Disneyland's original prospectus revealed!

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2014/05/20/disneylandprospectus.html

Thanks to an anonymous benefactor, Boing Boing is pleased to present the first-ever look at the original Disneyland prospectus.

The reference to “merchantainment” combined with both tethered gas balloon, & volcano shown in the illustration strongly reminded me of another work-in-progress, Downtown Disney at WDW. These design elements are extant there, along with a showboat/restaurant and a little carousel. Weird! (Still can’t buy exotic livestock, though.)

Btw, the passing reference to science kits suggests this is a dumb national problem that needs a smart national solution! [Bring back the boom!] Return the radioactive! …OK, maybe not that. But America needs dangerous chemistry sets!


By all means, lets celebrate yet again one of the largest copyright abusers on the planet.

Just another serving of cognitive dissonance that we’ve gotten used to here on Boing-Boing.

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Just because the corporate entity partakes in shenanigans, doesn’t mean that the people within the company don’t make some wonderful things.

I guess now that they own Star Wars, they could lobotomize children and force them to work on the Small World ride, using electrodes to prompt their movement, food and waste being moved via surgically implanted tubes, and I’d still give them my money.


“Copyright 1953, Disneyland Inc, World Rights Reserved.”

Just waiting for the take-down notice!

(Yea, I really don’t understand the BB fascination with Disney. Seems a bit like shaking the Devil’s hand to me…)

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I think it is fascinating because of what it could have been had Walt Disney’s vision continued. It’s right there in the opening line: a place for people to find happiness and knowledge. Judging from my visit last weekend, today that line would say “a place for people to spend money and trudge through queues to experience self-contained stories with no room for imagination or learning.” It’s an object lesson — Walt Disney was clearly as proud of his accomplishments in business as well as his creative endeavors. He was an old school Republican, who thought that American business could make the world better. Sadly, that part of the equation was lost over the decades. And so, Disneyland is still a little model of world in microcosm: from a place where you could imagine and learn to a place where you can spend and ride a “convenience vehicle” and spend a little more to get VIP treatment.
Walt Disney was a prototypical Maker. Perhaps that is what BB finds so fascinating.


There was a similar black and white drawing of early Disneyland at the Getty Center last summer when the had a “Overdrive LA constructs the future”. It was the one piece of art they would not let you take pics of. it was hand drawn and about 3x6 feet large. See
image here

looks the same to me.

This is stunning. I love reading through and seeing how many of the early ideas were completely unsustainable-- can you imagine the amount of injuries and accidents would result from a moving platform through Tomorrowland? or having a live television studio available in a treehouse-shaped structure that you’d also encourage children to run through? (just imagining someone trying to produce a live broadcast as children stomp through the Swiss Family Treehouse) And most unbelievable yet, that people would actually buy fresh fruit and coconut for snacks?!

And it’s also enchanting to see how closely, say, today’s Fantasyland actually does mirror what was in the prospectus. Peter Pan’s ride exists now exactly as described. Which I think is lovely.

(Sorry, I’m a well-known Kool-Aid drinker when it comes to this stuff, so my comments probably have no place in this thread.)


I bet you’re a lotta fun at parties.

“I really don’t understand why they serve this beer. This beer is crap! And the cups are so small.”

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Not in any part of Disneyland that YOU’RE allowed to know about.

My pet Foxtopus was a real bargain at Club 35 1/4’s end-of-season sale, but the way it screams for its mother every night is kind of jarring.


The fascination seems more to be much more with Walt Disney himself, as opposed to the multiple gangs of Buffoons, Pretenders, and Charlatans that have occupied the Management Offices of The Walt Disney Company, pretty much ever since Walt passed away from Lung Cancer, across the street from The Walt Disney Studios at St. Joseph’s Hospital, on December 15th, 1966.

I was exactly one-month-old on that day (in my mother’s belly, that is). Even though I never experienced Walt Disney while he was alive, it was soon enough after his death, that I got to enjoy countless re-runs of “Uncle Walt” on many television shows, with the Wonderful World of Walt Disney, where Tinkerbell practically flew right out of the front of the TV and gave you a little pixie dust kiss with her wand right on the tip of your nose, with the very real and beautifully-lit Disneyland Castle at night in the background, as well as all of the exciting world-wide True-Life Adventures, both standing out in my mind, now roughly forty years later. Mickey Mouse Factory was another daily TV favorite.

