10 Pieces of Vintage Disneyland Memorabilia You Can Own

Since first opening its gates to the public 60 years ago, Disneyland has developed something of a cult following. If you're looking to prove just how deep your Disney obsession runs, now’s your chance to get your hands on some precious park memorabilia. On November 21, the Van Eaton Galleries in Los Angeles will be auctioning off more than 800 rare Disneyland collectors' items. People attending the “Collecting Disneyland” event will have the chance bid on rare animatronics, vintage souvenirs, and original concept art from the park dating back as far as the 1950s. Check out 10 of the most magical items up for auction below. 


Estimate: $500-$1000

In a theme park where slow-paced kids' rides outnumber roller coasters, Space Mountain is Disneyland’s official thrill ride. This rare concept drawing from Imagineer Clem Hall depicts riders lining up in the space-aged launch bay to be shot off into the multicolored cosmos. In real life, the ride is usually five times as crowded.


Estimate: $800-$1000

This pirate costume was worn by actual cast members in the 1980s—two decades before Disney's pirates were Johnny Depp-ified beyond repair. The colorful getup comes with a custom belt, socks, and a striped cap. Bottle of rum not included.


Estimate: $30,000-$40,00

This prop appeared in 2001 when Disneyland first introduced The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) characters to the Haunted Mansion for the holidays. The silicone mask was used on the ride’s life-sized, animatronic Jack Skellington figure for four years, and it still remains in fine show-used condition. With a minimum starting bid of $30,000, this is one piece of Tim Burton swag you won’t be able to find in Hot Topic.


Estimate: $3000-$4000

There are several original attraction posters up for auction at the event, and each one is a vintage work of art. This hand silk-screened poster from 1956 features Pinocchio’s Monstro the Whale swallowing up passengers at the beginning of ride. For some reason, our memories of Storybook Land aren’t quite as horrifying.


Estimate: $200,000-$300,000

If you were heartbroken by the closing of the PeopleMover in 1995, now you can take a piece of the ride home with you—literally. The vehicle doors can still be remotely opened and closed, and the control panel allows for operation of the interior and exterior lighting. It also features a working PA and music system, which is programmed to play a two-minute explanation of the PeopleMover by a 1967 tour guide. Owning this piece of Disney history is the next best thing to actually sailing it over Tomorrowland.


Estimate: $300-$500

Despite what you’ve seen in the movies, Disney magic is no replacement for carefully drawn up blueprints. This rare print illustrates the construction design of what would become one of Disney’s greatest icons.  


Estimate: $5000-$10,000

This bench was one of the originals that occupied Disneyland’s Main Street when the park first opened. After being a fixture in the town square for 44 years, it’s been carefully restored and painted its original color. To make it readily apparent that it's more than just a fancy park bench, the Disneyland property tag has been moved from the bottom to the bench back. 


Estimate: $200-$400

With the upcoming release of Disney’s first Star Wars film, we have a feeling this will be a hot ticket item. The jacket was worn by Star Tours cast members in 1992, a few years after it opened. The original ride was replaced by the updated Star Tours—The Adventure Continues in 2010, so this item is packed with all different kinds of nostalgia. 


Estimate: $1200-$1500

In addition to memorabilia from the park, the gallery is also auctioning off original production cels from Disney's early films and cartoons. For fans of Lady and the Tramp (1955), the minimum bid price of $1200 may be well worth it for a piece of animation history.


Estimate: $3000-$5000

Most people may not think of Disney when they hear "Indiana Jones," but the Indiana Jones Adventure ride has been a Disneyland fixture since 1995. The ride is best known for its abundant animatronics and thrilling special effects. There won’t be any giant rolling boulders up for sale at the auction, but they are offering the next best thing—an animatronic hand from Indy himself. 

