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Flashback Friday: Disney Studio Store History

By Official Disney Store Blogger, Mar 02, 2012 11:59 AM

In honor of our upcoming 25th Anniversary, our Flashback Fridays for this month will feature fascinating aspects of our Disney Store history. This week, we begin with an inside look at the Studio Store located in Burbank, California!

Following the worldwide success of Disney’s innovative first full-length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt Disney saw a need to increase the size of his studio. The expectations of his audience had been set and his ever-expanding dreams needed a place to grow. Using the profits from Snow White, Walt made a deposit on 51 acres of land in Burbank, California in 1940 and began work on a modern studio specifically designed for the purpose of making animated films. 

Original Walt Disney Studios
Wanting nothing in the design of the studio to be left to chance, Walt was personally involved in every aspect of the studio’s conception. From the layout of the buildings to the design of the animators’ chairs, he ensured that the studio would be a self-sufficient, state-of-the-art product facility that provided everything his team would need for the entire production process.

Article about new Disney Studio
Every part of this production process was contained in its own building on the lot. There was the Animation Building in the center, which housed the artists and animators, the Inking and Painting buildings across the way, and the Camera buildings next door, where the completed artwork was photographed. In a stroke of pure brilliance, Walt had a number of the buildings linked together by an underground tunnel so that even in bad weather, the production process would not be interrupted.

Walt Disney Studio
Walt Disney Studios in 1956
This new Burbank studio would be the production site of several of Disney’s most prominent animated features, including Bambi, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. So much history and brilliant animation brought to life in just a few buildings!

Walt and Team Designing the Studio
Original Disney Animators

On October 15, 1995, Walt Disney Studios welcomed its very own Disney Store to the lot, appropriately named the Studio Store. This unique Disney Store was created with the intention of providing Cast Members with a home store to purchase the exclusive and unique product we offer in Disney Stores everywhere. Located next to the Hyperion Bungalow, an original building from the studio’s first location in Hollywood, the Studio Store was redesigned in 2011 to display a beautiful new interior design of a Disney historical timeline, featuring the major milestones and famous characters that define the extensive history of the Walt Disney Company.

Disney Studio Store Interior
The Disney Store at the Walt Disney Studio in Burbank was designed and remodeled as a legacy to the original Kem Weber Studio Store design in 1940.

Disney Studio Store Timeline
As a nod to the evolution of Disney design, a Disney historical timeline mural  borders the ceiling and depicts imagery from the beginning of the company in 1923, and leads to our most current successes in the company today. 

Disney Studio Store Product Displays
Period built-ins were included wherever possible, as well as period reproduction light fixtures. 

Studio Store ExteriorThe Studio Store is framed with beautiful trees and surrounded by all the historical buildings of the Disney lot.

Today, the Disney Studio Store continues to service Cast Members, offering the same soft-stuffed plush, beautifully detailed role play costumes, and stylish tee designs that we see in Disney Stores across the nation. Nestled in the heart of Walt’s dream Animation Studio, it is timeless in both its stunning design and historical place in the vision of Mr. Walt Disney himself.  

If you ever find yourself touring the historic Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, be sure to stop by and take a peek inside our Studio Store! You will be sure to leave with more Disney Magic and memories than you ever dreamed possible.

Walt and Mickey Statue



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As always Liz, you gave us a wonderful look back at the Walt Disney Company! I enjoy all the amazing facts from the archives you share with your readers. Keep it up!

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