The first-ever map of Disneyland sketched in 1953 by Walt Disney and his friend is set to go under the hammer and may fetch up to USD 1 million. The map – one of the most important drawings in Disney history – was created as part of an effort to secure funding to build Disneyland. It depicts areas of Disneyland that never materialised – such as the “Lilliputian Land” – and some that took a very different form. For example, the fairy-tale castle was originally positioned in a corner instead of the centre.
The map, a pencil-and-ink drawing on paper, is roughly three by five feet. It was hastily sketched by Disney and his friend Herb Ryman over a weekend in September 1953. It could fetch between USD 750,000 and 1 million at the Van Eaton Galleries’ auction in the US on June 25. Ron Clark, a collector had bought the map 40 years ago from a former Disney employee, Grenade Curran. Curran had noticed the map sitting in a corner of Walt Disney’s office in 1955, and had taken it home as a memento.
“That an artifact like this, which is so deeply rooted in the creation of Disneyland, still exists today is astonishing,” Mike Van Eaton, an owner of the auction house was quoted as saying by ‘The New York Times’. Van Eaton called it “the most valuable Disneyland artifact ever offered at auction.” Nearly 1,000 other Disneyland artefact – including original props, wardrobe, ride vehicles, and souvenirs – from 1953 to the present day will also be up for auction.