Sams Disney Diary #102: Maps of the Disney Parks - D23 2017 Breakout Session and Panel Discussion

#102: D23 Expo 2017 Maps of the Disney Parks

Maps of the Disney Parks, the Book, was available at the D23 Expo 2017 Breakout before it went on sale to the public
Maps of the Disney Parks, was available at the D23 Expo 2017 before it went on sale to the public

Maps of the Disney Parks – A 143-page hardcover book from Disney Editions that traces the history of Disney Parks through maps, but not your standard park map. The book features: concept art, maps for things that never happened, attraction maps providing a real history lesson of Disney Parks. From the pre-opening day, original concepts of Disneyland and the latest concept maps, “Maps of the Disney Parks” is a Disney historian must have reference. From maps of Tom Sawyer Island, Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, to preview maps of Nature’s Wonderland, EPCOT Center and Typhoon Lagoon, I can spend the better part of the day just looking at the details.

My recent purchase reminded me of the D23 Expo 2017 Breakout Session of the same title, a session I circled early on as a must do at the conference. Little did I know that this session would be Marty Sklar’s second to last public appearance; excusing himself toward the end of the session so he could prepare for the Legends of Imagineering ceremony (Full content in SamsDisneyDiary #94), his final public appearance.

Sams Disney Diary #102: Maps of the Disney Parks - D23 2017 Breakout Session and Panel Discussion - Walt using the original Herb Ryman Disneyland Map on this weekly Disneyland TV Show
Walt using the original Herb Ryman Disneyland Map on this weekly Disneyland TV Show

The Breakout Session opened with a clip of Walt presenting the original 1953 Herb Ryman Disneyland Map, the map famously drawn over a weekend after Walt described the details of Disneyland to Herb. As the story goes, Herb was naturally excited to see the details, and he asked Walt to see the plans; that’s when Walt broke the news to Herb that he was going to be drawing the details, in the first map of Disneyland. The rest as they say is history, and that map – the latest in a series of concept art, would be the map presented to investors the following weekend by Roy Disney.

The D23 Expo Maps of the Disney Parks Panel was hosted by Jeff Kurtti
The D23 Expo Maps of the Disney Parks Panel was hosted by Jeff Kurtti

The session was hosted by Jeff Kurti, Disney Author and Historian. Jeff introduces the session as “stuff about the book, that isn’t in the book”. Maps are more than ways to find where you are and where you are going, they can be used as art, as storytelling, as centerpieces and more.

The panel included Vanessa Hunt, Imagineer and the Curator of the Disney Archives Art Library, including about 130,000 pieces of original art. She is also the curator credited with all of the art work in the book, and Co-Author of the Disney

Disney Legend Marty Sklar participated on the Maps of the Disney Parks Panel, providing details that didn't make the book.
Disney Legend Marty Sklar participated on the Maps of the Disney Parks Panel, providing details that didn’t make the book.

Attractions Poster book. Marty Sklar, Imagineering Ambassador, Disney Legend and an attendee with first-hand knowledge of the opening of every Disney Park. The panel also included some details on Sam McKim who was credited with many original Disney maps, his son Matt McKim, who is currently a Disney Imagineer, joined the panel.

From souvenir maps, fun maps, land maps, parks maps in the US and abroad in Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai, the panel covered the history of the maps adding additional information on the fly.   The session included maps that did not make the book, and some on the fly explanations from Marty as to why some original maps are gone. That’s really what makes these D23 Breakout Sessions so special, and why I love the D23 Expo.

SamsDisneyDiary Episode #102 The Video

SamsDisneyDiary The Podcast

The Photo Gallery