|By Brett Weiss
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Antiques can be found – as some think – in the unlikeliest of places. One such place is Walt Disney World, the famed theme park that opened in 1971 as an East Coast cousin to California’s Disneyland.
Disney World originally consisted only of Magic Mountain, but has since added Epcot (1982), Disney’s Hollywood Studios (1989) and Disney’s Animal Kingdom (1998).
For those who go to Disney World, after meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and after experiencing attractions such as Dumbo the Flying Elephant, the Haunted Mansion, and the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool, review the antiques at Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream located on Mickey Avenue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
An exhibit of more than 400 rare artifacts, One Man’s Dream opened in 2001 for Walt Disney World’s 100 Years of Magic celebration. Walt Disney was born in 1901.
The array of items is diverse, ranging from Disney’s second-grade school desk to Mickey Mouse Club props and costumes to an Oscar for 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (1954) to vintage Disney clocks, trains, phonographs, figures and other merchandise.
American history buffs will want to check out the original audio-animatronics Abraham Lincoln figure from the 1964 New York World’s Fair while Disney theme park devotees should be sure to view Peter Pan’s Flight ride vehicle models, the planning model for Disney’s California Adventure, and the scaled replicas of Sleeping Beauty Castle – an attraction at Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.
One Man’s Dream is a slow, educational change of pace from most of the offerings at Disney World, but it’s a nice little calm in the eye of the cartoon, cotton candy, and roller coaster storm that characterizes the world’s most-visited entertainment resort.
Abagail Bloodworth, a Georgia college student who worked at Disney World in 2010, realizes One Man’s Dream won’t appeal to everyone, but she recommends it almost without reservation.
Speaking to the Theme Park Insider (www.themeparkinsider.com), she said, “I’m sure some people probably find this exhibit boring, particularly kids. But if you have even the slightest bit of interest in Walt or in the history of the Disney company, it’s definitely worth checking out. For someone like me – a Disney nut with endless respect for Walt – it’s an absolute treasure trove. Take a walk through, get out of the sun for a little while, and learn a few things.”
In addition to jaw-dropping relics, Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream includes a short film, narrated by Julie Andrews, in which various celebrities – including Dick Van Dyke, Marie Osmond and Andy Warhol – discuss Walt Disney’s influence on the art and entertainment industries.