Friday, August 3, 2012

My Kind of Treasures!

After the most enjoyable Character breakfast, it was time to make the 1 1/2 hour drive (without traffic, but took us almost 2 1/2 hours) to Simi Valley for my second bit of mania for the day: to go see the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Reagan Library, presented by D23. This exhibit has recently opened, and the only reason I wanted to go was to hit the gift shop to find two pins I saw in an article about this exhibit: a 1976 Disneyland pin and a Mickey Mouse Club pin. (Flash forward: they didn't have the MMC pin, but that didn't prevent me from $pending it on other pins.)

I was going to buy our tickets in advance, and I'm glad we decided to just play it by ear. The traffic was insane going up to the Valley! We had no idea what was to come on the way home.  But first, the exhibit.

I would be remiss not to mention the actual Reagan Library. To be honest, I wouldn't have invested a good portion of my time on this trip just to go see it. However, it is quite impressive. After all, any building that could house a former Air Force One jet, presidential helicopter and other vehicles, along with other memorabilia, has to be big! I had forgotten some of the historical facts that happened back in the 1980's, so the theme of reminiscing on this reunion trip for me continued. Other than the above, the other items in the collection that were of interest were the actual suit Reagan was wearing when John Hinckley, Jr.shot him, part of the Berlin Wall,  and a beam from the World Trade Center.

After that part of the exhibit, it was time for what this trip really was all about: Disney.

For those of you who have attended other D23 Disney Treasures exhibits, you will see familiar items. Last August at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, they had parts of this exhibit. I love these figurines, because I would like to think they may have inspired "classic" Walt Disney Classic Collection pieces. You can see how Dumbo and the Brave Little Tailor Mickey look similar to their WDCC counterparts.

Because flash photography is not allowed and it's time for me to get a new camera, many of my pictures turned out fuzzy. I've added a few of some of the many items on display that mean something to me, since I've been walking down memory lane this entire trip. I'm sure many of you can make some kind of similar emotional connection to these.

First, Mary Poppins. This beloved movie of Uncle Walt's came out the year I was born (1964). For some reason, her talking parrot umbrella has always been one of my favorite movie props. I dreamed of owning one, so when the Broadway production of Mary Poppins came out and they created a replica umbrella, well, I just had to have it. Two actually: one to save and one to use. (Don't be a hater with what you're thinking!)

Another all-time favorite movie of mine is The Happiest Millionaire, about an eccentric Philadelphia millionaire, Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, played by the talented Fred MacMurray. Below is the actual shirt worn by Fred. I just love the music in this movie!

Two props, one shown, from yet another classic Disney movie, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, were on display. Below is the suitcase-turned-display used by Emelius Browne, played by David Tomlinson. To the right of this was the poster of Emelius Brown and Eglantine Price, played by Angela Lansbury.

Most of my friends know I'm a huge Annette Funicello fan. And as a kid, I had the music to Babes in Toyland. Even though the movie is probably not as strong as some of the above, it's still has a great cast, catchy music, perfect to watch at Christmastime, and of course, starred Annette. Below are the costumes worn by Tom Piper and Mary Contrary, played by Tommy Sands and Annette Funicello, respectfully.

I'm skipping all kinds of other memorabilia that were shown, like a model of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and clothes worn by the cast of Enchanted, to artwork from the Shaggy Dog and clothes worn by David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson for the photo shoots done by Annie Leibovitz.

On the drive up, we talked about Belmont Shores, and I mentioned that back in 1982, I saw the movie, Tron, for the first time in a movie theatre in Belmont Shores. I always wanted a sequel, and I would have to wait 28 years for that to happen. Better late than never. Below is a Light Cycle from Tron Legacy.

Get out of my picture, Mike!
 "Welcome Aboard! This is Captain REX from the cockpit. I know this is probably your first flight, and it's mine too." When I was still working at Disneyland, I was thrilled to learn that two of my life's passions would be forever combined: Disney and Star Wars. That excitement was only rivaled when I was lucky enough to be part of the opening crew for Star Tours. For years, I still enjoyed hearing REX say that opening line before each flight. Even though you can still see REX as part of the pre-show queue at Star Tours: The Adventure Continues, this exhibit had their own crazy pilot on display.

 "...and a ghost will follow you home!" How about three? Some of you will ask, "Those ghosts have names?", while diehard Disney/Haunted Mansion fans will certainly let you know that they do.




Hakuna Matata! In the case of all these wonderful maquettes, I spotted my buddy, Timon. Now how am I going to get that into my backpack???

Simba and Pumbaa were nearby as well, of course.

They had this great mural with images of our favorite Disney friends and villains, and enough lighting to take a semi-decent photo sans flash.

At the end of the exhibit, they had a hodge-podge of items. This one eye and brought back memories. When I was working at the Disney Store and the live action movie, One Hundred and One Dalmatians hit the theatres, the stores ran a special promotion. This was during the height of the Beanie Babies crazy, and Disney wisely had put out their own bean bag plush. But they made this limited edition Lucky to be a gift with purchase to Guests or they could just buy him (Frankly, I don't remember that detail, but I remember the pandemonium that ensured over Lucky). It's a memory alright!

Time for the trip home, so that means time to hit the potty before hitting the road. What's this? A urinal that doesn't use water? As Spock would say, "Fascinating."  Now before you pass judgement, you know I'm a germ freak. I washed my hands prior to and after taking this picture.

Now about that adventure going home. It took over 3 hours. Lionel took this picture from his phone to show all the traffic alerts. We finally got off the freeway and took side streets to avoid the congestion. I was in a panic, because I had to be back to the hotel by 6:00 PM to meet some of my former Tomorrowland Cast Member friends for happy hour. The host can't be late to his own party! Turns out I would be 10 minutes late and Tina was gracious when I finally showed up.

Oh, we passed this beauty salon, and I had about 100 non-Disney comments I could have made, but refrained. I left it here for you to ponder a few of your own.

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