Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Walt's Appartment

As Disneyland was being constructed, Walt Disney wanted a place that he and his family could stay and watch all the activity. Walt had a special apartment built on the second floor of the Main Street Firehouse. The elegant apartment was private and hidden from the rest of Disneyland, it was the perfect place for Walt to do quiet work, or enjoy with his family. Continue after the page break for a wonderful look into Walt's home away from home...

Only known picture of Walt inside apartment
 The apartment is was very small, but was fully operational. It had a small bathroom, with a shower, along with a small kitchen unit. The furniture design was in a "Firehouse" look, with reds, and whites, decorating the room. The original decorator of the apartment was Emil Kuri, a set designer for many Disney films, and also the decorator of Main Street, itself. Walt didn't allow any pictures of him or his family inside the apartment except for one photograph that was featured in an issue of National Geographic Magazine, which I am lucky enough to own.

Apartment Patio Past

Apartment Patio Present
 The apartment also featured a quiet patio. Lillian Disney often used this patio for her afternoon tea, or to entertain guests. The patio was also decorated accordingly with white wicker furniture that covered the deck. The patio was very private as vines surrounded the wood patio, blocking any observers from the street.

Walt's desk
The day Disneyland opened, Walt watched from his apartment window as the crowds poured through the gates. Mouseketeer, Sharon Baird was there and explains:
"On the opening day of Disneyland, we (Mouseketeers) were in Walt Disney's private apartment above the Main Street Fire Station when the gates of the park opened for the first time. I was standing next to him at the window, watching the guests come pouring through the gates. When I looked up at him, he had his hands behind his back, a grin from ear to ear, I could see a lump in his throat and a tear streaming down his cheek. He had realized his dream. I was only twelve years old at the time, so it didn't mean as much to me then. But as the years go by, that image of him becomes more and more endearing."

View from inside the apartment
Much of the original furniture has been removed. Although, Disney designers have tried to remain faithful to it's original look, presently a light is kept on near the window as a tribute to his creation of Disneyland and a reminder that Walt is always there in spirit.

Some more photos of the famous apartment:

Walt's shower with jets to help soothe his old polo injury

Walt's Throne

 Now for a short video about the apartment with Walt's daughter Diane Disney Miller, enjoy:

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