Climb aboard a World War II German submarine. Plunge into a working coal mine. Take a tour of your digestive system. Control a 40-foot tornado. And this season, step into the magical world of Walt Disney to uncover 90 years of archives.
Those experiences and more await you at the Museum of Science and Industry — the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. Home to more than 35,000 artifacts and hundreds of exhibits, there are enough "wow" moments to be had here to last a lifetime.
MSI, which opened in 1933, is housed in the only remaining building from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. The museum's Beaux Arts building was originally the expo's Palace of Fine Arts and displayed works of art from around the world. Now — through interactive exhibits, daily live science experiences, unique events and tours for all ages, and 3D theater adventures in the five-story, domed Omnimax — the inventive genius in you can explore the fascinating worlds of science, technology, medicine and engineering within the museum's 14 acres of space.
Explore nine decades of The Walt Disney Company's history and artifacts at the museum's newest exhibit, Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. Take a trip down memory lane at this family-friendly exhibit brimming with childhood memories for visitors of all ages.
From the Mickey Mouse Club's signature Mouseketeer cap to Captain Jack Sparrow's pirate garb, travel in time through 90 years of Disney imagination and discover more than 300 artifacts that range from drawings, props, costumes and animation artwork. The extraordinary collection features many pieces not widely seen by the public.
Get a glimpse also into the creative genius of the Chicago native himself, Walt Disney. Then step back behind the animator's desk to see the magic that went into the cartoons and films. The all-encompassing exhibit covers:
- The Early Years – featuring illustrations done by Walt as a boy and photos of his childhood home and first animation studio Laugh-O-gram Films, Inc.
- Early Hollywood – a gallery filled with original story scripts and prop storybooks from such famed works as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- Animation Tools & Techniques – displaying hand-sculpted animator's models from Pinocchio and an original production cell from Sleeping Beauty
- Walt: Showman of the World – where you'll find a partial recreation of Walt's Formal Office from The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California
- Mary Poppins – a special area dedicated to the 50th anniversary release of Mary Poppins filled with everything from costumes to sheet music
- Theme Parks – a salute to the popular attractions within Disneyland Park in California and Magic Kingdom Park in Florida
- Disney Today – which includes costumes from favorite current films such as High School Musical, 101 Dalmations and Oz The Great and Powerful
- Animation Academy – an exploration of the artistry, storytelling and technology still used in the Disney animated films of today
Celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company right here in Chicago. The exhibit will run October 16, 2013 - January 4, 2015.
Other featured exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry include Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light, which is on display November 13, 2014 - January 4, 2015 and is included with museum admission.
As always, the Museum's 45-foot Grand Tree takes center stage in the Rotunda, surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago's ethnic communities to represent their various cultures and holiday traditions. Stroll through the trees, enjoy intermittent falling "snow" and get swept up in the festive performances on the Holiday Stage. School choral groups perform during the week, and ethnic song and dance performances take place on the weekends in conjunction with the exhibit.
The 73rd annual showing of this exhibition this year features a special Disney theme, highlighting the temporary MSI exhibit Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives with hundreds of Disney-inspired ornaments and trimmings amoung the twinkling lights.
Experiment with nearly 50 fun, cutting-edge interactive displays at YOU! The Experience while exploring what it means to live a vital, healthy life in the 21st century. Use your own heartbeat to make the museum's new 13-foot Giant Heart come alive; get moving on a human-sized Hamster Wheel that provides real-time feedback on your body's responses to aerobic activity; examine real human specimens that showcase the extraordinary complexity of the body; and much more!
Science Storms, a new, two-story exhibit, unravels the mysteries of physics and chemistry through recreations of nature's most powerful phenomena — tornados, lightning, fire, tsunamis, sunlight, avalanches and atoms in motion. Manipulate a 40-foot tornado and see the vapor whirling before you. Witness giant bolts of lightning crackling above. Trigger an avalanche using a 20-foot avalanche disk.
Among the many other permanent exhibit offerings, some of the most popular are:
- U-505 Submarine, where you can dive into the story of the only German U-boat captured during World War II, one of only five U-boats left in the world
- The Great Train Story, a model running 30-plus trains on 1,400 feet of winding track that journeys from Seattle to Chicago
- Coal Mine, where you descend the mine shaft, take a ride on the rails and learn the technology of coal mining
- Earth Revealed, where you can experience the dynamic forces that are at work on a planet