Walt's Apartment in Disneyland Above the Firehouse

We indulged ourselves in early 1995 by making an extra trip to Disneyland in January to attend the first Annual Passholders Event, a promotional event where they closed the park to the public for the evening. I call it an "extra trip" because we always go down there in January for the National Fantasy Fan Club's Kick-Off Convention and their Disney collectibles sale, and so a second trip without having to worry about business was a real treat. It was a magical night for many reasons, but most of all because we won one of the big prizes in the Trivia Contest. Our prize was dinner for two in Walt's apartment over the firehouse in Disneyland. We wanted to make the dinner extra special so we asked to have our dinner during the week of the 40th Anniversary of Disneyland and the National Fantasy Fan Club Annual Convention in July 1995. That dinner was a memorable experience, to be sure. I've described it here as best I can. And, yes, we took lots of pictures and I've posted some of them below where you can download them.


We were so excited that evening that we arrived to check in at City Hall almost 45 minutes early and were kept waiting for what seemed like a very long time. Finally, a Cast Member arrived and told us the apartment was ready, and she led us around the corner of the firehouse, through the Cast Member door that's between the Firehouse and the Emporium, "backstage" as they say, and around to the back of the building where a steel staircase took us upstairs. We had a server named Naomi wait on us, and a Club 33* chef named Tim who designed our meal based on information we'd been asked to provide when we made our reservations some months prior.


The meal started out with a Waldorf Salad, which was sculpted into the image of a small bird. See the picture below - it's gorgeous! The walnut and apple concoction sat on a bed of pineapple which, in turn, sat in a nest made from marinated shredded celery. Maggie's entree' was medallions of beef, served with a medly of steamed veggies. Mine was slices of roast chicken breast on a bed of linguini, with grilled veggies. Dessert was a mixture of creamed raspberries and blackberries in a thick chocolate cup in a pool of raspberry syrup. We were pampered through the whole meal. Tim explained everything we were served and how it was prepared. He flattered us by graciously asking our opinions of his efforts, and we weren't just being polite when we told him how marvelous everything was.


Naomi was the perfect hostess, and she showed us the apartment and the little patio that is on the roof between City Hall and the firehouse. She explained that the lamp in the window of the apartment was always left on in memory of Walt. Then she asked if we'd noticed that the old firetruck downstairs had been wheeled outside. Naomi told us that they would traditionally do that when Walt, his family, or guests were in the apartment to reduce the noise from the people going through the Firehouse and that they had done it for us, too.


Walt Disney walking in Disneyland

Getting back to the subject, the apartment is where Walt would often spend the night as he was building and expanding Disneyland. Its quite a drive from Walt's house in Holmby Hills to Anaheim, and legend has it that he liked to poke around the park early in the morning before most of the employees arrived. The iconic picture on the left shows Walt strolling through the castle gates one such morning. The Gallery and Disneyana shop offers posters and memoribelia featuring several famous pictures of Walt wearing casual clothes strolling through the park during such times. In any case, it is obvious the apartment was a spot that let him be in the park when he needed to be there, and do so without getting mobbed by fans and autograph-seekers. Sometimes other Disney family members and guests would also spend the night there. I had a chance to speak to Walt's daughter, Diane Disney Miller, about it once and she says one of her most vivid memories of the apartment is the sound of the Jungle Cruise boats and we certainly understand why. The sound is unmistakeable as there's apparently a point in the ride where the boats all stop for a moment and then loudly accelerate away that's right out the back door.


The apartment is filled with furniture, as you can see below, and the Company has added some decorations in Walt's memory. It has a couch that converts into a bed, and another couch that can also be slept on. The furniture is all very nice. Some of it is obviously more for fashion than for function, but it makes the room very comfy. Being in the collectibles business, the floor-standing music box caught my attention immediately. It's about 4 feet high and gorgeous. And I also really enjoyed the pictures of Walt's family. I haven't seen many pictures of Lillian and the girls in the park. The amenities are limited, of course. There is a small wet-bar in a closet against the back wall. The bathroom around the back has a small shower. There's a doorway in the back that leads to a secluded patio on the roof of the structure between City Hall and the Firehouse. It looks like just the place to get away from the heat and the crowds on a hot summer evening, and I bet Walt spent a lot of time there.


