Thursday, July 26, 2012

DORTHEA REDMOND "The Royal Suite" Salon 1964

I had a request on our DHI Facebook Page for a high resolution image of Dorthea Redmond's 1964 WED Concept art for the Royal Suite Salon in New Orleans Square. She had a wonderful sense of style and elegance, which is obviously why Walt brought her in to work on this project.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012



I had several requests on the DHI Old Tomorrowland Month: The TWA Rocket to the Moon essay in regards to the ticket book that supplied the Moonliner ticket. Above is the said rare book, which may have just been a promotional or trial run book, as very few exist. Enjoy.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Somebody over on the Institute's Facebook page (here) asked about Walt and Lillian's 30th Wedding Anniversary held at Disneyland on July 13, 1955. They had requested photos--which I have somewhere in the Institute's holdings, just have to find them--so in the meantime, thought this invitation would be a nice way to answer their request (and stay involved with our DHI Facebook community). Thanks for the question and interest. Enjoy. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

ASTRO JETS Location in Tomorrowland

Several have asked about the location of the Astro Jets as it relates to the rest of Tomorrowland. This is a nice panoramic view of Old Tomorrowland from the rare 1957 "Disneyland U.S.A." pitch book. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Hallelujah To Hucksterism, Or How "Not Everyone Was Happy At The Happiest Place On Earth"

Click On For High-Resolution Readable Version.
With today's sensibilities towards the past and our sentimental yearning for nostalgia, it is hard to imagine that at the dawn of Disneyland anybody could find fault with Walt's dream and summarily tear it down. Many old-time newspaper men, bitter curmudgeons mostly, could always find something to gripe about ... and in the early days, they did so with regularity. And so in support of Todd's most brilliant essay on the "rarest parade of them all" I offer this column by UPI reporter William Ewald, on the ABC-TV Disneyland '59 special. Ewald was a well-known killjoy that routinely panned entertainment offerings. His biggest criticism seems to be the almighty pursuit of the buck, which is humorously ironic, for the very purpose of sensational journalism (and what is more sensationalistic than trashing Walt?) is to sell more papers ... which forthwith paid Ewald's salary. Still, this kind of material is historically important, as it does provide a bit more of a balanced view of the early days of Disneyland; and the fact that not everyone was happy with the "Happiest Place on Earth." Enjoy!
THANKS: I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to my very good friend Ed Ovalle of the Walt Disney Archives who helped me chase this down. His knowledge of the Archives' collection is extraordinary, and I am repeatedly amazed at when I ask him some weird, off-the-wall historical question--usually starting with "Have you seen ..."--he, after a few seconds of thoughtful silence, proclaims "You know I have!" More often than not within ten minutes he has found the very thing I am looking for. A hardy Disney History Institute Thanks to Ed!!
To See or Return to the Original Essay:  Disneyland '59: The Rarest Parade of Them All!

Disneyland In Natural Color: The Castle Hydrant

Great essay today by Todd continuing his thoughtful (and truly ground breaking as far as new material on Disneyland) look at Disneyland's opening year. Thought I'd share this photo which goes along with his excellent piece. This is from the opening year guide book, "Disneyland In Natural Color." With the frenzy to complete the Happiest Place on Earth, Walt outsourced the guide to a company that specialized in souvenir books; he was, however, quite unhappy with the results and starting in 1956, he decreed that they would design and do their own guide books. This is the classic photo representing Fantasyland from the book, complete with dirt in place of grass, and my favorite, the Castle Fire Hydrant in all of its glory. Enjoy (and check out Todd's essay).

To See (or Return) to the Original Essay: Disneyland Year One Part 2