An auction of rare Disney collectibles ended up breaking a record. The sale, held at LA’s Van Eaton Galleries, featured several artifacts from Walt Disney himself.
Van Eaton specializes in this sort of thing. They showcase “animation fine art” and rare items related to the field. This particular sale included original costumes from the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Jungle Cruise, and other attractions. It also included Walt Disney’s own Cinderella script, several paintings, and an original map of Disneyland that he drew with Herb Ryman.
It’s that last item that brought in big bucks. The map is special in that it’s older than Disneyland itself. It’s was drawn over a weekend in 1953, while the park was built two years later. The paper is covered in Walt’s handwritten notes, and it represents a unique look into the way he planned and thought out the Happiest Place on Earth.
Walt used the map to visualize the park before the stones were ever laid. He also used it in investor presentations to secure funding to build the park, which was not a cheap undertaking. Disneyland’s original 1955 construction cost $17 million, which in today’s money would be about $116 million.
Kind of puts those ticket prices in perspective, though not the price of corn dogs.
In any case, the map is one of a kind.
Buyers at the Van Eaton auction must have thought so, too, as it sold for an incredible $708,800. That makes it the highest-priced Disney map in history, and puts it in the running for the most expensive Disneyland item.
So who laid out all that cash? No idea. It went to an anonymous buyer on the West Coast, with no plans to share it with the public in a museum or gallery.
Whoever they are, they presumably plan to cackle over it while twiddling their fingers as lightning strikes overhead. Or perhaps hang it above the diving board of their money bin.