On May 6, 1940, Walt Disney’s employees finished the arduous task of moving into the brand-new Walt Disney Studios location in Burbank, California. At the time of the move, Robin Coons, a reporter with the Associated Press, was concerned about Disney’s decision to relocate.
“I was worried because the removal to the new factory, still in progress, could change the Disney atmosphere as drastically as a Disney venture into big business,” she wrote. “So I went out and browsed around the big new lot, and I’m happy to report that Disney is still Disney, and the Disney lot is still like no other in this town or any other.”
Coons continued her happy report, adding that “the artists work in roomier, air-conditioned, more convenient quarters, but their walls are still adorned with those extra-curricular inspirations indicative of the sans-souci spirit of old. There was Walt himself in a leather jacket, still being called plain ‘Walt’ by everybody in sight.”
The elated reporter complimented Walt Disney, his relationship with his employees, and the overall morale of the organization, saying the following in her report:
There may be other lots with almost as much loyalty to the head man as here; there certainly are lots with more formidable lines of time clocks, but there isn’t another with a higher morale.
That was more than 80 years ago, but a sense of that morale and the nostalgia of Disney days gone by can still be felt within the walls and halls of the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. And as part of the Disney100 celebration this year, D23, the Ultimate Disney Fan Club, is inviting ultimate Disney fans to step back in time with a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Studios.
From February 6 to March 31, 2023, Disney fans of all ages are invited to a very special tour of the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank.
D23 invites Guests to “kick off the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company in 2023 by visiting the heart of the magic with The Official Walt Disney Studios Tour, presented by D23!
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D23 Members have the rare opportunity to enjoy a two-and-a-half-hour tour of The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. This exclusive experience includes a visit to Walt Disney’s office suite, the Walt Disney Archives, and Legends Plaza. Additionally, on weekend tours, get a glimpse of the Animator’s office exhibit only open on Saturdays for D23. You will also have the opportunity for your own private visit to the Archives, where you may even run into someone from the Archives team.
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Join your D23 tour guide on a stroll through the original Animation building, where beloved animated films, including Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, and The Jungle Book, were created; see the historic soundstages used for filming such Disney live-action movie classics as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mary Poppins, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2; plus explore the beautiful Legends Plaza, which honors those who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy. Many guests will also recognize the exterior spaces on the lot, which have been featured in productions from the Mickey Mouse Club and The Absent-Minded Professor to Saving Mr. Banks, Muppets Most Wanted, and ABC’s black-ish!”
This special tour even includes a look at the Walt Disney Archives–and a visit to Walt’s 3H office, which has been restored and still includes original furnishings used and enjoyed by Walt Disney himself. It’s a dream come true for nostalgic Disney fans who can’t get enough of Walt and the story behind The Walt Disney Company.
General members of D23 can enjoy the tour on weekdays for $149 per person and on weekends for $159 per person, plus a $7 processing fee per person. D23 Gold Members enjoy a savings of $50 per person and can experience the tour for $99 during the week and $109 on the weekends, plus a $7 processing fee per person.
For more information, visit the official D23 website.