This past weekend I had the incredible opportunity to preview a mind-blowing collection of Disneyland memorabilia that really has to be seen to be believed. So it’s a good thing everyone in Southern California has the opportunity to see it!
Life-long Disneyland fan Richard Kraft spent years collecting an enviable amount of Disneyland items, ranging from small rare souvenirs from the Park’s earliest days to large attraction vehicles …. yo, this guy owns a DUMBO. AN ACTUAL DUMBO. And now his collection is on display so Disney fans can get up close and personal with some of their childhood (and adulthood faves). Take an up close look at Haunted Mansion stretching room paintings or come eye-to-eye with Jose from the Enchanted Tiki Room at That’s From Disneyland.
Inside an abandoned sporting goods store in the San Fernando Valley is not where you’d expect to soar with Dumbo The Flying Elephant or snap a photo alongside a 40 foot sea serpent, but Van Eaton Galleries –– the world’s premiere auction house specializing in Disneyland memorabilia and original animation –– has created “That’s From Disneyland!”, a 20,000 square foot pop-up exhibit that offers the public a once in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up-close with pieces of the Disney Parks in an entirely new way before they all go up for auction on August 25-26, 2018.
Richard Kraft, the collector offering up this rare collection, is an agent who represents composers for film & Broadway, including Disney Legends Alan Menken, Danny Elfman, and Richard M. Sherman. “That’s From Disneyland!” is Kraft’s way of sharing the joy and nostalgia of his incredible collection with the public before it’s auctioned off. “This exhibit is the ultimate bon voyage party to a collection that has brought me so much joy over the years.”
I was able to visit the That’s From Disneyland showcase twice. The first day was a general media day; members of the media were invited to the gallery to take a look around. This was my first chance to take a look at everything and since the crowds were minimal I could really take my time and enjoy. Mr. Kraft was floating around the room, and at one point a small group of us bloggers were given a personal tour of Mr. Kraft’s favorite pieces and the stories behind them. Such as this Autopia poster, which was the FIRST piece of memorabilia Mr. Kraft purchased. I asked why he was giving it up and he replied, “I don’t know … I might have to bid on it!”
I was so excited to spot this … does anyone else remember the remote control boats at The Disneyland Hotel?
Fun fact – I first learned about Mr. Kraft’s collection a couple years ago and it inspired me to start my own collection of Disneyland memorabilia. But I’m keeping it simple and only collecting items from my year of birth. I have a small collection so far, mostly postcards and tickets, since most souvenir items aren’t dated. However, I did purchase a pair of Mickey ears on eBay which the seller said he purchased during his grad night in 1979. They don’t fit me, so apparently people’s heads were smaller back then.
Listening to Mr. Kraft speak about his collection was really special. You can tell he really has a passion for Disneyland. (You can catch a little bit in my Instagram Stories Highlights.)
When you visit the exhibit, be sure you take the time to watch the TV monitors placed around the room. They show videos of Mr. Kraft and his son Nicholas talking about the memorabilia, much of which was displayed inside their home!
On Sunday I attended the Totally 90s Disneybound Party hosted by Disneybound creator Leslie Kay and model Caitlin Stamos. I put together a Mulan “My So Called Life” mash up that very few people recognized, but I was very pleased with how it turned out.
The upstairs area was turned into a 90s party zone, complete with churros and “Dole Whip” and 90s music supplied by Party on the Edge. There were also several artists and Disney inspired small shops selling their wares. I dropped a few pennies on some items I just had to have!
It was fun to see everyone’s creative 90s Disneybound outfits, and a bunch of faces I recognize from Instagram. This party was a GREAT idea!
The That’s From Disneyland exhibit will be open on select dates in August, and there are also special ticketed events that include a SHAG artist signing, an evening with Charles Phoenix, and a “Broadway Princess Party” concert. Click here to view all the available events.
That’s From Disneyland Exhibit and Auction
Presented by Van Eaton Galleries
Location: 13730 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks, California 91423
When: August 1st through 24th, 2018; Wednesday through Sunday – 12 Noon to 8pm
Auction: August 25 & 26, 2018 – starting at 11 am PT