lampshade would be. A mirror in the center reflects those images out in the direction of the viewer.

    An antique praxinoscope is an early animation device. When you spin it, the mirrors reflect the images so they look like they are moving. This particular praxinoscope was used by Walt in the television show, The Story of the Animated Drawing (1955).
  12. Model airplanes

    A model of a Grumman Gulfstream can be found in Walt’s working office. This was the type of plane Walt would fly over Central Florida in to view what would become the Walt Disney World Resort property as the vacation destination was being planned.

  13. A giant aerial shot of Disneyland from 1965

    An aerial view of Disneyland in 1965. This black and white photograph has yellow and red stickers on it delineating attractions at different levels of completion within the park

    Everything marked in red on this map was opened by that point, and everything in yellow was seen as a work in progress at the time.

  14. TIME® magazine cover image

    A photograph of a framed piece of artwork featuring Walt Disney, a man with a salt and pepper mustache, smiling at the camera while surrounded by many of his animated character creations

    This is the original TIME® magazine painting by artist Boris Chaliapin that was featured on the December 27, 1954 cover of the publication. In a letter to the artist, Walt wrote, “I consider it one of the best pictures ever made of me.”
  15. Ed Wynn photograph taken by Dave Iwerks (son of Ub Iwerks)

    A black and white photograph of a bald man resting his face on his hand and smiling, surrounded by various other photos

    Disney Legend Marty Sklar remembered that the portrait of Ed Wynn (who appeared in Mary Poppins as Uncle Albert and voiced the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland) “was kind of a good luck charm” for Walt to have in his office. The two were great friends and admired each other’s work tremendously.

  16. A kitchenette with original engraved drinking glasses

    3 crystal drinking glasses of various sized, with the initials W.E.D. engraved

    Nearly all of the fixtures in the office kitchenette are original from 1940, except for the refrigerator. These glasses are engraved with Walt’s initials: WED.

  17. Briefcase that Walt would use to carry scripts home or while traveling and then back to the office

    See it on the floor underneath the desk there?

  18. Original scripts

    4 stacks of scripts on a brown, glass top desk, separated by compartments.

    These scripts are the ones Walt would have been working on at the time of his passing.

  19. Display cases with some of Walt’s personal items

    A mans black-framed glasses, a black glasses case, a silver pen, and a straw hat sit on a white display case

    A display case showing personal items belonging to Walt Disney like a small notepad and a brown satchel.
  20. Caricatures of Walt created by Disney artists and others from around the globe

    A white wall featuring framed caricatures of Walt Disney in black framed
  21. Caricature of Walt done by Walt himself!

    A letter written in 1919 by Walt Disney, addressed to his "Dear school chums," with illustrations and a caricature of himself.
  22. Vintage photographs

    A black and white photograph of four men sitting around a desk

    A black and white photograph of three men in suits looking at an aerial photo of Disneyland. One of them, Walt Disney, is gesturing towards something on the photograph
  23. Vintage Disney toys

    A vintage stuffed toy of Lady, a spaniel from lady and the tramp, wearing a dark collar.

    If you look closely during the tour, you might spot Disney memorabilia in unexpected places. This Lady plush doll was tucked under a coffee table!

What is your favorite item from Walt Disney’s office suite? If you’d like the chance to see Walt’s offices in person, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club offers tours to members! You can find out more here.

Peter Pan is now available on Digital, Movies Anywhere, and Blu-ray!

Posted 2 weeks Ago
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