Eveyone knows Walt Disney, or at least knows about Disney, or his undoubtable influence on nearly every kids life from the fifties up to now, so not much introductions are needed for him. However, everyone has secrets, and he had a very well kept one that not many of us knew about: his family’s apartment in Disneyland.
His daughter Diane Disney unveils the story behind her own personal Happiest Place on Earth, that is located right above the Fire Station on Disneyland’s famous Main Street and is the place where she would spend the holiday season in California.
I would think about this day all year long. I would plan the entire day weeks before. Which attractions we would see in which order, when we would have our meals and when we would claim our seats for shows. I would imagine the sound of the train pulling into Main St. Station. Reading the sign: “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.” I would wait 364 days to be there. And finally when that day would come, seeing, hearing and smelling Main Street U.S.A., I would become that happiest kid on the earth. My Dad would look down at me as I opened my brand new park map: Where too? We’ll follow you.
The apartment was built while Walt Disney was in the middle of the production for Lady and The Tramp. This is the place where he would stay after long hours working at the studio. It was a tiny victorian masterpiece, with one bedroom and a kitchenette. He loved to invite friends over to see the famous Disneyland Parade from their rooftop balcony overlooking Main Street.
Coming from Walt Disney, no one expects this secret place to be ‘just’ another apartment. The interior design was thanks to the personal antique collectables from Walt Disney combined with unique finds by award-winning set designer Emile Kuri. Responsible for the set design of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mary Poppins and Polyanna among many other titles. In other words, an absolute treat.
You can see the whole interview with Diane Disney in the Lady and the Tramp Diamond Edition that is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD.