Monday, August 8, 2011

Map Monday: Disneyland 1955 vs 2005

I have scoured dozens of maps, overhead photos, video, technical drawings and anything else I could find on Disneyland history in order to re-create the park layout as it changed over the years and decades.  Personally, I find it fascinating to know how the park evolved and why certain things are where they are.

I have a background in digital mapping and in graphic design, and so I have combined the two skills to create the maps on this blog.  While I acknowledge the drawing I present is not a precise representation, I have used my mapping skills to be significantly close.

**Click on the image to see full size**
Disneyland Map, 1955 with 2005 reference overlay

Be sure to follow the Railroad tracks around the outside of the park--today's entrance to Critter Country is yesterday's train path.  Notice how the Submarine Lagoon is different than the original Phantom Boat lagoon.

Really cool things I have found:
  • Find the Dominguez Palm.  It has been on this property since the 1896. It was originally behind today's Haunted Mansion show building (see Holidayland on map) and moved to a spot in Adventureland during the original park construction, where it remains today.
  • The Indian Trading Post (built 1956) is still there today in Critter Country, despite all the significant changes to the area of the Park.
  • The Rocks between Big Thunder Trail & Big Thunder Ranch are the same ones built in 1956 for Rainbow Ridge attractions, particularly the Mine Train.
  • The only two DL&SF Railroad Stations, at Main Street and Frontierland, each had their own engine & passenger cars and each completed a round-trip trip without stopping at the other station---that is why both stations have a passing lane, so they could skip the station that was not on their day's route.
  • Every time the Railroad expanded near Adventureland, the Jungle Cruise added a new scene.  Elephant Bathing Pool, African Savannah, and Hippos were all additions to the original cruise.
  • The big gate across from Small World, between Storybookland and Fantasyland Theatre opens to a space that was once the route the railroad used to travel.  Follow the gates due east across Small World Mall toward the Monorail, and you'll find the Monorail used to run parallel to the former railroad tracks for several yards.
  • All the bodies of water are interconnected, in two groupings.  Tomorrowland to Fantasyland were one combination.  Main Street (Castle & Plaza Hub), to Adventureland, Jungle Cruise, leading to Rivers of America.  I believe there still is some inter-connectivity, but it is no longer as visible as it was in the early years.


  1. Christopher, I searched your blog for a way to reach you. I'm using this comment as a last resort. I like the graphic style of your comparison map and I'd like to talk about a possible collaboration. I can be reached at

  2. Some of your dates are not entirely accurate. The pack mules lasted until 1973 and were just renamed a couple of times. The stage coach and the Conestoga wagons lasted until 1960 and the Indian Village was there until 1971.

  3. Randall, as Disneyland and mapping are both hobbies of mine, I have a passion for accuracy on this topic, so I really do appreciate your input toward fact checking. Actually, all the links you provided are prominent resources I frequently use (plus overhead photos and historic guidebooks from the era)

    Generically, you are correct that the pack mules, stagecoach, and wagons existed longer than my map indicates. Since I am trying to capture the space and layout of the attractions, the original "Pack Mules" (7/55-2/56), "Rainbow Ridge Pack Mules" (6/56-9/59) and "Pack Mules Thru Nature's Wonderland" (5/60-10/73) were quite different experiences with very different layouts. [Stagecoach, Conestoga Wagons, and Mine Train attractions likewise varied] Since the map I included above only identifies 1955 vs 1995 that variation is not very evident.

    Likewise, the original Indian Village (thru 1/56) was located near where the current Treehouse/Pirates attractions are currently located. The more commonly known Indian Village (located where Critter Country is today) existed 7/56-10/71 and was accessed thru the original railroad tunnel located *in front* of today's Haunted Mansion.

    I do appreciate the review of my historic park map, and if you care to view further versions, I do have entire park maps for the years of significant changes online on my website. The differences between "original", "Rainbow Ridge", and "Nature's Wonderland" versions of those Frontierland attractions are much clearer and evident on the yearly map layouts (although those maps have no attraction labels, yet)

    Those maps can be found at:

    Thanks again... and PLEASE do share if you find any other concerns!