Abandoned Disney (8) Adventure Thru Inner Space (2) Adventureland (12) America Sings (1) Animal Kingdom (2) Animation (19) Animatronics (20) Area Music (7) Backyard Imagineering (6) Behind-the-Scenes (39) Big Thunder Mountain (3) California Adventure (6) Captain E.O. (1) Carousel of Progress (12) Castle (7) Characters (6) Club 33 (1) Concept (13) Construction (15) Country Bear Jamboree (2) Death (2) Disney Channel (1) Disneyland (50) Disney-MGM Studios (1) Donald Duck (3) Entertainment (5) Epcot (28) Fantasyland (16) Fess Parker (1) Film (25) Frito Kid (4) Frontierland (14) Germany (1) Hall of Presidents (4) Haunted Mansion (10) Hidden Mickeys (2) Holidays (1) Hollywood Studios (1) Horizons (3) House of the Future (1) Illustration (3) Imagineering (1) John Lasseter (4) Journey Into Imagination (2) Jungle Cruise (15) Lake Buena Vista (1) Liberty Square (3) Lillian Disney (2) Ludwig Von Drake (1) Magic Kingdom (23) Main Street U.S.A (12) Maintenance (1) Management (5) Maps (13) Marc Davis (8) Marty Sklar (3) Matterhorn (6) Monorail (4) Mr. Lincoln (3) Muppets (2) Music (3) Mystery (9) Nature's Wonderland (7) New Orleans Square (6) Orange Bird (2) Paul Frees (1) PeopleMover (10) Peter Pan (2) Photos (1) Pirates of the Caribbean (9) Pixar (5) Pleasure Island (1) Podcast (1) Progress City (1) Props (2) Railroad (2) Resorts (2) River Country (4) Rivers of America (2) Roy Disney (1) Scale Models (21) Skyway (3) Song of the South (2) Sound Effects (2) Souvenirs (3) Space (3) Space Mountain (6) Splash Mountain (1) sSpace Mountain (1) Tangled (2) The Living Seas (1) Then and Now (17) Tiki Birds (2) Tilt Shift (2) Tomorrowland (39) Tomorrowland 67 (8) Treehouse (1) Vintage Disneyland (3) Walt Disney (15) Walt Disney Family (7) Walt Disney Family Museum (1) Walt Disney World (6) Ward Kimball (1) Wonders of Life (1) World of Motion (2) World's Fair (2) Yeti (1)

Orange Bird Photo Hunt


« EPCOT Center Poster Art | Main | How Early is too Early? »

Disneyland 1955 Model Close-ups

The Model

When this scale model was presented for Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary, I remember looking at it for the longest time. The detail was great but more interesting to me was the fact that this was the first time I’d been able to study the layout of the 1955 park in that way– all at once.  Until then we had some simple maps, some photos, and video footage but the model gives a different perspective.

The model was initially installed in the Opera House on Main Street on a flat surface.  Today you see it on an angle closer to the front doors.

The Ideal Disneyland?

Is 1955 Disneyland the way I’d like to see the park today?? Nope. I would like to go back and visit during that first year for sure, but it wasn’t ideal..... The idel time would be sometime around 1967.

Nonetheless, this model takes us to a great time in Disney park history. Better than DCA in its first year?? There's something to think about.  

The Close-up Photos

I ran across these on Flickr and as it turns out they were taken by Andy Castro of Dateline Disneyland. Excellent work.

Related posts:

2 Fantastic Disneyland Scale Models
Disneyland in 1955
Swiss Family Treehouse Model
1967 "New Tomorrowland" Broadcast
Disneyland Skyway in Your Backyard


Reader Comments (8)

Wow, I almost fell out of my chair! These are great photos!

November 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

This is known as the million dollar model..can you guess why? In person it is interesting but somebody really put it to Disney for the cost. Hey a million dollars can buy a lot of things. Perhaps they could have offerred 10, 000 under privledged kids a day at the park for the same money...just a thought.

November 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

Robert- Yeah I see your point but at the same time, it's the cost of doing business. I imagine, if the model really did cost 1M, it was largely due to labor hours- mostly for research. The model itself I'm sure took a lot of time to build but the research took perhaps longer.

And really, everything in the parks costs a fortune. I know a lot of that has to do with the way internal departments charge each other. Even if the model was made by an third party, WDI must have spent loads of time preparing for it. I'm not justifying the cost. I sometimes feel $ would be better spent differently than it is but they wanted an amazing model and they got one. That said, there was probably poor project planning from the start to let the price get that high.

Having worked on similar models in the past, I can tell you that model at 'retail' should have cost around 400K. This is with blueprints of the place provided and a lot of the guess work taken out of the equation before the model shop begins production. And for this thing, there had to have been A LOT of guess work. Who knows. Just my two cents.

November 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTL98H8R

Who cares about the price. This thing is a gem for millions of people to enjoy.

November 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSKIPP


November 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJumperJH

I especially love the 'backside of water one"

November 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJumperJH

10, 000 under privledged kids a day at the park, or a lot at Golden Oak Florida.

The model has an extremely obvious flaw. I can't find anyone else who has documented it yet. I don't expect anyone to ever see this, so I'll just post it here: The teacups didn't have that spiral paint until "several months" after the opening. I'm trying to find the exact date it was added but if you look up the famous Life magazine shot of the ride on opening day, it's clear that they are just grey.

September 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Smith

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>