Disney/Marvel Studios
Success of Black Panther Inspires Disney to Donate $1 Million to Youth STEM Programs
Disney/Marvel Studios
Disney/Marvel Studios

Since opening in U.S. theaters on February 16, Blank Panther has already defied industry expectations more than once. The blockbuster now holds the records for biggest February opening, biggest standalone Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, and highest-grossing film featuring a black cast. To celebrate the film's groundbreaking success, Disney is donating $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Fortune reports.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America is a nonprofit organization that provides after-school programs to young people from low-income households. They offer kids a place to build their athletic, artistic, and leadership skills, but Disney's donation will go specifically toward funding STEM programs (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

The technology of the fictional African nation of Wakanda plays a central role in Black Panther. Shuri, T'Challa's sister and the head of all things tech in the film, has been praised for potentially inspiring young women to take an interest in STEM. "It is thrilling to see how inspired young audiences were by the spectacular technology in the film," Robert A. Iger, Disney's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "So it’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America will use Disney's generous donation to help establish STEM Centers of Innovation in cities across the U.S., including Atlanta, where much of the movie was shot, and Oakland, California, the hometown of Black Panther director Ryan Coogler. Ten additional cities, from New Orleans to Chicago, will also be getting STEM centers of their own.

The donation is sure to make a huge impact on communities around the country, but it's just a fraction of what Disney is set to make from the film. According to some projections, it won't be long before film surpasses the $1 billion mark at the global box office.

[h/t Fortune]

Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort via Getty Images
Big Questions
How Did the Super Bowl's 'I'm Going to Disney World' Slogan Originate?
Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort via Getty Images
Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort via Getty Images

It’s a Super Bowl tradition as recognizable as catchy commercials, lengthy halftime shows, and mounds of leftover guacamole, but how did the famous "I'm going to Disney World" and "I'm going to Disneyland" slogans make their way to (almost) every big game since 1987?

The idea for the slogan itself can be credited to Jane Eisner, the wife of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. In 2015, he recounted the story behind the tagline to Sports Illustrated:

"In January 1987, we were launching Disneyland’s Star Tours, an attraction based on Star Wars. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, my wife, Jane, and I had dinner with George Lucas, as well as Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, who had just become the first people to fly around the world without stopping. It was late and the conversation hit a lull as we waited for our food. So I asked Dick and Jeana, 'Well, now that you’ve accomplished the pinnacle of your aspirations, what could you possibly do next?' Rutan responded, without hesitation, 'I’m going to Disneyland.' And of course I go, 'Wow, that’s cool! You made the right choice.' But my wife interjects: 'You know, that’s a good slogan.'"

Around this time, the NFL playoffs were well underway, with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos set to face each other at Super Bowl XXI. What better time to unveil this new marketing slogan than at the biggest TV event of the year? Once Eisner decided on a time and place to debut the phrase, the teams’ two quarterbacks, Phil Simms and John Elway, both received identical offers: $75,000 for the winner to say "I’m going to Disney World" and "I’m going to Disneyland" to a Disney camera as they ran off the field after the game. This would then be used in a commercial with Disney World or Disneyland being shown depending on where it aired. (This is then oftentimes followed by an actual trip to a Disney park within the next few days, where the spokesperson takes part in a parade in his team's honor). 

Simms was hesitant at first, but once he heard Elway agreed to it, he was on board. The NFL also signed off on Disney’s plan, so now it was up to the company to find a way to get their cameras on the field before all-out madness could erupt. Tom Elrod, Disney’s president of marketing and entertainment in 1987, told Sports Illustrated:

"We wanted it to be authentic, but that meant being the first camera on the field, in the most frenetic environment you could possibly imagine. We’d be competing with broadcast crews and journalists and hangers-on and teammates, just to have some guy look into a camera and say, 'I’m going to Disney World.' It’s wild if you think about it. That first year, I don’t think anyone thought that was achievable."

It’s a good thing the reluctant Simms changed his tune about Disney’s offer, because his Giants beat Elway’s Broncos 39-20. Not only was Simms awarded his first Super Bowl win and the game’s MVP award, he also got a cool $75,000 for uttering two simple sentences (though he had to say both sentences three times each, just to be sure). 

The tradition has carried on ever since, except in 2005 for Super Bowl XXXIX and in 2016 for Super Bowl 50, when no commercials aired (though Super Bowl 50's winning quarterback, Peyton Manning, went to Disneyland anyway).

The slogan now extends beyond football, having been uttered by everyone from NBA players to Olympians and American Idol contestants. And even if they don't wind up in a commercial, chances are a championship team will still be greeted by a Disney park parade, like the one thrown for the Chicago Cubs in 2016. 

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