The Vault of Walt Volume 8: Outer Space Edition

Out-of-This-World Stories of Walt Disney, Disney Theme Parks, Films & More

by Jim Korkis | Release Date: October 21, 2019 | Availability: Print, Kindle

Where No Mouse Has Gone Before

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing and the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, Jim Korkis weaves over three dozen tales of both fact and fantasy about outer space from Disney’s films, theme park attractions, comics, and elsewhere, including:

  • How Walt Disney and former Nazi scientist Dr. Wernher von Braun took a man "to the moon" over a decade before one actually went there
  • The secret story of Garco, Walt Disney's mechanical celebrity friend, and how it helped inspire human audio-animatronics
  • The many different versions of the Epcot Space Pavilion that were never built and the details behind the Sci-Fi City concept that would have replaced Tomorrowland
  • What happened to the Walt Disney World attraction created by George Lucas that would have featured the deadly Xenomorph alien from the popular movie series
  • How Dr. Who almost ended up in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, Ward Kimball’s strange connection to the UFO community, and much more


Table of Contents


Part One: Walt in Space

Tomorrowland Television Shows

Tomorrowland Television Shows Never Made

Part Two: Disney Theme Parks

Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland (1994)

Disneyland’s Tomorrowland (1955)

The Epcot Space Pavilion That Never Was

Disneyland’s Tomorrowland Space Girl

The Story Behind Star Tours

The Birth of Space Mountain

Eddie Sotto: Disney’s World of Tomorrow

Part Three: Disney Space Films

The Misadventures of Captain EO

The Tale of Ludwig Von Drake

Moon Pilot (1962)

The Strange Voyage to Treasure Planet (2002)

Inside The Black Hole (1979)

Part Four: Disney Stardust

Ward Kimball’s UFO Mystery

Space Mountain Movies That Never Were

Eyes in Outer Space (1959)

Roving Mars (2006)

The Black Hole Comics

Disney Space Cartoons Made/Unmade

Mission: SPACE Fun Facts

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café with Sonny Eclipse

Disneyland’s Flying Saucers

Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant

Edna Disney on Space Mountain

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

George Lucas Alien Encounter

Who Was Charles Shows?

Marc Davis and Space

Disney Space Oddities

Tezuka and Astro Boy

Doctor Who and Disney

Roy O. Disney Talks Space

On Saturday, July 23, 2011, I was a speaker at the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco at the request of Diane Disney Miller to talk about her father’s interest in America’s space program, especially through his trilogy of television shows produced in the 1950s.

The hour and a half presentation was entitled “Walt’s Fascination with Outer Space” and was based on a series of articles I had written. In addition, I talked about the live action film Moon Pilot (1962) that was being shown by the museum.

Three years later, I was invited back again on November 8, 2014 to the museum for the presentation “How Walt Put a Man on the Moon” sharing the stage with space historian Eric Toldi when the museum ran the “Man in Space” television episode.

So when it came time to write the latest installment in the Vault of Walt series with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission moon landing and the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Walt Disney World fresh in my mind, it seemed appropriate to pull out my previous research, update it and add new stories. My own fascination with how Disney presented both the facts and fantasy of outer space has never faded.

Walt Disney died in 1966 and never got a chance to see the moon landing in 1969 nor the launch of the first Space Shuttle in 1981. He had predicted both events in his television shows.

I eagerly watched both of those achievements live on television and they sparked my imagination and hope for the future. Like many kids of my generation, I was enamored of space travel, astronauts and other worlds.

Stephen Bales was inspired to become an aeronautical engineer after watching the Disney television programs when they originally aired in the 1950s. He went on to become a NASA guidance officer at mission control during the Apollo 11 moon landing. He told a reporter: “It was the Walt Disney show come to life!”

Both of those historic achievements in space travel owed their success to the vision of Dr. Wernher von Braun, one of the most prominent spokesmen for space exploration and the first director of NASA. Von Braun spent much time with Walt talking about the theories that would make those and other events possible.

