May 16, 2012

San Francisco: The Walt Disney Family Museum; things to do + restaurant review

104 Montgomery St., in the Presidio, (415) 345-6800. W-M 10-6. $20, 65+ $15, 6-17 $12. No pets.

Three 19th-century brick buildings that were formerly army barracks now house ten galleries devoted to telling the Walt Disney story. For baby boomers it is a step into the nostalgic past, while for younger people it is more educational and a bit of a history lesson. An elevator at The Walt Disney Family Museum gives the sense of a “ride” into the interior galleries. As would be expected, creative use of film and video is used and cartoons are shown throughout. Framed videos mix in with walls of photos, and you’ll see plenty of Mickey Mouse collectibles. In addition to peeking into Disney’s magic-making, you’ll pick up a few fascinating factoids, such as that “Snow White” was the first feature-length cartoon, and that “Bambi” was the first to feature only animals. Near the end is a large model of Disneyland, and appropriately Mr. Disney’s credits roll continuously just before the exit door. A “Fantasia”-themed theater shows classic Disney films (twice daily at 1 & 4 p.m.; tickets $7). Don’t miss the special Oscar for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” displayed in the lobby, and do allow time to browse the well-stocked gift shop.

The museum Cafe is operated by Wolfgang Puck. Prices are reasonable, and menu items include some of Walt’s favorites--chili, Jell-O with fresh fruit, chicken cubes, SPAM and eggs with biscuits and honey, cupcakes, and cookies. The menu changes daily and sometimes is inspired by a movie playing in the museum’s theater. Museum admission is not required to access the cafe.

More things to do at The Presidio.

More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image ©2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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