Walt Disney's first hand-drawn map of Disneyland reveals iconic attractions that changed dramatically


Walt Disney’s first plan for a citadel versus Sleeping Beauty’s Castle now at Disneyland.


The INSIDER Summary:

  • A uncommon Disneyland map goes to be auctioned on June 25, 2017.
  • The map was hand-drawn by Walt Disney and a good friend named Herb Ryman in 1953.
  • Walt’s unique design included a park part known as Lilliputian Land and Holiday Land.
  • Some iconic landmarks like Frontierland and the citadel are there, too.

Though dozens of Disneyland attractions that were in the original park have since been torn down or replaced, there are some nonetheless standing in the present day that had been an element of Walt Disney’s imaginative and prescient from the very starting.

In 1955, Disneyland opened its doorways and have become Walt Disney’s first theme park dream-come-true. But earlier than that day may come, Walt wanted buyers.

The New York Times reported that a hand-drawn map, created by Walt himself and a friend named Herb Ryman, was accomplished “over one rushed weekend in September 1953 as half of a frantic effort to safe funding to construct Disneyland.”

Now that map – the first piece of paper that reveals Walt’s imaginative and prescient for Disneyland – goes to be auctioned off to 1 severe Disney fan.

Van Eaton Galleries will public sale the map in June and its worth is presently estimated at $750,000 to $1 million, according to the New York Times.

Art supplier Mike Van Eaton subsequent to the hand-drawn map.


Let’s take a better have a look at the this unique (albeit rushed) drawing of what Walt’s imaginative and prescient for Disneyland regarded like.

The deliberate entrance – with a practice station and two small tunnels main into Main Street – is strictly what Disneyland appears like in the present day.


As you possibly can see within the zoomed-in map part above, Walt dreamed up a grand practice station which might greet company and function the gateway into the park.

Here’s the digital 2017 model of Disneyland’s map:


The title Fantasyland was all the time Walt’s plan, however many of the unique names he jotted down for areas of the park had been changed after 1953.

“Frontier Country” turned Frontierland, and “World of Tomorrow” become Tomorrowland. “True-life Adventureland” was shortened to merely Adventureland.


The areas labeled “Holiday Land,” “Mickey Mouse Club,” and “Lilliputian Land” had been axed altogether. Lilliputian refers to a bit of Jonathan Swift’s novel “Gulliver’s Island,” when he voyages to an island known as Lilliput that’s inhabited by miniature individuals. No doubt Walt imagined constructing a bit of the theme park the place every thing was teeny tiny – making parkgoers really feel like giants.

But as an alternative of Lilliputian Land, the park would finally embody Toontown, Critter Country, and New Orleans Square.


The iconic citadel was dramatically changed from Walt’s unique imaginative and prescient. He drew a sweeping construction that curved round a courtyard with a carousel in its middle.


Instead, the citadel that now sits within the park was styled after Sleeping Beauty’s citadel, and easily has a drawbridge with a tunnel going via the middle.


There’s nonetheless a carousel (can you see it via the tunnel within the above photograph?) however its situated behind the citadel as an alternative and serves because the centerpiece for Fantasyland.


There are a number of concepts within the map that had been clearly scrapped altogether. For instance, you possibly can’t take a experience in a sizzling air balloon inside of Disneyland, neither is there a church contained in the park.


But what’s most unimaginable in regards to the unique map is how some of his attraction concepts stay nearly unchanged within the park in the present day. For instance, Walt’s placement of the Frontierland river, full with a steam boat and an island attraction.


The Mark Twain Riverboat continues to be a beloved attraction in Disneyland, together with Tom Sawyer Island.


This space of the park was briefly closed in early 2017 to accommodate building on the brand new Star Wars Land, however relaxation assured, parkgoers are eagerly ready for it to reopen.

That some of Walt Disney’s unique concepts for Disneyland are nonetheless some of followers’ favourite attractions over 60 years later is a testomony to his means to examine timeless leisure.

The unique Disneyland map goes up for public sale on June 25 on the Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, California.