Thanks to a benefactor, Boing Boing has posted the original Disneyland prospectus, drafted in 1953. These “extremely high-resolution scans,” Boing Boing says, “were made from one of the three sets of pitch-documents Roy and Walt Disney used to raise the money to build Disneyland.” The document isn’t long. It runs 12 pages from front to back. And it imagines some of the first parts of the park. Of course, there’s Main Street, but there’s also “True Life Adventureland,” “Lilliputian Land” and “Fantasy Land.” These imagined parts of the park were meant to entertain youngsters. They were also meant to educate. (The last page of the Prospectus sums things up by saying, “The idea of Disney land is a simple one. It will be a place for people to find happiness and knowledge…., a place for teachers and pupils to discover greater ways of understanding and education.” And, as Cory Doctorow notes, they were meant to make money. (In “True-Life Adventureland,” says the Prospectus, “magnificently plumed birds and fantastic fish from all over the world… may be purchased and shipped anywhere in the U.S. if you so desire.”) These days, the educational mission of Disneyland isn’t much in evidence, while the “merchantainment” side remains. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying it. You can find the Prospectus on Archive.org in different formats. Or see it below.
Disneyland 1957: A Little Stroll Down Memory Lane
How Walt Disney Cartoons Are Made (1939)
Leave a Reply