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.
“It was always my desire to somehow return it to Disney,” he said. “I wanted it to go home. For 40 years, that has been my wish.”
The map — as well as nearly 1,000 other Disney artifacts such original props, wardrobe pieces, ride vehicles and souvenirs — goes up for auction June 25 through Van Eaton Galleries in Los Angeles.
Disney spokesman John McClintock wouldn’t say whether park officials will be among the bidders.
He said it’s tough to compare concepts in the map to what exists in the park today, including the Sleeping Beauty Castle, which sits in its center, as opposed to much further back in the original sketch.
“It predates any work on Disneyland and it doesn’t really resemble Disneyland, so you can’t really use that as a template for how the park developed,” McClintock said.
But he added, “The story behind the art is that it was all done in a weekend. It’s amazing that they got as much right as they did.