10 May 2010

Colorful and timeless thread

Early last fall, I begged my friend Lori Burke to pick me up a copy of Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives from the inaugural D23 Expo. It was one of the low points last year that I was unable to attend the Expo myself, but the documentation of the collection by Stephen Clark, Becky Cline, and Rob Klein, who were also the curators of the exhibition, gave me a sense of actually being there and able to marvel at the details of the items myself. It goes without saying that this book is a must have for all Disney enthusiasts, whether your primary focus is television, the parks, films, or Walt Disney himself, and I probably should have picked up more than one copy as mine is, shall we say, well loved.

Every single time I read the book, I wonder what it would be like to wander among these various pieces for hours on end. Apparently, the Disney Company has realized there is a devoted following to not only the present and future of all things Disney, but also to its past, as through D23 events they have been showcasing their treasures and opening up the Walt Disney Archives with more regularity. That, however, is the West Coast, where very few of those of us living along the Eastern Seaboard are able to visit with any sort of regularity.

Yet, for those of us who are habitual patrons of Walt Disney World, while we may not have an archive with the same depth as our western brethren, we do still have a standing exhibition that is open 365 days a year in One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Like the Treasures display at last year’s Expo, One Man’s Dream runs the gamut of Disney history, from Walt Disney’s life, to film and television success, from steam trains, to the very foundations and dreams of the parks themselves. I cannot count the innumerable hours I have spent moseying through the spaces of One Man’s Dream, and while most people would find a crowd within the confines of these halls annoying, I am overjoyed for the simple fact that it shows continued interest in what has come before, at least in terms of Disney.

Vaulting back and forth between thoughts of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives and One Man’s Dream, or thinking back to the retrospective of Epcot artifacts surrounding its twenty-fifth anniversary, inexplicably always draws me back to one conclusion, a thought I have shared many times here on the Gazette, Walt Disney World needs more galleries and exhibitions scattered throughout its parks. For instance, a gallery on Main Street U.S.A., a few displays in the queue for the return of Captain EO, Star Wars propage in the revamped Star Tours, an exhibit about the True Life Adventures in Discovery Island in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, showcases that are refreshed within the great Movie Ride on a more regular basis, and a larger incarnation of One Man’s Dream would all go a long way in Walt Disney World.

In the introduction to Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives there is a line that states, “Listen carefully to your memories and use your imagination, and you will hear the story that all of these treasures have to tell.” In these times, with so much interest in the history of the Walt Disney and his creations, there are no truer words, and it would be wonderful to have a few more glimpses into the archives.

1 comment:

lorilovestigger said...

You left out the part where I sat on a hard concrete floor for about an hour to get the book for you. And you know what, I'd do it again if you asked! ;-)