Disney Ephemera: 1986 Disneyland Souvenir Guide

by on September 6, 2012 7 Comments

Filed under: Disneyland (CA)

There are a lot of different Disney souvenirs but my favorite has always been the guide maps. The parks change frequently, so looking at these old maps is always fun because it helps me remember how the parks were during that particular year. I’m lucky that my grandma saved most of the maps from my childhood visits. This map is from one of my first visits to Disneyland in 1986 when I was 3 years old.

The cover has nice design with a splash of 80s flair. Sleeping Beauty Castle is shown with a much less cartoonish color scheme than it currently has today. You can see the gray bricks on the bottom and the light blue colors on the spires, compared to the pastel colors used today.

You have to love the artwork in these vintage maps. I love the caricatures in the different lands, such as the pirate and Haunted Mansion ghost. Notice there is no Mickey’s Toontown at the top of the map. This was about 7 years before it opened. Some other major attractions missing in 1986 are Splash Mountain (1989), Indiana Jones Adventure (1995), and Star Tours (December 1986). I’ll go in to further detail later on in this post.

Whoa, wall of text! There is a lot of general information here. One item of note here is the blurb on Disney Characters. Notice it says they “may appear” and have “no specific schedule.” Much different than today!

The great thing about some of these old guide maps is that they were basically mini books. This guide map separates each land and includes maps and other useful information.

Shops come and go frequently on Main Street USA so it’s no surprise seeing so many different ones on here. Removed shops include Glassknitters, Candle Shop, Rings & Things, Crystal Arts, China Closet, Card Corner, and the Tobacconist (Yes, a real shop selling cigarettes inside Disneyland! Unheard of these days. The cigarette shop Indian can still be seen on Main Street in front of where the Tobacconist shop formally stood). Looking back there certainly were some strange shops available. A shop that sold gift cards and stationery? But I suppose these unique shops were better than shops that sell the same generic Disney merchandise found in the rest of the park. Dining-wise you can see many of the same locations as today but with some slightly different names. Also on Main Street at this time was Sunkist Citrus House (removed in 1990) which was loved by many long time Disneyland fans. The frozen juice bars were incredible!

When Indiana Jones Adventure opened in 1995 the rest of Adventureland got a makeover to make it match the specific time the attraction was set in, in this case the 1930s. Before that, Adventureland had a “timeless” feel to it. Or as Walt Disney said “we pictured ourselves far from civilization, in the remote jungles of Asia and Africa.” Adventureland was also home to one of the best restaurants in Disneyland, the Tahitian Terrace. What makes the removal of Tahitian Terrace so painful is the fact that its replacement, Aladdin’s Oasis, lasted only 2 years! The building has remained ever since, with no sign of the beloved Tahitian Terrace ever returning. Anyway, back to Adventureland 1986. Sunkist I Presume was the food location that predated the current Bangle Barbeque. Pictured at the bottom of the page on the right is the barker bird. The barker bird, voiced by Wally Boag, was perched above the Enchanted Tiki Room entrance and he would attempt to attract guests to go in to the show.

The biggest change to the New Orleans Square layout was the bridge that was added to the front of Pirates of the Caribbean. Before the bridge was added in 1987, the entrance to the attraction was on a flat surface along with the rest of the area. The meant that the queue created massive crowd flow problems. The bridge aloud the queue to be sunken below the show building, while the regular guest walkway leading in to Adventureland went over the queue.

Bear Country was renamed Critter Country in 1989 when Splash Mountain opened. The days before Splash Mountain were much more quiet in this area of the park. The major attraction in this land was the Country Bear Jamboree. The Disneyland version of CBJ could handle huge numbers of people due to there being two theaters showing the same show. The version in the Magic Kingdom only has one. Country Bear Jamboree closed in 2001 and was replaced by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in 2003. Also removed from this area is the Mile Long Bar (replaced by Pooh Corner).

Besides the shops and dining locations, not much has changed in Frontierland. It’s interesting to see that at one point Tom Sawyer’s Island had two food locations, now it has none. The legendary Golden Horseshoe Review was still playing multiple times a day to packed houses when this map was used in 1986. The show would be retired after an incredible 31 years in October of 1986.

