The First-Ever Look at the Original Disneyland Prospectus

disneyland prospectus

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 in dif­fer­ent for­mats. Or see it below.

via Boing­Bo­ing

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Dis­ney­land 1957: A Lit­tle Stroll Down Mem­o­ry Lane

How Walt Dis­ney Car­toons Are Made (1939)

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.