Thursday, April 30, 2015

More Vintage Disneyland Tickets!

So...this month I went a little eBay crazy.

Last June I told you about some old ride tickets from Disneyland I got off eBay last year. And this past month, I got three more ticket sets. Older ones. Like, "probably older than your parents" old.

Like I said in that post, Disneyland used to charge for tickets to ride the rides, with the better rides being on the more expensive D and E tickets and were usually sold in books to save money. Four dollars was a lot back in the '50s, which is roughly $26.50 today, a total steal.

And if you remember, the older and more complete a ticket book is, the more they're worth. The two I got last year ran me back about 40 bucks for the set, these three ran over a hundred bucks. Each. You'll see why in a bit.

This book comes to us from 1958 and is a little beat up, but hey it still looks good for being nearly 60. The sellers were quite generous about presentation and included C and D tickets that were from a different book. The chances of having a ticket book that old with at least one of each ticket inside is so highly, highly unlikely that it'd be worth a lot more than the $139 I paid for it. It's a miracle that the other tickets were included at all.

Look at all those rides that aren't there anymore! And if you're wondering where the E tickets are, they were introduced in 1959 with the opening of the Monorail, the Matterhorn and the Submarine Voyage.

Of note is the Viewliner on the B ticket. It was a "futuristic train" that only operated from 1957-58 and was replaced by the Monorail. Walt Disney really loved his trains, there were three different train rides in Disneyland at the same time:  The main Disneyland railroad, the Viewliner, and the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland (called the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train back then).

You'll also notice that there were also three different Autopia rides. You know, the ride where you get to drive cars to simulate the miracle that is the Interstate Highway System. I'm not joking, that was the basis of the ride. Walt Disney thought interstates were so novel that he wanted his own Auto Utopia. So now you learned a new fact today that you can bother your girlfriend with.

The one in Tomorrowland is the ride that's still currently in Disneyland, which was merged with the Junior Autopia in Fantasyland in 1999. The Junior Autopia was pretty much the same ride but for the kids that weren't tall enough to ride the regular one. The Midget Autopia on the other hand was for the really little kids and was short-lived, lasting until 1966 when "it's a small world" was built on its space. You can read more about it here.

I also bought a book from 1957 from the same people, which was in better condition.

There was one ticket of each type in the book, with only the B ticket not being original. The only difference between the 1957 book and the 1958 one is size, with the 1957 being a rare Jumbo version, compared here:

Other than that, the rides on the tickets are exactly the same, with the E ticket rides I mentioned before coming in 1959. One's just easier to read while the other fits more easily into a pocket.

And just as I thought I was done with impulsively buying these things, someone pointed me to an auction for an A and B ticket from 1955, the year Disneyland opened. That was too tempting for me to pass up and one massive bidding war later, I am now in the possession of a pair of Disneyland relics.

Tickets weren't available in books until late in 1955, and the "ride" underneath each letter was changed to "coupon" in 1956.

You can find ticket books that old, but be prepared to pay at least a grand for it, like this pair of 1955 ticket books that only have A and B tickets in them.

$1200 for the unicorns of Disneyland memorabilia, folks. Even if these are rare as hell, there's a much better things to blow 1200 bucks on. For that much money I could actually take a nice vacation to Disney World! Maybe four, five days tops.

But the main reason I bought these tickets is right on the B ticket.

The Phantom Boats was the first ride to be removed for the park, only lasting until July of 1956. What I do know that it was a weird looking boat ride that kept getting plagued with engine problems, which led to its early closure. As it only existed during Disneyland's first year, there aren't many pictures of footage of it in action and any evidence I find, photographic or otherwise, absolutely fascinates me. I'm really happy to tell you all that I now own official evidence!

This is one of the clearest pictures I could find of it. Not even Yesterland could help me, I had to dig a little deeper into Google to get to this one. I can be corrected here but I'm pretty sure that they were in the same lagoon that the submarines are in.

Tomorrowland was pretty empty in the first few years of the park, with stuff like Space Station X-1 (also called Satellitte View of America) and Monsanto's Hall of Chemistry being star attractions before better rides like Space Mountain, the Astro Jets and Innerspace were added in their place. Stuff in that section felt  old and obsolete pretty quick and attractions were replaced all the time.

And just when I thought I was really done with this spree and filled with regret, I discovered that the people that sold me the 1957 and '58 books included some special gifts with the '58 book.

A complete book of Magic Key tickets! These were special tickets that got you on to any ride in the park. The catch is that you couldn't get these through normal means, you had to be in some sort of club or knew someone that worked at Disney or something to get these. But it really doesn't seem that exclusive since finding these on eBay is relatively easy, and this specific book was in near-pristine condition. A small crease on the back cover is what keeps this from being a 10/10 on terms of minty-ness.

According to the checklist on the back, this book seems to come from between 1974 and 1977 since it includes both the Mine Train (removed in 1977 to make way for Big Thunder Mountain) and America Sings (opened in 1974 and later had all the animal performers migrate to Splash Mountain). Since they're so common, these usually go for about $15 but getting one for free and in this great of condition was a really awesome treat.

I also got this Magic Key ticket in that same package and in sure it's older. If anyone can tell me what year this is from, that would be great.

And with that I had my eBay privileges revoked, at least for now. 

Be sure to check out Yesterland for more info in the extinct attractions and to Disneyland Memories' eBay page, where I got most of these tickets from.