Nearly 700 lots from one of the most significant assemblages of actual park-displayed signs, props, artifacts and more from Disneyland and Disney theme parks around the world will be offered May 21-22 in Heritage Auctions’ Disneyland: The Auction Signature Auction.
The founder of the collection, Scott Rummell, is instantly recognizable (even to those who don’t know his name). He is a renowned voice actor who has lent his voice to everything from Marvel movie trailers to countless commercials and voice overs on networks ranging from CBS to CNN.
Disneyland has been part of Rummell’s life since he was young. His wife, Terry, collected Donald Duck. In 1982, after they were married, his parents gave the young couple annual passes to the park, after which “Disney wasn’t ‘something we did,’” Hummell says. “It became our lifestyle.”
“At one point, we had one room that was our ‘Disney room’ — that was where we had it all displayed,” he explains. “When we moved into the house, we thought it was crazy to have all these posters rolled up in tubes, so we hired people who worked for Disney to redesign the house specifically for the collection. It was really awesome, what they did with certain pieces in mind.
“It became something that was really special. We loved to open up the house. We had events for Children’s Hospital and other organizations. A lot of people who love Disney came to the house. People ask, ‘How can you let the collection go?’ … and it’s a valid question. I feel a little bit like an artist who spends considerable time on a painting and then sells it. You have time and energy invested, but it’s time to share it with other people.”
The sale includes a Complete Park-Used Original Autopia Car with Original Body, Chassis and Tires (c. 1967) – “the first car I ever drove,” Scott says. Used at Disneyland and acquired directly from the park, it is believed to be the single Autopia vehicle to ever come to auction with all original components present, including the chassis and tires (with the exception of the engine, which was not allowed to be sold for safety reasons).
Collectors also can press the gas in their efforts to land a Park-Used Original Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Vehicle (c. 1993) from one of the Magic Kingdom’s original opening-day attractions in 1971 through 1998. Modeled after the Disneyland attraction, it had some unique characteristics that set it apart from its West Coast twin, like the vehicle’s back seat, added in 1993. This piece has been professionally restored and repainted with added features like spinning wheels and working headlights. A limited number of these vehicles were made, and of those only a handful ever made it to market.
Among the rarest Disney attraction vehicles, a Park-Used Original Skyway Gondola (c. 1965) is from the Disneyland hallmark that stretched across the park from 1956-94, carrying guests into the skies. In 1965, Disneyland switched from the original round gondolas to rectangular versions that were not as cramped, and could accommodate up to four passengers. Everything on this gondola — the “bucket,” the seats, the rails, the roof, the lights — is original, and what makes it even more impressive is that the lights have been rewired and are fully functional. This vehicle is believed to be one of the rare examples that traveled over both Disneyland and Disney World.
Walt Disney famously loved trains, a passion Rummell shares. The sale includes 37 train-themed lots, from a Park-Used Railroad Train Wheel (c. 1950s) to an LGB Big Thunder Mountain Starter Train Set with Box and Manual (Disney/LGB, c. 2001) to a Park-Used Main Street Train Station Wait Sign (c. 1990s-2010s) to a Pair of Train Photo Binders (c. 1990s-2000s). One lucky bidder will even end up with the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train Engine #3 Bell with Park-Used Stand (c. 1956).
When entering one of the Disney parks, the first thing guests always did was pick out the day’s ticket book, which included tickets for that day’s rides. The sale includes 17 lots of tickets, including a Complete 1956 Disneyland Ticket Book from the park’s second year.
“It was a glorious moment when you got your ticket book,” Rummell recalls. “You were going to go on this ride, or you were going to do that today. It was a big part of the day. When you have full ticket books, with the admission still attached, it is such a rare piece. These are paper items that were mostly torn apart and exchanged for the experience you were getting that day. It was a huge part of Disney history.
“In fact, these books would still work for entry, if you wanted to tear them off … but you wouldn’t want to do that!”
Signs from the parks are prized by Disney collectors, who will find more than 100 in this auction, including:
- A Park-Used Pirates of the Caribbean Wait Time Sign (c. 1967-1970s)
- An Original Club 33 Sign (c. 1967)
- A Park-Displayed Mickey Mouse Sign (c. 1980s)
- A Park-Displayed Santa Fe & Disneyland R.R. Grand Canyon Diorama Sign
- An Alice in Wonderland Park-Displayed Sign (c. 2000s-2010s)
- A Haunted Mansion Painted Sign (c. 1990s)
Disney fans love the cars and trains and signs and tickets, but what first captures the imagination of young park goers is the lineup of beloved Disney characters. Mickey Mouse appears in 66 lots in the auction, including a Life-Size Park Exclusive Mickey Mouse Big Fig (c. 1990s-2000s), seven lots of posters, a Vintage Mickey Mouse Projector by Keystone with 13 Reels of Film (c. 1930s-1960s), a group of Three Telephones or a group of Three Wristwatches.
The event also includes 15 Donald Duck lots, including a Donald Duck Vintage RPM Motor Oil Sign (c. 1940s) and a Club 33 Plush Doll plus Restaurant Menu, Recipe Book & Related Items Group of 14 (c. 1980s-1990s). Or work on your short game with a “How to Putt” Disney Big Fig (c. 1990s) — one of seven lots in the sale featuring Goofy.
Rummell spent years doing voiceover work for Disney, but never was awarded any of the items in his collection; instead, he spent years scouring auctions and even garage sales for additions. He says he and Terry are thrilled to share their collection with another generation of Disney fans, but admitted it will be difficult to say goodbye to some of his favorites, including a Park-Used Original Rocket Jets Vehicle (c. 1967) — just as he shared his love of Disney with his children, he loved seeing his young granddaughter sit in it.
The Rummells shared their passion with their children, first at Disneyland in Anaheim and then on trips to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. For his 60th birthday, the family took Scott to Disneyland Paris. A planned trip to Tokyo Disney was scrapped when the coronavirus pandemic hit, but Scott says part of the proceeds from the auction will go toward a rescheduled family trip.
For images and information on all lots in the sale, visit HA.com/7258.