Disclosure: I received an all expense paid trip to the Disney Planes premiere, as well as The Little Mermaid event, however all opinions are my own.

There has been times in my life that I have been surrounded by people I respect at events. It is nice to visit with them and bask in their greatness. When I was invited by Disney to come experience the The Little Mermaid Event last month I was honored. One of the best parts of the trip was visiting the Disney Animation Research Library.

Behind the Scenes of Disney Animation Research Library

Disney Animation Research Library

As our group arrived at the Disney Animation Research Library we were advised that we could not disclose the location of the facility. In turn we could not use any social media platform to document our visit. So on top of this place begin extremely secretive, we also could not take any photos of the inside. (Images provided by Disney)

Disney Animation Research Library

With that said I am sure you are asking the same thing I did,

What is in a Top Secerete Disney building in a undisclosed location?

Our tour director, Mr Fox Carney, takes us behind closed doors to see all the wonders of Disney animation restoration and preservation. The first stop was a group of gentlemen that spent time digitizing Disney art work. Since the Disney Animation Research Library is home to roughly 65 million pieces of artwork, they are in charge of capturing it digitally. By this of course it prolongs the life of Disney’s artist work, but also for new upcoming artist to learn from.

Disney Animation Research Library

As our tour continued we made our way to a Disney design team, These are the creative minds behind all of the wonderful Disney scenery you see at the parks, studio, offices, events etc. They work to give Disney park, offices, and expo pieces a Disney flare.

Disney Animation Research Library
Reproductions of story sketches from Sleeping Beauty

The Disney Vaults

I have heard before that Disney has vault after vault of Disney Magic, and Disney History. I can attest that I saw the history, and that the magic lye’s with in. One of the first things you will notice in the Disney vaults is that is extremely cold, with a room temperature of 59 degrees. This is to help preserve all the artifacts from deteriorating quickly.

The building and vaults were carefully engineered to protect the contents inside, with anchored shelfs, reduced oxygen levels, and rolling cabinets.


While in these vaults, we were shown the actual background artwork from Sleeping Beauty, which was painted on large glass sheets. Additionly we were able to view work from Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, and more.

Disney Animation Research Library

To end our tour we finished up plenty of The Little Mermaid sketches, storyboards, and characters ideas. One fun fact that we all learned about Ariel in The Little Mermaid is that she was originally going to be blonde. Also, in the making of The Little Mermaid over 2 million bubbles are drawn to help bring the water to life.

The time we spent at  the Disney Animation Research Library was incredible, I felt like wasn’t worthy to see all the greatness it holds.

If you could step in the Disney Animation Research Library for a moment what would you like to see or ask about?