We can all recall fondly the episode of Lost in which Hurley clutched his winning lotto ticket in disbelief. Or when Johnny Depp first appeared as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, with his wildly ornate top hat. Or when the title heroine of Mary Poppins caused a pile of wooden blocks to come alive and stack themselves inside the toy chest. But what happens after these iconic props are finished playing their parts?
They end up settling in for a cozy retirement at the Walt Disney Archives, a treasure trove of paraphernalia for pop-culture fiends that ironically must remain closed to the public, lest these objects become irreparably damaged. But EW was granted exclusive access to the facility, along with a rare tour of the Walt Disney studio backlot in Burbank, Calif., joining members of Disney’s D23 Official Fan Club. After speaking with these hardcore Disney enthusiasts — who are the only members of the public granted access to the studio’s lot — I got to check out some instantly recognizable objects from Lost, Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, and Enchanted. But by far the coolest moment was when the archivists unveiled some never-before-seen items from one of the crown jewels of the Disney canon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which is about to celebrate its 75th anniversary. Check out my video report below: