Van Eaton Galleries Is Rediscovering Disneyland On May 22nd and 23rd!

Van Eaton Galleries is proud to present their latest Disney Parks exhibition and auction, “Rediscovering Disneyland.” This astounding collection brings together nearly 1200 artifacts from the history of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and the other Disney Parks around the globe. Highlights of this collection include a loan agreement signed by Walt Disney and his wife Lillian Disney in 1954 relating to $60,000 Walt borrowed against his own life insurance policy in order to build Disneyland, a Mark VII Autopia Vehicle Body, vintage cast member wardrobe from Club 33, a hand-crafted mosaic display that was once part of Sleeping Beauty Castle, hand-written and signed sheet music for It’s a Small World by the Sherman Brothers, Disneyland parking lot signs, as well as a plethora of park signage, props, costumes, furniture, and much more! Join this auction that celebrates the incredible history of Disneyland and its creator, Walt Disney!  This stunning auction is currently open for absentee bidding and the live auction kicks off at 10AM on both May 22nd and May 23rd 2021.

Here is where you can find some of those incredible highlights:

Lot 97 – Walt Disney & Lillian Disney Signed Loan Agreement

(Disneyland, 1954) An extraordinary loan agreement signed by both Walt Disney and his wife Lillian Disney. In 1953, Walt exhausted every option available to him to get the financing he needed to build his dream theme park. Banks, lenders, and even his own Studio rejected his proposals. Confident that his park would be a success, Walt took a $60,000 loan against his own life insurance policy, an exceptionally risky loan agreement, with the Commerce Trust Company of Kansas City, Missouri. In 1954, Walt was unable to pay back the loan as all of his funds were tied up in the construction of Disneyland, which would open the following year. Executed in 1954, this agreement is the signed continuation of the terms of that 1953 loan. Without Walt’s loan and this signed agreement, it is quite possible that Disneyland would have never become a reality.

Such was Walt’s conviction that Disneyland would be a success, that he put his life on the line, including the financial safety net of both his wife and children. While history would vindicate the visionary impresario, this document illustrates what a high-stake proposition Disneyland was for Walt both professionally and personally.

That Lillian consented to the agreement is a testament to her belief in her husband’s dreams, and a reminder of the strong relationship between the couple that provided a solid foundation for Walt throughout his professional career.

Walt signs in blue ink at lower right on the designated line, “Walter E. Disney,” and Lillian in black ink below, “Lillian B. Disney.” Measuring 8.25″x6.75″, the document is in very good condition with general handling wear from its original use. The document is matted with a black and white studio portrait of Walt and Lillian and a metal identification plaque. The display is presented in an ornate 21″x29.75″ green and gold molded wood frame.

This historic piece was originally offered by the Walt Disney Studios as part of the Official Disneyana Convention of 2000. The original Disney COA is included.

Lot 803 – Sleeping Beauty Castle Courtyard Mosaic

(Disneyland, c.1970s-83) An original hand-crafted mosaic display from the courtyard of Sleeping Beauty Castle. This mosaic depicts Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip and is composed of hundreds of individual colored tiles. This wall-mounted artwork was a prominent installation within the early years of Fantasyland and was removed around the time of the massive New Fantasyland refurbishment of 1983. The tiles remain set in their cement and mesh wire backing, which itself is an original section of the walls to Sleeping Beauty Castle. A true one-of-a-kind Disneyland relic, the mosaic measures approximately 36″x44″ and is in very good park used condition. There is some cracking in the lower left corner from the mosaic’s removal, and expected general surface wear from park-use. This item may require special shipping arrangements, please inquire for details and estimates.

Lot 862 – Handwritten & Signed “It’s A Small World” Sheet Music

(Disney, 1963/Created Later) An It’s a Small World presentation musical arrangement with lyrics handwritten by Richard M. Sherman and signed by both Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman. Accomplished in black felt pen on printed staff paper marked for the violin, the Oscar-winning songwriter has hand-titled the composition, signed on the credit line, and handwritten musical notation and lyrics for the legendary anthem of global unity. Robert B. Sherman, the song’s co-author, has additionally signed the credit line. The Sherman Brothers originally wrote the song for the Disney attraction of the same name, which was created for the Pepsi Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and subsequently moved to Disneyland. Since then, It’s a Small World has become the most performed and translated song in the history of popular music. The arrangement is matted in the center of an elaborate display with a photograph of Walt Disney with the Small World audio-animatronic dolls on the left, and a photograph of the Sherman Brothers together at a piano on the right, above a metal plaque engraved, “‘it’s a small world’ handwritten music and lyrics by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman.” The handwritten arrangement measures 13.5″x10.5″ visible through a 27.5″ x 46″ bubble texture molded wood frame and appears to be in fine condition with a few correction fluid redactions by its creator. The back of the frame is also inscribed and signed by Richard M. Sherman in black felt pen, “To Eva – A very special lady with my fondest best wishes Richard M. Sherman 09/09/00.” This piece was offered directly by Disney at the Official Disneyana Convention of 2000, and includes the original Disney COA.

Lot 953 – Original Mark VII  Autopia Vehicle Body

(Disneyland, 1967-1999) An original red vehicle body from the Autopia attraction in Disneyland. This original fiberglass body was used on the Mark VII style vehicles which were in service from 1967 until 1999. These iconic vehicles were designed by legendary Imagineer Bob Gurr, and their sleek angular shape and vivid colors have made them very sought-after by collectors and hobbyists today. Finding an original vehicle body unrestored such as this has become very difficult. The body measures approximately 9.5ft long, 4ft wide, and 2.5ft tall. It is in good park-used condition, with some scuffing, scratches, and spots of paint wear throughout from its park use and removal. This vehicle has not been restored and retains its original paint, body, padding, and metal grip bar, just as guests would have experienced this vehicle within the attraction. This item may require special shipping arrangements, please inquire for details and estimates.

With almost 1200 lots of incredible pieces, bidders can enjoy a great week leading up to the auction.  All items are online with photos, descriptions, and estimated values. Van Eaton Galleries is the world leader in Disney collectibles and memorabilia and are happy to answer all questions via email or phone.  You can call them at 818-788-2357 or email them at

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