The INSIDER Summary:
- A rare Disneyland map is going to be auctioned on June 25, 2017.
- The map was hand-drawn by Walt Disney and a friend named Herb Ryman in 1953.
- Walt’s original design included a park section called Lilliputian Land and Holiday Land.
- Some iconic landmarks like Frontierland and the castle are there, too.
Though dozens of Disneyland attractions that were in the original park have since been torn down or replaced, there are some still standing today that were a part of Walt Disney’s vision from the very beginning.
In 1955, Disneyland opened its doors and became Walt Disney’s first theme park dream-come-true. But before that day could come, Walt needed investors.
The New York Times reported that a hand-drawn map, created by Walt himself and a friend named Herb Ryman, was completed “over one rushed weekend in September 1953 as part of a frantic effort to secure funding to build Disneyland.”
Now that map — the first piece of paper that shows Walt’s vision for Disneyland — is going to be auctioned off to one serious Disney fan.
Van Eaton Galleries will auction the map in June and its value is currently estimated at $750,000 to $1 million, according to the New York Times.
Let’s take a closer look at the this original (albeit rushed) drawing of what Walt’s vision for Disneyland looked like.
The planned entrance — with a train station and two small tunnels leading into Main Street — is exactly what Disneyland looks like today.
As you can see in the zoomed-in map section above, Walt dreamed up a grand train station which would greet guests and serve as the gateway into the park.
Here’s the digital 2017 version of Disneyland’s map:
The name Fantasyland was always Walt’s plan, but many of the original names he jotted down for areas of the park were changed after 1953.
“Frontier Country” became Frontierland, and “World of Tomorrow” turned into Tomorrowland. “True-life Adventureland” was shortened to merely Adventureland.
The areas labeled “Holiday Land,” “Mickey Mouse Club,” and “Lilliputian Land” were axed altogether. Lilliputian refers to a section of Jonathan Swift’s novel “Gulliver’s Island,” when he voyages to an island called Lilliput that’s inhabited by miniature people. No doubt Walt imagined building a section of the theme park where everything was teeny tiny — making parkgoers feel like giants.
But instead of Lilliputian Land, the park would eventually include Toontown, Critter Country, and New Orleans Square.
The iconic castle was dramatically changed from Walt’s original vision. He drew a sweeping structure that curved around a courtyard with a carousel in its center.
Instead, the castle that now sits in the park was styled after Sleeping Beauty’s castle, and simply has a drawbridge with a tunnel going through the center.
There’s still a carousel (can you spot it through the tunnel in the above photo?) but its located behind the castle instead and serves as the centerpiece for Fantasyland.
There are several ideas in the map that were clearly scrapped altogether. For example, you can’t take a ride in a hot air balloon inside of Disneyland, nor is there a church inside the park.
But what is most incredible about the original map is how some of his attraction ideas remain virtually unchanged in the park today. For example, Walt’s placement of the Frontierland river, complete with a steam boat and an island attraction.
The Mark Twain Riverboat is still a beloved attraction in Disneyland, along with Tom Sawyer Island.
This area of the park was temporarily closed in early 2017 to accommodate construction on the new Star Wars Land, but rest assured, parkgoers are eagerly waiting for it to reopen.
That some of Walt Disney’s original ideas for Disneyland are still some of fans’ favorite attractions over 60 years later is a testament to his ability to envision timeless entertainment.
The original Disneyland map goes up for auction on June 25 at the Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, California.
DON’T MISS: How to conquer Disneyland in a single day