Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Souvenir Time

I have two swell vintage Disneyland souvenirs for you today! Let's start with one of my all-time favorites, this wonderful flyer featuring the Grand Canyon Diorama ("Largest in the world"), and the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail. The blue and pink hues are unusual, but they get a surprising range from just two inks. The presence of the Santa Fe logo bumps this one up by 22%.

Both halves are like mini attraction posters, and that is a good thing. Like other early DLRR flyers, the variety of fonts is appealing. And I absolutely love that vignette of a train passing the majestic Grand Canyon diorama!

Santa Fe also had its logo on the Monorail, which I believe was a contractual obligation on Disney's part - SF had nothing to do with that particular train as far as I am aware. Anyway, the illustration is a beauty.

Next is a scan of a large and rather scarce postcard featuring artwork of the original Mine Train attraction. Similar artwork was used for a large storybook-style sign that was displayed near the entrance to the attraction, but this card might have used a preliminary piece.

Here's a nice image of the storybook sign... if you look closely, you can see differences between this and the postcard.

Let's zoom in a bit, shall we? I wish Disneyland had released more artist's concept paintings as postcards back in the day.

I hope you have enjoyed today's souvenirs!


Nanook said...


You are standing here. [If only-!] What beauties - all. (I love the cut-away in the mountains to reveal the "Rainbow Caverns and Fluorescent Waters").

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

That Monomorail illustration is exquisite! Just looking at it makes my heart go Whooosh! That train could only be heading one place: the future, baby.

TokyoMagic! said...

I just love the graphics on all of these. Why is it that when Disney releases artwork for future attractions today, the artwork is neither this beautiful, or this exciting?

I wonder if that little "Settlement" of cabins and what looks like cattle grazing out in front, made it into the finished attraction? Have we ever seen photos of such a scene?

Thanks for sharing more items from your personal collection, Major!

Andrew said...

Amazing! I can imagine there were some fascinated kids back in the day when these were sold. Like the famous Fun Maps, I can see kids taping the Nature's Wonderland map on their bedroom wall and staring at it for hours. Thanks as always, Major.

Stu29573 said...

That's even cooler than the illustration on my 68 guide map! (framed and hung on the wall in my office) I wondered if the same artist did both, but after looking closely, I'd vote "no." This illustration is actually much nicer.

JC Shannon said...

Want it! These are true works of art, in this Disneyland nerds opinion. I have the Monorail, poster version, on my wall in the guest bedroom. I have seen the Mine Train map, but I don't own a copy, darn it! It is one of my Grail collection items for sure. My wife would divorce me in a New York minute, if she knew how much I would be willing to shell out for one. Thanks Major, you made my day once again.

Stefano said...

It's interesting to see the Rainbow Desert designs that were changed or didn't make it to the building stage. Rocks resembling an Indian and vultures became the Saguaro creatures; Old Ma Coyote moved from a butte top to ground level. The dreamy-swirl style of rockwork centered in the tracks wouldn't be realized until You-Know-What-Land, opening in 2 days. And if that's a desert campsite with fire and serenading prospector, Marc Davis had similar ideas for the Western River Expedition.

Many thanks Major for this look back; solid gold!

Chuck said...

Great stuff today, major! Loving the little extra details on the postcard, particularly the captive Conestoga in the upper left and bleached bones to the extreme right. Is that a subtle warning about the food at Fan 1?

TM!, I know I have fairly recently (last few months, I think) seen a picture of that little cabin along the mule path, but for the life of me I can't remember if it was here or at Daveland (or maybe some other Disney site where I was off slumming) and can't find it.

Chuck said...

Wait - posted too soon. It was at Daveland.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yes, the little cutaway is one of my favorite parts! It’s like a guide on what to do if you wanted to build a little model of Rainbow Ridge.

Melissa, this is such a beautiful flyer, it’s a shame that they don’t make things like that anymore.

TokyoMagic!, I’m sure it’s all about getting as much information across as possible these days; plus graphics are just different in general. Most movie posters are terrible, but it’s what the studios think will bring people in. I have the feeling that some of that artwork was a case of “well, I have to put something in this large empty spot”…

Penna. Andrew, the Fun Maps are up there among the greatest Disneyland souvenirs of all time, I love those things. Those postcards are now so expensive, the thought of somebody taping one to their wall makes me sad.

Stu29573, I really would like to know which artist painted this Nature’s Wonderland map, but that info seems to be lost to time. If anybody out there knows, chime in!

