This weekend, a massive collection of one-of-a-kind Disney Parks artifacts from Imagineers and private collectors will be sold in the “Rediscovering Disneyland” auction. Presented by Van Eaton Galleries, this collection includes nearly 1200 pieces of Disney history, many one of a kind. As a past participant (and winner) in the Van Eaton Gallery Disney auctions I thought I would share some of the items that I’m most excited about in this latest Disneyana extravaganza.
#6: Progressland Presentation Poster (Lot 99)
Considering that the Carousel of Progress is one one of my favorite rides of all time, this poster was destined to catch my eye. A stunning silk-screened poster made as a gift to executives of the World’s Fair, Walt Disney Productions, and General Electric, it features a conceptual rendering of the space-age Progressland pavilion. This item is estimated to sell for $800-1,200 at auction.
#5: Community Transportation Services Monorail Booklet (Lot 109)
The E.P.C.O.T. era of the Walt Disney Company is one of the best, and this seemingly mundane brochure is a very interesting extension of it. Community Transportation Services was Disney’s subsidiary, which sought to advance Monorail and WEDWay PeopleMover-style mass transit solutions beyond the theme park and into urban spaces. This item is estimated to go for $200-400 at auction.
#4: Adventureland Veranda Dining Tray (Lot 1080)
Once a tropical/East-Asian paradise, the Adventureland Veranda fell into non-operation in the 90’s, being used as an event space for many years until the Skipper Canteen attempted to revive the dining location’s former patina. Might seem like a weird thing to be interested in amongst so many iconic Disney items, but I simply love this piece of history! Currently, this item is bidding at $100.
#3: PeopleMover Thru the World of Tron 70mm Film Strip (Lot 902)
This is one of those items I have virtually no use for, but nonetheless think would be incredible to have. This 24-frame strip played in the SuperSpeed Tunnel portion of the attraction, which gave passengers the illusion that they were actually inside the Tron game, and depicts a light cycle charging across the grid. This item is estimated to sell for $100-200 at auction.
#2: Walt Disney’s Carolwood Pacific Railroad Track Segment (Lot 91)
It is almost impossible to find a piece of Disney history as cool as this: a framed segment of original track from the Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Walt Disney built this track in his backyard to run his 1:8 scale live steam locomotive. This framed section of the original track is complete with a photo of Walt Disney riding the train with his family and friends. This item is estimated to sell for $5,000-7,000 at auction, with a starting price of $3,000.
#1: Figment Journey into Imagination Prop (Lot 1129)
Taking the number one slot is none other than the purple dragon himself! Probably rather unsurprising to readers familiar with my particular fascination with EPCOT, this original hand-painted vinyl prop of the character Figment from EPCOT’s Journey into Imagination is far and away my favorite item in this auction. That said, it’s bound to be everyone else’s favorite too. As such, it is estimated to sell for $15,000-20,000 at auction.
It might shock you how much items in this auction go for, but this is the nature of high profile auctions like those hosted by the Van Eaton Galleries. Many eccentric Disney fans and private collectors are more than willing to pony up the cash for these pieces of history. I think this goes to show how deep people’s connection to these properties are. It’s amazing to think how much people are willing to pay for a Figment prop, for example, yet Disney seems entirely unmotivated to elevate his attraction back to its former status. The sheer demand for some of these rare pieces of Disney history is a testament to the fact that there is indeed a market Disney could be capitalizing bringing places like EPCOT back to their former glory.
If you are interested in this auction, you can learn more and register to participate here. The “Rediscovering Disneyland” auction takes place this weekend on May 22 & 23, 2021.