One of the most important drawings in Disneyland history – a rare first-ever Disneyland map, co-created in 1953 by Walt Disney himself in order to secure necessary financing, and personally used by Walt to develop Disneyland, has been re-discovered and will be auctioned at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, Ca. The 3 ½ foot by 5 ½ foot tri-fold, hand drawn poster created by Walt Disney in a weekend in 1953, features the first iterations of attractions at the now-famous amusement park – some of which had their names changed, and others scrapped entirely.
For example, Frontierland and Tomorrowland, two of Disney’s “themed lands,” were originally marked as Frontier Country and World of Tomorrow, respectively. Meanwhile, something called Lilliputian Land never came to fruition. Other attractions were seen through from concept to reality.
Disney wanted his park to include a train station, old-fashioned Main Street square, princess castle, pirate ship and perhaps even a rocket – attractions that exist in the Anaheim, Ca., park today. He and his brother/business partner Roy Disney used the drawing to obtain financing from investors to build the park.
It fell into the hands of collector Ron Clark some 40 years ago through a former Disney worker who’d been pals with Walt himself.
“It had this aura,” Clark said. “It just kind of puts you in awe that this is the piece that came out of Walt Disney’s mind and this is what came about: this park, these parks worldwide, the passion people have for it today and the happiness of hundreds of millions who have graced these lands.”
But now the avid Disney fan, who visits the California park at least three times a year, wants to pass on his prized possession to another diehard.
This map, the highlight of an approximately 800-item auction of original Disneyland props, costumes, souvenirs, and artifacts, is estimated to sell for $750,000-$1,000,000, making it the most valuable Disneyland artifact ever offered at auction.