Secret Stories of Extinct Disneyland

Memories of the Original Park

by Jim Korkis | Release Date: June 1, 2019 | Availability: Print, Kindle

Excavating the Magic

In over eighty individual chapters, each filled with facts, quotes, and anecdotes, Disney historian Jim Korkis chronicles the very best of a Disneyland that no longer exists, taking us back in time to "Walt's park" and revealing how it has changed between then and now.

Live mermaids swimming in the Submarine Lagoon. ... Pack mules nipping at the shoes of children. ... Flying saucers hovering inches in the air over a circular floor. For many people this was the Disneyland of their youth, but over the years dozens of shows, attractions, and experiences have disappeared forever from the Happiest Place on Earth.

In this latest volume of his best-selling Secret Stories series, Korkis shares behind-the-scenes information—much of it never before in print—about what used to delight guests at Disneyland.

From Main Street's Intimate Apparel Shop and Frontierland's Mineral Hall, to Fantasyland's Pirate Ship restaurant and Adventureland's Barker Bird, Korkis excavates, unearths, and discovers a Disneyland past that will be sweetly nostalgic to some, and a unique glimpse into a forgotten past for others.

Who knows what we'll find!

Table of Contents


Main Street, U.S.A.


Bank of America

Upjohn Pharmacy

Wurlitzer Music Hall

The Intimate Apparel Shop

Story Book Shop

Sunkist Citrus House

The Walt Disney Story

Red Wagon Inn

Circus Fantasy

State Fair

Blast to the Past

Pooh for President

Disney Dollars

Main Street Electrical Parade


Swiss Family Treehouse

Barker Bird

Tahitian Terrace

Aladdin’s Oasis

Big Game Safari Shooting Gallery


Davy Crockett Frontier Museum / Arcade

Mike Fink Keel Boats

Indian Village

Pendleton Woolen Mills Dry Goods Store

Golden Horseshoe Revue

Don Defore’s Silver Banjo Restaurant

Aunt Jemima’s Pancake House

Casa de Fritos

Pack Mules


Yellowstone Coaches & Conestoga Wagons

Cascade Peak

Mine Train

Mineral Hall

New Orleans Square

The Disney Gallery

The Court of Angels

Pirates Arcade Museum


Critter Country

Country Bear Jamboree

Rufus the Bear

Indian War Canoes / Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes


Mickey Mouse Club Theater / Fantasyland Theatre

Welch’s Grape Juice Stand

Midget Autopia

Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship Restaurant

Skull Rock Cove

Motor Boat Cruise



Disney Afternoon Avenue

Mickey’s Toontown

Jolly Trolley


The Clock of the World

20,000 Leagues Exhibit

Kaiser Hall of Aluminum Fame

Hobbyland/Flight Circle

Monsanto House of the Future

Adventure Thru Inner Space

Submarine Voyage

Submarine Voyage Live Mermaids

Mermaid 1959: Susan Musfelt Hoose

Mermaid 1966: Edie

Submarine Voyage Other Mermaids


WEDWay PeopleMover


Flying Saucers

Rocket to the Moon

Flight to the Moon

Mission to Mars

Rocket Jets

Tomorrowland Space Girl

Space Girl 1964: Terry Jo Steinberger

Space Girl 1965: Carol Farris

The Art Corner

Art of Animation Exhibit

Carousel of Progress

America Sings

Captain EO

Star Tours


Circle Vision 360

The Disneyland Helicopter

Disneyland Kids of the Kingdom

In a 1956 interview with writer Pete Martin of The Saturday Evening Post, Walt Disney stated:

"Disneyland means a lot to me in that it’s something that will never be finished. Something that I can keep developing; keep “plussing” and adding to. It will be a live, breathing thing that will need changes."

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.

I am old enough that I actually experienced much of extinct Disneyland personally although in some cases I was too young to fully appreciate or clearly remember some of those experiences. I vaguely recall 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 my doombuggy.

On the other hand, I can still clearly recall Wally Boag performing as Pecos Bill, or rocking underneath a support tower on a Skyway bucket, and struggling to adjust my weight so that I could shift my flying saucer to bump into my brothers as if I 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 I could verify from multiple sources including my own interviews with Imagineers.

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.

Jim Korkis

Jim Korkis is an internationally acknowledged authority on Walt Disney whose hundreds of articles and presentations about all things Disney have been enjoyed by people worldwide for decades.

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