Walt and Lilian Disney's daughter Diane talks to the Huffington Post about her parents' "secret apartment" over the firehouse on Disneyland's Main Street, USA. The apartment, decorated by a film production designer called Emile Kuri, was a private haven for the Disneys during the construction of Disneyland, and remained so after its completion. The apartment is still there (though it's off-limits to the public) and is a kind of time-capsule of the Disneys private lives.
There's another space, over the Pirates of the Caribbean, that was built to be a more lavish family apartment, but Walt died before it was completed. It was the "Disney Gallery" (a shop selling prints and other souvenirs) for many years, though it was lately converted to a luxury hotel suite, the "Disneyland Dream Suite." Initially, stays in the suite were awarded as surprise prizes to visitors, but now I believe it can be rented at a very high tariff.
Did a lot of people get to go up there, or it was a very private place?
Very private. It was for them. It was their residence there and they would invite people up, if there were special people in the park, mother and dad would go out and they would invite them up. Early, it was during "Davy Crockett," I remember there was some event there that day and Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen were both out there for it, and dad was looking out that window and saw them and he said, "Hey, come on up!"
He told them how to get around, back behind, and get up to the apartment and there was a fire pole in it, it's not there now, but there was a door into the closet area that had a fire pole, like the firemen would have, and he showed it to them and said, "Why don't you guys slide down that?" And they did! People would say, did your father ever do that? I'm sure he didn't.
Diane Disney Miller Remembers Dad: Walt's Secret Disneyland Apartment, His Passions & More (PHOTOS)
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