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A FABULOUS AUCTION brings back special memories. More than 900 bits of Disneyana collected over 25 years by Hollywood talent agent Richard Kraft were auctioned off by Van Eaton Galleries.
Here are some tidbits gleaned from That’s From Disneyland! A Pop-up Exhibit and Auction.
This TWA Disneyland Travel Poster dates from the original 1955 Disneyland. Its Moonliner celebrated corporate sponsor Trans World Airlines, a major U.S. airline that evolved in 1930 from TAT and continued until 2001.
When it opened in 1955, Disneyland tickets for admission and rides were sold separately. Shortly afterward, Ticket Books for various attractions were arranged by popularity, A, B, or C. In 1956, D was added for the most popular or newest attractions. In 1959, the E-ticket gave rise to the expression, “That’s a real E-Ticket ride!” I wonder if kids today ever use this phrase or know its etymology.
Animatronic José has greeted folks at the Enchanted Tiki Room since it opened in 1963. One of four macaws, José undergoes periodic refurbishment to reflect upgraded coloring and fix loose feathers. José is plummed with real feathers, with the exception of a custom-woven cashmere chest permitting animatronic breathing.
Only “Dumbo the Flying Elephant” Attraction Vehicle, Lot 621, and “Skyway” Original Bucket Vehicle, Lot 633, achieved higher auction prices than José’s: $420,000 and $540,000, respectively.
The Multi-Signed “Indiana Jones” Artist Proof Poster reminds me of one of my Disneyland adventures: “Indiana Jones, Ohio Simanaitis. Back in April 1996 (note the month), Disneyland invited the R&T crew during off-hours to road test the Indiana Jones Adventure Troop Transport. Needless to say, a happy time was had by all.
Heart-warming tales accompany this Disney treasure trove. Growing up in southern California, Richard Kraft and his brother David enjoyed the Magic Kingdom. Upon David’s death 25 years ago, Richard began enriching memories of his brother with souvenirs bought at Disneyland shops. One thing led to another—and more than 900 Disney artifacts.
For most of August 2018, Kraft and the Van Eaton Galleries shared his collection with the public. The exhibit was set in a huge building, formerly a Sherman Oaks, Califorina, Sports Authority outlet, and concluded with the auction on August 25–26, 2018. The exhibit and auction gave lots of happiness to Disney fans and netted more than $8.3 million, part of which will benefit the Coffin-Siris Syndrome Foundation and the CHIME Institute.
These two support organizations are particularly dear to Richard Kraft: His four-year-old daughter Daisy suffers from CSS, a rare genetic condition. The CHIME Institute encourages inclusive education of typical children, gifted children, and those with special needs, all in a side-by-side educational environment.
Through the kindness of Richard Kraft and other Disney fans, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth spreads its happiness well beyond Disneyland. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2018