Welcome to the History of Disneyland Through Maps
Disneyland in Anaheim, California officially opened on July 17, 1955. Today, there are eleven theme parks either owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company or licensed from the Walt Disney Company, with more to come. Of those, five mirror in many aspects the original Disneyland and are called “The Magic Kingdom.” At its opening, Disneyland was unique. This site is dedicated to exploring the history of Disneyland through the large poster-size maps published and sold in the park.
The Disney Company has used large format maps and models during the development phase of each of its theme parks. In fact, Walt Disney had the map shown here at the upper left drawn in order to gain financing for the project. It only makes sense that at some point Disneyland would release large maps, not for guests to navigate the park, but to be taken home and hung on many children's bedroom wall.
How to find your map.
If you don’t know the year the map was created (some of the later maps do not have copyright dates) look at the small pictures to the left. Click on the map that looks most like the one you have. This will take you to the maps that follow that color theme.
The first map sold in the park in 1958 measures 36 inches by 24 inches and was drawn by one of the original imagineers of the Park, Sam McKim. The map was released in 1958, three years after the park opened, and was followed quickly by two more maps, also copyrighted 1958. The series of maps presented here show how the park has evolved over time. They show how sponsors have come and gone, in fact, some former sponsors do not even exist as companies any more! You can also see the fortunes and acquisitions of the company through the quality, frequency, and content of the maps. Lastly, the differences between many of these maps are very subtle. Often buyers and sellers on eBay will not necessarily understand exactly which map is being made available on auction.
Click here for suggestions on how to buy and sell these Disneyland maps.
You may leave comments and questions here.