And now, the thrilling conclusion of our photo tour of Walt Disney’s recently restored office suite at the Disney Studios lot!
When you exit Walt’s working office, you walk through what used to be a closet (or maybe the bathroom?) leading to a small room where he used to relax and get physical therapy for his polo injury.
On the right is a beautiful stained glass panel. I think the tour guide said it was painted by one of the Disney artists, but I’m afraid I’ve forgotten who.
The Archives set up a small display of Walt’s personal effects in the pass-through too. You’ll see his Bank of America deposit book, California Association of Highway Patrolmen sponsor card, chrome Eveready penlight, Edaville (South Carver, MA) railroad pass, polo mallet, reading glasses, Remington 60 DeLuxe electric shaver, Seattle World’s Fair Gold Pass, straw hat and monogrammed toiletry bag.
This necktie was found in the back of the center drawer of Walt’s formal-office desk when the Archives staff were repacking the office for storage. You gotta wonder, was it in there because it was Walt’s favorite or because he never wanted to have to wear it again?
The Suite 3H brochure they give out on the tour says the room beyond the closet was set up as a small bedroom and bathroom, but that Walt never really used it as a bedroom. But I love how he stashed little apartments all over the place! The Archives decided to use it for a rotating collection of displays. Right now it’s set up with examples of the animation furniture custom-built by Disney Studio architect Kem Weber.
One of these dudes is Kem Weber:
They’ve enlarged one of the few photographs of this room as it appeared in Walt’s day.
It looks like the table, chair and floor lamp are original to this room.
Kem Weber’s concept for Roy Disney’s office.
Kem Weber even designed this clock!
In case you need to call anybody at the studio in 1945…
…And then you’re back out in the entrance area!
Did I mention Walt had a Squaw Valley Winter Olympics torch? Well, he did!
“What in the H am I s’posed to do with a Squaw Valley Winter Olympics torch…?”
At that point the tour concluded and, in the nicest possible way, we were shown the door.
If you’re a Disney employee, here’s how you can request a tour…
There are more neat photographs in the hall outside Suite 3H, like this 1940 shot of the Westminster Choir (who performed for initial tests of the “Ave Maria” sequence of Fantasia) getting a private showing of Pinocchio in nearby Screening Room 3H-12.
Walt’s Nine Old Men!
On the way out, our host took us on a mini tour of the rest of the old Animation Building, which allowed me to snap a lot of mediocre photos of the art on the walls!
I think our host said this office belonged to the Nine Old Men. Or maybe it was just Frank and Ollie… I can’t imagine them squeezing nine whole men into one tiny suite!
There’s a nice display of movie props about halfway down the hall on the third floor:
Headpieces, shoes and assorted props from Enchanted
Props from Dick Tracy
And then it’s back to posters for obscure mid-century Disney films!
Nice view of the theater where we sometimes get to attend screenings…
I’ve always loved this diorama of the movie-making process!
“Future Home of Gelson’s Supermarket!”
Down on the second floor is the Art of Disney’s Animation exhibit I’m always trying to photograph when we get to go to those screenings. Dunno if I did any better this time!
The story of The Cold-Blooded Penguin made a big impression on me as a kid, so I always take lots of photos of this art.
Some of my all-time favorite Disney backgrounds are from “Lady and the Tramp.”
Some info about the Animation Building:
And then we were done! If you ever get a chance to tour Suite 3H, I highly recommend it. It looks like D23 is doing another studio tour on November 5, and tickets go on sale next Wednesday!