The black-and-white photo from 1906 shows a little boy and his sister, holding hands on the porch of their modest home on Chicago’s West Side. On a nearby wall hangs more than a dozen simple cartoons the boy drew as a freshman for William McKinley High School’s magazine. The most spectacular thing about the sketches isn’t the subject matter. It’s the artist’s signature: W. Disney. Near these humble artifacts are 29 of the 32 Academy Awards Chicago-born Walt Disney racked up during his illustrious life.

These are just a few of the items on display at the new Walt Disney Family Museum, which tells the fascinating life story of one of the world’s most influential storytellers. Opening Thursday in San Francisco, the museum pays homage to the man who created timeless characters, elevated animation to an art form and helped shape pop culture — and countless childhoods. “We’re giving people the opportunity to know him, to know what he was really like,” said Diane Disney Miller, 75, Walt’s daughter and co-founder of the museum. “I wanted his story to be told in his own words.”

Walt’s voice — and the voices of his family and collaborators — are heard throughout the building, broadcast from overhead speakers and some of the 200-plus video monitors showing everything from Walt’s intimate home movies to clips from his blockbuster films.

The museum’s 10 galleries are filled with the groundbreaking equipment and technology Disney used to create his movies, as well as the earliest known drawings of the world’s most famous mouse — a mouse who was going to be called Mortimer until Disney’s wife shot that down in favor of Mickey.

Click HERE to read the full article from the Chicago Sun Times.

GETTING THERE: The Walt Disney Family Museum, 104 Montgomery St., is in San Francisco’s Presidio, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Enter through the gate at Lombard and Lyon streets. (The city has two Montgomery streets, so make sure taxi drivers know you’re going to the Presidio.) For public transportation options, visit
HOURS: Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Tuesdays. It opens Oct. 1.
TICKETS: Admission is by timed-entry tickets only. Up to 60 people will be allowed in every 15 minutes. Museum officials estimate the average visit will last about 90 minutes.
You can buy tickets online up to 60 days in advance at They cost $20 for adults, $15 for seniors (over 65) and students, $12.50 for children ages 6-17 and free for kids under 6.
The museum also has a 113-seat movie theater where films and lectures will be held. Separate tickets are needed for those events.
CONTACT: (415) 345-6800,

Thanks to our contributor Edward R Cox for informing our readers about this.