The Disney Gallery: Disneyland’s Own Crowning Achievement

Unique to Disneyland and tucked away on Main Street, USAThe Disney Gallery is one of the park’s best kept secrets. Not only is this a great spot to escape the heat and hide from the crowds, it offers a peek into Disney’s past, present and future.  There are also some fabulous shopping opportunities, to boot!

The theme is refreshed seemingly every season, which means there’s almost always something new to see in here. The current exhibit, entitled “Crowning Achievements: Creating Castles for Magical Kingdoms”,  features concept art, original artwork, layout design, and more, showcasing Disney castles from around the world.

The Gallery’s shop is the first room to greet you as you enter.  Don’t let the size of the shop fool you, it’s easy to do some serious damage to your pocketbook in here.  There’s a selection of Disney Art for sale, including  various matted prints, Imagineering & Disney art books, maquettes by Kevin Kidney & Jody DalyDave Avanzino‘s 3D shadow boxes, and lots of pieces by Robert Olszewski – including the incredible platform with the full layout of Main St., USA!  With each new exhibit comes a heap of newly themed merchandise, too!  From jewelry to collectibles, home goods, clothing, and even art-on-demand, there’s a big selection to choose from.  You might also find some leftover merchandise from previous exhibits (note the photos below of the Mary Blair and Railroad themed items).

The Gallery shop is small but mighty!

 

Merchandise for the Magical Kingdoms exhibit. Prices range from $13 - $65

 

Themed jewelry, including necklaces, earrings and bracelets are available. Prices start at $40 and go up to $150.

 

Merchandise from the popular Mary Blair exhibit that was showcased earlier this year is still available.

 

The Art-on-Demand kiosk offers some of the concept and layout design displayed within the exhibit. Ranging from $22 to $465, prints are available on paper or canvas, and framed or not.

 

I could easily spend hours pouring over the details of Robert Olszewski's Main St., USA display.

 

A little factoid about the Gallery is that it was originally known as the “Bank of Main Street”, and it housed an actual bank!  After the bank left, the vault remained and is now used as a fun way to display items for the exhibits.

Going into the second room, you’ll find original artwork inspired by the current theme.  Many well-known Disney artists have pieces showcased here, such as Larry Nikolai, Noah, Randy Noble and Stephanie Taylor, to name a few.  Should you be so inclined to drop a couple grand, the giclées displayed are available to purchase.  However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly way to bring a piece of the magic home, there are print and canvas options available in the Art-on-Demand kiosks, as well.

The second room offers pieces created by various Disney artists

 

A closer look at some of the pieces

 

As fabulous as the first two rooms are, the third & final room is where the action is at.  It’s the heart of the attraction.  For this particular exhibit, Walt Disney Imagineering has provided a vast range of pieces for display.

Guests carefully examine the exhibit

 

Just look at all that eye candy!

 

Blue Sky Concepts features designs that never saw the light of day. Can you guess which park that space-age design was for?

 

 

 

Disney Legend Herb Ryman's infamous Disneyland castle concept is featured next to the concept design he did for Cinderella Castle, which was something we'd never seen before! Both are available in the AoD kiosk.

 

One of the bigger sections features attractions inside the castles. Various art & design concepts from the former Mystery Tour attraction at Tokyo Disneyland.

 

Included here are designs from Disney Legend Dorothea Redmond's mosaic located in the breezeway of Walt Disney World's Cinderella Castle

 

A scale model of Sleeping Beauty Castle from Disneyland Paris is the centerpiece of the room.

 

 

When you’re done perusing through the exhibit, if you find you’re still craving more castle love, head next door into the lobby of the Opera House where there’s a model of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle on display.

Model of Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle

 

You can even re-create one of the most famous photos of Walt walking through the park.

 

So now that you’ve had a chance to cool off  & unwind a bit (and maybe even partake in a little retail therapy),  I would highly recommend taking some time to enjoy the crowning achievement of the original Magic Kingdom.   There may even be more to see than you might think!  Things like the walk-through attraction, Snow White’s wishing well, the “center” of Disneyland, the Disney family crest, and remember to always look up – especially on the backside of the castle.   Be sure to check out Adventures by Daddy’s very own gallery of photos below!

Ain't she sweet...

 

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About Chrysty Summers

Growing up in southern California, Disneyland has always been a staple for my family. Today, my husband and I spend most of our free time at the parks, where you can usually find us soaking up the atmosphere of Buena Vista Street in California Adventure. We also love traveling to Walt Disney World as often as we can, especially during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival in the Fall! Find me on Twitter @PenelopePeach for live updates from around the parks.