New Orleans Square: July 1987 – August 2009
Main Street USA: October 2009 – present
Main Street USA – The Disney Gallery is located right at the front of the street. At the main gate, keep to the right to enter the park. You’ll see the Gallery on your right, just before Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln.
Before his death in 1966, Walt was in the process of creating a larger apartment inside the park. His existing firehouse apartment couldn’t comfortably fit his family and guests, so he chose the large space above Pirates of the Caribbean for his next in-park residence. Walt died mid-construction, so the plans were put on hold.
The space was at first empty, and then became office space in the 70s. By the 1980’s, Disney transformed the open rooms into a public art gallery. The Disney Gallery opened in 1987, and showcased previously unseen park artwork and design concepts in different exhibitions.
The New Orleans Square Disney Gallery closed in 2007 to make room for the Dream Suite, but the Gallery did not disappear from the park. Instead, the Gallery became part of Main Street, replacing a quiet annual pass information center. The Disney Gallery reopened in 2009, and has featured over 15 different exhibitions over its lifetime.
- Single Rider Line – no
- Fast Pass – no
- Height Requirement – none
- Duration – N/A
The exhibits in the Gallery change periodically, so there isn’t one single experience to be had. Most exhibits include original concept art, some kind of design illustration, and a few have original animation cells. The rear of the Gallery opens up into the Lincoln Foyer, where guests can view a replica of the Capitol Building and several Lincoln portraits.
MY RATING: ★★☆☆☆
I wish that I had seen the Gallery when it was still in New Orleans Square; it was much larger and had different themed rooms. The existing Disney Gallery is really small, and is quietly tucked away next to Mr. Lincoln. Even so, the Gallery is an interesting place to stop and get a glimpse of Disney behind the scenes. If you have time, the Disney Gallery is worth a look, but it’s not as exciting or interactive as Disney Animation in California Adventure.
Given the Gallery’s somewhat hidden location, there are rarely crowds viewing the exhibitions. If you’re visiting on a day with bad weather or during a busy period, there will definitely be increased traffic in the area, but you should still have little trouble exploring the Disney Gallery.
Most exhibitions also include an exclusive line of merchandise available for purchase.
Cast members who work in the Gallery are specially trained to act as museum docents.
The Disney Gallery is the only attraction that is also officially considered a shop.