Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Souvenir Dungeon" - Map Time!

Let us walk down the long spiral stone staircase into... the gloomy depths of the souvenir dungeon!

I've always loved Disneyland maps of any kind. How many kids pored over their INA brochures, souvenir guidebooks, or (best of all) the huge poster maps, reliving their most recent trips to the park? The maps I am sharing today are a bit less conventional, but still cool.

Let's start with this wonderful tin "TV tray". It is undated, but must be from 1955, judging by the charmingly inaccurate artwork (it resembles the map in the Mattel "Your Trip to Disneyland" record set, which you can see at the Vintage Disneyland Tickets blog). The tray is 17 inches by 12.5 inches, and is not super rare - although they can be hard to find in good condition.

Zooming in on Main Street, you can see that the Bandstand is smack-dab in the middle of Town Square. Mickey's flower portrait shows him in profile, and there is another street east of Main Street that looks like a rudimentary version of "International Street" - never built. Notice the big circus tent! Adventureland looks pretty accurate, all things considered.

Frontierland shows the Rivers of America with buildings that look like the kind you might see on an 1880's trip along the Mississippi. The stagecoach doesn't go through a painted desert; instead it heads through a mountain pass, into an area with box canyons and mesas. In Fantasyland, the teacup ride is shown with giant figures of the Mad Hatter and the March Hare (?). Dumbo looks like it is still in its "pink elephant" phase.

And finally, the Tomorrowland corner of the park is dominated by a large expanse of grass! In fact, it actually looks like that big area was still a part of either Main Street or Fantasyland, with some sort of buggy or chariot ride through the countryside. There's the Autopia and the Phantom Boats. The basic layout of Tomorrowland looks pretty close to the finished version, with the Clock of the World, the Rocket to the Moon, and the symmetrical show buildings on either side of the main walkway.

Our second map comes courtesy of the Hallmark Company (they had a store on Main Street, remember). This is a paper place mat, intended for a child's birthday party. The area outside the train tracks is die-cut - the fact that it wasn't removed and thrown away is a miracle. I love the little drawings of kids at play! Several of Disneyland's landmarks (the Train Station, the two Jungle Cruise launches, the Mark Twain, the Castle, the Rocket to the Moon, the Matterhorn, and the Submarine) have also been die-cut so they can be folded into a simple 3-dimensional map.

I hope you've enjoyed today's visit to the dungeon!


Nancy said...

now that tray is a souvenir that i would LOVE to have. the detail is beautiful yet simple, and being someone who didnt grow up with Disneyland as my backyard it gives a great perspective on where things were. i love tin trays, and now i want this, too!!

this will make a great desktop if you dont mind....

and what child wouldnt be the hit of the party with Disneyland as a theme?

great stuff today, Major! ;)

stu29573 said...

I'm fortunate enough to be able to turn my desk chair around and examine that tray right behind me! I must say that even though I had noticed the bandstand and Dumbos, the rest kind of escaped me/ Very cool article!

Thufer said...

Love that tray.

Katella Gate said...

Today, Major is my favorite Dungeon Master. Both these pieces are superb!

I especially love the concept of the Tea Cup Ride where the cups spin around a centerpiece with the Hatter and the Hare, but concede ride physics are more fun with the turntable-on-turntable arrangement they went with.

Also not that there is a "little country church" out on the back 40, a la Knott's. I wonder if it was being considered, or if it was just artistic fill.

Katella Gate said...

Also not = Also note

TokyoMagic! said...

Wow look at all the water in Tomorrowland on that paper place mat! And is that a little bridge for the train to go over the Jungle Cruise waters? I actually like all the little inaccuracies on both maps.

I have some Hallmark party invitations that feature a Castle almost identical to the one on the place mat. I think someone has posted them previously. As Nancy said, can you imagine having a DL themed party as a kid? I wonder what other party items Hallmark made?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nancy, you probably wouldn't have to haunt ebay for too long before one of those trays came along. I recall that a seller had about 6 of them months ago!

Stu and Thufer, I agree.

Katella, I'm guessing that the entire northeast part of the map was just artistic fill, but perhaps they did seriously consider a "country carriage ride" at one time.

TM!, I have one neat Hallmark item, with stylized/simplified punch-out paper ride vehicles (and a House of the Future!) that you could put together. One of these days I'll scan them.

JG said...

I love old maps, and old maps of Disneyland most of all.

Thank you.


Chiana_Chat said...

Hi Maj! I'm trying to catch up now, which has taken me two weeks of intensive study!

This map also resembles the 1953/54 financial report layout Kevin has here:

The bandstand, mountain pass - canyon, circus and everything. :)

ZOOBIE said...

My grandparents, my father and I grew up and I still live, 10 miles south of Disneyland, off of Harbor Blvd. in Costa Mesa, CA. My grandparents, father and Aunt went to Disneyland in it's opening week, in 1955, and saved many items from that visit, which my father, upon hearing that I collected Disneyana, gave to me. I recently moved back home, to take care of my grandmother, and while cleaning out the kitchen, under some cookie trays, I found the 1955 disneyland map tv tray. It has one half inch circle on it where the paint has chipped off, but it is so cool! It is now displayed with my other early (1955-1965) disneyana collectibles, such as a 1955 parking ticket stub ( .25 was how much it was to park, now it is 15.00), original Monsanto hall of chemistry brochure, original 1955 park guide, 1955 animation booklet and 1955 sleeping beauty castle booklet. also some ticket book's and a mark twain ticket stub!

Major Pepperidge said...

Wow Zoobie, that is very cool to find all of that great stuff. As many times as my family went when I was a kid, I don't think we had any souvenirs except for a Donald Duck hat and my own souvenir map (which I looked at until it was in tatters).

Sue said...

I have one of those trays mention in this blog. Does any one know what it is worth?

Major Pepperidge said...

Sue, assuming the tray is in very good condition (no rust, chips, dents, etc), I've seen them go for $25 all the way up to $75. Years ago they were considered pretty rare, but now they appear on ebay regularly, so unfortunately they aren't terribly valuable.

Sue said...

Thank you for responding so quickly.