Tuesday, December 15, 2009


It became clear during Disneyland's first year of operation that most visitors were very unclear as to what exactly these new "attractions" were all about. What's is an "AUTOPIA" or a "SPACE STATION X-1" ???
Disneyland first tried hand painted "show card" style signs and placed these about the park --some were themed slightly to the attraction, while others were very simple and modern ....... often oddly out-of-place. By 1956, it was decided.........just like a movie theater,  develop a series of standardized posters to help showcase a preview of the shows, attractions, and even themed restaurants inside this new thing called Disneyland. These posters brought guests a color preview of the excitement that lay within Disneyland's mysterious berms.

With the development of Walt Disney World in Florida, early marketing research showed WED Imagineers, that the Eastern Seaboard  audience was also not very familiar as to what exactly is in a Disney park. And at this point the Disney attraction poster as a tool would be helpful for newly arriving guests. So as with the tradition of Disneyland's attraction posters, WED Imagineers created a set of 20 new posters for the new WALT DISNEY WORLD.

Almost all the posters for Walt Disney World used existing Disneyland poster artwork with some modifications.  Walt Disney World only attractions also got their own new poster artwork.......however done with 4 color lithography printing rather that the silk screened as the others.

some things to note about Walt Disney World's 1971 first poster series is that non of them feature the Walt Disney World logo logo on them --this would not begin to happen until the attraction post re-visions in 1975.


       1971 - (30"x45") Silk screened, edition size (200)
       notes: uses DL monorail poster layout and DL monorails, Contemporary Hotel & Cinderella Castle
       shown. ( poster revised in 1978)
       1971 - (30"x45") Silk screened, edition size (200)
       notes: used DL "pink" RR poster artwork with WDW  alterations such as WDW RR logo, Lilly Belle
       locomotive name plate (poster replaced with new design in 1977)
03) THE CRYSTAL PALACE -On the Plaza Main Street USA
       1971 - (30"x45") Silk screened, edition size (200)
       notes: used DL RED WAGON INN artwork with the Crystal Place structure in background
      (poster replaced with new artwork in 1978)
04) JUNGLE CRUISE -Adventureland
      1971-(30"x45") Silk screened, edition size (200)
      notes -identical art work to DL's Jungle River but includes a"Congo Connie" boat and
      first poster to use JUNGLE CRUISE. (poster replaced with new design in 1976)
       1971-(30"x45") silk screened, edition size (200)
       notes- identical in almost every way with the exception of new "Island" added to title (this poster
       would be revised in 1978)
06) TROPICAL SERENADE -Adventureland
       1971-(30"x45") silk screened, edition size (200) SPONSOR:Florida Citrus Growers
       used artwork done in 1968 for DL's Enchanted Tiki Room #2. (This poster would be revised in 1978)
      1971 - (30"x45") silk screened, edition size (200)
       uses DL's Golden Horseshoe artwork, but  color alterations have been made.
08) ADM JOE FOWLER RIVERBOAT & EXPLORER CANOES -Frontierland & Liberty Square
      1971-(30"x45") silks screened, edition size (200)
      uses Mark Twain DL poster art with mostly Florida park name changes
      interesting poster in that if features both lands at bottom "Frontierland " as well as "Liberty Square"
      1971-(30"x45") 4 color lithography, edition size(unknown)
      newly created artwork that has been painted,  This version of
      this poster is similar to the later versions used at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, however
      the "carved" frame surrounding The Five Bear Rugs was more elaborate and the attraction's title appears
      below the bears band portrait. "Frontierland" is also painted in to appear "carved in wood". The original 
      artwork was altered in 1972 for Disneyland's Bear Country - covering a scalloped fan carving on
      top to include a banner for the relocated attraction title "Country Bear Jamboree". Bellow, the original
      title is painted out, and now reads "The Wildest Show in the Wilderness" . The "Frontierland" carved 
     letters were also painted over to allow graphic designers to add "Bear Country" of "Frontierland" -- 
     and  later "Westernland" to the final poster depending on which park it was going to. The first
      lithographed posters will feature the WDW "D" with Mickey Globe ears in lower right corner. (this
      poster would be revised in 1972 and  again in 1978)
10) THE HALL OF PRESIDENTS -Liberty Square
       1971-(30"x45") 4 color lithography, edition size (unknown)
       like the Bear Country Jamboree, this new WDW only poster features painted artwork and not
       silk screened,  Also features the Walt Disney World 'D" with globe ears in lower corner
       (this poster would be revised in 1978)
11) HAUNTED MANSION -Liberty Square
       1971-(30"x45") silk screened, edition size (200)
       uses DL's artwork, but a WDW mansion has been added along with a dead "oak tree" and a cemetery
       (this poster would be revised in 1978)
      1971-(30"x45") 4 color lithography, edition size (unknown)
      Poster does not feature a "land" designation. Also features the WDW "D" with globe. I am not aware
       if this poster was included in the 1978 set of revisions. A new poster was created in 1983 for Tokyo
       Disneyland --the park where the Mickey Mouse Revue was relocated to.
                     *******Please contact me if you have an image of this poster "in action" at WDW with
                                   Walt Disney World printed on the poster or any changes from the first 1971
13) 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA -Fantasyland
      1971-(30"x45") silk screened, edition size (200)
      poster uses the DL Submarine Voyage layout, but has the Nemo style sub. This poster was slated to be
      redone by Jim Michaelson--the created of the 1976 Jungle Cruise, 1977 Disneyland RR --known for
      his elaborate "window style" attraction posters....the elaborate redo posters were done for attractions
      that could be used at both parks or if a sponsor was helping fund it. The planned Jim Michaelson posters
      for MATTERHORN BOBSLEDS and 20,000 LEAGUES were never completed as the were only
      "one-off" attractions.
14) IT'S A SMALL WORLD -Fantasyland
      1971-(30"x45") 4 color lithography, edition size (unknown)
      for whatever reason, the first Small World poster did not use the exact DL art nor was it silk screened.
      Imagineer Paul Hartley who created the first Small World poster for the Anaheim park did a new design
      (this poster was revised in 1978)
      1971-(30"x45") silk screened, edition size (200)
      uses the same DL 1956 artwork of the same title, however artwork has been revised to reflect the
      elaborate pageantry tent to Florida's CINDERELLA'S GOLDEN CAROUSEL.
16) PETER PAN -Snow White-Dumbo-Mr. Toad -Fantasyland
      1971-(30"x45") silk screened, edition size (200)
      Like it's Disneyland predecessor, this post also advertises it's fellow Fanstasyland dark rides--and again
      Dumbo is mentioned. For the WDW, a bold green banner is added to help emphasises the other
17) GRAN PRIX RACEWAY -Tomorrowland
       1971-(30"x45") silk screened, edition size (200) SPONSOR: Goodyear
       looker very "50's" this poster borrows it;s look from Disneyland's 1956 AUTOPIA
       poster. One noticeable change is that the cars noses have been changed to depict the
       Mark SEVEN cars that debuted in 1968. And true to it's international race theme,
       racing stripes, numbers and flames have been added two of the poster's cars.
       (this poster was revised in 1978 and renamed "Grand Prix Raceway")
      1971-(30"x45") silk screened, edition size (200) SPONSOR: Monsanto
      Identical artwork as Disneyland's 1967 version of the poster, however the lettering on
      the red and white stripes  are lettered opposite as the Disneyland forerunner. This poster
      was completely updated in 1975 for the special Bicentennial edition of America The Beautiful-shown  
      in  this blogs title screen.
      I'm wondering, did Disneyland also uses this special Bicentennial poster??? If you have any photo's of 
      this poster at Disneyland or WDW, please contact me.
19) SKYWAY -Tomorrowland
       1971-(30"x45") silk screened, edition size(200)
       This poster uses very outdated images for 1971. The artwork is that of the 1956 Skyway poster
       --that two was outdated when it made it's 50's debut as it shows a canceled "AIRBOATS" attraction
       down below. By 1971, the double-seat round SKYWAY cabins and ground level ASTROJETS were
       long gone images having been replaced or removed by 1966. My question is why did WED designers
       make alterations to most of the posters that shared DL prototypes like Gran Prix, 20,000 leagues, etc....
       but left this poster almost unchanged. The only noticeable difference: the tag line "Soar high above the
       Magic Kingdom"
20)  FLIGHT TO THE MOON -Tomorrowland
       1971- Silk screened, edition size (200)
       This opening year attraction only operated for  4 years before becoming Mission To Mars. The poster
        again uses existing Disneyland artwork done in 1967. The only difference is that there is no sponsor.

