By Carlye Wisel
August 08, 2018
Nicholas Kraft

There’s a place in California filled with storybook ride vehicles, beloved artwork, and Mickey Mouse souvenirs where visitors can gleefully take photos inside Skyway buckets, see Dumbo up close, and even view retrofuturistic designs that can’t be found elsewhere.

The only catch? It’s not a real theme park.

Stephen Russo

That’s From Disneyland, a massive private collection of Disney artifacts and antiques that’s on pre-auction display throughout August, has channeled the Disney experience into an exhibit that provides nostalgia on high, no matter when you remember visiting the parks. Located in Sherman Oaks, California, in a space formerly occupied by a Sports Authority, this magical plethora of all things Mickey Mouse comes from collector Richard Kraft, who turned his collection into a Museum of Ice Cream-like experience for theme park fans. Better yet? Admission is free, making it as close as you can get to Disney magic without spending a dime.

Courtesy of Van Eaton Galleries

It’s not just an auction preview, it’s a living tribute to all things Disneyana, repurposed for the Instagram age. Whether you choose to smile for a photo inside a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride vehicle or simply gaze in awe at the Peter Pan’s Flight pirate ship, you can get closer to some beloved props here than you can at Disneyland.

Real It's a Small World statuettes are on display, and a collection of four original Haunted Mansion “stretching room” posters has become a crowd-favorite photo location.

Just like Disneyland, it’s also organized by lands. Head to “Frontierland” to peek Swiss Family Treehouse props and a Davy Crockett Explorer Canoe; find original Star Tours posters and a Space Mountain attraction vehicle in the “Tomorrowland” section. Most items are in good condition and best of all, some are even set up to work. Stand by the audio-animatronic tiki bird José and you’ll be instantly transported to Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room and its familiar song. (Don’t get too excited, though — there’s no Dole Whip here.)

Courtesy of Van Eaton Galleries

That’s From Disneyland contains relics of yesteryear that aren’t on display at the parks, inside the Walt Disney Family Museum, or anywhere else, because Kraft’s collection came straight out of storage — and in more instances than one, directly from his home. The cheerful Dumbo vehicle used to hang from his living room ceiling while a Submarine Voyage sea serpent stood watch over his family pool. There are even retro surprises among the dozen ride vehicles, like a shuttle from the short-lived Rocket Rods attraction and early attraction sketches and models.

Stephen Russo

While the most thrilling items will undoubtedly draw hefty prices at auction, there’s plenty for any level of Disney enthusiast. The 40,000-square-foot building is filled with cherished belongings both big — a 16-foot-tall neon letter "D," which used to be affixed to the Disneyland Hotel, is expected to go for about $25,000 — and small, including unused ticket books, maps, and vintage menus. There are also assorted oddities, like Disneyland attraction-themed bubble bath (estimated $200-400) and a 24-pack of themed birthday candles from 1955 ($100-200). An on-site gift shop is selling ceramics, lithographs, and other affordable goods throughout the month.

Stephen Russo

Can’t make it out to California to see the goods in person? That’s From Disneyland’s Van Eaton Galleries auction book can be browsed online. (Online bids are also accepted during the end-of-month auction.)

The outer-Los Angeles pop-up exhibit will be open Wednesdays thru Sundays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. until the auction takes place Aug. 25 and 26. Special events are being hosted throughout the month as well, including a fundraiser concert with Alan Menken, a podcast recording with comedian Paul Scheer, and free kids’ arts-and-crafts activities on the weekends.

Consider it an unbirthday party — and everyone’s invited.