It’s the most magical time of the year for Disney fans, the D23 Expo has arrived in Anaheim! Three days of Disney madness, full of new products, panels, guest appearances, and more. For retro Disneyland fans like myself, one of the most exciting exhibits on the show floor is the “Walt Disney Archives Presents – Disneyland: The Exhibit.” More than 300 items from the archives will be on display including props, costumes, and ride attractions vehicles.
On Thursday, I went to a preview night of the exhibit and was in awe at how well kept all the items have been maintained over the years. It’s staggering that with 60 years of Disney memorabilia, this exhibit barely scratches the surface. The archives does an amazing job of keeping everything in mint condition because many of items looked as good as the day they debuted.
As you enter the exhibit you are immediately taken back to 1955 with construction markers and items from the inception of Disneyland. The very first ticket to Disneyland was bought by Walt’s brother Roy and it sat enshrined for all Disney fans to view.
Props from The Mickey Mouse Club TV show and Mouseketeer costumes were just some of the items that showcased the beginning of Walt Disney’s vision. Disneyland menus from 1955, when lunch cost a mere 55 cents and popcorn was 15 cents, made you long for the old days. Favorite rides that have since been closed like Country Bear Jamboree and Innerspace were given special tributes, as well as a fun display of Disneyland cast member costumes throughout the years.
What made this preview even more special than the items on display were the special guests who were available to answer questions. Becky Cline, the Director of the Walt Disney Archives, as well as Disney Legends Mary Sklar and Tony Baxter were on hand to talk about the history and legacy of Walt Disney.
Among the exhibits was a sign for an interactive augmented reality technology called Aurasma. Since it was by the Star Tours exhibit, I gave it a whirl. By using the D23 Expo Official Mobile App, Aurasma’s “augmented reality” technology brought special content to life right on my phone. All in all, it made for a pretty amazing collaboration between the past and the present.
It’s easy to spend hours looking at every artifact in the exhibit and be amazed at how it all started with a mouse. For Disney historians, the Archives exhibit is truly magical look back into 60 years of Disneyland.
Check out all the exhibit photos in the gallery and follow me on Twitter (@justjenn) all this weekend for more D23 Expo coverage.
What are you looking forward to at D23 Expo? Let us know in the comments!