The Walt Disney Company has traditionally used large format maps and models during the development phase of each of its theme parks. In fact, Walt Disney had the map shown above drawn in order to gain financing for the project. It only makes sense that at some point Disneyland would release large maps, not only for guests to navigate the park, but to be taken home and hung on many a child’s bedroom wall. [SOURCE]
A pristine original copy of this map recently sold on eBay for over $1,500!
The original map sold in the park measures 36 inches by 24 inches and was drawn by one of the original Imagineers of the Park, Sam McKim. The map was released in 1958, three years after the park opened, and was followed quickly by two more maps, 1958b and 1958c, also copyrighted 1958.
How to identify the 1958a map (see detail areas below)
- There are three maps that have a copyright of 1958. The first thing to look for is the copyright date of “1958” found in the lower right-hand corner inside of the orange border.
- The second differentiating feature is the border, which on this map is orange. Note that both of these attributes are shared with the other two maps with the 1958 copyright date.
- The real tell-tale sign for this map is the existence of the Viewliner in Tomorrowland, with tracks running over and around what would eventually become the submarine lagoon. This is the only map in the series with the Viewliner, and uniquely identifies this map.
- The Junior Autopia which is found to the right of the Viewliner in Tomorrowland is also unique to this map.
- The last difference between this map and the next two is in the color of the Jungle Cruise river. In this map the river is green, whereas in the next two the river is blue.
Points of interest
- Walt Disney had infinite confidence in his new park and unapologetically included future attractions and “lands” as if they were just around the corner. Examples of attractions that made it are: the Submarine Voyage, New Orleans Square, and the Haunted Mansion. Note that on this map New Orleans Square was in fact a square instead of the eventual streets and alleys, and that the Haunted Mansion is located across from where it would eventually appear. Attractions that did not make it, at least at Disneyland, were: Edison Square, Liberty Street, Adventures in Science, the Wax Museum, and the Thieves Market, although components of Edison Square and Liberty Street found their way into Library Square at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.
- Holidayland was a real bust. Not every idea that Walt Disney had was a winner. Walt was convinced that a circus attraction would be well received. Fortunately his imagineers couldn’t find room for it within the park itself and it was placed outside the berm surrounding Disneyland park. Ultimately, no one wanted to visit a tacky circus outside the park when the attractions inside were so compelling. Holidayland had a brief life, disappearing completely and without a trace. This area today is occupied by the show buildings for the Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain, as well as other backstage facilities.
- The Disneyland Hotel, although located directly across from Disneyland itself, was not owned by The Walt Disney Company. The Wrather Company was contracted to provide the hotel and it wasn’t until 1988 that Disney purchased the hotel and began the expansion that currently has three Disney owned hotels on the property. Notice that prior to the construction of the monorail from the park to the hotel, guests were transported to the park in trams. You really show your age when you remember riding the trams which had you facing outward without anything to prevent you from falling out.
- Short-lived attractions. In addition to the Viewliner which made way for the Monorail, this map shows the Junior Autopia, all attractions that disappeared by the next release of the map. Slightly longer lived was the Midget Autopia, next to the Storybook Land Canal Boats. The Midget Autopia disappeared on the 1966 map to make room for It’s a Small World.
- The Parking Lot as an Attraction. Although the park had only 22 attractions available on opening day in 1955, it is amusing to see that a 100 acre parking lot is worth mentioning on the bottom of the map. Did Walt pave over the Hundred Acre Wood?