Disneyland Nature’s Wonderland Grand Opening Flyer (1960)

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This 1960 flyer announces the summer opening of the Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland additions to the re-branded Rainbow Cavern Mine Trains attraction in Frontierland.

The minature train-ride, which originally opened in Disneyland’s second summer, was inspired by the studio’s True-Life Adventures series. The re-design by famed animator Marc Davis further enhanced the theming with an extended journey that took guests through a series of American landscapes filled with lifelike animals and various gags implemented into the scenery (cartoon-ish cacti, balancing rocks, etc.). As a result of the refurbishment, the Stagecoach and Conestoga Wagon attractions were both discontinued. The Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland operated through the conclusion of the 1976 holiday season, when it closed in anticipation of the construction of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Styled like a vintage Western rail advert, the front side of the flyer features a hand-drawn scene and the below text, which describes the many highlights to be seen on the new route:

DISNEYLAND U.S.A. announces the Grand Opening of Nature’s Wonderland Railroad: The Wilderness Route:

 

Mine trains and Pack Mules leave Rainbow Ridge in Frontierland to take you on a True-Life Adventure through the newly explored Nature’s Wonderland with its splendid scenic spectacles and amazing life-like activities of more than 200 birds, beasts, and reptiles at work and play in their natural habitat made possible through the marvelous medium of audio-animatronics.

 

See Beaver Valley, Cascade Park, Bear Country, Olympic Elk. Experience the grandeur of Natural-Arch Bridge, the Living Desert, and the Saguaro Forest. Thrill to the drama of Old Unfaithful Geyser, Rattle Snake Gulch, Graveyard of the Dinosaurs, and Balancing Rock Canyon, climaxed by the spectacular and magnificent Rainbow Caverns.

The flyer’s reverse side promotes two additional attractions, located in Tomorrowland and opening at around the same time, the first, America the Beautiful in Circarama is advertised as follows:

The Bell Telephone System invites you to see America the Beautiful in Walt Disney’s spectacular Circarama. See—America’s magnificent natural and man-made wonders filmed in breath-taking CIRCARAMA—the motion picture that completely surrounds the audience. The exhibit is located in Tomorrowland, and presented free of charge by the Bell Telephone System.

The innovative Circarama experience put audience members in the middle of a 360-degree, eleven-screen tour of both the natural beauty and man-made marvels of America. The filming technique, which involved a circular arrangement of multiple cameras to achieve the uninterrupted shot, was pioneered by Disney, and of which variations are still utilized to this day in attractions across the parks. Though the film itself was new to Disneyland crowds in 1960, the theater itself had been showing the full-circle film, A Tour of the West, since the park’s opening. America the Beautiful would run for six years before receiving an update. Various films were shown in the location through 1997, when the theater was removed as part of the Tomorrowland renovation.

The second attraction, the Art of Animation exhibit, is described below:

The Magic World of Walt Disney’s Art of Animation: Animation through the ages…early motion picture uses…the first Walt Disney cartoon features…sound and animation…how an animated cartoon is made today…the latest techniques in animation…This exhibit has been viewed by hundreds of thousands at showings in London—Paris—Tokyo. Now—at Disneyland in Tomorrowland.

The exhibit served as an extension of the opening-day Art Corner retail store, which sold authentic Disney animation cels, flip books, beginning artist’s guides, and more. The exhibit included various artwork and animation accoutrements, some of which had previously traveled internationally as part of a Disney promotional tour. Both the exhibit and shop were permanently closed in the 1966 version of the Tomorrowland remodel.

This vintage flyer from the early years of the park, celebrates the opening of three Disneyland attractions that have since been relegated to the realm of memory and nostalgia, their legacy preserved only in items such as these.

VALUE: $20

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