The first movie that I ever saw in the movie theaters was The Jungle Book, with the Winnie the Pooh featurettes. I saw Lady and the Tramp, Mary Poppins, Swiss Family Robinson, and Robin Hood. I remember seeing Candleshoe at the Alex Theater in Glendale, California, with my Grandmother, my siblings, and my visiting cousins. Escape to Witch Mountain was another exciting live-action film at that age. I started to outgrow it by the time they came out with The Rescuers and The Fox and the Hound, as The Muppet Movie, and Star Wars had both come out by then.

When we were little, we would play Swiss Family Robinson on and around the swing-set in the backyard, swing as high as we could while singing, Let’s go fly a kite, and of course we played many round and forms of Pirates of the Carribbean, fueled by our annual family trip to Disneyland, on my father’s “Company Night”, at either JPL or TRW.

The movie, Tron, was probably the next thing from Disney that caught my attention, as I was always very interested in Pinball Machines, Electronic Games, Video Games, and Computer Graphics, which Tron seemed to capture and make into something very real, yet something really magical and fantastical, in terms of being able to reach out and grab it and hold onto it. It took roughly another 10 - 15 years for Pixar to produce and release Toy Story, which was the culmination of the life and career dreams of both John Lassetter, and Ed Catmull, fueled by Steve Jobs business dreams of world domination.

I went to college shortly after Tron had come out, bent on learning the magic behind Computers, Video Games, and Computer Graphics, and I even ended up publishing an enthusiasts’ magazine for Atari Computers, called ST Journal, which was the poor man’s Color Macintosh at the time. I got to take some wonderful classes on Computer Graphics Programming, with my textbooks influenced by the work of Ed Catmull and his colleagues. I had a great time making 256-color fractals at 320-200 pixels, which in comparison to my classmates’ work on the IBM PC, were as superior as the look of Toy Story is to the look of Tron.

I graduated from Calilfornia State Polytechnica University in Pomona, (Roy E. Disney had gone to college just a couple decades previously at Pomona College, part of the Claremont Colleges campus) in June 1990 with my BS in Computer Science Degree, and an Emphasis on Computer Graphics. After beating the pavement for what seemed like months, I was hired as part of a three-man Novell Networking team, as part of Corporate Information Services for The Walt Disney Company in Burbank, California. I started at The Walt Disney Company on the day after Labor Day in September, 1990, the beginning of The Disney Decade.

I spent a couple years as a Desktop End-User Computing Analyst, supporting about a dozen of the departments that are needed for the Corporate Umbrella that is The Walt Disney Company. In the process, I ended up working directly with the CIO, a wonderful woman, named Sharon Garrett, who had come to Disney in the late 1980’s from UCLA Medical Center, as well as the Executive Offices of The Walt Disney Company, including Roy E Disney, Michael Eisner, Frank Wells, and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Through these connections, I was empowered to pitch a brand-new VP of Magazine Publishing, over at Disney Consumer Products, a gentleman named, John Skipper, who ultimately went on to become the President of Disney Publishing Worldwide, ESPN the Magazine, ESPN.com, The ESPN Zone, and these days, is the Head Honcho for all of ESPN in Bristol, Conneticut . I ended up going to work for Disney Consumer Products IT, then Disney Publishing IT, then Disney Publishing Global Creative Operations.

In the process, I pioneered the digital creative development process at DCP and DPW, transitioning artists and designers from paper and pencil, to the Apple Macintosh, what is now the Adobe Creative Suite, Canon Color Copiers with Fiery Postscript Printer Brains, and Wacom Tablets with built-in LCD displays, Heidelberg Flatbed Scanners, and Epson 44" wide roll printers / color proofers.

I also spearheaded a project that bridged Disney Feature Animation and Pixar with the rest of The Walt Disney Company and the rest of their Licensees, Marketing Partners, etc. to provide the individual animation still frames as color-calibrated digital computer files, instead of as 35mm slides and 4x5 or 8x10 photographic transparencies, starting with The Lion King and Toy Story. In almost a Forest Gumpish manner, I got to fly up to Pixar to meet with the Producers of Toy Story in January 1995, since Disney Publishing Worldwide was about the only Disney Line-of-Business at the time that was going to put any Product Development support behind this new unproven animation and storytelling medium.

