Last week I had the awesome opportunity to travel to LA to cover several Disney events. A trip highlight for me was a tour of Walt Disney’s home in Los Feliz. From the outside, it is a very humble and yet fascinating home. Little touches, like a front door that resembles something out of Snow White, give hints that someone with a love for fairy tales once lived here.
The Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition DVD will be released on October 7th!
Our trip to this lovely home was part of the celebration of the soon to be released upcoming release of the SLEEPING BEAUTY Diamond Edition which will be available on October 7th. Just like so many of Disney’s magical creations, Sleeping Beauty is a classic, so viewing this beautiful home was the perfect pairing! Plus, I can’t wait to share with you even more exciting details about this soon to be released dvd!
We enjoyed a wonderful tour through the home and around the grounds that was guided by Paula Sigman Lowery, a Disney self proclaimed “Disney geek” and historian. She was a lovely woman with a clear adoration for all things Disney. Below are some wonderful photos (courtesy of Disney) for you to enjoy, along with some tidbits of information about the Disney family and their time in this home.
Built in the summer of 1932, the home features elements of Tudor and French Normandy architectural styles. But more importantly, it is where Walt was able to raise and spend time with his family.
“This is the house where he got to be dad”
“This house was built to be Walt Disney’s family home. This is where he and his wife Lilly raised their two daughters, Diane and Sharon. This is the house that the girls grew up in. And, this is the house where he got to be dad. It was the house from which he drove every morning to take the girls to school. He drove them to their music lessons, to their dance lessons. He took them to the opera. He and Lilly wanted to make sure that they had a normal childhood growing up. And in fact, Diane was one day at school and she came back to her dad that night and she said, “Dad, are you Walt Disney?” They had, they had a very quiet, private life.” ~Paula Sigman Lowery
Inside the circular rotunda is a classic winding staircase made of plaster and wood. During his residency, Disney had much of the wood flooring carpeted. I love the door that is placed Below you can see the intricately painted ceiling mural that is above the staircase. It is fascinating and was painted by a young graduate of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.
Christmas Tree Point
“This is what Diane, the eldest daughter, called Christmas tree point. Because on Christmas morning, the girls, who’s rooms were here and down the hall, would come running over to the little Juliette balcony and look down at the beautiful Christmas tree that was erected with all the presents around it. This is from 1940, from the Better Homes and Gardens magazine. So this, this is where they would come running”:
This photo of Walt and his two daughters sits atop the very fireplace in which the photo was taken so many years ago. I loved these little touches in the home and it really brought to life the love and laughter that you could imagine going on in these rooms.
The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs-style Playhouse
One of my favorite parts of the estate was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs-style playhouse that was a Christmas gift from “Santa” to Diane and Sharon and was designed to match the house. It originally included a sink, kitchen, table and chairs. The original corner shelf for play dishes still exists inside. Imagine the girls on Christmas morning when they went outside to find this:
Another exciting point in the evening was when we got to see the actual costumes that were worn by Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning in Maleficent. It was amazing to be able to stand so closely to them. They are fantastic, and literally gave me goose bumps!
And of course, the view. This home was so wonderful placed and has a spectacular view of Los Angeles:
Photo credits: Disney
As always, a very, very special thank you to the folks at Disney for this wonderful and once in a life time opportunity that I will NEVER forget!