The Walt Disney Hometown Museum is located in the restored Santa Fe Railroad Depot in Marceline, Missouri. Opened in 2001, the museum houses a collection of memorabilia from the Disney family's farm where they lived from 1905 to 1909 along with Walt Disney's return to the town in 1946.
The museum tour starts in the main gallery and highlights items that Walt personally donated to the city of Marceline in 1960. This collection includes Walt’s original elementary school desk, an orange flag that once hung above his city hall apartment at Disneyland, and a midget autopia ride vehicle. Autopia was an attraction in Disneyland and was requested by Walt to be reconstructed in Marceline. The main gallery transitioned into the next exhibit area that highlights the story of the Disney family. This room features a recorded conversation Walt had with his parents Elias and Flora. You can listen to stories told by Walt and his family about how he got his name, how Elias and Flora met, and the time Walt and Ruth painted on the side of their Marceline home. It feels as if you are sitting with the Disney’s as a welcomed guest in their home.
Many of the items were donated by the family of Ruth Flora Disney Beecher, Walt's sister. Artifacts include personal family letters and photos, Disney's wooden school desk and a recording of him asking his parents about their life. The museum houses artifacts from the town's railroad history.
In 2015, the museum launched a project to recreate the Autopia attraction that had operated in the Walt Disney Municipal Park south of town. The miniature car ride was donated by Disney when the attraction was dismantled at Disneyland. The town operated the ride from 1966 until rising insurance costs and a lack of replacement parts forced its closure in 1977. A single restored car is on display at the museum and was the centerpiece of a Kickstarter project to finance a $500,000 reconstruction of the ride, launched in July 2015.