After that, I built an in-house pre-press service bureau for Disney Publishing Worldwide, encompassing 80 years of Storybook Art, Comic Book Art, Coloring Book Art, etc., as well as all of the final digital files that were being used to print all of the new Disney books, all around the world. Called, The Disney Publishing Worldwide Digital Art Library, this became the foundation behind all of the Disney eBook and Disney Digital Book initiatives, including the Disney Apple iBooks.

My point to all of this is that I grew up idolizing Walt Disney, as a combination of a great Creative and Conceptual Artist, a Master Storyteller, and a Curious and Never-Satisfied Technologist, and I got pretty darn close to following almost exactly in his footsteps. Even though I moved on with my career and my life, after being unceremoniously downsized out of The Walt Disney Company as a Middle Manager in August 2004, so that Michael Eisner could get one more $7 million bonus, just before being voted out of The Walt Disney Company by the Shareholders in Spring 2005, I never completely let go of my big creative Disney Dreams, and they crop up in my mind and my heart every now and then, as I work on high-end Enterprise Content Management System Projects, for Fortune 500 Companies in Southern California, like Countrywide, Bank of America Home Loans, United Healthcare, and now DIRECTV.

I consider the story outline that I have come up with for a true Monsters Inc.sequel to be so good that it more than makes up for what went wrong with the well-intended prequel, Monsters University. Since I was a little kid, I have designed countless theme park rides in my head, on book covers, Pee Chee folders, and spiral notebooks that I was supposed to be using to pay attention to the teacher and take notes.

Instead of a the lifetime employee pass that I would have received for myself and my four children in September 2005, which would have been my 15-year anniversary with The Walt Disney Company, I purchase our Annual Passes on the monthly payment plan like everyone else, and take complete ownership of our family playtime at Disneyland and California Adventure, a theme park that I helped open in Feburary 2001, as a volunteer media docent for a Southern California Latin American Lifestyle magazine.

The point is that Walt Disney is what people value and hang onto and continue to seek in all things Disney, even the recently very successful Frozen. People know when it is “Real-Disney” vs “New-Disney”, just like they knew the difference between “Classic Coke” and “New Coke”.

Even when the “Mindless Masses” are paying through the nose for anything and everything with the Disney Corporate name on it, just to be able to say that they did, real and true, authentic Walt Disney fans, and their children, and their children’s children, and even their children’s children’s children at this point, who have been brought up properly in the ways of “Uncle Walt”, which are really and truly, simply the early 20th-Century ways of the Middle Class from the Midwest, know the quality difference and won’t settle for anything less than what they know that The Walt Disney Company has been capable of delivering for decades now.

RIP to Walt and Lillian Disney, Diane Disney Miller, Sharon Mae Disney, Roy O. and Edna Disney, and Roy E. and Patricia Disney.



I am not sure what the big deal is. All of this was outlined in my book The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide. The other copies are available to the public at two research libraries and have been for years.

The color one is not original. The Getty had the original drawing Roy used to take to the bankers. Read more in The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide.

I’m working my way through the scenario of “Roller Coaster Tycoon.” When I’m done I plan on using the sandbox mode to create the theme park of my dreams.

It probably wouldn’t look exactly like Disneyland, but that place set the standard and it would be hard to NOT do some of the same things.

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Stunning! Thanks for the share. How is Glenn Beck a jerkface?

Your over-the-top response aside, I truly don’t understand how people can align themselves with a corporation in general. But I suppose once you buy into the corporate-sanctioned ideology, it is no different than any other religion, and is defended by their followers just as intensely.

And that’s just one of the many problems in the world today, people giving themselves over to things that if studied for just one moment in any kind of detail, would recoil in horror with what they’ve allowed themselves to be affiliated with.

Well, those that have the ability to think logically, that is.

Looking at that map again makes me really want to spin up Roller Coaster Tycoon. Or at least draw maps.

One of the neat tricks you could do with an earlier version of RCT I played was make a Paradise Pen. A fenced off area with trees, benches, flowers, fountains, and shops selling ice cream for $0.00. And an entertainer dancing around. If you spotted a really angry park customer, you could pluck him from the walk and drop him in the paradise pen, where he’d rapidly calm down and appreciate the fine surroundings. But eventually he’d wonder how the hell to leave.

I don’t know anything about RCT, but am always amused when this story pops up from time to time:

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So I take it that even though Disney doesn’t have the originals, I probably couldn’t make and sell prints (I own a printshop specializing in fine art and vintage prints) from these high res images? Maybe I make the prints free with a way to donate for them?

I’m assuming I’m not the only one who would love one of the maps on my wall…