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Walt Disney Studios tour peeks at Lucasfilm office, pieces of movie past and present hidden around historic halls

in Disney, Entertainment, Movies

The hallowed history of Walt Disney Studios has most recently been showcased in the film “Saving Mr. Banks,” based on the making of “Mary Poppins,” one of the last films Walt personally worked on in the Burbank lot.

As part of this week’s Disney Store unveiling of “Star Wars” products, attending press were guided on a tour through that famous studio, both taking a look back at Disney history as well as its future with Lucasfilm.

Walt Disney Studios tour

Some of the buildings at Walt Disney Studios date back even further than the studio itself, relocated from the former nearby location and largely preserved. Not only did Walt frequently pass through these areas, but also all of the biggest names in Disney’s films, from acting to animation. In fact, the building where stars like Annette Funicello were initially cast as Mousketeers still stands alongside a Mickey Mouse topiary – the only one at the studio – and Disney’s corporate flag.

Walt Disney Studios tour

Walt Disney Studios tour

In addition to press, joining the tour was Steve Sansweet, whose Rancho Obi-Wan is the official record-holder of the world’s largest “Star Wars” collection. Over the years, Sansweet has worked at Lucasfilm in their Marketing and Fan Relations departments, written or co-authored 16 “Star Wars” books, helped create the “Star Wars” Celebration events, and helped launch StarWars.com.

Walt Disney Studios tour

Though his involvement with Lucasfilm has been large over the years, Sansweet was equally eager to see all of the Disney details throughout the lot.

Just up the street from the studio entrance is Stage A, a location immediately familiar to anyone who has seen “Saving Mr. Banks” as it is where P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) first met writer Don DeGradi (Bradley Whitford) and songwriting brothers Richard and Robert Sherman (Jason Schwartzman and BJ Novak). Though this isn’t exactly where that group met in real life, it was a perfect location for filming.

Walt Disney Studios tour

The studio’s famous Mickey Ave directional sign does little for helping visitors find their way around. It was a prop created for the movie “The Reluctant Dragon” that simply stuck around.

Walt Disney Studios tour

Sansweet couldn’t pass up the photo opportunity.

Walt Disney Studios tour

Down the way the old Animation building still stands, its offices now leased out to a variety of production companies. But its history resonates as the location in which so many of Disney’s classic animated films were created by hand.

Walt Disney Studios tour

Walt’s own office was on the third floor of this building. Its unusual pattern of windows and shutters was designed to allow the best natural light in to every office to give animators a perfect environment to work in.

10 Comments

  1. Stacey Bertran

    Thank You ! A Star Wars fan’s Meca. So awesome you shared these pictures with us.

    (JediStaceyB)

  2. Mitchell

    The coolest place to work…..

  3. DisneyFan

    Great taste of true Disney History. Would very much like to visit the studios someday 🙂

  4. Michael Schramm

    Love it, that the story move on.

  5. FLYNN82

    I’ve paid a few visits to the Studios. My aunt works there and can occasionally have my family over for a day. Seeing Captain EO’s spaceship and the original models of Starspeeder 3000s from the Star Tours film were highlights. I’d kill for a neon “FLYNN” sign like that one.

  6. Ryan R

    I’ve always wanted to go there, but these are the closest thing I’ll have to seeing it for myself, so thank you Ricky.

  7. Leah

    it’s was the first time in forever!

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