Here are six of my favorite Disneyland Resort-related possessions that I have obtained over the years (more specifically, over the past two decades).
1. First Autograph book
A must-have item for any child (or kid-at-heart) who visits one of the parks for the first time, I still have mine from age four. It contains signatures from the most well-known characters (including Mickey and Minnie), but also from now-rare faces, including Meeko from Pocahontas and Max (Goofy’s son).
2. Commemorative Disney California Adventure Passport
This piece of paper, which could only be picked up during the first several months of the second Disneyland Resort theme park’s opening, has special value. It reminds me of the novelty of the park, which greeted guests as soon as they walked under the Golden Gate Bridge passageway marked by the sounds of the Monorail. The main icons, including that landmark, Grizzly Peak, and California Screamin’, are representative of early DCA days.
3. A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Pin
The sentimental tour that takes Disneyland park guests through the areas most prized by Walt himself embodies an emotional experience for anyone who sets off on that journey. For me, even at age 10, I felt the meaning. We walked into the lobby of Club 33, discovered the technological magic of Enchanted Tiki Room and ate lunch outside the former Disney Gallery in New Orleans Square. The tour concluded with each guest receiving a pin, depicting the famous image of Walt stepping through the castle. I cherish it to this day.
4. A Musical History of Disneyland box set
Containing hours upon hours of musical listening pleasure, in addition to a vinyl disc and a gorgeous visual guide that explains the audio of the park, this Disneyland Resort treasure will forever be in my household. Its rarity (only 5000 of these limited edition sets were released) only adds to the overall value. The real magic exists in flipping through the pages or immersing the ears in the diverse sounds of all areas of the park.
5. Disneyland: Then, Now and Forever book
Written by the late Imagineer Bruce Gordon and Disney communicator/expert Tim O’Day, this beautiful title shows how the park had changed in its first fifty years. Paying tribute to the famous attractions – and the not so fondly remembered experiences, too – this book exemplifies why so many adore the park and have since embraced the entire Disneyland Resort.
6. Autopia artwork by Eric Heschong
The famed artist responsible for creating much of the illustrious concept art for New Tomorrowland during the mid/late 1990s conceptualized the drawings for the Autopia overhaul. Disney released this piece through its Art on Demand system years ago, and I was fortunate enough to have picked it up at the time. My adoration for Eric Heschong’s work prompted me to find (and purchase) a signed Tomorrowland-related piece on eBay that he developed.
Author’s note: For more than three years I have been writing weekly editions of Disney In Depth, debuting each Thursday here on Geeks of Doom. Disney In Depth will continue to feature columns ranging from reviews and “best of” lists to company analyses and movie previews, though the release schedule will be changing due to new developments in my life. Starting next Thursday, August 6, Disney In Depth will now be released on the first and third Thursdays of each month. Exciting content awaits and it is my pleasure to deliver material that entertains as much as it enlightens.
This is Brett Nachman, signing off. Follow me on Twitter for alerts of new editions of Disney In Depth on Geeks of Doom.