ANAHEIM, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2009) – The Disney Gallery reopens Oct. 2 in its new home near Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland. The first art exhibit, “Enchanting the Classics,” will focus on how the artists of Walt Disney Imagineering have kept beloved Disneyland attractions, such as Jungle Cruise, Submarine Voyage and Pirates of the Caribbean, fresh and exciting over the years with enhancements and surprises.
NEW GALLERY LOCATION: The relocated Disney Gallery is now in the former Bank of Main Street. The design maintains elements of the bank – select pieces will be displayed inside the vault – while building on the charming turn-of-the-century atmosphere of Main Street, U.S.A. Kim Irvine, director of Concept & Show Design for Walt Disney Imagineering, Anaheim, notes that the gallery now features an elegant Victorian interior with chandeliers, fancy moldings and hand-woven carpets.
THREE ROOMS: In addition to the bank vault with its special highlighted artwork, The Disney Gallery on Main Street, U.S.A. will feature three large display rooms.
- One room will feature historic Walt Disney Imagineering conceptual art created during the development and enhancement of attractions.
- One room will showcase Disney-inspired art by current and former Disney artists and Imagineers.
- One room will feature prints (including on-the-spot Print on Demand), sculpture, books and other items for sale to guests and collectors.
“It’s great to be able to exhibit the work of our Imagineers and new artists,” Irvine said. “Many of them are still working in traditional media – water color, oils, sculpture – and I think it’s wonderful to showcase all of their talents.”
‘ENCHANTING THE CLASSICS’: The inaugural show in The Disney Gallery will focus on the enhancements that keep classic Disneyland attractions fresh and surprising. Irvine explains: “When we temporarily close one of our popular attractions for refurbishment, our guests expect that there will be some ‘new magic’ added. In the past five years, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, the Enchanted Tiki Room and “it’s a small world” have all undergone planned enhancements, which our guests have really enjoyed.”
UPCOMING EVENTS IN THE DISNEY GALLERY: Two special events for guests and collectors are planned for The Disney Gallery in October. Both are free with park admission.
- Disney artists and Imagineers whose commissioned work appears in “Enchanting the Classics” will appear in a Disney Gallery signing event on Saturday, Oct. 10.
- An event showcasing art that celebrates Haunted Mansion Holiday and “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas” will take place in The Disney Gallery on Saturday, Oct. 17.
‘ART HISTORY’ OF THE DISNEY GALLERY:
- The Disney Gallery originally opened on July 11, 1987, in the rooms above the entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean.
- The rooms were originally designed as a private apartment for Walt Disney, who passed away before the work was completed.
- The first show in The Disney Gallery in 1987 was “The Art of Disneyland.” It featured many one-of-a-kind pieces created in planning Disneyland attractions. Highlights included Herb Ryman’s iconic paintings (created before construction began) of the proposed Sleeping Beauty Castle and a bird’s-eye view of the lands of Disneyland, along with Mary Blair’s concept art for “it’s a small world,” Sam McKim’s ghostly Haunted Mansion exterior and Eyvind Earle’s elegant paintings of scenes for the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough.
- In the ensuing years, exhibits in The Disney Gallery included concept art for proposed attractions that were never built (“The Disneyland That Never Was”); art, props and costumes from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and films; and an offbeat display of illustrations originally created for Little Golden Book versions of classic Disney tales.
- The Disney Gallery in New Orleans Square closed on Aug. 7, 2007, to make way for the Disneyland Dream Suite, a realization of Walt Disney’s original concept of a private apartment in New Orleans Square.
- On Main Street, U.S.A. The Disney Gallery will have a new neighbor: President Lincoln. When the refreshed “Disneyland Story featuring Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln” opens in December, guests will be able to enter The Disney Gallery from the lobby of the Main Street Opera House, and vice versa.