Update: Walt Disney's original hand-drawn park map of Disneyland was sold on June 25, 2017 for $708,000. Though the auctioned price fell just below the predicted window of $750,000 to $1 million, the item is said to be one of the most expensive Disney artifacts sold. The lucky buyer has not yet been revealed, but we're guessing he or she knows just how important this piece of paper is.
— Additional reporting by Nicole Yi
Original post: An invaluable piece of theme park history is about to be auctioned off at what will likely be a million-dollar price point. In Sherman Oaks, Van Eaton Galleries is gearing up to sell the original map of Disneyland drawn by Walt Disney himself in 1953. Though the gallery has been selling animation memorabilia for over two decades, the map is said to be the most prized Disney item sold at an auction.
According to the gallery's co-owner Mike Van Eaton, the map was presented in meetings with prospective investors. A year later, Disney created a newer and more accurate map. Shortly thereafter, a Disney employee found the original map in Disney's office and asked if he could hold onto it as a keepsake. The employee kept it for decades before Van Eaton Galleries eventually acquired it.
In an interview with ABC7, Van Eaton said that "an artifact like this, which is so deeply rooted in the creation of Disneyland, still exists today is astonishing." Adding, "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."
The map will be auctioned in June 2017 along with 800 other original Disneyland artifacts and souvenirs. Leading up to the auction, the gallery will host a public exhibit in May. It's expected that the map will sell for $750,000 to $1 million.
Learn more about the historic find in the CBS Los Angeles video, shown below.