Off the Beaten Path
Join me on an adventure. Where will we go today?
In July 2014, traveling cross country and desperately needing a pit stop, we came up on Marceline, Missouri. As we were pulling off, a sign caught our attention. We were in Walt Disney’s hometown! Of course, we had to go to the museum. I apologize for the quality of my pictures; it was a much older cell phone than we use today.
In July 2014, traveling cross country and desperately needing a pit stop, we came up on Marceline, Missouri. As we were pulling off, a sign caught our attention. We were in Walt Disney’s hometown! Of course, we had to go to the museum. I apologize for the quality of my pictures; it was a much older cell phone than we use today. We accidentally found the childhood home of Walt Disney. Huge Disney fans, we were exhilarated! We spent several hours marveling over the artifacts.
Walking the town's streets before entering the museum felt like Main Street Disneyland and Disney World. Walt’s formative years were spent in Marceline, and we recognized many of the landmarks from the town. The original Zurcher’s store, open since 1915, was still open. We discovered it was the inspiration for the Disneyland Emporium.
We ate at J&J on Main Street. Here is their link if you want to check out their menu. https://www.facebook.com/jjonmain/ It has been several years but my memory is the food is delectable with a lot of choices. They also have live music on the weekends and a lot of drink specials. After lunch, it was time to check out the main attraction in Marceline.
Established in 2001, the Walt Disney Hometown Museum celebrated Walt’s 100th Birthday. The museum started with Walt’s sister’s collection, Ruth Disney Beecher. She was close to her brothers, Walt and Roy, and knew how they loved their hometown. The museum focuses on his early life and the evolution of Disney Entertainment. The museum lovingly preserves Walt’s legacy. The collection includes vintage Mickey Mouse toys, models, sketches, and original animation cells from classic Disney movies. There is even a replica of Walt’s childhood home and scaled models of Disneyland.
Walt always loved trains, so the town placed the museum inside the former Santa Fe train depot. I borrowed a picture from the website www.waltdisneymuseum.org. With over 10,000 square feet, over 4,000 unique artifacts are housed there. Personal letters written between family members, gifts from Walt to the City of Marceline, artist-signed original artwork, and other memorabilia fill the place.
I play Pokemon Go, and it alerted me to a very special Pokestop, not too far from the museum. We inquired inside and learned that there was another place.
We visited the old family farm and sat under Walt’s thinking tree, which inspired parts of Winnie the Pooh. The barn sat next to the tree with well-wishes and notes to Walt were written on every available inch of the wood inside the barn. Wildflowers abundantly blessed the field behind the barn. We sat in the cool breeze and reflected on the genius of the man who started this entire Disney empire in the modest, small town of Marceline.
According to the website, the museum is closed on Mondays. Thursday through Saturday, the hours are 10 am to 4 pm. Sunday, the hours are 1 pm to 5 pm. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for youth (6 - 12), and free under 6. Seniors and military get a discount with $9 admission and $5 for D23 members and cast members.
Parking is easy, and the museum is ADA-compliant, with a self-operated elevator lift and a ramp. Being a renovated railroad depot, not all parts are accessible. The museum is a non-profit and not part of the Walt Disney Company. If you are a Disney fan traveling through Missouri, this is not to be missed!