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Disney display unveiled

Joyce Rudolph

Throughout the Gordon R. Howard Museum, Disney executives were

stirring, even the mouse.

Roy E. Disney -- Walt’s nephew -- and Mickey Mouse on Thursday led

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the entourage of officials from the Walt Disney Co. in Burbank and

Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale in unveiling the redesigned

Disney exhibit at the Burbank Historical Society complex.

“It’s wonderful,” said Disney, who is vice chairman of the Walt

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Disney Co. “It’s a nice overview of our history.”

Before the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Disney got a sneak peek of the

exhibit conducted by Mary Jane Strickland, founder and executive

director of the Burbank Historical Society.

The display gives a historical account of the evolution of

animation, with a major focus on Audio-Animatronics technology, which

was introduced at Disneyland in 1963 in the Enchanted Tiki Room and

Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln attractions.

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“It’s just a special thing for the community -- nobody else in the

neighborhood has one,” Strickland said of the exhibit. “We feel

honored that they did this. It tells you the story of Disney from the

beginning and there is lots of new information I’m going to have to

train our board of directors about.”

Updating the exhibit was part of the company’s celebration

honoring the beginning of the Walt Disney Co., said T.J. Baptie,

Disney vice president for corporate relations.

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“We’re having an 80th anniversary at Disney and we decided to give

a gift to Burbank and the Historical Society,” she said.

Guests gathered in the center of the museum complex, which is

under construction, for a short program during which Vice Mayor

Marsha Ramos presented a commemorative plate to Roy Disney.

“I grew up with Disney in my life,” she said. “My family has

worked for Disney. You not only serve as a major employer but your

employees serve as volunteers for many charitable tasks throughout

the community.”

Upon entering the exhibit, guests see a huge picture of Walt and

his brother, Roy O. Disney. Under their smiling faces is Walt’s

quote: “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing -- that it

was all started by a mouse.”

Said Elaine Rosenberg, a board member of the historical society,

“Fabulous is the only word I can think of. A lot of thought and

energy went into this.”

Rosenberg said the remodeled Disney exhibit will generate new

visitors to the museum.

“For the kids that come through on the school tours, it’s going to

generate such enthusiasm and they’ll bring their parents.”


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