Disneyland Expansion Scrapped, New Theme Land Sold Off

Disneyland Mickey Mouse
Credit: Disney / Canva

Disney CEO Bob Iger has announced plans to pump billions of expansion dollars into Disneyland, but it turns out that the company has officially abandoned some of the original ideas the iconic park was built on.

Bob Iger and Mickey Mouse with bags of cash in front of the Walt Disney Company building.

Credit: Disney / Canva

In a recent earnings call, Bob Iger revealed a bold new agenda for the Walt Disney Company, at least in part to assure jittery shareholders that he had a plan for the future and that he should not be replaced by a hungry new activist billionaire. Disney has formed a partnership with the massively popular Fortnite online video game, surprised fans with the announcement of a soon-to-be-in-theaters Moana 2, and committed to a staggering $60 billion investment into expanding Disney Parks around the world.

A big chunk of that $60 billion (planned to roll out over a decade) will expand Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort and may even go to as many as 30 additional new theme lands or parks. It’s a massively ambitious undertaking, far outstripping the original dreams of Walt Disney for Main Street, U.S.A., Frontierland, and Autopia.

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Updates 2025 Expansion Plan, New Theme Park In Discussion

However, it turns out that one originally planned theme land at the Disneyland Resort is definitively scrapped: Anything Can Happen Land, one of the first ideas for the park in 1954. Anything Can Happen Land would have been based on “Anything Can Happen Day,” a weekly theme in the original Mickey Mouse Club television series.

Seventy years later, the original concept art for Disneyland’s Anything Can Happen Land has been sold by Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills, conclusively closing the door on modern Disney Parks ever constructing it. Some of the original sketches showed images of various attractions, including a Steamboat Willie watercraft:

A sketch for “Anything Can Happen” land, an unrealized Disneyland theme land

Credit: Heritage Auctions

What appears to be an interactive play area involving animals (hopefully either animatronics or statues):

A sketch for “Anything Can Happen” land, an unrealized Disneyland theme land

Credit: Heritage Auctions

A Pluto’s Doghouse attraction, for the more canine-minded child:

Pencil sketch depicting a child A sketch for “Anything Can Happen” land, an unrealized Disneyland theme landapproaching a large dog that is poking its head out of an oversized, roughly-drawn doghouse, with the title "fourth dimensions" and text underneath stating "observed upon a nearer land.

Credit: Heritage Auctions

And an actual Mickey Mouse playhouse set:

Hand-drawn sketch of a quaint, small house labeled "buzzer house—cheesehunt" with a figure on the roof and two others by the fence, surrounded by light annotations.

Credit: Heritage Auctions

The art by Bradley/Bushman was sold as part of a series of Disney memorabilia, described by the listing as:

Disneyland – Anything Can Happen Land Concept Brownline Prints by Bruce Bushman Group of 13 (Walt Disney, 1954)

Anything Can Happen Land was ironically a land that never happened. Offered here is a lot consisting of 10 brownline prints and 3 color photos for installations in this early Disneyland section that is all but lost to history. These early designs from the dawn of Disneyland are the work of Bruce Bushman (1911 – 1972) who, along with amusement park owner and engineer David Bradley, provided concept art for Walt Disney’s idea of a theme park based on his characters and films.

Nothing was off the table for the two-man design team. The park was to have a central hub that radiated out to themed sections much as it does today. Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Adventureland, all featured attractions based on Disney’s films films. Anything Can Happen Land was to take it’s cues from the studios cartoon shorts and The Mickey Mouse Club TV show.

Related: Disneyland Makes History, Opens Last New Theme Park Ride

It was to highlight characters like Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, and others. For whatever reason, it didn’t work and the section was scrapped. In this lot are 10 prints of Bruce Bushman’s original concepts for this forgotten park section. Attractions include Mickey Mouse’s Club House, Steamboat Willie’s Paddleboat, Pluto’s Dog House, Reluctant Dragon Climber, Lost Boys Tree, Jungle Compound, Over the Rainbow Climber, Giant Spider Web, Crazy Clock Tower, and a Casey Jones Jr. rollercoaster.

Nine of the prints measure 24″ x 19″ and one is 25.5 x 20.5. Along with the b/w prints are 3 11″ x 8″ color photos of Mickey Mouse’s Club House, Pluto’s Dog House, and the Reluctant Dragon Climber. It’s a jaw-dropping collection of Disneyland concepts that didn’t make the cut. Its rarity and uniqueness is certain to make it the centerpiece of any Disney park collection

Over the decades, Disneyland, Disney World, and all the international parks have massively expanded, refurbished, replaced, and re-conceptualized nearly every aspect of the theme parks. But it seems that the door has been definitively closed on this one: RIP, Anything Could Happen Land.

What Disneyland expansion would you most like to see? Tell us in the comments below!

This post Disneyland Expansion Scrapped, New Theme Land Sold Off appeared first on Inside the Magic.

About Nathan Kamal

Nathan Kamal is a Chicago-based writer and comic, who enjoys cooking, hanging out with his cat, and seeing as many movies as possible.

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