*NOTE* Club 33 is a members-only private dining room over the Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland's New Orleans Square. Members consist of Disney VIP's, the legendary animators, corporations, and the well-to-do. Membership is several thousand dollars per year, and each meal costs about $75.00 the last time I heard. Wine and spirits are additional. However, that price apparently does include admission to the park - Such a Deal!



Just click on any of the pictures below the pictures to see large versions.


Front of the Disneyland Firehouse
Front of the
Disneyland Firehouse
Music box close-up
Music box close-up
Music box full length
Music box full length

Antique clock, etc. on table
Antique clock, etc.
Walt Disney & Lillian in a parade in Disneyland
Walt Disney & Lillian in
a Disneyland Parade



Walt Disney and his daughters, Diane and Sharon
Walt and his daughters,
Diane and Sharon
Walt Disney and his brother, Roy Disney
Walt and his brother,
Roy Disney Sr.
Walt Disney's Family in the apartment
Walt Disney's Family
in the Apartment
Lamp in the front window of Walt's Apartment
Lamp in the front window,
Always Lit for Walt


Hanging mirror, table, & chair
Hanging mirror,
table, & chair
Antique Chair
Antique Chair
Gramophone and ceramics
Gramophone and ceramics
Two wooden chairs w/ottoman & table
Two wooden chairs
w/ottoman & table


Flagpole on Disneyland's City Hall as seen from the patio
Flagpole on top of
Disneyland's City Hall
Statue and sundial in the patio
Statue and sundial
in the Patio
Waldorf Salad served by Club 33 chef
Waldorf Salad served
by Club 33 chef
Wicker love seat in the patio
Wicker love seat
in the patio

View of Disneyland's Main Street through the front window
View of Disneyland's Main Street
Antique couch
Antique couch


Update 2008

Disneyland has removed the Disney Gallery from its perch over Pirates of the Carribbean in New Orleans Square and has created the apartment Walt had planned to build there before he died in 1966. The park now offers overnight stays in the apartment for special guests and as prizes in some promotions. Although I have many fond memories of The Disney Gallery, I have to say, what a treat it would be to spend the night in Disneyland!

The Orange County Register has posted an Interactive Tour of Walt's Apartment on its website. Disneyland has done a little redecorating of the apartment since our visit in 1995, but its still filled with many of the same photographs of Walt and his family. The reporter for the Register does an excellent job of describing the history of the apartment and gives much better job of pointing out the details.




More About Walt Disney in Disneyland

In the summer of 1996, there was a special exhibit in Disneyland called the Animation Celebration. It contained a host of special displays on the history of Disney animation, with lots of cels, drawings, and concept art. However, one special part of the exhibit was the recreation of Walt's two offices in the Studio.

Walt's Working Office

Walt Disney's Working Office


This is where Walt would go to get things done. It is here that he would return at the end of the day to catch up on his mail and to read new scripts. The exhibit was elaborately decorated down to the last detail, including photographs of the view from the windows so when you looked at the exhibit you would see what Walt saw when he looked outside.


Walt's Formal Office

Walt Disney's Formal Office

See the pictures of Walt's two daughters, Diane and Sharon? I thought that was a nice touch. I also noticed the models of the Studio planes that were prominent in both offices. Walt was famous for his love of trains, of course, but he traveled by plane frequently as well. For instance, there was the legendary trip Walt and several animators took to South America on a mission for the US State Department in August 1941, just before Pearl Harbor ushered The United States into World War II. And so I'm sure Walt was proud of the company planes.


If you're a fan of Disney films, please check out our collection of Disney Animation Art that features the works of some of the best artists in the history of the Walt Disney Studios. In addition, for fans of Walt Disney who want to know more about Walt himself, I hope you'll take a look at the page on my book, Walt Disney: The FBI Files. I sort out the truth from the fables and try to show how although Walt was immensely talented, he was neither a deity nor a demon. You're invited to check out our special page for Disney Fans, where you'll find lots of great Disney websites to explore and enjoy. And, of course, we want you to know that we specialize in Toy Story Toys and Collectibles


This page was last updated on February 27, 2014.



The contents of this website are the copyright © property of the Walt Disney Company®, other studios, Disneyland®, Walt Disney World®, Thinkway Toys®, and . The images are intended only as illustrations of the art and collectibles being offered for sale and may not be reproduced in any form for any other purpose without the permission of the owners.


Click here for Ordering Information, or simply call us at 612-408-4057 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central time (-5:00 GMT).


 Comments or Questions?
 Contact Rainbo Animation Art