Take a tour of Walt Disney’s newly restored 1932 “Storybook Mansion” in Los Angeles

From the street, visitors to the Los Angeles neighborhood see only a gate and a very steep driveway. But something very special sits on a small area of ​​land at the top of this driveway – a mansion that at first glance seems unassuming and not entirely different from other structures visitors see in the neighborhood on Woking Way, a side street which is located between Los Feliz Boulevard and Griffith Park.

Credit: Walt’s Apartment

But at the top of this steep alley is a place where real magic was born, real magic happened, and real magic was relived again and again. This is, after all, Walt Disney’s Storybook Mansion.

Walt Disney's House on the Way to Awakening

The front of Walt’s Storybook Mansion / Credit: SFGate

Known as Walt Disney’s “Storybook Mansion”, the house is a private residence that opens for tours once a month. The house is part luxury mansion, part storybook cottage. And it’s 100% fairy tale magic.

“There’s something special about the house,” says Dusty Sage, who hosts monthly tours of the house once owned and lived in by Walt and his wife Lillian Disney. “I always like to think that I feel the spirit of waltz disney when I’m here. Is it just me thinking like that or if it’s actually his mind, I don’t know. But I have goosebumps in this house. No matter how many times I’m here, I feel the vibe of this place and it speaks to me.

walt disney's house on the way to awakening

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The mansion features white plaster and dark red brick. Dark wood shingles line the roof of the structure, and stained glass adorns the windows looking out to the outside world. In a tower topped with a classic weather vane is the front door to the Storybook mansion where Walt lived, and if you are lucky enough to visit the house, the walk up to the house will inspire you with rose bushes bearing two colors roses lining both sides of the promenade: yellow for Walt and pink for Lillian.

It was 1932. Walt Disney had yet to create and release what would be the first-ever animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The film will not debut at the Carthay Circle Theater for another five years. That year, Walt and Lillian had their new home built at 4053 Woking Way in Los Angeles.

Over the next 18 years, the Disney couple would welcome two daughters, Diane and Sharon, whom Walt Disney Studios would release Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, Victory Through Air Power, Make Mine Music, Fun & Fancy-Free, Melody Time, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toadand Cinderellaand Walt would begin planning his first theme park, Disneylandin Anaheim, California, about 32 miles southeast of his Storybook Mansion.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs One Sheet Movie Poster (RKO, | Lot #13005 | Heritage Auctions

Credit: Disney/Heritage Auctions

The mansion covers over 6,300 square feet and originally sat on 1.5 acres of prime Los Angeles real estate. It’s not the same house in many ways as it has seen changes in the 72 years since Walt and Lillian lived there.

walt disney's house on the way to awakening

Credit: SFGate/Friends of Woking Way

Part of the land on which the Disneys had their house built has been sold. The house has also undergone some renovations and renovations. Walt’s training room was first converted into a nursery, then into a billiard room.

While Walt and Lillian were living there, Walt had one of the bedrooms turned into a screening room. There he could work with footage recently shot for the live-action projects Walt Disney Studios was working on.

walt disney home on the way to waking up

Walt Screening Room/Credit: SFGate/Friends of Woking Way

Just inside the mansion is a large rotunda, and the house still features the original stained leaded glass. Other features inside Walt’s Storybook Mansion include painted vaulted ceiling beams, a “Juliet” balcony, library, sleeping porch, breakfast nook, and two bars. There are also four bedrooms and five bathrooms. Much like Walt’s Carolwood estate, which the family moved to in 1950, the Storybook Mansion made beautiful use of native California plants and rock terraces.

ALSO READ: GET OUT DISNEY: Disney’s New Storyliving Communities Unwelcome By Some Californians

At the start of World War II, the country began to strike in support of the effort, and the Americans began supplying metals for this purpose. Walt Disney himself donated two metal deer sculptures from his home on Woking Way.

This photo of the Los Angeles Timesdated August 14, 1942, shows Walt Disney with his sledgehammer as he prepares to smash the metal sculptures into pieces.

walt disney metal drive for world war 2

Credit: Los Angeles Times/Walt’s Apartment

The house still has a small cottage where Walt’s daughters, Diane and Sharon, used to play outside. Since the Disneys moved out, a swimming pool has been installed on the property, but the small cottage is still on the property as it was when Walt and Lillian lived on Woking Way.

walt disney's house on the way to awakening

Walt Disney with his daughters and their playhouse/Credit: SFGate

walt disney's house on the way to awakening

The Disney girls’ cottage, now a pool house/Credit: SFGate

“That house was just a style that Walt Disney liked,” Sage said.

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