Sunday, October 06, 2019

A Visit To Disneyland, 1963

I thought it would be fun to scan an old children's book from 1963, "A Visit to Disneyland", by Mabel Watts. I've always wondered if this was available through the Scholastic Book Club or some similar service? I used to love to order books from those! 

This book is very easy to find, and I've seen a soft cover version as well. Mickey Mouse and Vesey Walker invite kids to open the cover and learn more about Disneyland.

The simple line art reminds me of the kind you might see on ticket brochures at the park. Whitman Publishing produced tons of Disney books of all kinds - coloring/activity books, story books, picture books, going all the way back to the 1930's. 

Hooray, a Disneyland map! Even this ultra-simple example makes me happy. 

The wooden toy soldiers, normally seen in Christmas parades, are participating in the flag-raising ceremony in Town Square! I wonder if that was done just for this photo, or if it was a regular thing back then? The other picture to the upper right is an unusual angle, possibly taken from the second floor of City Hall.

Here are typical (but nice) shots of the Main Street area.

Onward to Adventureland! We're so used to this attraction after 60+ years, but to new guests (especially kids), it must have seemed pretty incredible back in 1963.

Here endeth part one. There will be two more installments!


TokyoMagic! said...

I love this book and it's artwork. I have a copy, which I acquired as an adult. At least one of the photos inside, is used on the cover of a Whitman coloring book from 1965.

Melissa said...

I am LIVING for those illustrations; gold star for Stan Tusan! My favorites:

The kids in the teacup with their hair blowing in the wind
Skyway bucket riders waving their little arms
The legs on the horse pulling the streetcar
The little guy (policeman?) with the crescent moon on his hat and giant mustache
Souvenir-hat kids in #4

"Lou and Sue" said...

I do remember ordering books (and posters) from the Scholastic Book Club. And wasn't the "sales flyer" included with the Weekly Reader? That was fun - waiting for your order to come in (books like Call of the Wild, Up the Down Staircase, etc.)

Major, it's interesting . . . there are times in your posts that you use the words "Magic Kingdom" for the park in WDW - but my mind instantly thinks of the Disneyland park. Back in the 60's, "Disneyland" meant ALL of the Disney property in Anaheim (DL hotels included) - and "Magic Kingdom" or "park" meant the place with the castle and attractions. It's interesting how that's changed over the years, after WDW opened.

Fun post, fun book! Thanks Major!


P.S. I see that WDW's Skyliner gondolas had a mishap yesterday - yikes!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, oops, I meant to also say (in my 2nd paragraph above) that the book you posted today - confirmed to me that I wasn't losing my mind - because the book also calls Disneyland the Magic Kingdom.


"Lou and Sue" said...

I just took a moment to look more closely at the book pictures and I noticed that gentleman standing in the middle of Main St., facing us - probably to show respect for the flag raising - but he looks eerie, doesn't he?


Nanook said...

A real gem of a publication. Although the map is a real hoot, I doubt Sam McKim has any need to worry.

Thanks, Major.

Andrew said...

I like how the text is in verse. I can also imagine how cool it would be to have a book of Disneyland with such nice full-color illustrations back then, especially to kids who had never visited the park before.

Chuck said...

My wife gave me a copy of this book in the past year or so, and I love it. Looking forward to you sharing the future installments with the gang.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, it’s a fun one for sure. They must have sold a zillion of them, it’s easily found today - there’s something like 8 of them on eBay right now!

Melissa, yes, those illustrations have a lot of charm, and remind me of other books that I liked as a child.

Lou and Sue, I don’t remember if a sales flyer was included with the Weekly Reader. I always thought that the bug Scholastic Book Club sale was a once a year thing, but could be wrong. I bought a book called “Strange But True” that had stories of ghosts and buried treasure and other mysterious things that was one of my all-time favorites, I might even still have it (though I might have given it to my niece, too). As for the “Magic Kingdom” thing, it was the nickname for Disneyland until WDW came along. I have some Disneyland flyers (all the same style), dating from about 1968 to 1978, and they call Disneyland “The Magic Kingdom” until around 1976, when they change it to “The Happiest Place on Earth”.

Lou and Sue, I think that might be a Streetcar operator standing at attention!

Nanook, ha, I agree, but I still love DL maps of all kinds.

Penna. Andrew, I would have worn this book out as a kid, if I’d owned it! My other Disney books for when I was young are dog-eared and beat up. Later I became very careful with my books and always wanted them to look new.

Chuck, your wife always gives you the best presents!

Connie Moreno said...

What a great find!!

Melissa said...

I remember Scholastic book sales being more than once a year.

JG said...

Excellent stuff, Major.

I'm getting nostalgic for my old books. Time to rifle the garage...


Anonymous said...

I remember (I think) Scholastic books being distributed in class on several occasions, and I don't think I ever attended a sale of any kind. If an order form wasn't distributed with My Weekly Reader then they may have been a standalone thing.

Pat said...

I just found this book in my basement going through old boxes of books!