Jonathan, I’ve seen the Mine Train postcards going for over $400, if you can believe that. I might be misunderstanding you, but the Mine Train map that is sometimes seen on the internet is one that was drawn by Imagineer Chris Merritt, and to my knowledge it was never released as a print that could be purchased. I WISH that I could have one hanging on my wall, though!

Stefano, I have the feeling that this illustration was more of a stylized representation of the attraction, rather than an attempt at an accurate map. Or maybe they really did plan to have things in completely different places! Other than a few pieces of art and some sculptures, I’m not really sure what was going to be seen on the Western River Expedition.

Chuck, ha ha, yes, stay away from the hamburgers. You’ll go plum loco! I’ve always assumed that the little shack hid some sort of pump, or electronics controls, or some other not-very-exciting equipment. When you think about it, it’s a pretty clever way to make it “there but not there”. Thanks for the Daveland link!

Anonymous said...

Major, I agree with you about movie posters. Years ago, our local video rental shop used to display the tape boxes with the large side out, and I would go through collecting all the label posters that had similar (almost identical) imagery, and then put them all side-by-side in the rack. These were usually "thrillers" genre, so they were not too much displaced. The store clerks would laugh, and I would then put them all back.

The drawing of the Grand Canyon is exquisite. Maximum impact, minimum means. The crazy collection of typefaces is a nod to the historic posters of this genre.

The monorail drawing is almost as good. It should have a mountain goat on the Matterhorn to echo the one on the Grand Canyon butte. Notice how the Speedramp is featured in the description, emphasizing the silent all-electric high speed nature of the Train of the Future.

I've seen this poster of the Mine Train, but never noticed the cabins and the cattle before. This is called the "Settlement" in the Daveland link. There are several unusual things to see here, a little ranch in the upper left corner, the Conestoga in the corral (getting an oil change), the relocation of Cascade (Rainbow) Peak to center the composition, and the group of people in the foreground, looks like a campfire circle.

Chuck, thanks for that link to the cabin pic and the signboard version of this map. I like how that version includes a Dinosaur Trail, the forerunner of the dinosaur embedded in the cliff of Big Thunder. I've seen the little shed building before, in aerial views, I think. My bet is that it houses the pumps for the geysers and paint pots. Also, those bones belong to a cow that fell out of the Skyway on his way back from Tomorrowland.

There is a cousin to this painting (undoubtedly by the same artist) that shows the other "half" of Frontierland with TSI, Fowler's Harbor and the Indian Village. Fowler's Harbor is much more elaborate, with a lot of little buildings behind it, similar to Rainbow Ridge. I think Daveland has that image posted. The two side-by-side would almost join in the center. Based on absolutely no good reason at all, I think this painting is the forerunner of the signboard in the Daveland post.

Thank you Major, this is a beautiful graphic post.




MAJOR: that Mine Train & Rainbow Mountain area map was done by non other than BJORN ARONSON of the first attraction posters fame.Aronson did other similar type maps for other future sites/coming attractions signs as well like STORYBOOKLAND and other FRONTIERLAND expansions showing things like “Rivertown”. Aronson was a very talented Imagineer and yet almost nothing is know about his career before, during or after Disney.

I was always amazed that his other coming soon maps were never published as park postcards. His map artwork was prepared and cleared to be available on the Disney Gallery’s Print on Demand system fir the park’s 50th but was never loaded to the menu selection ( with about 40 other vintage WED art images) now no Imagineering art is available to guests.

Also the recent book by Disney on its park maps fails to show any of these Bjorn Aronson maps (how could they have been left out!!??)

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, once in a blue moon a movie will manage to have a good poster, but most of the time they are boring community college Photoshop exercises. Sounds like your prank at the video store was a lot of work! I remember first seeing the train/monorail flyer on Matterhorn1959’s blog, and was determined to get one. It took a few years. I would imagine that the “settlement” name on the Daveland link is just his own description, I doubt that it had that official moniker (no disrespect to Dave!). And yes, there are at least two (possibly three) other paintings, similar in style, showing the Rivers of America area, and the Skyway - and I might be forgetting something. I wonder if this same artist painted the famous tin TV tray ( that is so wonderful?

Mike Cozart, oh interesting! Good old Bjorn. I think it’s so strange that so little is known about this artist. I suppose we all waited too long to ask the surviving Imagineers about him. He certainly made some beautiful attraction poster designs; I’d love to know of any other work of his that survives that we might not have seen yet. Bummer that no Imagineering art is available to guests - you’d think that if people were willing to pay good dough for a high quality print, there would be nothing for Disney to lose. What’s the logic behind that decision, I would love to know? Thanks as always!