Several times a year, Van Eaton Galleries in Southern California holds an auction of Disney memorabilia. Its latest is entitled Disneyland: The First 65 Years and includes over 1,000 items related to the theme parks.
This large exhibit and two-day auction tells the history of Disneyland and Walt Disney World through rare props, signage, costumes, vintage souvenirs, attraction posters, and much more. Highlights of the auction include original Walt Disney autographs, rare 16mm films of some of Disneyland’s earliest Lessees, park-used attraction vehicles, an original mock-up for the Pirates of the Caribbean guidebook, Disney Legend Milk Albright’s original 1955 cast member no. 10 metal ID badge, huge park used signage, and a plethora of other one-of-a-kind items.
The digital catalog is more than 350 pages long and features quite a few original items from the parks, but also some replicas and souvenir merchandise that was publicly available.
While browsing the pages, my focus, of course was on things that were actually used in the parks. Many were out of my price range and one was WAY out of my price range, but it’s still fun to dream.
Tom’s Wish List
Parking Lot Signs
While not original from 1955, these 90s-era (pre-California Adventure) parking lot signs are really cool. At 30-inches on each side, they are also way bigger than they look in the pictures. [$3,000-$5,000 each]
Also, not very old is this 2000s-era lamppost that would be perfect in my front yard. Can you image what the neighbors would say? [$5,000-$8,000]
Now, I’m not sure where I would even put this, but this mailbox from the 60s-70s is so nostalgic that I couldn’t resist putting it on my list. [$3,000-$5,000]
Coke Corner Table & Chairs
Welcome to my new patio!! Again, these aren’t very old, but I’ve spent so much time eating chili dogs, enjoying ice cream cones, or just listening to music from these chairs that they MUST go in my backyard…and they’re affordable too. [$500-$800]
While I was skipping through most of the merchandise, this page caught my eye since, as a kid, I collected pennants in my travels. I actually already have a couple of these, but it would be fun to add to my collection. [$100-$200]
While the theming might not be perfect for my backyard, I couldn’t resist the possibility of having a real Disneyland trashcan. If I could only get my son to dump it once in awhile. [$800-$1,200]
One of the more nostalgic attractions from my youth was Adventures Thru Inner Space, so this tiny prop atommobile and snowflakes caught my eye right away. I’m not sure I afford the estimated price tag, but they’re going on the list anyway. [$4,000-$6,000]
Space Mountain is my favorite Disneyland attraction, so I had to put this original ride vehicle on my list. I’ve seen similar (maybe not as old?) vehicles at auction for MUCH more affordable prices, but this is SO COOL that I’m heading off to buy a lottery ticket now. [$50,000-$60,000]
I focused most of my list on Disneyland, but this Disney’s Hollywood Studios page caught my eye. I mean, who could resist a giant Barrel of Monkeys prop or a The Great Movie Ride costume?
DCL Beach Chairs
My final item will be perfect out by the pool. These “charming and practical” Disney Cruise Line chairs had to go on my list. Several years ago, I actually picked up a set of the blue, yellow, and red stripes from the back of chairs like these on eBay many years ago, but to have the actual chairs would be amazing. [$300-$500]
Van Eaton is hoping to be able to hold an exhibition, but is awaiting more information from the state regarding guidelines. If they are able to make those arrangements, the event will be held August 1-14 and tickets will be required.
The auction itself will be held August 15th and 16th, with no in-person bidding. Only online, phone or absentee bidding will be allowed.
Van Eaton also prints their auction catalogs and makes those available for purchase in softcover and hardcover versions.
To browse the digital catalog like I did, head over to the Van Eaton Galleries website.
Tom is the host and producer of the DIS Unplugged: Disneyland Edition podcast, plus Disneyland Editor of The DIS. He enjoys traveling with his wife and teenage son. At this point, their favorite destination is Alaska, with a FIFTH cruise there planned for the Summer of 2019. In his spare time he volunteers with Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, and help found his son's former Cub Scout Pack. His favorite Disneyland attraction is Space Mountain.