Walt Disney was a visionary, and liked to plan out every beat of his productions. He would have storyboards and concept art drawn up for each project to convey parts of the design before it became final. With these multicolored sketches and paintings, Disney and his artists could see the vision of the final work and the experience it would deliver. Looking at the concept art for beloved Disney attractions, you can see the artistry used. Indeed, the artists took as much care as they would for the actual animated films they worked on for the Studios. Here’s some amazing pieces of Disney concept art to inspire your own creations.
The Haunted Mansion was part of Disney’s plan for the Disneyland park, but it didn’t open years later. Here you can see the ghostly dinner as conceived by Disney artist Marc Davis, plus a cheerful ghost bride dining with fellow spirits.
Artist Harper Goff worked with Disney on multiple projects, including The Jungle Cruise. He created this view of the ride, and worked on development of Main Street. Here’s his vision of the ride’s aerial view.
New Orleans Square
Disneyland Park features a section known as New Orleans Square based on its namesake, New Orleans, Louisiana. One idea was to make it as guests had walked into a busy square that was full of tenants, complete with laundry in this piece by Marc Davis.
Disney had a firm vision in his “world of tomorrow,” also known as Tomorrowland. Tomorrowland now appears in Disneyland and Walt Disney World, however, both are far from what he envisioned. Over the years, the sections have been remodeled, but we’ll always have memories and concept art by Herb Ryman and others.
Sleeping Beauty Castle
Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle is the centerpiece of Disneyland, with Cinderella Castle as the centerpiece in Walt Disney World. Ryman created this dreamy art of what Disneyland’s castle could look like while planning for Disneyland was underway.
The Mad Tea Party
Here’s another view of the Mad Tea Party from Disneyland and later, Walt Disney World. The ride is dramatically different than this concept, which is a shame.
Ever heard of Beastly Kingdom? The mention of it can be a thorn in many a Disney fan’s side, because it was a planned “land” of Animal Kingdom theme park. The idea was scrapped but not before we got these amazing pieces of concept art of a land that never was: it was themed around imaginary animals like unicorns and dragons. Here are a few pieces of art of what could’ve been.
Disney’s EPCOT, aka Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, never came to fruition as an actual city, but it did become a fun themepark. The look at EPCOT in concept art reveals an exciting future as envisioned by those years ago. You can see the various ideas for EPCOT below.