Entertainment & Arts

First Disneyland map sells for £555,000

Disneyland map Image copyright Van Eaton Galleries
Image caption The map was used to gain investment for Walt Disney's first theme park in Anaheim, California

An original map of the first Disneyland park has fetched £555,838 ($708,000) at an auction in California.

The 1953 drawing was used by Walt Disney to secure funding, after his own studio refused to fund the site.

The artist's impression was given to an employee, and remained out of public view for more than 60 years.

The map was personally annotated by the creator of Mickey Mouse, and reveals a picture of Walt Disney's vision for the theme park, built in 1955.

The hand-coloured map was drawn in two days with input from Disney and artist Herb Ryman.

Disney's brother Roy took the map to meet investors at the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1953.

Image caption Cartoonist Walt Disney could not get investment for the theme park from his own studio.

Mark Eaton of auctioneers Van Eaton Galleries in Los Angeles said: "After some pretty exciting bidding the map sold for $708,000, making it the most expensive Disneyland map ever sold.

"We are beyond thrilled that the map will continue to be appreciated and cherished."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The resort has welcomed 650 million people in its 62-year history

The map was given by Disney to production assistant Grenade Curran, who drove guests around the park in "autopia" vehicles when it opened.

He said: "I kept it for history's sake, I kept it for Walt's artistic stake, I kept it because it was the first thing to show and display... what a theme park would look like."

The first Disneyland Resort was built in Anaheim, California, on a 100-acre car park site.

Since opening more than 60 years ago, it has greeted 650 million visitors, and it was the third most-visited theme park in the world in 2015.

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