San Francisco, June 24, 2020—The Walt Disney Family Museum is pleased to announce a range of innovative virtual offerings designed to make the galleries more accessible to guests of diverse abilities, economic circumstance, geographic location, and language. These initiatives include a new mobile app featuring a virtual tour and museum highlights, an audio guide translated into 12 different languages (including American Sign Language), and an audio-described tour for guests with vision impairment.
The streamlined, easy-to-use WDFM mobile app has been carefully created to enhance the guest experience in a variety of ways—both for guests visiting The Walt Disney Family Museum in person and for the public to enjoy from the comfort of their homes or anywhere else.
The WDFM app utilizes a number of innovative features and helpful educational tools that allow users of all ages and abilities to explore the museum galleries at their own pace and learn unique facts about Walt Disney. For those visiting the museum, the app provides gallery-by-gallery tours in 12 languages, as well as an audio-described tour for people with vision impairment and a Scavenger Hunt designed to engage with younger guests. Translated languages include American Sign Language, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish. Other features of the app include a Social Story for families with children on the Autism Spectrum, a list of Top Ten Things to Visit at the museum, WD-FM Podcast episodes available to stream, and accommodations for iOS accessibility features.
The Walt Disney Family Museum has also developed an immersive, on-demand Virtual Tour & Museum Highlights to reach its global community. Benefitting from a wide range of embedded digital media content, including exclusive archived audio clips from a 1956 interview with Walt, the Virtual Tour brings Walt’s inspirational message directly to people’s homes. Guests of all ages can learn about Walt’s early endeavors and struggles, his storytelling principles, and the technological innovations that made classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) possible. Narrated by voiceover artists and producing partners Camille Dixon and Bill Rogers, who are recognized for their contributions to commercial broadcasts and theme parks, the Virtual Tour will be offered free to the public on the museum’s website and the WDFM app for a limited time.
The Virtual Tour was soft-launched in a live format by the museum’s Education Department in 2019, initially designed for school groups. High-resolution videos of the galleries were merged with Disney film clips and narrated by a museum educator, allowing for a more customized experience for students unable to visit the museum due to geographic or financial constraints. Since the live Virtual Tour’s debut, the museum has been able to reach classrooms across the world, including a homeschool in South Africa. In light of the museum’s recent closure, the WDFM team transformed the Virtual Tour into an experience for people of all ages who wish to visit the museum and learn about Walt’s life, including his challenges and achievements, in a virtual format.
“We are committed to making the museum a more accessible space for our diverse and global audience, particularly during this unique time. These new initiatives are designed to ensure that guests have the opportunity to experience and learn about Walt’s inspirational story in a way that is most comfortable for them,” says museum Executive Director Kirsten Komoroske.
Also debuting within the WDFM mobile app is The World of Tomorrow: A Virtual Community Art Exhibition, a new virtual exhibition featuring works created by adult and teen artists from around the globe. Inspired by each artists’ vision for a “world of tomorrow,” the diverse selection of paintings, drawings, photographs, and 3D objects will be on display in a 3D-rendered recreation of the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall. By accessing the WDFM app or visiting waltdisney.org/wot, viewers will have the opportunity to independently navigate each gallery space with 360° views and options to zoom in on each piece to find information about the work and the artist.
The Walt Disney Family Museum’s accessibility initiative was first implemented by museum co-founder and Walt Disney’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller. The new Virtual Tour and WDFM mobile app help ensure that more guests have the opportunity to benefit from the museum’s galleries. These offerings continue the museum’s mission of informing present and future generations about Walt Disney and, through his story, inspire them to heed their imagination and persevere in pursuing their goals.
TO EXPERIENCE THE WDFM MOBILE APP AND VIRTUAL TOUR
The new Virtual Tour and Museum Highlights is available on-demand at waltdisney.org/virtual-tour or via the WDFM mobile app. In lieu of the museum's temporary closure, this pre-recorded tour will be free to the public for a limited time.
For more information about School Experiences offered by The Walt Disney Family Museum, including the live Virtual Tour tailored to school groups, visit waltdisney.org/school-experiences or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To download the WDFM mobile app for Apple and Android devices, search for “WDFM” in the Apple or Google Play app stores, or visit waltdisney.org/mobile-app.