These 1971 WALT DISNEY WORLD attraction posters seem oddly dated looking for 1971, but for budget reasons these posters had to be kept simple if they were to be ready for the grand opening in October 1971.

These first silk screened posters were easy to get done quickly as only small modifications needed to be made. More importantly, using the existing colors from the Disneyland versions of these posters would help save a good deal of money in poster printing and development. The early Walt Disney World posters were all screened by S.H. BURROWS COMPANY of Los Angeles --the same company that printed the first Disneyland attraction posters!!

These was no time or money to make new silk screened posters
for new WALT DISNEY WORLD only attractions like "Mickey Mouse Revue", "The Hall of Presidents" and "The Country Bear Jamboree" so posters were quickly painted then lithographed!

These posters distinctly Walt Disney World but their graphic origins are from 1959 Disneyland originals!

Here you can see the 1971 version and it's 1978 redo. Most of the posters were redone as painted lithographed posters in 1978 including some like The Haunted Mansion! I'll explain the reasons for the big 1978 painted attraction poster redo's in a later edition of this blog --so check back.



  1. WOW, neat! I had previously only seen pictures of the WDW Autopia variant (with the flames and number added to the car). I had NO idea that so many other posters had been used as well... they must be incredibly rare. I love my Disneyland versions, but have to admit that it would be cool to get the WDW versions too! (Looks like they did no modification to the Jungle Cruise poster?)

  2. Did I already say how amazing this post was????

  3. I have an original Disneyland Skyway poster, one that actually hung in the entry tunnels under the railroad station as you entered the park. Purchased it years ago at an auction. It is wonderful to have a piece of this type of history.