Here’s your first (and probably only) look inside the very mysterious “Disney Vault”

If you’re a child of the 90’s, you’re probably familiar with the Disney Vault, aka, the bane of our VHS existence. As far as we could tell as children, the vault held all our favorite Disney classics, and sometimes it would open to release things like Cinderella! And then the next second a commercials for Cinderella would say, “CINDERELLA IS GOING BACK INTO THE VAULT, GET IT WHILE YOU CAN OR REGRET IT FOREVER.”

For us as children, the Vault was very stressful.

The Vault sure seems like some myth to sell Disney movies, but the Vault is actually a real thing. There’s really a Disney Vault! Our childhood wasn’t trying to fool us! And while the Vault doesn’t actually look like a vault, it is still a very mysterious, and top secret, place at Disney. Recently, Disney shared a video from inside the Vault, and this may be our only chance to peek inside of it.

The vault isn’t actually called “the vault,” though, but rather The Disney Animation Research Library. If you’re obsessed with Disney history, the Disney Animation Research Library is probably your heaven. What’s in the library? Plenty of Disney artwork beginning from way back in the 1920s. Let’s take a quick look:

You can check out some Pinocchio concept art and even learn about sounds that didn’t make it into the final film. On Disney Blu-ray special features you can also find some of these materials. The concept art is made from many different mediums.


As we continue on the tour, we learn that many of the drawings have been scanned and can now digitally be reviewed at their desks. Which is a great way to keep the original drawings safe while also making them easily accessible.


Next up, we headed further into the library where some drawings from Pinocchio had been printed out to show how much goes into one second of animation work. Whoa.


It’s pretty cool to see how much work goes into each aspect of a Disney film. Makes you appreciate them even more, right? Next up, let’s check out the Disney vaults, which are amazing. There are 11, climate-controlled vaults of art work–all labeled and organized.


If you’re interested in more of the history behind the Disney animation artwork, check out this full-length tour including some fan questions!

What a dream it is to get the opportunity to visit the Vault Disney Animation Research Library. Sure hope we get the chance to visit one day but thank you to Disney for this behind-the-scenes peek at the magic.

Filed Under