A photo tour of Disneyland's new Disney Gallery
By Robert NilesTuesday Park Visit: When Disney opened its "Dream Suite" at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, it converted space in the Cinderella's Castle that previously hadn't been finished or opened to the public into a lavish apartment for use by a lucky (and randomly selected) few.
Published: October 27, 2009 at 11:19 AM
But Disneyland's castle was far too small for an apartment, so the west coast Dream Suite went into the New Orleans Square space occupied by the Disney Gallery. Great for the lucky few who won a night in the suite; too bad for the rest of us theme park fans who enjoyed lingering with great work by Disney's artists and Imagineers.
At last, Disney's reopened its Gallery - not in its old home over New Orleans Square, but in an even more convenient space in the old Bank of Main Street building. Flowing into the old Walt Disney Story space next to what will soon again be Mr. Lincoln's theater, the new Disney Gallery gives theme park and Disney fans renewed access to some great concept art and models of classic Disney attractions.
A concept model of Disneyland at its opening dominates the far wall of the main room.
But I found myself drawn to the models of Sleeping Beauty's Castle...
...and Splash Mountain.
Models provide a more intimate way to study, and enjoy, an attraction's architecture. They are small enough for your eye to capture both scope and detail, while also allowing you a private moment with the design. There aren't hundreds of other guests milling around here, getting between you and the attraction.
Every visitor over age 35 or so lingered over the display case of old admission books, with their A through E tickets.
After explaining the tickets to my kids ("What, are they like old FastPasses or something?" "Uh, no, kids...."), I retreated to the smaller studies, to spend some time with the original concept art on display.
Here's Mary Blair's background study for England in It's a Small World:
Bob Gurr and John Hench's thrilling vision of the Mark I monorails:
Sam McKim's proposed enhancements to Schweitzer Falls on the Jungle Cruise:
And, finally, Marc Davis' concept of a Giant Squid attacking a Killer Whale on Disneyland's Submarine Voyage:
Who says that Disney doesn't lay down a little smack on its rivals now and then?
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
More Theme Park News
Previous article: Walt Disney World changes restaurant reservation window... again
Stories from a Theme Park Insider
What's it like to work in a theme park? Stories from a Theme Park Insider takes you inside the famous tunnels and backstage at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for a look at how theme parks really work, sharing the funny moments and embarrassments that can happen when your job is someone else's vacation.
Order now: Kindle | iBooks | Paperback | Kindle (UK)
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2014 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr.
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive