One of the most treasured items of my Disneyana collection must be the 1992 Euro Disneyland Souvenir Map, which is hanging, nicely framed, on the wall of my study. With a size of 113 x 75 cm (44.5″ x 29.5″) this map is quite large and I remember it wasn’t very easy to find a frame large enough for it.
I do love this map. I love to study it and no matter how often I look at it I still discover something new each time, something I have never seen before (isn’t it like that with any good Disney attraction?).
The map is beautifully drawn and coloured and it is packed with so many intricate details that it is a real treasure trove of information about the Euro Disneyland park of 1992 and its’ then-conceived future.
This map was sold as souvenir in the early years at Euro Disneyland and it is not so easy to be found nowadays, so I thought it would be a really nice gift to all the Disneyland Paris enthusiasts out there – and also the first real Disneyland Paris Treasure of this blog – to give you this rare and beautiful piece of Disneyland Paris history in digitalised glorious high definition! This way you too can check out all these little details that I’m talking about. See for yourselves:
Please click the image as it will then open in a new browser tab, allowing you to explore the map in full, high-resolution detail, because no matter how high your screen’s resolution is, this image will not fit without being scaled and you WILL have to zoom to get to the full resolution and to see all the details! This image is 10.000 x 6.622 px, which equals 66 megapixels (or approx. 225dpi at its original size).
To get a scan of this huge map in such an amazing quality I had to find a professional scanning service that does large format colour scans (most large format scanners only scan black-and-white, for blueprints), which was not easy but certainly worth it, just look at the quality of the scan!
Of course, you might prefer to download this map instead, to use it as desktop wallpaper or at this resolution you could even print it in its original size and it will look perfect. To download this beautiful map in full 66 megapixels glory head down to the Treasure Chest at the end of this article!
As mentioned above, most of these maps were sold as souvenirs in the early years at Euro Disneyland for a very affordable price of 20 French Francs (about 3 Euro). They were sold folded, so they could be safely stored and transported despite the hustle and bustle of a busy day in the park.
But a rare few of these maps were not sold but instead given as a gift to Disney Cast Members, and only these few maps were not folded but were rolled instead! As you can imagine the folded maps have strong creases and they are very hard to scan and the creases will always show up in the digitalised image and are almost impossible to remove. So when one lucky day I managed to get my hands on one of these rare rolled editions of this map, I knew right away that I had the obligation to have this piece of art and of Euro Disneyland history scanned and digitalised and by that preserved for history and for all the enthusiastic fans like me out there.
This Euro Disneyland Souvenir map is also a perfect example for a point that I’ll be trying to make with many of my future posts in this blog, the point being that the Imagineers intended Euro Disneyland to be the ultimate tribute to Walt Disney’s original Disneyland.
The original Disneyland Souvenir Map
This map is not just a beautiful piece of art, it is in fact homage to the original Disneyland Souvenir Maps, large format, poster size maps which were issued between 1958 and 1964 and sold at Disneyland. Even today, these fascinating maps remain among the most sought-after pieces of Disney memorabilia.
As you can see there is a striking resemblance to “our” map. Of all the other Magic Kingdoms out there only Euro Disneyland has had the honour of receiving such a souvenir map by Sam McKim.
When Euro Disney was developed, Tony Baxter, lead designer of the Euro Disneyland project, asked the artist who created the original 1958 Disneyland Souvenir Map to come out of retirement to draw one more map à la old Disneyland style, his friend and legendary Disney Imagineer Sam McKim.
Sam McKim – The Detail Guy
The Euro Disneyland souvenir map was created by legendary Disney Imagineer Sam McKim, who – although being one of Walt’s original Disneyland designers, being concept artist for all four Disney attractions at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair and although being art director and production artist on many Disney live-action movies – to this day probably is most famous to the Disney fan community as the creator of the first Disneyland souvenir map.
Roy E. Disney once called Sam “a master of detail”. It was this love to detail that made him the perfect choice for these maps. Marty Sklar said “Sam’s attention to the tiniest details in his paintings was really extraordinary”.
While working on the map for Euro Disneyland, Sam McKim had a heart attack. Knowing that he couldn’t complete the map in time for the opening, he suggested Tony Baxter to ask someone else to do the map. Tony refused this offer, preferring to wait until Sam could complete it. Sam managed to finish it only three weeks after the opening of Euro Disneyland.
