Last fall, cast members at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort entered a sweepstakes for an exclusive tour of The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Archives in Burbank, CA. Winners would be treated to a magical day with the Disneyland Resort Ambassadors, learning historical facts about The Walt Disney Company from our expert tour guides and witnessing the growth of the company dating back to the humble beginnings of Walt Disney, himself.
Olivia, a merchandise cast member from World of Disney at Disneyland Resort, and Ben, a food and beverage cast member at Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World Resort, were the lucky winners of this contest. They finally got their chance to venture through the Studios lot with our Ambassadors, and needless to say, it was a day worth waiting for.
Their days began at the Walt Disney Archives in the department’s storied Reading Room, with walls lined with props, costumes and artifacts (including the first Disneyland ticket ever sold, pictured above, left) documenting snapshots of Disney history. As soon as Olivia and Ben walked into the room, they were greeted with a display dedicated to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, Walt’s first animated feature film. A photo of Walt reaching out to them with an outstretched welcoming hand (pictured above, right) set the perfect tone for an adventure that was just beginning.
The next stop transported our two cast members back in time to the working days of Walt Disney, as they visited Suite 3H for an appointment at Walt’s very own office. Olivia and Ben instantly felt the history as they walked through Walt’s formal office and working office – frozen in time as if Walt himself had just finished a day at work. It was a nice moment for them to pay homage to their respective Disney Parks, as they saw artifacts such as an oversized photograph of Disneyland Resort and an early master plan of the Walt Disney World property (pictured above, right).
Their tours continued, full of amazing opportunities like posing with Iron Man’s full-scale suits in the Marvel Studios lobby (above, left) or a surprise lunch in the Rotunda Executive Dining Room in the Team Disney Building (above, right).
Olivia and Ben even got the chance to feel what it’s like to be a part of a Disney Studios project, as the sound recording team welcomed them into the same soundstages where famous talent throughout the years have loaned their voices to iconic Disney films and shows.
After hours of walking through buildings and meeting employees all around the Studios lot, a lowering sun peeked over The Walt Disney Company water tower marked the end of an extraordinary day for some well-deserving magic makers. With the company now growing closer to 100 years since its founding, this live “history lesson” was the perfect reminder of what makes #DisneyCastLife so great, as cast members like Olivia and Ben recognize the legacy of Walt Disney and help further the same dreams he was envisioning in these offices for our guests around the world.
“You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world…but it requires people to make the dream a reality.”Walt Disney