Scientists say time is linear, but they are full of nerd garbage, because time for sure accelerates exponentially. As my personal time velocity is currently set at a 6 or 7, I’m beginning to understand how important it is to post, share, and properly archive the things I have and love.
Even if just two people are interested in my obsessions or ephemera, who knows how those two people might be inspired and what might come of it?
So, let’s talk about Disneyland. Something I truly love.
A few years ago I bought, at an auction, a lot of “Backstage Disneyland” newsletters. Created by the Disneyland Recreation Club, and distributed to cast members, I was taken by the beautiful cover designs — and couldn’t wait to discover what was inside.
Also, importantly, a quick Google showed me that, as far as I could find, they weren’t readable online.
So I had them all scanned, just for you. (And me.)
There are a few notable things about these:
- The editor — at least at first — was Wally Boag, Portland native, well known performer in Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Revue (he did over 39,000 shows), and big influence to Disneyland cast member Steve Martin.
- They’re very funny — at least at first. Almost a Mad Magazine Meets Disneyland vibe. As the late 70’s and 80’s enter the picture, things get more buttoned up.
- They’re unbelievably cozy — at least at first. Early Disneyland was clearly a family. Employees all seem to know each other. Nothing in here feels “corporate” at all. Compared to The Walt Disney Corporation in 2023, it’s really hard to wrap your head around.
Here are just a few interesting content highlights, the first found by my friend Greg Maletic:
Q: How many light bulbs did Disneyland have in 1962?
Q: How many nautical miles had Disneyland ships travelled by 1963?
There are Star Wars cartoons in the 1980 issue that are incredible — little did they know what the future held:
A 1974 article “What Is WED” discusses a then-planned “UFO Show”, which I would’ve absolutely loved to see:
I don’t have every issue, but it’s a start. (See below!)
Kick back, grab a beverage, and click any issue to dig in!
Note: you can download any of these issues as a PDF — look for the link in the “Download Options” box on the right.
I really hope you enjoy these. And I have more historical artifacts to share on this blog, so stay tuned!
PS: I have one request! If you find an interesting tidbit of information or cool thing in these, will you drop a note in the comments below and share? Thanks!!
Real-deal independent Disney archivist Jason Schultz has absolutely saved the day. He’s provided me with the eight missing issues in my set — meaning this post now contains a complete set of Backstage Disneyland! From the first issue in 1962 to the last in 1980.
Jason is dedicating his life to building an absolutely mind-boggling digital Disneyland archive, far beyond anything you can imagine. Check it out at parkendium.com!
And so, here are the rest!