America's Hidden Mickeys
Lesser Known Disney Destinations Around the U.S.A.
Everyone has heard of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but did you know there are many other Disney locations in the U.S.A. that ultimate Disney fans would just love to visit? They are not all necessarily owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company, but they're just as Magical and interesting for any Disney super-fan. I think it's safe to assume that you're a Disney super-fan if you're a DCTC listener, so take a look and perhaps this will help plan for a more unique Disney trip during your next vacation.
In San Francisco, California lives The Walt Disney Family Museum where Walt's story is told through interactive galleries in an extensive museum. In addition, many special events are held throughout the year to continue developing the art of animation. This is a can't miss visit for any fan of Disney history.
The city of Marceline, MO likes to describe itself as the place "where Walt found the Magic". Marceline is full of Disney history. Main Street in Marceline is one of two Main Streets (other listed below) that inspired the entrance ways to Disney's Magic Kingdoms, most specifically the original Disneyland. One of the main attractions here is the Walt Disney Hometown Museum which focuses on Walt's childhood in Marceline. Other local attractions include The Disney Farm, The Dreaming Tree, Walt's Barn and more. If you hunt for it, you may just find a note and signature left on the inside wall of Walt's Barn from DCTC host Jeff DePaoli among the many other notes left for Walt.
One of the men who helped Walt Disney design Main Street in Disneyland was Harper Goff. Mr. Goff grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado and just as Walt was inspired by his boyhood Main Street, so was Mr. Goff. Visit Main Street in Fort Collins to see if you can find the similarities between Fort Collins and Disneyland.
The story has been told many times that Walt Disney came up with the idea of Disneyland while sitting on a bench watching his children ride the merry-go-round at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California. This historic merry-go-round still lives in Griffith Park and is open to give rides to the next dreamers of the world.
After Walt became successful he recreated the barn that he remembered from his childhood in Marceline, MO in his backyard in California. After Walt's California home was sold, the family relocated the barn to Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California where it is now presented by The Carolwood Foundation. The foundation's mission is to preserve Walt Disney's railroad legacy. Also at this location is Ollie Johnston's (one of Walt's Nine Old Men) Station.
Walt Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois. The house where he spent the first years of his life is currently in the process of being turned into a museum to celebrate Walt's early life. Currently, you can only visit the exterior of the home, but hopefully in the near future we will be able to journey inside and learn more about Walt's life in Chicago.
The Laugh-O-Gram Studio where Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created Mickey Mouse is located in Kansas City, Missouri. Currently, you can visit the exterior of the building, but money is being raised to turn the old studio into a museum showing how these animated shorts were made as well as including a screening room to view some of the classic shorts that began Walt Disney's career.
This is the current name of the site where the 1964-1965 World's Fair took place. The park is located in Queens, New York and some remnants of the fair are still around including the iconic Unisphere. Walt Disney took major part in the World's Fair premiering the attractions It's a Small World, The Carousel of Progress, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and The Ford Magic Skyway.
The Tam O'Shanter restaurant and pub was commonly referred to as the "studio commissary" because Walt Disney and his animators spent so much time here when they were working out of the nearby Hyperion Studio location. Inside the restaurant you will see some Disney artwork that was gifted to the restaurant by Walt and the studio.
The El Capitan Theater has a rich history in Hollywood, California and is currently owned by The Walt Disney Company featuring only Disney movies and events. Along with the movies there is usually an added bonus like a live stage show or an exhibit featuring props and costumes. Tours are also available. This is a beautiful venue to watch your favorite Disney movies. It is located across the street from the famous Chinese Theatre where Walt Disney premiered Mary Poppins.
When Disneyland first opened it originally featured a bandstand/gazebo in Town Square. It was later moved near the castle and then to Adventureland. When the elephant bathing pool was added to The Jungle Cruise, this meant the end of the gazebos days at Disneyland. It now resides in Roger's Gardens in Corona Del Mar, California.
Find the giant CALIFORNIA letters that once greeted you at the entrance to Disney California Adventure Park in their new home. The Cal Expo entrance.
If you visit any of these locations or know of any you think should be added to the list, please email us at DizneyCoastToCoast@gmail.com and let us know about your experience.