Tag Archives: Walt Disney World

Art of the Disney Parks

One of my favorite things to see at Disney Parks is the attraction posters! Back when Disneyland opened, Walt had some of his artist create these amazing posters to give guests a little preview of the adventures they will see and live in his park. They are a lot like the movie posters you see at your local movie theater showing what is playing or coming soon.

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Attraction posters in the park (Picture is from the book)

Poster Art of the Disney Parks by Danny Handke and Venessa Hunt was a book I HAD TO HAVE! I started my collection of (what I call) Vintage Disney Attraction Posters when I was younger (don’t remember the exact year), and when this book was announced I knew I had to get it. I mean, it’s a book about Disney Parks, Disney History… and it’s mostly pictures! Haha!

Pirates of the Caribbean was my very first poster. I got it (ordered it) from the Disney Gallery when it was located in what is now the Disney Dream Suite, above the Pirates of the Caribbean in Disneyland.

Pirates of the Caribbean (1967), Disneyland by Collin Campbell (Picture from my collection)

Pirates of the Caribbean (1967), Disneyland by Collin Campbell (Picture from my collection)

In the book, they not only show you posters that you can see in the parks today. But also some concept artwork.

Pirates of the Caribbean concepts, Disneyland by Collin Campbell

Pirates of the Caribbean concepts, Disneyland by Collin Campbell

Who doesn’t love the Jungle Cruise!?

Jungle Cruise (River) (1955), Disneyland and WDW by Bjorn Aronson (Picture from my collection)

Jungle Cruise (River) (1955), Disneyland and WDW by Bjorn Aronson (Picture from my collection)

And here are some concepts that were drawn up for Walt Disney World.

Jungle Cruise concept, WDW by Sam McKim

Jungle Cruise concept, WDW by Sam McKim

Jungle Cruise concept, WDW by Sam McKim

Jungle Cruise concept, WDW by Sam McKim

Jungle Cruise concept, WDW by Sam McKim

Jungle Cruise concept, WDW by Sam McKim

The book gives you a quick example of the Screen Printing Steps.

Screen Printing Steps Example

Above I showed my Jungle “River” poster. It was there to help promote the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland in 1955. But the same print is also use in Walt Disney World. Sometimes they use the prints in more the one park. And other times they will just change a couple of details (adapt) to make them park specific. This first picture is of Disneyland’s Monorail, the second is of WDW’s Monorail.

Disneyland Monorail (1961), Disneyland by Paul Hartley (Picture from my collection, signed my Bob Gurr)

Disneyland Monorail (1961), Disneyland by Paul Hartley (Picture from my collection, signed my Bob Gurr)

Walt Disney World Monorail System (1971), WDW by Colin Cambell

Walt Disney World Monorail System (1971), WDW by Colin Cambell

(Side note on the Disneyland Monorail poster. This one is my favorite out of my collection. My wife got it for me for Christmas. And that ‘scribble’ under the Monorail is actually Bob Gurr’s autograph. No really, I have the letter of authenticity to prove it! ) 🙂

Kind of cool to see them side-by-side and see the little differences. Another couple of posters I like to see side-by-side is the Haunted Mansion posters.

Haunted Mansion (1969), Disneyland by Ken Chapman and Marc Davis (Picture from my collection)

Haunted Mansion (1969), Disneyland by Ken Chapman and Marc Davis (Picture from my collection)

Haunted Mansion (1971), WDW by George Jenson (Picture from my collection)

Haunted Mansion (1971), WDW by George Jenson (Picture from my collection)

Same poster design, the mansion is different in the background to match the park. This next poster is cool too! Still has that “haunted” feel, as the other ones, but a different style with more detail.

Phantom Manor (1992), Disneyland Paris by Dan Goozee

Phantom Manor (1992), Disneyland Paris by Dan Goozee

I can talk about EVERY poster in this book, but I’m not going to. Instead I’m going to just show posters from my collection and some in the book. So please enjoy this old school slideshow method… (you just keep scrolling down to see the next picture. I don’t have to a budget to get all fancy. Haha!)

Matterhorn Bobsleds (1959), Disneyland by Paul Hartley

Matterhorn Bobsleds (1959), Disneyland by Paul Hartley

Matterhorn Bobsleds concept by Paul Hartley

Matterhorn Bobsleds concept by Paul Hartley

Space Mountain (1977), Disneyland by Jime Michaelson, Ernie Prinzhorn, and Ruby Lord (Pictured from my collection)

Space Mountain (1977), Disneyland by Jime Michaelson, Ernie Prinzhorn, and Ruby Lord (Pictured from my collection)

Space Mountain (2010), WDW by Josh Holtsclaw

Space Mountain (2010), WDW by Josh Holtsclaw

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (1979), Disneyland and WDW by Jim Michaelson, Rudy Load, and Greg Paul (Picture from my collection)

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (1979), Disneyland and WDW by Jim Michaelson, Rudy Load, and Greg Paul (Picture from my collection)

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad concept, Disneyland and WDW by Jim Michaelson

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad concept, Disneyland and WDW by Jim Michaelson

Okay, stop scrolling of a sec. This next two posters I think are really cool. This first one is for the Flying Saucers. Cool design by Rolly Crump. The next one is for Luigi’s Flying Tires. (Yes, I know both of those attractions weren’t the best and aren’t around anymore. But here is why I think these two are cool.) Flying Tires came around about 50 years after Flying Saucers. Flying Tires was the same as Flying Saucers, just updated a little(ish). I think same can be said about the posters. The man sitting in the Flying “Tire” looks pretty similar to the man sitting in the Flying “Saucer”. And both posters have kind of the same “look” to them. I looked at these two posters and think of it as a nod to the original attraction!

Flying Saucers (1961), Disneyland by Rolly Crump

Flying Saucers (1961), Disneyland by Rolly Crump

Luigi's Flying Tires (2010), DCA by Greg Maletic

Luigi’s Flying Tires (2010), DCA by Greg Maletic

This book has it all! They show posters that can be found in the parks today, concept artwork, and even posters for attractions that are now gone and missed. I find it really fun to just thumb thru the book and look at the different posters up close. It kind of takes me back to the parks… you know? But I also like to use the book as a kind-of catalog to help narrow down which posters I would like to get the next time I’m at the parks. Haha! Here are some that are on my list for my next trip. 🙂

Casa de Fritos (1955), Disneyland by Bjorn Aronson (The birthplace of Doritos!)

Casa de Fritos (1955), Disneyland by Bjorn Aronson (The birthplace of Doritos!)

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (2008), Disneyland by Danny Handke

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (2008), Disneyland by Danny Handke

“it’s a small world” 1964-65 New York World’s Fair by Paul Hartley (1963)

PeopleMover (1967), Disneyland by Ken Chapman

PeopleMover (1967), Disneyland by Ken Chapman

(All the pictures in this post were taken from my personal collection or from the book.)

If you have a chance, I highly suggest getting this book if you’re a Disney Parks fan. Totally worth it! Thanks for reading!

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