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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Tomorrowland: 1954

Tomorrowland: 1954

July 1954. Los Angeles. "Walt Disney pointing to a plan for Disneyland, under construction in Anaheim." Color transparency from photos for the Look magazine assignment "Here's your first view of Disneyland." View full size.

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I spent lots of time in front of this painting.

In my late teens I worked in the Disney Gallery above the Pirates of Caribbean at Disneyland where this was on display for some years (late '80s, early '90s). The painting was used by Walt mostly to present his concept for the park to investors, banks and sponsors. So it had a lot of miles on it by then.

It also glowed under a black light or in the dark. I forget which. To illustrate that Disneyland could be an evening destination as well. The gallery showcased mostly early conceptual art for Disneyland.

Considering most of the work in those days was done at the studio. The folks who were responsible for the details in the concept of Disneyland were the same people that worked on the live and animated films. Both for Disney and Hollywood. Ivan Earle, Dorothea Redmond.

The artist who did this painting went on to be historically significant in Hollywood. A little time on google may pry them out.

For instance Marc Davis who was mostly responsible for some of the character concepts for the Disney villains. Was also mostly responsible for the character concept of the pirates in the Pirates Of The Caribbean attraction among others (stretching paintings in the Haunted Mansion).

We would take small groups around the gallery, answer questions and toss out Disney trivia. I loved that job.

Plans subject to change without notice

Interesting how little of Disneyland was built according to the plan shown. (Note the buildings surrounding Cinderella's Castle that never got built.)

And of course, the rocket was removed and the area completely revamped when Tomorrowland became dated. Bound to happen when you try to predict the future, as the future becomes the past.


Disneyland aficionados will note the circus that was never to be set up in an area at about 4 o'clock. To this day, part of it at least remains a service area. In a 1965 visit, I - as always, eager to sneak peeks at behind-the-scenes stuff - noticed a slightly ajar door in the barrier wall off the central hub and took this Kodachrome slide. Peeking up is the decorative top of the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln building on the Main Street Town Square. The sawhorse signs say "WED Parking," WED then being Disney's theme park design arm. Also, a 1963 Rambler.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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