The Coolest Sci-Fi Memorabilia You Can Buy at the Upcoming Nostalgia-Fuelled Disneyland Auction

Part of an original painting used to promote Star Tours at Disneyland.
Part of an original painting used to promote Star Tours at Disneyland.
Photo: All Images: Van Eaton Galleries

Do you love science fiction and/or Disney theme parks? Well, you may want to hold your breath. Next week in Los Angeles, there’s an auction of vintage Disneyland memorabilia.

Advertisement

The auction is being put on by collector Richard Kraft in partnership with Van Eaton Galleries. The memorabilia, which spans 25 years, comes from Kraft’s personal collection and includes all manner of authentic props, knick-knacks, and collectibles from Disney history. We’re talking actual pieces of rides, park signs, artwork, and so much more. It’s likely to bring in millions.

Ahead of the sale, Kraft put his whole collection on display in an abandoned Sports Authority in Sherman Oaks, California and opened the doors for all to see. The public is free to come in and check out his collection every day leading up to the auction, which will be held Aug. 25 and 26.

Advertisement
The outside of the “That’s From Disneyland” exhibit in Sherman Oaks.
The outside of the “That’s From Disneyland” exhibit in Sherman Oaks.

I did just that a few weeks ago and while there was some stunning stuff there, as you can imagine, I gravitated more toward the sci-fi stuff. Tomorrowland items, in particular. And below, we’ve got photos and some info about what we thought were the coolest science fiction pieces from the exhibit.

First up is this “original painting created to promote” the then-newly opened Star Tours ride back in 1987. The image, which was used in all manner of ads, features R2-D2, C-3PO, and Captain Rex. It’s expected to go to for between $3,000 and $5,000.

Lot 754, original Star Tours promo art.
Lot 754, original Star Tours promo art.
Advertisement

This next one should look familiar. It’s an artist-proof, limited edition poster for the Indiana Jones Adventures ride by the legendary Drew Struzan, released in 1995. This one is just a print but it’s signed by Struzan, then-Disney president Michael Eisner, and George Lucas himself. It’s estimated to fetch between $1,000 and $2,000.

Lot 392, signed Indiana Jones poster.
Lot 392, signed Indiana Jones poster.
Advertisement

You can’t think “Tomorrowland” and “Disneyland” without thinking “Space Mountain,” right? So how’s this? This is “an original attraction vehicle” used on Space Mountain beginning in 1977. Short of owning the whole ride itself, this is as cool as it gets, which is why it’s expected to sell for anywhere between $25,000 and $50,000.

Lot 744, an original Space Mountain attraction vehicle.
Lot 744, an original Space Mountain attraction vehicle.
Advertisement

Do you love Space Mountain but don’t have 50k laying around? Well, this is a super awesome alternative to the vehicle. It’s a limited edition lithograph featuring original concept art for the ride by John Hench. Again, it’s not original art—it’s a reprint released in 1997. But it’s one of only 300, comes framed, and is expected to sell for between $200-$400.

Lot 737, John Hench Space Mountain concept print.
Lot 737, John Hench Space Mountain concept print.
Advertisement

This is the most unique thing I saw at the exhibit. It’s an original attraction vehicle for the “Rocket Rods” ride. Now, we all remember that popular ride “Rocket Rods,” right? You don’t? Of course not. That’s because it was open in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland for all of two years, from 1998-2000, and during that time it was regularly closed for repairs. It was basically Disneyland’s answer to the Magic Kingdom’s PeopleMover, except it accelerated and decelerated, almost like the modern TestTrack in Epcot. Seems like the idea was a bit too ahead of its time, though, and the ride was closed in September 2000. Most of the cars were believed to be destroyed but this one made it out. It’s estimated to sell for between $15,000 and $25,000.

Lot 748, Rocket Rods attraction vehicle.
Lot 748, Rocket Rods attraction vehicle.
Advertisement

You knew I was going to circle back to Star Tours, right? This is another original painting created during the development of Star Tours. It was done by Imagineer Tim Delaney back in 1986. A finalized version was one of the first things the public saw about the ride. It’s estimated to fetch between $3,000 and $5,000.

Lot 749, Tim Delaney Star Tours painting.
Lot 749, Tim Delaney Star Tours painting.
Advertisement

Finally, the next two pieces are both original concept art created to pitch a commercial for Star Tours that ended up airing on TV during the first few months of the rides opening. Each image has dialogue from the commercial, storyboards, and more.

Lot 751, Star Wars commercial concept art.
Lot 751, Star Wars commercial concept art.
Advertisement
Lot 752, Star Wars commercial concept art.
Lot 752, Star Wars commercial concept art.

And really, that’s just the start of it. Not only are there more science fiction items, there’s stuff from Fantasyland, Frontierland, Adventureland, the Haunted Mansion, and Splash Mountain. You name it and Kraft has it or something like it.

Advertisement

You can find out more about the exhibition, request a catalog, and even register to bid at this website: thatsfromdisneyland.com. The free pop-up display is open through Aug. 24, before the auction Aug. 25-26.

Correction: A previous version of this story called the “Rocket Rods” “Rocket Pods.” We regret the error.

Advertisement

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

lenadunhamsboobs
lena dunhams boobs

Rocket Pods wasnt Disneylands version of the People Mover. It WAS the repurposing of the People Mover which had been closed down for a while at that point (people mover in Disneyland came first and was built in Disney World to mimic the one in Disneyland)

The problems came from the fact People Mover is NOT a fast ride, and in repurposing it with the stupid pods, the track was irreversible damaged. Thats why its never been used again and why it was constantly being repaired when they tried the Rocket Pod experiment. Them trying to bring new life to the Disneyland People Mover ended up destroying it so bad they either have to completely rebuild it from scratch, or take it down completely, both of which is spending a lot of money they are not willing to spend.

Now I want to know why that Star Tours commercial image looks like it has Shuttle Pod nacelles on it from Star Trek, and if the rumors are true that after their Black Hole project failed (originally Star Tours was to be a Black Hole themed ride) that for a small bit of time they thought of making it a Star Trek ride before going with Star Wars. After all Michael Eisner was in charge at Paramount when Star Trek The Motion Picture and Wrath of Khan was filmed (it was rumored part of the cost overrun on TMP was because Eisner brought friends by to see the Enterprise model and forgot to turn the lights off inside the model, causing it to catch fire and needing it to be completely refurbished) and I could see them courting Paramount before going to Lucas.