×

Bob Iger Opens Restored Offices Where Walt Disney Once Worked

The Walt Disney Company opened the newly refurbished offices of the company’s founder on Monday, saying the modest space should serve as inspiration to a new generation of film, television and content creators.

As the media conglomerate celebrates the 75th anniversary of its move to its Burbank headquarters, CEO Bob Iger said the Disney offices remind him, other employees and visitors of the founder’s “devotion to his family, his curiosity and his relentless creative passion.”

The third-floor suite of offices in Disney’s Animation Building in Burbank have been restored to the same condition that they were in at the time of Disney’s death in December of 1966. Scripts that awaited his review are still stacked around his desk and a yellow legal sheet includes handwritten notes on upcoming projects and the name of a promising young actor — Kurt Russell.

Also on view are Disney’s library, with novels, histories and biographies — ranging from artist Salvador Dali to progressive author and politician Upton Sinclair. His formal desk stood in front of Norman Rockwell portraits of his daughters and figurines from his company’s films. A model of the company’s Grumman Gulfstream jet stood atop the desk. In a secondary office, Disney used a lower table for writing a drawing, He sometimes packed creative collaborators inside, until there was only enough room to sit on the floor.

The Disney Archives will maintain the space, known as Suite 3H, making it available to employees, special guests and gold members of Disney’s fan club, D23.

“You could just feel the aura in here, the great man and all that he did,” Dave Smith, the company’s first archivist, said in a video introduction to the offices. Smith was among several guests who attended the unveiling of the restored offices, along with long-time composer Richard Sherman and a handful of Disney’s descendants.

Granddaughter Joanna Miller recalled playing in the offices and around the Disney lot when she was in elementary school. “One thing you take from seeing it now,” Miller said, “it’s a humble place, a cozy place, with things that he loved in it.”

“With this permanent exhibit we are inviting you to take a step back into the past and to gain a greater understanding of an extraordinary and remarkable man,” Iger said. “We put this permanent exhibit together to serve as a source of inspiration to us, a reminder to have greater ambition, to take bold creative risks, to constantly innovate and push the limits of possibility, to relentlessly pursue perfection and to tell fantastic stories that touch people’s hearts. That was Walt Disney.”

Walt Disney’s granddaughters Joanna Miller, Jennifer Goff and Michelle Lund with Richard Sherman and Bob Iger
Rob Latour/Variety/Rex Shutterstock
Dave Smith, Disney chief archivist emeritus, in Walt Disney’s office
Rob Latour/Variety/Rex Shutterstock
A private kitchen in Walt Disney’s office
Rob Latour/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

More Scene

  • David Crosby

    David Crosby Says New Documentary 'Remember My Name' Is Like 'Being Naked in Public’

    “It’s not easy. It’s hard being naked in public,” David Crosby, the legendary troubadour of classic rock, reflected at Tuesday night’s New York City premiere of “David Crosby: Remember My Name.” “I don’t know what to do here. There’s no guitars, no drums,” he laughed. Directed by newcomer A.J. Eaton and produced by the legendary [...]

  • The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con

    The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Comic-Con Parties and Activations

    Hollywood is heading down the California coast to San Diego because It’s time for 2019 Comic-Con International. The annual cosplay celebration officially kicks off tomorrow, July 18, with a preview happening tonight. Here, Variety gives you a guide to this year’s parties and activations. Make sure to check back for updates. Wednesday, July 17Amazon Prime [...]

  • Sir Elton John, David Furnish. Sir

    New Elton John AIDS Foundation Gala to be Held in the South of France

    Elton John and David Furnish are launching a new gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The two will host the inaugural A Midsummer Party benefit on July 24 in the south of France at the Johnny Pigozzi’s private estate, Villa Dorane, in Cap d’Antibes. A cocktail reception will be followed by dinner, a live [...]

  • Dwayne Johnson Idris Elba

    Dwayne Johnson: Idris Elba Nixed 'Black James Bond' Joke in 'Hobbs & Shaw'

    In the “Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw,” the movie’s villain Brixton, played by Idris Elba, spreads his arms out wide and declares “I’m black Superman.” It turns out that might not have been the original line. Dwayne Johnson tells Variety that Elba was first asked to proclaim he’s “black James Bond,” but the [...]

  • Matteo BocelliAmerican Icon Awards Gala, Inside,

    Top Music Manager Calls Out American Icon Awards for Failing to Pay Talent

    The centuries-old adage no good deed goes unpunished is a common refrain for star music manager Scott Rodger of late. Rodger, who represents Paul McCartney and Andrea Bocelli at Maverick, says his client Matteo Bocelli, the son of the opera star, was stiffed out of promised expense reimbursement by the American Icon Awards. The event, [...]

  • Mary Bailey Steve D'Angelo, Jim Belushi

    Cannabis Industry Tackles Justice Reform With 'Last Prisoner Project'

    Jim Belushi is standing two feet away in the backyard of his spacious Brentwood home, honking a harp like he’s a Blues Brother back in sweet home Chicago accompanied by noted reggae band Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany and Kyle Ahern, who provide a 12-bar shuffle. There’s the sweet smell of skunk — and success — hanging [...]

  • Dwayne Wade holds up the legend

    Dwyane Wade, Megan Rapinoe Win Big at 2019 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards

    The 2019 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards was filled with incredible athletes, inspiring moments and — of course — a massive amount of slime. “I love the kids. I love the slime. I loved the games. I love seeing celebrities and athletes like become kids again. And it’s like my favorite thing,” Michael Strahan told [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content