A Journey Through The 1955 Guidebook

The 1955 Guidebook was produced before Disneyland opened. If fact many of the attractions were in the process of being built. Because of this, it’s full of beautiful concept artwork and some surprises too.

Note: You can click on the page graphic to make it full sized.


Page 1: “To all those who come to this happy place… Welcome.” Wait, why doesn’t it start with this historic statement like all the other guidebooks? Because it hadn’t been said yet! Of special note, Walt calls Disneyland a “park-playground” and we get a glimpse of an Adventureland icon that was never built.

Page 2: “With the heady scent of Orange blossoms from the surrounding groves filling the air…” Sad but that only lasted a year at most, then DEVELOPMENT happened. Walt also talks about a “Delmonico-style Cafe” I guess we will have to wait twelve years until Club 33 opens!

Page 3: I love these descriptions of the park’s construction, “gouged enormous holes… groaned under the load… screeched and whistled… rat-tat-tat… sparks were flying!”

Page 4: Here we find renderings of some rides that were never built as conceived. On the top left is a flying saucer version of Rocket Jets. On the right is an indoor version of Rocket Jets. Below on the left was a Monstro the Whale Shoot the Chute ride that was never built.


Pages 4&5: Here a yellow, teal, and fuschia pallette provide a comfortable balance to the line drawings. The MainStreet painting is a scene I do not know, but wished they had put it into the park!


Pages 6&7: Ah! Adventureland! Here we see it’s never built icon as a line drawing and also in the painting. I have always envisioned it as either a bird house or a monkey cage. If you know anymore about this beautiful structure, please let me know.



Page 9: Where are the Indian tepees?? They add so much to the Fronteerland entrance which in reality is rather dull. Especially since you cant shoot at people in the hub from the guard tower anymore.

Page 11: Look at the Mad Tea Party ride on the top of the page. It is oblong with a separate center with the Mad Hatter and March Hare having a tea party. Pretty cool!

Page 13: The top line drawing is what looks to be the Space Bar. The rocket has a loading ramp going down to the show building. Did they once envision guests boarding the rocket? Oh, and look at an early version of “Hobbyland” with separate aerial and boat areas.

Page 15&16: O.K. here it gets a little crazy! Get out your decoder rings and your little brothers “Battleship” game and begin. It seems that in order to keep guests in the park longer this park map matrix was devised.  Try to find the “Stratosnak.” It’s co-ordinates are T-D-L15 on page 22.

Page 17: Try to find the “Arboretum.” It’s at co-ordinates A-A-E8. Wait! is that the Adventureland icon I was talking about before? Go figure!

Page 18: Here is a shop that never made it… “Bone Carvers” Fr-B-O17 (I wonder why?)

Page 19: Look at Explorer’s Boat Ride. “the flora and fauna of Mexico… and Australia?” I don’t remember seeing that!

Page 22: Did you find the Stratosnak? Well there is a slight error here. It is really at T-D-L16 and they changed its name to the “Space Bar.”

Wasn’t that fun?! Want to upload the whole guidebook? Just click HERE!

17 thoughts on “A Journey Through The 1955 Guidebook

    1. I’m not really a Disney poresn, but I did go on the Tower of Terror once with some friends and we screamed, then laughed our butts off! The shock of the ride was seriously one of the funniest things I’ve experienced in a long time!

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this. This is one of the guidebooks I’ve always wanted but could never find at an affordable price on ebay. This is the next best thing. Glad I heard about the site…looking forward to visiting more in the future.

  2. You’ve got pages 9 and 10 switched in filenames and in the PDF. They’re displayed in the correct order on this webpage, though.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this great Disney history! Glad to have found your blog through John Frost. A fellow former CM here and we need to stick together to keep the magic alive.

  4. What a gift–thank you so much! just learned about this guidebook in one of Dave Smith’s books. Was at Dland today and saw that they have put up a didactic panels with photos and texts about Walt and horses near Big Thunder. So happy to see that–are they putting the “Disney” back into Disneyland? Love what they’ve done at California Adventure, which can now be called California Waltventure.

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