Childhood Delights – The Walt Disney Family Museum

It was a Sunday back in June, and my boyfriend had just left via train to head back to Los Angeles for school.  I remember asking his mom if she knew of anything to do in San Francisco, as my best friend and I were headed that way to escape the oppressive heat that had settled over my town.  San Francisco always stays twenty to thirty degrees cooler than the San Joaquin Valley due to its position at the tip of a peninsula on the Pacific Ocean.

“Have you been to the Disney Museum?” she asked me.  What?  A Disney Museum? I love museums.  I like the fact that museums are big geek buildings that specialize in a single topic, and if I have any minor interest, even a passing one, in a subject, I can go learn all about it.  I love the exhibits and the people.  I love that admission is generally very reasonable, though I stay away from the food courts they offer.

And a Disney Museum sounded like my kind of hangout.  Spend the day frolicking among cartoons?  Yes, please.

It was a great decision.  We opted to use the train and metro systems in San Francisco, as it has a very comprehensive, albeit complex, public transportation system.  Still, it’s much better than looking for parking.  Ugh.

When we finally arrived at the museum a car ride, a train ride, a muni ride, a bus ride, and a short walk later, I was mildly disappointed.  We checked out the lower level of the museum on the left, but there was little by way of classic Disney artifacts.

Those of you interested in biographies would love the first two rooms of the ground level, which go over the life of Walt Disney and his family history.  Things started getting fun for me after taking the elevator upstairs, where we started looking at the production process for cartoons.  There were some great film cameras available for me to ogle and information about Disneyland.  They talked about the use of Disney in WWII.  There were games to play and lots of fun exhibits.  There was a hallway with a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which was a bonus.

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I loved my trip to the Disney museum, and I got a great little souvenir from the (ridiculously overpriced) gift shop that now holds some other small memory treasures.  The gift shop itself was a lot of fun because my friend and I played a game of “How Much Does This Cost?” where we’d guess at how ridiculously overpriced everything was, then look for the price tag to see how close we were.  I did also snag some overpriced post cards to send off to my friends–I’m a huge fan of post cards.

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We stopped off to do a little city caching on our way back to the BART station, and we also ate at a local restaurant called the Bistro SF Grill, where they advertised burgers made with somewhat exotic meats such as bison, ostrich, gator, and wild boar.  Unfortunately, they were sold out of all our first choices so we settled for bison and venison.  For the record, bison tastes like beef.

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I loved the Disney museum and will absolutely go back with my children at some point.  It’s a great place to take kids, as there are things for them to play with and lots of cartoons for them to look at and see which ones they recognize.

But it was a wonderful museum for two kid-at-heart adults, too.

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