The Californian Museum that is Providing a Dose of Disney Magic Amid Park Closures

Cassandra Workman

It has been 217 days since the Disneyland Resort closed its doors as a result of COVID-19. Since then, other Disney parks around the world have reopened, leaving only the California parks still in lockdown. Thankfully though, there is a local museum that is housing enough magic to get us West Coast fans through the closures.

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The Bowers Museum, located in Santa Ana, California has been both delighting and informing visitors since 1936. Just 4 miles from Disneyland, this museum is currently hosting the “Inside the Walt Disney Archives” exhibition, giving fans a chance to experience 50 years of Disney magic. This display has recently been extended and is now open until February 28, 2021.

Image of the Bowers Museum
the Bowers Museum
What are the Walt Disney Archives?

The Walt Disney Archives were established in 1970 by Walt’s brother, Roy Disney. These collections were his way of keeping the company’s history and Walt’s memory alive. Now these rare artifacts are on public display, showcasing the growth of the Walt Disney Company from its humble beginnings. The Disney Archives are a traveling exhibit in California for a limited time.

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The 10,000 square foot exhibition hosts over 400 objects ranging from movie props and costumes to attraction animatronics. Along with being fun, exploring the Disney memorabilia is also an informative experience, suitable for fans of all ages.

In addition to the items on display, the museum also has plaques for Disney Legends. Here, guests can come “hand-to-hand” with past imagineers, actors and other important figures. Ultimately, this exhibit provides guests both young and old the opportunity to visit Disney’s past, while getting a glimpse into its future.

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Costumes on display
What about shopping and dining?

If your Disney merch collection is getting low, the Bowers Museum has you covered! Located near the entry of the museum, the Gallery Store offers a wide variety of items based on current exhibitions. Currently, the store has Disney themed books, shirts and more. In addition, the store also has jewelry and art for purchase, relating to their more permanent displays.

For those visitors who find themselves hungry while exploring Disney history, the museum offers the Tangata Market Café. This award winning restaurant serves sandwiches, salads and even alcoholic beverages. For fans missing the iconic Dole Whip, Tangata offers it; they even have a spiked version for adult guests.

Image of the Tangata Restaurant inside the Bowers Museum
the Tangata market cafe.
Museum Information

The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am to 4pm, and closed on major holidays. The Disney Archives is a timed entry exhibit, so guests will need to purchase their tickets in advance to secure a specific day and time. Adult tickets are $23 and discounts are given to students, children and seniors. Parking is an additional $6.

COVID-19 Measures for Safety

In order to keep visitors safe from COVID-19, the museum is taking many precautions such as enforcing masks and social distancing. Along with this, the museum is also checking temperatures of their staff and guests. For more information on the precautions being taken, click here.

Come experience the Disney magic for yourself, before it leaves on February 28th, 2021!

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Born in Anaheim CA, I basically grew up at Disneyland and have been a long time annual pass holder for years; every birthday, accomplishment and milestone was celebrated in the parks, instilling magic into the most important moments of my life. Disney to me is an escape, a place to reconnect with the feeling of being a child, in a world where everything seems possible. Now living in Arizona, Disney may be far (and closed due to COVID-19) but it continues to inspire me and my writings. I eagerly await the day when I can walk down Mainstreet and become that child once more.
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