Fantasyland had just received its complete overhaul in 1983, in which the original carnival tent style building facades were replaced by the current European village look. Attractions present in 1986 that have since been removed are Skyway to Tomorrowland (removed in 1994), Motor Boat Cruise (removed in 1991), Fantasyland Autopia (officially removed in 2000 when it was merged with the Tomorrowland Autopia to form the current version that we know today. Before that the Fantasyland Autopia was in seasonal operation from 1991 to 2000 where it was only open on the busiest days of the year), and Videopolis (removed in 1995, became the Fantasyland Theater). Videopolis is interesting because it was specifically targeted at local teens. During the day the Videopolis stage was used for Disney theme park stage shows. At night the chairs were removed and the area became a dance club for teenagers. Walls of video monitors displayed the latest music videos. I remember this area from when my family and I would take rides on the Disneyland Railroad. The railroad track goes along the northern side of Fantasyland Theater/Videopolis so you would leave the peaceful and secluded Rivers of America and then all of a sudden find yourself on the side of a loud dance party.

Tomorrowland has seen the most changes since 1986, removed attractions include Mission to Mars (removed in 1992, but the building exterior remained the same until 1997), America Sings (removed in 1988, the building was then left vacant for a 10 years until Innoventions opened in 1998), Skyway to Fantasyland (removed in 1994), The Submarine Voyage (the original was closed in 1998. The Submarine lagoon then sat dormant for 9 years until Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage opened in 2007), World Premiere Circle-Vision (removed in 1997, replaced by the queue for Rocket Rods later that year), People Mover (removed in 1995, replaced by Rocket Rods in 1998), and Rocket Jets (removed in 1997 and replaced by a kinetic sculpture known as Observatron). Also removed was the The Character Shop, Premiere Shop (now part of the building where Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters is located), The Space Place, and the Lunching Pad. There are two major attractions that are also missing from this map that actually closed in 1985. Adventure Thru Inner Space was an omnimover attraction located in the building where Star Tours can now be found (Star Tours opened in early 1987). The other missing attraction is Magic Journeys. This attraction was a 3D movie (which also could be found at EPCOT Center). The theater that Captain EO was shown in was built in 1986 and opened in September of that year, which is why it is not present on this map which is from early 1986.

Kodak was (and still is) the sponsor of Disney theme park maps, so they got two full pages in this guide map to advertise. I actually do think this page is kind of cool, It gives recommendations on what kind of film to use for taking pictures in certain environments. It’s also interesting that at one point you could rent Kodak cameras for the day if you forgot your own.

It wouldn’t be a Disney map without the Kodak advertisement on the back page. These can still be found on park maps to this day.

That wraps up this look at a vintage Disneyland guide map!


Posted on September 6, 2012

7 Responses to “Disney Ephemera: 1986 Disneyland Souvenir Guide”

  • Thanks for sharing! I still have my first map as well, but that was from 1998. A lot more similar to today’s maps than this one. Love that old art!

  • I visited DIsneyland for the first time in 1985. I was a little older than you (guess I still am 😉 and I thought Videopolis was the coolest thing! My parents actually let me stay there *by myself* because I wanted to dance. Unfortunately, Disney wouldn’t let me. There was some rule that kids couldn’t dance alone, and only in boy/girl couples. That really cramped my style, because naturally I didn’t know anyone, so I had to hang around looking pathetic until some boy took pity on me and asked me to dance. After that it was a blast!

    You know… I remember that one experience so well… I was actually disappointed to return as an adult and learn that it had been made into a Princess meet & greet!

    • I liked Videopolis a lot. When I was young my mom were really in to new wave in the 80s so I spent some time there with her and her friend. Also in the 90s at some point they added stations where you could play Capcom NES games like Duck Tales and Rescue Rangers. My young game soaked brain loved this.

  • These provided so much more information than the fold-out that is provided now. Probably more than most guests need, even if the fans like us enjoy them for the sake of history.

  • Thanks for sharing! Guide maps are so fun to review years later! I just wish I (and/or my parents) had kept more of them!