Free Exhibit Hosted by Van Eaton Galleries & Auctions Offers Looks at a Staggering Array of Disneyland Artifacts Before They Are Sold Off

The Van Eaton Galleries & Auctions of Studio City is hosting a free pop-up exhibit at the Burbank Town Center Mall. 

The Joel Magee Disneyland Collection is described as the largest privately owned collection of Disney Parks memorabilia in the world. Highlights include ride vehicles, props, signage, vintage souvenirs, and Disneyland attraction posters, including some extremely rare one-of-a-kind examples. The exhibit is offered Wednesdays through Sundays until July 16. The auction will begin on Monday, July 17 (Disneyland’s 68th birthday), and is scheduled to conclude July 19.

First Views of Disneyland

It’s best to start at the beginning, and the exhibit does just that with a 43” x 70” original brown line copy of Herb Ryman’s first fully rendered sketch of Disneyland. The drawing was created over a single weekend, under the personal supervision of Walt Disney. Copies like this were hand colored and used to promote the park to early sponsors.

Disneyland was also a TV program. Another item exhibited (and available for auction) is a hand lettered title card from the first season.

After a year of construction, opening day arrived. July 17 was the dedication and live TV broadcast; July 18 was opening day for the public.

There are two examples of the metal employee badges that were used in the park’s early years. Cast member’s were identified by number, rather than by name at that time.

Just a few of the many posters on display in the exhibit, many dating from the first year of operation.

Main Street, U.S.A.

The exhibit is broken up more or less by the “lands” of Disneyland. Guests are treated to Main Street, USA at the beginning of the exhibit.

Main Street includes a full sized Global Van Lines truck that Walt Disney personally used on early morning jaunts through the park. Other memorabilia commemorates the fire engine and other vehicles.

City Hall’s original front doors are on display. The microphone stand in front of them carries a placard that was used on the Carnation Plaza stage for many years, as well as by Walt Disney himself for a memorable tenth anniversary program at the Disneyland Hotel.

As section of carpet from Walt’s private apartment is offered. This secret “hideaway” was never opened to the public in his lifetime.

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln was a tribute to Walt Disney’s favorite President. Among the items on display is an armature used in developing the Audio-Animatronic figure.

Main Street is also all about shopping, and souvenirs. The exhibit offers a staggering array, many from shops, restaurants, and attractions that are now only memories.

There are hats, too!

A favorite take home souvenir to remember your visit to the Happiest Place on Earth was a large, colorful wall map. There is quite a selection of these from over the years on display.

Among the more intriguing items is a shadow box filled with mementos from a Custodial Guest Host who worked at the park in its early years. Among the items is his metal name badge, denoting that he was employee 1101.

No Disneyland collection could be complete without a trash can or two… or three… or more. The themed receptacles in the exhibit are not for trash, however.


The Adventureland section includes vintage items from the Jungle Cruise and Enchanted Tiki Room attractions.

You can not only see the birds, but also hear them sing words (as the flowers croon) in this animated display of original tiki birds.

For good measure, there is a park used Bird of Paradise, as well as a very rare Tiki Room themed disposable cup.

An Imagineer’s own “study model” of the Indiana Jones Adventure is offered in the exhibit and auction. The two level model was converted into a three dimensional board game for his kids!


In the Frontierland section there are original artworks by Imagineer Sam McKim. These were created to entice potential sponsors. One of them depicts the interior of the proposed Golden Horseshoe Saloon.

The Plantation House was an early chicken dinner restaurant, located along the banks of the Rivers of America. This wax paper cup is extremely rare, as it was originally intended to be disposed of after use.

Rustic signs were a part of former attractions on Tom Sawyer Island.

A park-used red boiler forms the heart of a recreated Big Thunder Mountain “locomotive.” Also on display as part of the auction is a “bat” from the Big Thunder caverns.

New Orleans Square

If it’s pirate postcards and pirate costumes, this must be New Orleans Square.

The Haunted Mansion is well represented in the exhibit.

An original stretching portrait and Doom Buggy are part of the display.

This Intrusion System Status Panel is a park-used artifact from the Haunted Mansion attraction. It was used by ride operators.

Even Club 33, located above the streets of New Orleans Square, is not overlooked among the exhibits.

Critter Country, next door to New Orleans Square is represents by this group of Splash Mountain collectibles, along with other items.


Sleeping Beauty Castle is not only a symbol of Disneyland, it serves as the entrance to Fantasyland. The exhibit includes many souvenir items depicting this icon.

Why settle for a souvenir when an actual piece of the castle is available. A gold spire from one of the towers is on display, as well as a “spouting” fish from Snow White’s Wishing Well.

Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship is represented with a variety of artifacts, including the original sign that hung outside the Galley restaurant, and a colorful door that led inside.

In the park’s earliest year, there were two Autopias in Tomorrowland and a “Midget Utopia” for younger drivers in Fantasyland. Each scaled down sports car included double steering wheels, to eliminate quarrels over who would be the driver.

The mighty Matterhorn has spawned many souvenirs over the years, including the items seen in this group.

This full model of the attraction was likely used during its initial construction, and was enhanced with additions for later display.

Snow White and Dumbo are just two of the Fantasyland attractions represented in the exhibit.

Among the it’s a small world souvenirs are this folding fan, vinyl lunchbox, and miniature carrying case.

A grouping of artifacts from the small world attraction includes a model created and color styled by Imagineer Rolly Crump.

This South Seas dancer and Middle Eastern tambourine player are dolls that were actually used in the small world attraction.


An impressive scale model, used in the planning of New Tomorrowland 1967, is exhibited as part of the auction.

This small scale model represents the Phantom Boats, an early Tomorrowland attraction that was offered for a very short time.

This somewhat rough study model depicts a new facade treatment for Flight to the Moon.

Memorabilia depicts the transition from Progressland at the New York World’s Fair to Carousel of Progress at Disneyland. The set of custom plexiglas furniture is from the original show’s final scene.

Adventure Thru Inner Space was a popular attraction in the New Tomorrowland of 1967. Miniature Atomobiles, complete with passengers, were used to create the illusion that guests were being shrunk by the Mighty Microscope. An Imagineering model of the Microscope is on display, as well.

Two venerable attractions, the Submarine Voyage and Monorail, are presented in the exhibit.

Memorabilia connected to even more recent features of Tomorrowland, such as the Jedi Training Academy, can be found in the exhibit.

Walt Disney World

While the exhibit and auction is focused on Disneyland, there are a certain number of items from Walt Disney World, as well.

This case displays a number of items from EPCOT Center.

Walt Disney World’s extensive Monorail system is represented by this seat, console and costume.

This whimsical flying machine could once be found in the If You Had Wings attraction at the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland.

A cursed mummy from the Indiana Jones section of The Great Movie Ride stands on its original equipment rack. The stencil on the rack reflects the attraction’s original name, Great Moments at the Movies.

This glamorous chorine once graced the rotating fountain in the musical number By a Waterfall in The Great Movie Ride.

The Joel Magee Disneyland Collection encompasses over 6,000 items, of which approximately 1,500 are displayed in this exhibit. The Van Eaton Galleries auction will begin on July 17; catalogues are scheduled to ship on July 7. For more information, visit the auction site at:


One response to “Free Exhibit Hosted by Van Eaton Galleries & Auctions Offers Looks at a Staggering Array of Disneyland Artifacts Before They Are Sold Off”

  1. I really appreciate this blog. And you can tell me when you are releasing additional posts.? or where can I find out more on the subject?

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