In 1996, at the Disney Studios in Burbank, California, Sam McKim was initiated into the select group of individuals designated as Disney Legends and given a special trophy.
In 2006, two years after he passed away at the age of 79, he was honoured with a window on Main Street at Disneyland, California. The fitting inscription reads “Cartography Masterworks – Sam McKim – Map Maker to the Kingdom – There’s Magic in the Details”
“Attraction Future”, just around the corner…
Sam produced six different editions of the original Disneyland map. The first (and rarest), produced in 1958, was available for less than a year. It included such long-gone but fondly remembered attractions as the Frontierland Stagecoaches and the Viewliner Train of Tomorrow. But the expansion of Tomorrowland in 1959 led to a quick revision of the original map to include the Matterhorn and the Monorail.
For the Euro Disneyland Souvenir Map there was just one second edition, which was issued in 1994. Most of the changes in this update were subtle, only the exchange of the “Euro Disneyland” signet with one showing “Disneyland Paris” as the new name of the park, a new Mickey Mouse compass (featuring Sorcerer Mickey instead of Tuxedo Mickey) and the replacement of two of the characters in the map border (Winnie the Pooh and Tigger were replaced with Simba and Aladdin) are visible right away. The colour of the map’s border did not change though, like it always did with updates of the original Disneyland map (the border of the 1958 map was orange, the 1961 border was pink, the 1962 border was blue, the 1964 border was green).
You can find this updated 1994 edition of the map on the walls of three boutiques in Disneyland Park: Plaza East Boutique, Plaza West Boutique and Storybook Store. All three maps are nicely framed (folded versions with creases though), but the maps sadly are in bad condition.
As you probably noticed already the version I own and scanned for you is the original 1992 edition.
In the 1950s Walt Disney had such confidence in his new park that he had future attractions and “lands” included in these souvenir maps as if they were just around the corner. Even the Haunted Mansion was already featured on the very first 1958 map (named “Haunted House”), but it was shown in Frontierland, not New Orleans Square (which did not yet exist). The actual construction of the Haunted Mansion began not before 1962 and it finally opened in 1969!
Sometimes the original Disneyland maps featured attractions and even entire “lands” that never were built. The first map included Edison Square, a turn-of-the-century celebration of electricity and Liberty Street, a Colonial-themed area honouring the historical heritage of the US. Edison Square and Liberty Street were never constructed, at least not at Disneyland (Liberty Street became Liberty Square in The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World).
Again, very much like the original Disneyland maps our Euro Disneyland map also contains references about planned attractions, they were marked (in French of course) “Attraction Future”. These are especially interesting and sadly most of them were never build, like the Little Mermaid ride, the Beauty and the Beast stage show and the Indiana Jones Adventure.
Space Mountain, which opened in 1995, is also depicted as “Attraction Future”, but it is depicted as it was originally planned in its’ much more elaborate “Discovery Mountain” version, which would have been an even more amazing project than what Space Mountain De la Terre à la Lune turned out to be.
To this day Sam’s original Disneyland maps are eagerly sought-after collectors’ items.
Fitting to the theme of the “Disneyland Paris Treasures” blog I would like to close this first article with a little Treasure Hunt! On the original Disneyland map Sam McKim hid a little detail within the trees of the cartographic minutia of the map. Very close to the “Disneyland” Signet and in perfect artistic harmony with the surrounding style, there can be found his initials “SM”!
For the Euro Disneyland Souvenir Map Sam obviously was a little braver and dared to write his full name, but also a little bit hidden.
As you now have this beautiful map in ultra high resolution and perfect quality you can do, if you like, what I did when I learned about this secret – you can search the full map for the hidden signature! And if you have found it (it is not hidden too hard) know this: Sam was afraid they might find his name and remove it (although I strongly doubt they would have) so even in our map he as well hid his initials “SM” in the trees somewhere. And these indeed are very hard to find!
Ahoy Matey! Ye come seekin’ treasure and salty old pirates, eh? Sure ye come to the proper place!
This treasure chest contains the full 66 megapixels hi-res scan of the 1992 Euro Disneyland Souvenir Map! To unlock this chest just leave a nice comment below, then head back here and claim your booty!