California is an amazing state to visit with so much to see and do. During a road trip we decided to make a stop in San Francisco. Because of our love of Disney, the Walt Disney Family Museum was an absolute must. We decided to we plan a day that included soaking up plenty of Disney history while mixing in some active biking, sight seeing, and delicious food as well. Keep reading to see our trip journal of this fun city.
Getting Around San Francisco
We decided to make the day a bit more active and reserved bicycles from Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals. It was approximately $30 per person for a full day rental that included helmets, locks and a little storage pouch with map. We had also brought backpacks along for the day with some drinks, snacks and layers for the unpredictable weather. We picked up our bikes at a location in Fisherman's Wharf and took off towards the Presidio area and saw some iconic sights along the way.
We arrived to the museum area to see rows of brick buildings and manicured grass. The museum had some signage but was somewhat understated. There was bike parking conveniently located along the side of the building where we able to lock up and then head inside to get tickets.
The Walt Disney Family Museum: The Details
104 Montgomery Street in the Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129
10am–6pm. (Last entry 4:45pm)
Open daily except Tuesdays, January 1, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25.
At the time we visited a Disney Vacation Club member discount was available and we paid approximately $20 per person for entry. There are several different ticket types available. You can view current pricing and purchase tickets HERE.
SHOP & DINE:
There is a small cafe on site where we purchased some sandwiches for lunch. There is also a robust gift shop featuring a lot of unique and vintage inspired items. Another note is there is a bag check area where we needed to leave our backpacks we brought along.
The Walt Disney Family Museum: The Experience
The museum is essentially a timeline of Walt's entire life, following it chronologically from his childhood through to his passing. The sectioned galleries include:
- Early Beginnings
- The Move to Hollywood
- Exploring New Horizons
- The Transition into Features
- New Success and Greater Ambitions
- Patriotic Contributions
- Postwar Rebuilding
- Walt and the Natural World
- Disneyland and Beyond
- Remembering Walt Disney
The exhibits are very creative and themed to match the content including some fun interactive displays. The museum has so much content that if you read, listen, and watch everything, it can take 3-4 hours to go through the museum. The curators did a great job of tracking down very rare drawings, personal items, and artifacts. Even things that seemed "unDisney", such as war related art, really captured every chapter of Walt's life.
There were numerous museum staff members walking around happy to answer questions. When we asked something a staff member didn't know the answer to, they radioed other's to confirm an answer. It is obvious they love working at the museum because they would sit and chat for as long as you wanted on any subject related to Disney.
The museum does a great job of immersing you into Walt's world that by the end of the exhibit when they discuss his passing, you feel as though you are living through it. Once you get to the last room, we recommend sitting there and just taking it all in for a little while. This room does a heartfelt job of summarizing his life. A big kudos to the Disney Family; they have put together something really special here. We thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to all Disney fans.
Biking Across the Golden Gate Bridge
After leaving the museum we continued on our way towards the Golden Gate bridge. We made our way mostly along the water with a stop at Fort Point. From there we headed up to the entrance of the bridge. It was quite an experience to cross this iconic bridge in the open air. Cars were wizzing by, but there is a protected area designated for bikers and walkers. It was a fairly long bridge and during the trip you would run into other groups of people. It is good to point out there were some points along the way where faster riders could pass or someone needing a break could pause. It was interesting starting on the more populated city side and then ending up on the other side where things seemed more quiet.
From the bridge we headed towards the small town of Sausalito. It was a quaint little area with shops and restaurants and a marina. From here we were able to buy a ferry ticket the day of, to head back across the bay. It was nice to take a little break and enjoy a boat ride too!
Back to Fisherman's Wharf
The ferry dropped us off pretty far east, so there was a bit more of a bike ride back to the drop off zone. We figured when all was said and done we had covered about 10 miles that day and were a bit tired. We had worked up quite the appetite and asked the bike rental employees where a good non tourist would be to get seafood. They recommended Scoma's nearby.
We walked towards the pier and down a little alley, it seemed a bit out of the way but all the sudden we saw the restaurant. Many people were dressed nicely as it was upscale but they didn't seem to mind that we were in our touring clothes. The restaurant was a higher than average price point but worth every penny. We enjoyed drinks, amazing starters such as Lobster Bisque soup, and delicious seafood entrees like seafood ravioli. All in all we feel like we fit a lot into one day and really enjoyed the variety of actives. We look forward to visiting San Francisco again!