We took a tour behind the magic at the company’s Burbank, Calif., studios. This is what we saw.
1. Before Disneyland was built in Anaheim, there was a proposed Disney theme park in Burbank where the current studio lot now stands.
The spot is now home to ABC Television and Walt Disney Animation.
2. Roy E. Disney’s (Walt’s nephew) former office was actually located INSIDE the Sorcerer’s Hat in the present day animation building.
The building, The Roy E. Disney Animation Building, is named after him as well.
3. The specially made multiplane camera used to shoot classic films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio, is HUMONGOUS.
Only three of these cameras still exist, the other two are on display at The Walt Disney Family Museum and Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris.
4. The streets at the studio are appropriately named.
While Mickey Ave and Dopey Drive are actual streets located on the lot, they don’t lead to the buildings or locations they point toward.
5. Two of the flagpoles at the studio were actually used for the 1960 Winter Olympics.
Walt was “Chairman of Pageantry” for the 1960 Squaw Valley Games, and following the event he purchased one of the flagpoles (the other was a gift) and moved them to the studio lot where they’re currently located in front of the commissary.
6. There are walkable tunnels running underneath the studio!
The underground tunnels were originally constructed as a way to transport animation cels.
Several films and TV shows have shot inside them as well, like Alias. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any photos.
7. The Partners Statue (aka the statue of Walt and Mickey) that is located in every Disney park around the world is also on display here.
But this is the only one where you can actually pose right next to Walt and Mickey, as opposed to in front (the other statues are elevated).
8. There is a special space dedicated to archival work.
The Walt Disney Archives has a treasure trove of materials, including this animator’s desk which was used during film production.
9. Walt Disney won a TON of Oscars, and a few them are on display in the archives.
He won 32 Academy Awards, more than any other individual.
10. Some of the buildings pull double duty during film shoots.
The Frank G. Wells Building, which also houses the Walt Disney Archives, “played the role” of a hospital in ABC’s Flash Forward.
11. And at times, walking the studio lot felt like you were living Saving Mr. Banks.
This is where Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (played by Emma Thompson) first meets the Sherman Brothers (played by B. J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman) and Don DaGradi (played by Bradley Whitford) in the film.
12. There is an entire soundstage named after Julie Andrews, who shot two films inside — Mary Poppins and The Princess Diaries, 37 years apart!
The studio rededicated Stage 2 as The Julie Andrews Stage in 2001.
13. Some of the buildings at Disney’s studio in Burbank were actually relocated from the Hyperion Studios in Silverlake.
This was due to the high cost of building materials during World War II. The Hyperion Room, pictured here, was originally used by the Disney Comic Strip Department but now houses conference rooms.
14. The main building, Team Disney Burbank, features the Seven Dwarfs holding up the roof as a nod to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which held up the studio due to its tremendous success.
The building was designed by famed architect Michael Graves, who also designed Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin Resorts.
15. Finally, if you look closely, you might even spot Pluto’s footprints!
Looks like he may have taken care of some business!