On this day in 1953, artist Herb Ryman received a phone call from Walt Disney that led to the now famous “lost weekend” which produced arguably the most important piece of Disneyland concept art.
Illinois. Ryman had an illustrious Disney career and cemented his legacy as the artist Walt Disney turned to when he needed someone to translate his dreams of Disneyland onto paper so his brother, Roy, could attract the financing required to build the park.
Following the advice of architects at Pereira and Luckman, Walt Disney knew early on that his park should only have one entrance and exit to help orient guests visiting the expansive and unfamiliar space. Funneling guests past a row of shops isn’t bad for business either. Walt decided this corridor would be, as described in documents presented to investors, a three-block-long commercial street with “the nostalgic quality that makes it everybody’s hometown.”
Herb Ryman’s concept drawing of Sleeping Beauty Castle from 1953 is one of the earliest sketches of what would become the most iconic Disneyland landmark.