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‘A Visit to Disneyland’ auction includes original Skyway vehicle and rare Haunted Mansion concept art

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

The latest Disney parks auction from Van Eaton Galleries, “A Visit to Disneyland” on Dec. 18-19, 2021, features over 700 lots, including an original Disneyland Skyway vehicle, a rare Haunted Mansion architectural print, miniature models of the Haunted Mansion, park-used props from both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and much more.

A Visit to Disneyland auction
Photos courtesy of Van Eaton Galleries

“One of the most enjoyable aspects of building these large Disney Parks auctions is speaking with the collectors and consignors that have trusted us with their items and learning the unique histories of each piece,” says Van Eaton Galleries Auction Manager Cory Brooks.

One example is a very large 10-by-15-foot prototype flag that was intended to be flown at the entrance to the Disneyland Hotel (Lot 149; estimate $1,000-$2,000). Ultimately, Brooks says, the hotel decided on a different design, but this prototype was saved for nearly 30 years and survives as a unique artifact from the park’s history. Another cool item in the catalog is a section of a cork tree that was removed from Frontierland during routine maintenance and refurbishment (Lot 343; estimate $200-$400). When the trees were removed, one Disneyland cast member thought the sections would make great desk ornaments and distributed them to some of the park’s staff.

“At first glance, the cork tree section might seem a little unassuming, but it’s actually a very unique piece of Disneyland history,” Brooks notes. “Without individuals like these realizing the importance of some of these artifacts, the items would have simply been discarded long ago. Thankfully, over the years, there have been people that have sought to preserve aspects of Disneyland’s unique history for ages to come.”

Haunted Mansion concept print

An important piece of Haunted Mansion history is also included in the “A Visit to Disneyland” auction: an extremely rare architectural concept elevation print of Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion by Imagineer Ted Rich (estimated at $600-$800). Dated Sept. 7, 1967, it’s the earliest known rendering of Magic Kingdom’s version of the attraction ever offered for public sale. Fans of the Orlando mansion will also notice the rendering differs significantly from the final version, with the façade constructed of wood instead of brick and the inclusion of outbuildings occupied by ghostly figures that never materialized.

Because this is the first time Magic Kingdom Haunted Mansion concept artwork of this vintage has ever been offered at auction, the auction catalog notes that it presents a rare opportunity to “own a lost chapter in the history of the wildly popular attraction.”

In addition, the auction features two hand-crafted Haunted Mansion miniature models by artist Bridget McCarty — the Ballroom (Lot 483) and the Attic (Lot 484) — estimated at $8,000-$12,000 and $3,000-$5,000 respectively. Each mixed-media model recreates an iconic scene from the beloved attraction down to the last detail, including the famous dueling portraits and ghostly pipe organ in the ballroom.

Skyway Bucket

While the auction includes many iconic park artifacts, there’s no doubt the auction’s biggest “big ticket” item is an original Skyway bucket vehicle from Disneyland (Lot 518), that’s estimated at $100,000-$200,000. The instantly-recognizable rounded rectangular bucket (the second design for the vehicles) was used between 1965 and the attraction’s closure in 1994.

Donald Duck Painting

One unique feature of this auction is that it features lots that will benefit specific charitable organizations: A one-of-a-kind Donald Duck painting by voice actor Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson) to benefit the Know More About Drugs Alliance (Cartwright is a founding member); two original Disney paintings by Christian Lassen that will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas; and a lot from “Up” to help The Ed Asner Family Center (an original signed animator’s maquette of Dug and a Funko Pop! Carl figure signed by the legendary actor who voiced the character in the animated film).

“Lassen’s mastery of marine artistry and bold color is enough alone for these pieces to stand out; however, these paintings are even more special in that their sale will benefit […] a non-profit organization that creates and supports programs […] that directly benefit children and their families,” said gallery owner Mike Van Eaton. “Additionally […] an original production maquette and signed figure from Pixar’s ‘Up’ will benefit the Ed Asner Family Center […] in their goal of supporting neurodivergent children and adults. We are honored to help bring awareness to these important charitable organizations.”

The Donald Duck painting (Lot 47) is estimated at $1,000-$5,000, the Lassen paintings — “Seaside Romance” featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse (Lot 77) and “Sorcerer of the Sea” featuring Sorcerer Mickey (Lot 78) — are estimated at $40,000-$60,000 each, while the “Up” items (Lot 70) is estimated $3,000-$5,000.

The online “A Visit to Disneyland” auction will take place over two days, with session one (Lots 1-372) on Dec. 18, 2021, and session two (Lots 373-702) on Dec. 19, 2021. Both sessions will start at 10 a.m. PT

Click here to view the entire auction catalog and to register to bid.

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1 comment

Patricia Aldrich December 8, 2021 - 8:24 pm

That so great to c all the Disney no one does or like Disney and the Disney imagineers such great great imagination bless them all that have done this from the very beginning we love it as we consider ourselves always as Mousekateers with the ears we wear with pride even if we had to buy them at Disney world that still make us feel so much happiness

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