Press Room

Museum Press Releases

Celebrating The Walt Disney Family Museum's Fifth Anniversary!

This coming October, come celebrate our fifth anniversary here at The Walt Disney Family Museum! On October 1, 2009, Diane Disney Miller first welcomed guests to explore the life, work, and legacy of her father Walt Disney: an entertainer, risk-taker, and innovator who helped define 20th-century America. In recognition, we've planned a month full of special events, captivating programming, hands-on activities, after hour parties, and so much more. For more information, a full schedule of events, and tickets, please visit


What's Happening — June 2014

A complete, detailed listing of what's happening at The Walt Disney Family Museum in June 2014, including talks, lectures, classes, workshops, activities, and special programs!


A Special Barker Bird Lands at The Walt Disney Family Museum

From Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room to the Presidio: A Special Barker Bird Lands at The Walt Disney Family Museum

San Francisco, May 29, 2014—We are pleased to announce the arrival of our very own Barker Bird—a replica of the Audio-Animatronics® Barker Bird formerly positioned outside the entrance to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. In honor of the museum’s location in the Presidio of San Francisco, he has been named “Pepe del Presidio.”

This new interactive exhibit will be located in the 1964 New York World’s Fair and EPCOT Gallery and will showcase the mechanized magic of Audio-Animatronics technologies—brought to life with a working version of the bird Walt Disney employed to invite visitors at Disneyland into his landmark Tiki Room show. After a brief show and newly created film about the history of Audio-Animatronics, guests will be invited to use an authentic programming joystick to experience the fine art of figure animation for themselves.

Walt Disney once said of Audio-Animatronics, "it's just another dimension in the animation we have been doing all our life."

The new interactive exhibit—which will become a part of the museum’s permanent galleries on Friday, June 20—is a gift to the museum from Garner Holt Productions, Inc., the world’s largest creator of animatronic characters, and the primary animatronics provider for Disney theme parks.


The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis and The Secrets of Walt Disney’s Movie Magic

Herman Schultheis is one of early animation’s most enigmatic and fascinating characters. A technician at The Walt Disney Studios in the late 1930s, he kept a covert scrapbook capturing the behind-the-scenes ingenuity of the early Disney films. He left the film business soon after his stint at Disney and disappeared in a Guatemalan jungle in 1955. His notebook was all but forgotten, until 1990, when historians discovered it hidden in his recently deceased widow’s estate.

The actual notebook, which has been referred to as the Rosetta Stone of early special-effects animation, is now on display at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. Though behind glass in an effort to conserve and protect the integrity of its pages, this compelling and beautiful book has been entirely digitized so that visitors can explore, scan, and zoom through every single one of its pages by means of a completely immersive, interactive, and multi-media touch-table.

Part annotated facsimile of the scrapbook itself, part biography of the complicated, incredibly ambitious man who made it, The Lost Notebook is a goldmine for Disney and animation enthusiasts and a vivid, riveting account of one man's plight to make it big in early Hollywood.   

Published in partnership with the Walt Disney Family Foundation and Weldon Owen, annotated and with background and biography by John Canemaker, this 292-paged book is exclusively available at The Walt Disney Family Museum and online for $75 and will be widely released May 27, 2014.


Animation Summer Camps, June–August 2014

Create your own animated story, learn from professionals in the animation field, embrace your creativity through painting and sculpture, build your portfolio, and showcase your work in a gallery show/film festival. Unleash your inner animator at The Walt Disney Family Museum Animation Camps! Participants (ages 8-18) can explore every aspect of animation, from brainstorming to finished product. Classes will be taught by our museum education staff as well as animation field professionals.