When Walt Disney World opened in 1971, someone commented to his older brother Roy that it was a shame that Walt never got to see it completed. Roy smiled and replied, “He did.”

Walt’s imagination was so vivid that given enough information he could envision the final product and so he probably clearly saw the moon landing years before it actually happened.

The Walt Disney Company from their films to attractions in their theme parks has produced over the decades both a factual and a fanciful outer space experience to provide a sense of wonder to so many people. In this book is a brief glimpse at what they did and how they did it.

Time to blast off into the fascinating frontier of Disney in outer space!

Jim Korkis

Jim Korkis is an internationally respected Disney historian who has written hundreds of articles and twenty books about all things Disney over the last forty years. The Vault of Walt series began in 2012 and continues with a new edition every year.

Jim grew up in Glendale, California, where he was able to meet and interview Walt’s original team of animators and Imagineers. In 1995, he relocated to Orlando, Florida, where he worked for Walt Disney World in a variety of capacities, including Entertainment, Animation, Disney Institute, Disney University, College and International Programs, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Design Group, Marketing.

His original research on Disney history has been used often by the Disney company as well as other organizations such as the Walt Disney Family Museum.

Jim is not currently an employee of the Disney company.

Several websites currently regularly feature Jim’s articles about Disney history, and he is a frequent guest on multiple podcasts.

About Theme Park Press

Theme Park Press is the world's leading independent publisher of books about the Disney company, its history, its films and animation, and its theme parks. We make the happiest books on earth!

Our catalog includes guidebooks, memoirs, fiction, popular history, scholarly works, family favorites, and many other titles written by Disney Legends, Disney animators and artists, Mouseketeers, Cast Members, historians, academics, executives, prominent bloggers, and talented first-time authors.

We love chatting about what we do: drop us a line, any time.

Theme Park Press Books

The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion The Ride Delegate 501 Ways to Make the Most of Your Walt Disney World Vacation The Cotton Candy Road Trip The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney Disney Destinies Disney Melodies The Happiest Workplace on Earth Storm over the Bay A Historical Tour of Walt Disney World: Volume 1 Mouse in Transition Mouseketeers Down Under Murder in the Magic Kingdom Walt Disney and the Promise of Progress City Service with Character Son of Faster Cheaper A Tale of Two Resorts I Saw Ariel Do a Keg Stand The Adventures of Young Walt Disney Death in the Tragic Kingdom Two Girls and a Mouse Tale Ears & Bubbles The Easy Guide 2015 Who's the Leader of the Club? Disney's Hollywood Studios Funny Animals Life in the Mouse House The Book of Mouse Disney's Grand Tour The Accidental Mouseketeer The Vault of Walt: Volume 1 The Vault of Walt: Volume 2 The Vault of Walt: Volume 3 Who's Afraid of the Song of the South? Amber Earns Her Ears Ema Earns Her Ears Sara Earns Her Ears Katie Earns Her Ears Brittany Earns Her Ears Walt's People: Volume 1 Walt's People: Volume 2 Walt's People: Volume 13 Walt's People: Volume 14 Walt's People: Volume 15

We're always in the market for new authors with great ideas. Or great authors with new ideas. Whichever type of author you are, we'd be happy to discuss your book. Before you contact us, however, please make sure you can answer "yes" to these threshold questions:

Is It Right for Us?

We specialize in books that have some connection to Disney or theme parks. Disney, of course, has become a broad topic, and encompasses not just theme parks and films but comic books, animation, and a big chunk of pop culture. Your book should fit into one (or more) of those broad categories.

Is It Going to Make Money?

There's never a guarantee that any book will make money, but certain types of books are less likely to do so than others. They include: hardcovers, books with color photos, and books that go on forever ("forever" as in 400+ pages). We won't automatically turn down these types of books, but you'll have to be a really good salesman to convince us.

Are You Great to Work With?

Writing books and publishing books should be fun. The last thing you want, and the last thing we want, is a contentious relationship. We work with authors who share our philosophy of no drama and zero attitude, and the desire for a respectful, realistic, mutually beneficial partnership.