Treasured costumes, props, memorabilia, and even an original script of Steamboat Willie--the 1928 cartoon that introduced Mickey Mouse to the world--were just some of the items that D23: The Official Disney Fan Club needed to move for a museum exhibit centered on the fascinating history of The Walt Disney Company at The Ronald Reagan Library & Museum. With these unique transportation needs in mind, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation looked to our logistics experts to move the magic, and we were "excited to say, 'yes,'" says Al Pilgrim, Director at Enterprise Account Sales for UPS Worldwide Services.
The question was, how to get these beloved pieces from their home at The Walt Disney Archives in Burbank, Calif. to the Simi Valley, Calif. museum--unharmed and perfectly paced for the media frenzy. Our experts were ready to help.
"What does it take to move the magic? It takes logistics," Pilgrim explains. "Today, UPS handles a lot more than brown boxes--we move critical documents, heavy freight, and temperature-sensitive medicines... a move like this, with over 500 treasured artifacts, takes careful planning, coordination, a focus on safety, and a dedicated team of UPS people."
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club produced the exhibit, called "D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives," for The Reagan Foundation & Library. It features hundreds of items that span the company's history, beginning with Walt Disney's birth in 1901 and continuing through to The Avengers.
From Mickey Mouse to Mary Poppins and from Fantasia to the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean films, Disney characters and creations have been captivating audiences for generations. Now, many of these gems are in the spotlight once again--this time beyond the screen and in person.
The great friendship between Ronald Reagan and Walt Disney inspired the display, which covers a whopping 12,000 square feet in the Foundation's museum and happens to be the most expansive Disney Archives exhibits to date, as well as the largest temporary exhibit ever held at the Reagan Library. In fact, this magical show includes hundreds of never-publicly-seen pieces sure to help fans relive their favorite Disney moments--and who doesn't have one?
"When a company as well known as Disney trusts you with hundreds of their most prized possessions, you feel a sense of honor and responsibility," says Alfred Johnson, UPS Freight Regional Security Investigator.
Naturally, we embraced Disney's request and gave the move the careful attention it deserved.
Johnson worked with Regional Quality Supervisor Ramon Baez to develop a strategy, which included planning how best to load the Disney treasures into trailers, keeping track of the trailers as they progressed, and selecting security escorts for added protection along the way.
UPS freight drivers Sal Cardenas and Carlos Mancillas led the treasures on a safe journey to the museum, and it's no wonder--the two share a combined 33 years of experience behind the wheel.
UPS freight trailers housed the majority of Disney gems during the magical move, while a few select pieces--the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean, for instance--rode in high-cube and other specialized trailers for a better, safer fit. Baez and representatives from Disney even had a weekend meeting to prepare for this unusual part of the move.
All the planning proved well worth the effort, as perfect timing helped provide a grand finale.
After months of preparation, anticipation had reached its peak. Representatives from Disney and the Reagan Library, along with reporters and photographers, gathered by the cargo docks and cheered when they saw a UPS freight truck emerge through the early morning fog.
"There were members of the media at the museum waiting for the trucks," Johnson details. "They wanted to get pictures of some of the high-profile pieces such as the 20-foot-tall Pirates of the Caribbean Black Pearl model and a lightcycle from TRON: Legacy. We had to make sure the trucks got there one after another so the media could get their pictures and run stories about the upcoming show."
The arrival of UPS trucks that day was timed just as the museum needed and media hoped--and it all came down to precise planning and logistics.
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