The Disney Vault. It has been a part of public lore for decades now, but what exactly is it?
We all know it as the place where Disney films emerge from storage to be re-sold years after their initial home entertainment release.
Those in Disney Studios Home Entertainment Marketing know the vault well because they created it. At least our understanding of it. It was actually a carefully crafted marketing message that pushed people to buy through the use of urgency. The vault campaign was first used in the late 1990s where each of the commercials would end with “…before it goes back into the vault!”
The campaign broke the bank, literally, with VHS and ultimately DVD sales given a huge boost at the time. But the real question remained – does Disney really have a vault?
Yes, yes they do. It’s located on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California. As each feature film Disney completed, the “master” copies and their respective assets needed to be stored in a safe, maintained place.
A place was constructed, but through the years, the vault gathered more and more films, as well as had outdated systems that kept it secure and in a preservation state. That’s why in 2015, the vault was completely renovated and expanded and opened up earlier this year.
The official name of the vault is The Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Film Archive is a state-of-the-art facility that’s temperature controlled and highly secured.
It houses the “crown jewels” of Disney films, namely everything from 1952 onward like Peter Pan and One Hundred and One Dalmatians. The films that were made before 1952 like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Cinderella were made of nitrate and are highly combustible, so they are stored in a secured and controlled room at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
Sound like a place you’d like to visit? Unfortunately this special Disney place is closed to the public.
But you can buy the most recent thing to come from the vault – Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” 25th Anniversary!
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