Current Exhibition

The Art of Disneyland Attraction Posters

May 31, 2024–August 18, 2024
Lower Lobby Gallery

A curated selection of nostalgic Disneyland attraction posters from The Walt Disney Family Museum’s collection is on display and free to view in the museum’s Lower Lobby Gallery.  

From the early years of Disneyland to today, some of the first impressions of the experiences that await visitors inside the park can been seen upon entering the front gates—a selection of vibrant posters promoting Disneyland’s slate of attractions. Serving as both decoration and a savvy way to highlight attractions, these artistic posters are a notable part of Disneyland’s unique storytelling strategy. 

Modeled after popular mid-century travel advertisements, attraction posters were historically placed at various intersections within Disneyland, directing guests from one land to another, building anticipation and encouraging exploration. Walt Disney’s vision for his park was to create a whimsical place to be enjoyed by the whole family—an immersive space that seamlessly transitioned between lands and time periods, filled with magic and opportunity. “Like a lot of things at Disneyland, attraction posters are storytelling without saying words,” notes former Disney Imagineer Tim Delaney. 

The collection of original posters selected for The Art of Disneyland Attraction Posters depict many of the experiences that were operational and awaited the arrival of guests on Disneyland’s Opening Day, on July 17, 1955, including Jungle Cruise, Golden Horseshoe Revue, Mad Tea Party, King Arthur Carrousel, Space Station X-1, and Peter Pan's Flight.  

Many of the memorable posters included in this display were originally donated to the museum from the personal collection of Diane Disney Miller, Walt’s eldest daughter and co-founder of The Walt Disney Family Museum, and her husband, former museum Board President Ron Miller. “My mom loved her posters,” says Walter Miller, museum co-founder, current Board President, and son of Ron and Diane. “She had been buying vintage European beverage and culinary posters from Omnibus Gallery in Aspen, Colorado to display at the family winery, Silverado Vineyards in Napa Valley, California for years. Walking the halls of the winery was like walking through a vintage poster museum. She also bought many of our vintage Disney film posters from Omnibus.” 

Some of the earliest artworks on view—along with others produced for Disneyland between 1955 and 1956—were designed by artist Bjørn Aronsen, who was hired by The Walt Disney Company following his previous career as a travel poster illustrator. Aronsen’s posters were created using a traditional silk screen printing process, which limited the number of colors in production and created a strong graphic effect in their composition. By the 1970s and 1980s, printing technology allowed for more detailed designs, but the aesthetics of Aronsen’s original work left an impression on later poster artists who recreated their look for new attraction posters. Other posters in this showcase were created by Disney Legends Sam McKim and Claude Coats, along with Paul Hartley, who contributed to the creation of all four Disney exhibitions in the 1964–1965 New York World’s Fair. 

The Art of Disneyland Attractions Posters will be showcased in the museum’s Lower Lobby Gallery through Sunday, August 18, 2024. The exhibition is free to the public.