Walt Disney’s Guide to Disneyland (1961)

This edition of Walt Disney’s Guide to Disneyland—the annual informational published by Walt Disney Productions and made available to guests for purchase within the park—features twenty-seven pages (plus back cover) of text, photos, and illustrations of the 1961 iteration of Disneyland. New additions to the park and surrounding areas, as documented in this version, would include Tomorrowland’s Flying Saucers attraction, as well as an expansion to the Disneyland Hotel and the implementation of monorail service between the park and hotel. Otherwise, this edition sees very little change, in terms of text and photos from the previous few years. The cover is now red in color, with the attraction photos being replaced with illustrations. The “Dreaming” section now includes the following four attractions, the latter three of which are new to this year’s guide: The Haunted HouseRogue’s GalleryThe Tree House, and Old New Orleans.

Of special note, however, is this particular book’s history. This copy was purchased on the evening of June 8, 1962, at the Douglas Family Fun Festival—a corporate-sponsored private event held after-hours in Disneyland for employees and associates of the Douglas Aircraft Company. Walt Disney himself attended the party and made the rounds, posing for pictures and signing autographs. In fact, Walt Disney signed a rushed autograph on the back of a ticket stub, using this guidebook as a solid base on which to write. The usual circular flourish on the end of his signature (the Y in Disney), however, was cut short as his blue ink pen ran off the edge of the ticket stub and onto the front cover of the book, the trace of which still remains.

Thus, making this 1961 copy of Walt Disney’s Guide to Disneyland wholly unique, in the fact that it was held by the book’s namesake, who even in a matter of seconds managed—albeit mistakenly—to leave his mark. (N-E-Y? Because something’s better than nothing.)

VALUE: $50

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