“In these pages is proffered a glimpse into this great adventure … a preview of what the visitor will find in DISNEYLAND.”
Those words, written by Walt Disney, adorn the first page of a pitch to gain funding for his Disneyland park in California. Now, over sixty years later, one of those original pitch documents has been released to the public for the first time.
High resolution scans of Walt Disney’s Disneyland prospectus were given to Boing Boing, which released the documents Tuesday. The original documents, typed and sketched over a weekend in 1953 by Walt Disney and Disney animator Herb Ryman, lay out the descriptions for what the park would look like to a vistor as they stepped into “another world.”
The text describes different themes for lands based on the past, the future, different seasons, as well as shopping. Attractions within the lands were drawn from Disney’s animated features including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and “Alice in Wonderland,” in addition to a hollowed tree headquarters for the Mickey Mouse Club. The pages also contain a prototype map for how the park would be laid out.
At the end of the pitch, Disney defines the goals of the park:
DISNEYLAND will be the essence of America as we know it … the nostalgia of the past, with exciting glimpses into the future.
It will give meaning to the pleasure of the children — and pleasure to the experience of adults….
It will focus a new interest upon Southern California through the mediums of television and other exploitation…
It will be a place for California to be at home, to bring its guests, to demonstrate its faith in the future…
And, mostly, as stated at the beginning — it will be a place for people to find happiness and knowledge.
Walt Disney and his brother Roy used the documents to help secure the eventual $17 million needed to construct Disneyland, which would eventually open in July 1955.
The full scans of the prospectus can be read below, via the Internet Archive: