Last week I was invited to a preview party of the That’s From Disneyland pop-up exhibit that just opened to the public yesterday, and it was all sorts of amazing.
The pop-up exhibit showcases items from Richard Kraft’s collection, including vintage souvenirs, posters, ride vehicles and more. All of which will be going to auction near the end of the month.
Not only does the exhibit feature elements from long gone attractions, it also includes concept art from attractions that never made it off the drawing board, like the above image for the “Tractor Ride” by Imagineer Bruce Bushman.
The unique Enchanted Tiki Room mobile isn’t really from Disneyland, but is actually from travel agencies to advertise the new and groundbreaking attraction of the Enchanted Tiki Room, the first to use Audio-Anamatronics, and was originally sponsored by United Airlines. The mobile invited potential Disneyland Guests to “Fly the Official Airline of Disneyland.” The Big Game Shooting Gallery resided in Adventureland from 1962 until 1982, and was a smaller shooting gallery than the one that remains today in Frontierland, and featured various wild animals.
In 1964 the Golden Horseshoe of Frontierland celebrated its 10,000th performance, and had a special show that was filmed (ironically actually on a sound stage where the stage from the park was recreated, but larger) and included special celebrity guests like Annette, Ed Wynn, and Zorro’s Gene Sheldon.
Perhaps Tomorrowland had the most unique offerings, as it is the land that has seen the most change. Various attractions have come and gone over the decades. The shortly lived Rocket Rods comes to mind of course, and it was delightful seeing one of the ride vehicles. Some portions of past attractions have even been recycled. Does the little blue vehicle look like it’s from the Haunted Mansion? Originally these little pod like cars were called Atomobiles and were part of Adventure Thru Inner Space, where Guests “shrunk.” In the queue, Guests saw the Atomobiles “shrink” but what they actually saw were these little models.
So just how did this all happen? Growing up, Richard Kraft and his family made yearly visits to Disneyland. When his brother died 25 years ago Kraft returned to Disneyland in an effort to rekindle the memories he shared with his brother. But Kraft admits he “was not content with just visiting Disneyland,” and began a collecting journey that took over his home with all of these items. Kraft also works closely with Disney as a talent agent for several musical composers, including three Disney legends, Richard Sherman, Alan Menken, and Danny Elfman, as well as produce the Disney nights at the Hollywood Bowl.
The preview lasts until the 24th, and that weekend, the 25th and 26th is the auction. Those wishing to visit the pop-up can do so by stopping by 13750 Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks, and if you can’t take part in the auction, you can take home treasures in the Van Eaton pop-up gift shop, which sells vintage Disneyland souvenirs, animation cells, and more. Visit their Facebook page to learn more, including special events that are occurring during the preview time period. You can also view the on-line catalog through Van Eaton Galleries.