Golden Oak Ranch entrance gate

Golden Oak Ranch is an 890-acre (360 ha) movie ranch owned by the Disney Studio Services division of Walt Disney Studios subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company that serves as a filming location and backlot. The ranch is off of Placerita Canyon Road outside of Newhall, California, less than an hour north of Los Angeles; its entrance is not far from Placerita Canyon Road's intersection with California State Route 14.


The ranch is on land that was part of the Rancho San Francisco land grant. It was named in honor of Francisco Lopez, the man credited with discovering gold in California years before the discovery that precipitated the California Gold Rush.[1]

Walt Disney bought the 315-acre (127 ha) ranch in 1959 for $300,000. Subsequent purchases of adjacent land increased the area of the ranch to 890 acres (360 ha).


In May 2013, Disney announced plans to redevelop 58 acres (23 ha) of the property into a new film and television production studio, consisting of six new sound stages and production offices.[2][3] The site will be called Disney | ABC Studios at The Ranch.[4] The project was approved by Los Angeles County in August 2013.[5][6]


The ranch was used to film the episodes of Spin and Marty, a popular segment of The Mickey Mouse Club and parts of Zorro. The first movie shot at the ranch was Toby Tyler. Most of the exterior scenes in Old Yeller were filmed here. The Bolton Estate scenes and several others from Disney's The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit was shot here. The town featured in Roots: The Next Generations was also built on the Golden Oak Ranch. Other films that were shot on this location include The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Muppets, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Pete's Dragon, Behind the Candelabra, Treasure of Matecumbe, The Cat from Outer Space, The Muppet Movie, The Electric Horseman, Little House on the Prairie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Majestic, Desperate Housewives (season 8, episode 6), "Role Models", "Holes (film)", Camp Nowhere and Colonel Sanders commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken.[7] A covered bridge spans the man-made stream featured in Follow Me, Boys!, episodes of Bonanza, The Greatest American Hero, various episode of multiple ″Star Trek″ series and was used for parts of the music video of Amaranth by Nightwish. The exterior house featured in the original 1961 film The Parent Trap was also shot on the ranch, as was the Peabody farm from the Universal film Back to the Future. It was also used for the filming of three of the five Herbie films, including two scenes at the lake in The Love Bug and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, along with Alonzo Hawk's dream sequence in Herbie Rides Again. In 1985, Big Top Pee-wee was filmed here and part of Short Circuit was filmed here as well. According to Phil Abraham, parts of "The Hobo Code" (a first-season episode of Mad Men) were filmed here (specifically, the scenes of Don Draper's childhood).[8] The rural farmhouse set on the ranch (known as "Olivia's House") played the part of Margaret Sterling's hippie commune in the fourth episode of Season 7 of Mad Men[9], the fictional Michigan summer camp Camp Weehawken in the opening scene of the 2011 romantic comedy No Strings Attached was also filmed here.[10]


  1. ^ Worden, Leon (October 2005). "California's REAL First Gold". COINage magazine. Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
  2. ^ Verrier, Richard (22 May 2013). "Disney moves forward with ABC Studios project at Golden Oak Ranch". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  3. ^ Cieply, Michael (19 May 2013). "Bold Growth Plans at Hollywood Studios". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Disney | ABC Studios at The Ranch, Where Indoor and Outdoor Production Meet". The Walt Disney Company. Golden Oak Ranch. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  5. ^ Johnson, Ted (27 August 2013). "L.A. County OKs Disney's Plans for New Studio Lot Near Santa Clarita". Variety. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  6. ^ Cunningham, Todd (27 August 2013). "Disney Gets Greenlight for Major TV, Film Studio Near Santa Clarita". The Wrap. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  7. ^ Verrier, Richard (24 January 2012). "Santa Clarita movie ranches corral Tarantino and other filmmakers". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  8. ^ Director Phil Abraham's DVD commentary track for "The Hobo Code". Man Men. Season 1. Episode 8. September 6, 2007. AMC.
  9. ^ Mad Men Season 7 Review: Episode Four - The Monolith By Ben Skipper. May 7, 2014, International Business Times.
  10. ^ No Strings Attached (2011), retrieved 2018-07-17

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Coordinates: 34°22′26″N 118°28′41″W / 34.374°N 118.478°W / 34.374; -118.478