The original concept artwork behind Disneyland could fetch up to $1 million when it hits the auction block next month.
The large hand-painted map was created by Walt Disney and artist Herb Ryman in 1953, when the world-famous theme park was still a glint in the animator’s eye.
Having remained in a private collection for more than 40 years, the map will now be offered for sale on June 25 by Van Eaton Galleries, a company specializing in Disney memorabilia.
The map comes with an estimate of $750,000 – $1 million, and according to experts is the most valuable item of vintage Disneyland memorabilia ever offered for sale.
The current record price for a piece of Disneyland memorabilia was set in 2016, when an original ride vehicle from the Tomorrowland attraction sold at the same auction house for $471,500.
Walt Disney originally conceived the idea of building a theme park in the 1940s, whilst visiting Griffith Park in Los Angeles with his young daughters.
His initial idea, which featured fairground rides, a steamboat ride and a small Main Street, was originally called Mickey Mouse Park, and covered just 8 acres of land opposite the Disney animation studio.
However, once the ball was rolling and his designers began working on concepts, the scale of the project grew and grew.
By 1953 Disney realized he would need outside funding, and set about creating a prospectus to entice investors, which included copies of a map depicting how the park would look when it was completed.
Original copies of the document which Disney handed out to potential investors are rare and collectible in themselves, selling for up to $80,000 at auction.
But the map offered at Van Eaton galleries is the hand-painted original from which those copies were created, and has never been offered publically for sale in its history.
"That an artifact like this, which is so deeply rooted in the creation of Disneyland, still exists today is astonishing," said Van Eaton Galleries co-owner Mike Van Eaton.
"With the discovery of this piece, we have an item that Walt Disney created during a 48 hour period of hard work and imaginative genius, which succeeded in getting him the funding he needed to build one of the most successful endeavors of his career, and which he continued to personally use throughout the entire building stages of Disneyland.
"Without this map, there would likely not be a Disneyland today."