Before moving to the bustling metropolis of eastern Oregon, we used to live in Burbank, California. Home of NBC, Warner Bros, and Disney Studios. I would frequently drive by the Disney lot and see it from this perspective:
But after many years of saving up points through the Disney Movie Rewards program, I finally earned a guided VIP tour for four of the lot that Walt built! On Monday, March 2, 2015, we got inside the Disney studio lot… and I got to do this:
Much of the tour took place outside on the streets of the lot. Looking at buildings both old and new.
We walked the roads and alleys where Walt walked, and took many pictures of the buildings that he helped design for his employees back in 1939. The studio was able to be built to Walt Disney’s specifications due to the enormous commercial and financial success of his big gamble: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. That film gained him the money he needed to build his own privately owned studio.
Most of the animation is now done across the street from the complex we toured. But the building shown above was the original home for all of Walt’s “Nine Old Men” and other artists. I love that most of the buildings look exactly the same as they did 76 years ago.
This odd-shaped Mickey Mouse topiary is only of its kind on the lot. Due to the expense of keeping plants watered in southern California, they just have the one. It does help make the studio more fun and more Disney!
This fire hydrant is located at Pluto’s Corner. The part of the lot I most wanted to see. Not because of the three Pluto footprints (What was the fourth leg doing? 😉 ) Although that is fun, the main reason I wanted to come here was for this picture…
The street sign at the corner of Mickey Ave and Dopey Drive! Originally added to the lot purely as a prop for The Reluctant Dragon, this sign is shown in countless behind-the-scenes documentaries shot on the studio lot. I achieved one of my own personal Disney dreams with this picture! Undeniable proof that I made it to the lot!
At the conclusion of our tour, we hit the studio store where we spent far too much time and money buying T-shirts, stuffed animals, and a copy of Big Hero 6 autographed by the directors!
Was it fun? Of course! Would I want to do it again? I think I would! I used to give tours of Paramount Studios, so I’ve been on a lot and know how TV shows are made. I’ve also read many books about the life of Walt Disney, so I know most of his history too. But I was THERE! I was walking in Walt’s footsteps! So cool!!
Have you ever wanted to go into the lot? What do you want to know about it? Comment me!