Rare Disney Parks Artifacts at The Story of Disneyland Auction Preview

Last week we attended the preview for Van Eaton Galleries’ upcoming auction, The Story of Disneyland, which features a mind-boggling array of art and artifacts from the Disney parks amassed by a single collector. Patrick had a chance to chat with him a bit and learned that he’s been collecting for 30 years and found a lot of the items in estate sales and by being in the right place at the right time. Now he’s down-sizing in preparation for a move. But what I want to know is, if this is the stuff he’s selling, what treasures must he be keeping?!

While most of the best lots are way out of our price range (anyone wanna give me 15 grand for that Enchanted Tiki Room flower boat?), the auction also includes more affordable ephemera, including gorgeously illustrated pamphlets and colorful shopping bags. (Just be sure to check eBay first if you’re considering bidding, since some of the items can be found there for a lot less than the estimated bid amounts for this auction).

The preview was like a smaller, friendlier museum exhibit, including carts out front dispensing free churros, popcorn and Dole Whips. I loved being able to get up close to original artwork by John Hench, Herb Ryman and Sam McKim, not to mention being closer than anyone ever used to be able to get to the booze-drinking pirate or the tiki birds!

Here’s a TON of photos Patrick took for you guys. You can find complete details for each item (and its estimated selling price) in the official auction catalog.

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Original Storybookland building perched atop a table and chairs from Club 33

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I love how the Sign Department’s own sign is more elaborately detailed than just about anything actually in Disneyland!

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Original finial from the roof of the Dole Whip booth at Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room, which was saved from demolition by an Imagineer when the shack was rebuilt in 2000.

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How amazing is this TIki Room Hostess dress? That pattern!

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“Back off, man!”

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Original John Hench concept art for men’s Haunted Mansion costume

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These apples from Snow White’s Scary Adventures are super-rare because so many of them were stolen.

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Fish from Submarine Voyage!

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Devil from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride!

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Hard to shoot cuz it was up so high, but this is Herb Ryman’s concept for the entry to Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom

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Seat from the Chicken of the Sea Restaurant – you know, the one in the pirate ship!

If you’re planning to bid, best of luck! And I’d love to know if you win anything!

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11 Responses
  • Kimberly H.
    February 26, 2015

    I’m definitely picking up the 1984 Disney male employee calendar of the year! 😉 So I just invested way too much time on that catalog. I want everything! Of course everything I truly want is in the $4-5k range. I was reading one of the first few pages of items and there’s a retirement sign that says it was signed by all the cast members. Then it says one of the signatures is Bing Crosby. Was he a cast member?! I love Bing and I never knew that, if it’s true. I kind of get the feeling he was probably already in the office to see Walt or something and the guy retiring got his autograph on his farewell sign.

    • Carrie
      February 27, 2015

      Yeah, that’s my theory. I can’t picture Ol’ Bing slinging hash at Casa de Fritos!

  • Hope at Disneyland
    February 26, 2015

    I had heard about this on the news, and I’m glad you posted a full recap so I can save the trip! 😉 This is all so neat. How crazy that this all belonged to ONE person and that this is merely the stuff they’re getting rid of due to space. Like you said, it does make you wonder what they’re actually keeping! I’ll have to check out the link to see how much they are, but the only things that really grabbed my attention as far as something I could use now are those parasols. What about you, if money/space wasn’t a factor, what would you get?

    • Carrie
      February 26, 2015

      Wouldn’t those be great at Dapper Day? I guess if money were no object, I’d go for the tiki room flower boat, because we have the perfect spot for it in our tiki-inspired entryway!

      • Hope at Disneyland
        February 27, 2015

        Yes, perfect for Dapper day! I looked at the prices, and sadly I do not have $400 for them, but it’s nice to dream. lol That flower boat would be perfect for you guys. Also, I’d love for some of those prints to be textile prints, since I’m more of a clothes horse than an art-on-the-wall lover. Since we’re daydreaming, I’d buy the tiki dress for you too, that way you could look cute while you’re greeting guests in your entryway and totally match the decor! 😀

        • Carrie
          February 27, 2015

          I love it!

  • Nancie
    February 26, 2015

    Want.All.The.Things….too bad I don’t have that kind of $$. Thank you for posting these!

    • Carrie
      February 26, 2015

      I feel the same way! I wish there were affordable copies of some of that original art!

  • Natalie
    February 25, 2015

    Very cool. Envious of the the Disneyland Hotel Towers Key…wish I had the $$$ to add it to my collection of Disney Hotel keys.

    • Carrie
      February 25, 2015

      OOooh! That’s a cool collection to have!

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