Secret Stories of
Extinct Disneyland:
Memories of
the Original Park

The newest book from Jim Korkis

Usually I wait until late each year to publish a “roundup” of books that are likely to interest Yesterland readers. But a new book was released this weekend that I want readers to know about right away.

Just by reading the title, you’ll know why I expect Yesterland readers to enjoy this.

The author is Jim Korkis, so I know the book is well written, well researched, reflects Jim’s incredible knowledge of all things Disney—and will be fun to read. The text in this article was provided by Jim.

Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland, May 26, 2019

UPDATE: When I originally published this item, Jim’s new book was only available as a paperback. Amazon has now released it for Kindle. It costs less than the printed book, and you can get it instantly. This article now has Amazon links for both versions.

Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland, June 14, 2019


Secret Stories of Extinct Disneyland:

Memories of the Original Park

by Jim Korkis

Publisher: Theme Park Press   |   Publication Date: May 25, 2019

  Secret Stories of Extinct Disneyland: Memories of the Original Park




Growing up less than an hour from Anaheim, Jim visited Disneyland many times as a child, a teenager, and an adult. He personally experienced many of the things in this book, from the day of the Disneyland helicopter crash to the Kids of Kingdom performing to seeing the opening of Bear Country.

He accumulated fond memories of every visit and some well-loved souvenirs, including The Walt Disney Art of Animation Kit from the Art Corner and the Tinker Bell glow-in-the-dark wand sold at Mineral Hall. He authored the book The Unofficial Disneyland 1955 Companion (2016) covering the creation of Disneyland and its first full year of operation.

Disneyland has constantly changed from the moment it first opened with Walt himself almost immediately adding things and removing others.

Over six decades, even some iconic attractions have changed in significant ways. The Matterhorn no longer has a Skyway passing through its upper level but it now includes a menacing Abominable Snowman stalking its glacial caverns. The Pirates of the Caribbean now showcases additions from the popular movie franchise.

Some attractions have disappeared completely but sometimes elements of them can still be located in the attractions that replaced them. Items from the long gone Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland can be still discovered scattered beside the tracks of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The ship’s bell, seashell planter and chest from the Swiss Family Treehouse are now part of the décor of Tarzan’s Treehouse as is the familar sound of the Swisskapolka.

Some things are removed because of maintenance or safety issues. Some things are removed because of lack of capacity as attendance has grown. Some things are removed because guests just stopped wanting to visit because of changing tastes. Some things are removed to save money.

Jim jokes that he is more than old enough to have experienced much of extinct Disneyland personally, although, in some cases, he was too young to fully appreciate or clearly remember some of those experiences. He vaguely recalls being uneasy riding on the back of a pack mule, puzzled at trying to figure out the time on the Clock of the World, and very frightened when a Haunted Mansion suit of armor lunged out toward his Doombuggy. So, he did a lot of additional research to confirm those things and more.

On the other hand, he can still clearly recall Wally Boag performing as Pecos Bill and saw it so many times that he can quote from the act, or rocking underneath a support tower on a Skyway bucket, and struggling to adjust his weight so that he could shift his flying saucer to bump into his brothers as if he had just experienced those things yesterday.

Disney has shown itself to be notoriously poor in proper documentation, especially of the early years of Disneyland. Opening and closing dates, proper nomenclature and more are the best Jim could verify from multiple sources including his own interviews with Imagineers over the decades.

This is not a definitive listing of all things missing at Disneyland and even as this book is being published other favorites are disappearing. Hopefully, what is here will bring back fond memories for some people while at the same time sparking the curiosity of those people who never experienced them at all.

Yesterland is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.” That means Yesterland benefits financially if you buy this book (and any other items at Amazon) using the link in this article.

Would you like to read about other books from recent years? Then check these Yesterland lists:


Click here to post comments at MiceChat about this article.

Book: Disney Never Lands
Books for Disney Fans, 2018

© 2019 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated August 9, 2019.