Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Disneyland Lunchbox, 1960

I was going to put today's post into the Souvenir Dungeon, but technically this item would probably not be a souvenir - meaning that I doubt anybody purchased one of these at Disneyland to bring home later.

This Disneyland lunch box (circa 1960) ranks pretty high in my list of all-time favorite items in my collection - it's not especially rare.... I just love it. Not surprisingly, they are hard to find in good condition. When I think of how beat-up my own boxes were by the end of the school year, it amazes me that this one managed to survive with only the lightest wear. I saw one on ebay long ago that was about as minty fresh as could be, but it went for something like $250.

Check out the beautiful artwork and high-quality lithography. In 1959, the old gothic typeface used for the word "Disneyland" was updated to this more playful version, with its off-kilter curls. The Matterhorn and the Monorail are featured prominently here, with the Subs, Autopia, and Skyway making the scene too. Even the Omnibus sneaks in for a cameo.

On the other side you'll find this great artwork showcasing the Submarine Voyage. The sub itself is considerably "off model". I can only imagine a kid looking at this, and dying to see the ride; a beautiful mermaid, a fearsome shark, and sunken treasure, wow!

This side of the box shows the Columbia sailing on the moonlit Rivers of America, with the burning cabin to the left, and Fort Wilderness to the right.

The bottom of the box has the Mark Twain chugging past the Plantation House (going the wrong way).

Still in Frontierland, we see a thundering team of horses pulling the Stagecoach out of town (with a full cash box, I'm sure), while a hotshot gunslinger sizes us up.

Fantasyland and Adventureland aren't featured at all on this box, but you will see the Disneyland Band marching down Main Street.

Aladdin Industries really outdid themselves with this lunch box! I even love the safety suggestions printed on the inside of the lid.

Who's in the mood for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chocolate milk, a Dolly Madison "Zinger", and an apple?


Chiana_Chat said...

That is THE coolest lunchbox in history.

Awesome. I'd love to have one.

TokyoMagic! said...

What Chiana said!

Nancy said...


i came by an old thermos from a Disneyland lunchbox a few years ago:

we have a shop here near downtown called Groovy. she has mostly toys but has also lunchboxes and some other collectibles. i won an auction on ebay for something and when Tim went to pick it up for me he saw this beat up thermos with Sleeping Beauty Castle on it and the word Disneyland, and he bought it for me.

if it is part of this set, maybe that is where Fantasyland was placed. sadly it has some rust and stuff but i will take pics and send them.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Beautiful presentation of one of the coolest lunch boxes ever! The artwork almost seems too good to destroy over the school year.


Zingers - YUM!

Dream Disney Vacations said...

And...NOW I will be doing my best to hunt one down for myself. Count me in for a PB&J!

Thufer said...

oh wow, wish I had one of those.

Major Pepperidge said...

I thought you guys might like this!

Nancy, I have the thermos for this lunchbox too, but figured I'd save it (along with another thermos) for a separate post.

VDT, my luncboxes really DID get destroyed... the kids would play this game where you would slide your box across the blacktop, trying to get it as close to a painted line as possible. It hurts just to think about it.

DDV and Thufer, it took me a while to find one that was in the condition I wanted. But this style of lunchbox must have been popular, because they come up on ebay fairly regularly.

Connie Moreno said...

BEAUTIFUL!!! Love that burning cabin, LOL.

PsySocDisney said...

Ooooh pretty! Hmm the "Safety First" lid reminds me of Jiminy Cricket... I'm no fool.. at school? at lunchtime? Can't say the same for you and your lunchbox game haha :)

Snow White Archive said...

I've seen a lot of lunch boxes in my time, but this pretty much kicks all their butts. One cool tin!

Rosie said...

What's the souvenir dungeon and how do i get there??

Major Pepperidge said...

Connie, I am concerned about your love of fire!

Hannahx2, my lunchbox game wasn't dangerous, but it sounded awful. Sheet metal boxes grinding over blacktop. Scrrrrrrrnnnnnnnncccchhhh!

Snow White Sanctum, I agree with you!

Rosie, the dungeon is located 200 feet below ground, in a secret location.

The Postcardguy - Kevin Hughes said...

Great Lunch Box! I have a collection myself of Disney World and Disneyland boxes, but not this one!

Anonymous said...

Nice lunch box here is a price guide for all vintage lunch boxes with prices in different conditions. Hope its helpful.

Larry the boomer said...

I had this very lunch box during my years at St Mary grade school in Belleville Illinois from 1962 for a few years. I loved to look at the images as i ate my sandwich. I would fantasize about visiting Disneyland someday. Although i knew my family could never afford such a trip to California. As i think back i remember i never grew tired of looking at those Disney scenes. With friends when i was 19, I visited Disney World for the first time. It was an out of body experience. I was overwhelmed with joy and giddy delight. I yearn to have such feelings again. Thanks for sharing. LD