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Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Disney Geek Heaven

Disney Treasures Exhibit
Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, California

First let me say that although I was not a particular fan of Ronald Reagan the President, I was a fan of the actor, Screen Actor's Guild (union) president and the President of the United States who said in 1981 that  By outlawing Solidarity, a free trade organization to which an overwhelming majority of Polish workers and farmers belong, they have made it clear that they never had any intention of restoring one of the most elemental human rights—the right to belong to a free trade union.

That said, I will also say that our county has been very lucky to be the home of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.  Their exhibits over the years have been exquisitely presented, and the current exhibit, built in cooperation with D23 (the official Disney fan club) is no exception.  Billed as the largest exhibition of Disney memorabilia in history, it is the most exciting exhibit I've seen there to date (and the Civil War exhibition several years ago set a pretty high standard.)

I was there for a couple of hours this morning to see Treasures... and plan to return more than once.  I was so excited that my BET kicked in (benign essential tremor, a family trait that usually isn't disabling to me - just inconvenient sometimes) and ensured that I got some really awful photos.  I hope to replace the worst next visit, but for now, here's a peek through some of the better ones.  (Yes, trust me, these are the better ones.) Keep in mind the lighting is dim museum lighting to protect the artifacts on display and to set the right tone and "NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY" - just like in the parks - is allowed.

Jiminy Cricket macquette.  Jiminy is one of my favorite characters.

I about did a little dance when I saw the book that opens Sleeping Beauty - huge, by the way - but managed to restore some decorum just in the nick of time.

There's a place at Disney California Adventure where you can find out "your" Disney character.  Mine was Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.  I wasn't sure how to take that.  She is my favorite Disney villain from my favorite Disney movie, but really?  Maleficent?  I guess I feel better now that Angelina Jolie has been chosen to portray me in the new movie.
THEREITISTHEREITISTHEREITIS!  I was there the first year and at least once a year forever afterward.  My goal is to be there on its 100th anniversary.

From Walt's office.

Re-creation of Walt's office.

I've ridden this many times.

Autographed by the author.

She was taller than I expected (5'8").

The Nautilus.  One of my favorite movies, one of my favorite attractions from the early days.
Oh my gosh, it's King Brian's crown!  I was so excited when I found that Darby O'Gill and the Little People was available on dvd.  Another favorite. 

It entertained me how many artifacts I recognized - like running into an old friend from high school forty years later - but couldn't quite put my finger on where I knew them from.  I think I saw Babes in Toyland - or selections from it - several times on television over the years.

They had several of the costumes from the Annie Liebovitz portraits.

Julie Andrews' costume from The Princess Diaries.  I forget, sometimes, that they were Disney, too.

Anne Hathaway's.  She is tall, too, about 5'8"

The new princess' crown.

So yummy, even in person.  Giselle's wedding dress from Enchanted.

I still love the butterfly.
And, her manhole cover.

Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon is "only" 5'7 1/2")

From Electronica, a show at Disney California Adventure when Tron II came out.

Really sorry I didn't get a better picture of her.  The original dragon from Fantasmic.  Made the front page of several newspapers as she made her way along the freeways from storage to the library.
Grim grinning ghosts...

...and the busy bride.

The Endeavor, ship of Lord Cutler Beckett (boohiss).

I liked Norrington.

Bootstrap Bill Turner

Pintel and Rigetti

Dead Man's Chest and jar of dirt.



The Black Pearl.  The lighting in this area was spectacular, but my camera kept compensating so the drama is lost from this picture.

It took me a while to realize where I'd seen this guys before.  Duh.  Another favorite movie I'd forgotten was Disney.

I love this model. 
This picture isn't from the Treasures exhibit, but is the building at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank where the sculptures are found.  As I understand it, the dwarfs were chosen to hold up the edifice because the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs provided the financial foundation for the rest of Disney's magic.

 Can you name them all?

Just a peek into this fabulous exhibit. There's more that I didn't even try to photograph, much less post here.   If you are anywhere near enough for a trip to be feasible, it's worth the time and expense ($21) for a ticket.


 To wrap this up, here are some Reagan Library photos.

The library sits on the top of a hill on the outskirts of Simi Valley.  All along the road up the hill are these light standards (in El Camino Real fashion, which means something to Californians).  Starting with George Washington at the bottom of the hill, each standard has the portrait of a President leading to Ronald Reagan and...

...on the way down the hill are the Presidents that came along after Reagan.

The grounds and buildings are lovely and in the traditional California Ranchero style.

A Disneyland touch.  Queue ready for anticipated large crowds.  They are expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors during the run of this exhibit (which runs until April of 2013, I believe.)  I think they're right, although it was not crowded this morning.

Like I said, just a peek.  By the way, the Reagan parts of the library (including a piece of the Berlin Wall and Air Force One) are also worth visiting.

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