The Mad Tea Party was an opening day attraction that has been a staple of Disneyland since 1955. But, as seen through this concept art, at one point the plan was to have the Mad Hatter and White Rabbit partying at a table in the center. It was probably a good idea to remove them, lest they hire a full-time employee to squeegee vomit off of Mad Hatter every five minutes.
As seen here, the Main Street, U.S.A. area by the park's entrance was at one time envisioned as a more immersive experience, like an actual small town. Not pictured in this concept art: That creepy guy with no job who hangs out by the lake all day.
We can't imagine the Haunted Mansion without its trademark "doombuggies," but for a while Disney Imagineers were planning the attraction as a walk-thru ride. In this case, would the hitchhiking ghosts have been piggybacking ghosts?
Monstro the Whale is the character who sets us off in the Storybook Land Canal Boats, but before that, he was earmarked for this ill-fated log flume ride. Perhaps most concerning about this photo is the fact that riders emerge out of Monstro's mouth...which brings the question: Where did they enter?
Walt Disney's original plan for the Jungle Cruise was similar to how it ended up, save for one major aspect: He didn't think it would be a huge joke. The Jungle Cruise was supposed to have actual wild animals and be an unironic adventure. Don't be too horrified, though. The backside of water was always going to be part of the tour.
As seen in this D23 Fan Club member exclusive, Sleeping Beauty's iconic castle at first has an extra fortifying wall around it. While that would have been great in protecting itself from rogue corn dog lobs, it didn't project the most inviting atmosphere.
You know the area just to the left of the Disneyland Opera House? Where the parade ends? In 1955 they hoped to make that the entrance to Liberty Street, a land modeled after colonial America. What stopped them from building it? Probably the blowback they'd receive if they tried charging you tax while visiting.
When Tomorrowland opened in 1955, it was meant to represent the faraway future year of 1986. As you can see in this photo, the artist here pretty much nailed it: minimal rides and tons of corporate sponsorship.
Then, in 1967, Tomorrowland got a face lift and was dubbed "New Tomorrowland." This artist's rendering of the plans for those renovations is actually pretty close to how the final updates ended up looking.
The idea here was simple: enter through the mouth of a crocodile and step down to an underwater aquarium. It was scrapped because, hey, it's just a dumb aquarium. Who wants to go in that when you could be on Splash Mountain instead?
Johnny Depp was nowhere to be found in the Pirates of the Caribbean concept art, but you know what was? Really awesome pirate sword fights. However, the animatronic technology wasn't quite up to the task when it debuted in 1967. Today, though? I think they should go for it. The gorier the better.
Where are all the seats? Well, the Enchanted Tiki Room was first intended to be a small restaurant, with singing birds, flowers and Tiki gods all over the wall. Shortly into development, though, they realized a problem with that design: Nobody would want to leave. You need high turnover to be a successful attraction, and so the Tiki Room instead became a brisk 17-minute show.
And today? It's even "better" at just 10 minutes long.
The Indiana Jones Adventure ride was perhaps the most ambitious concept-phase attraction in Disneyland history. Here, we see a massive sequence in which riders inside the temple would converge with other Disneyland attractions, including the railroad and the Jungle Cruise boats.
This would have made a new, more efficient Disneyland...where one ride is ALL THE RIDES!!
This section of the park was envisioned during the mid '70s and was to be themed after the novels of Jules Verne. However, after the 1974 adventure film The Island at the Top of The World was a colossal failure, the Disney executives saw the writing on the wall and scrapped this whole concept altogether. We can't say we blame them, though the artwork above still makes us nostalgic for the land that never was.
Mickey, Goofy, Donald and all their friends live in Toontown, which opened at Disneyland in 1993. Looking at this concept drawing, we see that the layout stayed mostly the same, but somewhere along the line they decided to add that crucial third dimension. Good addition, if you ask me.
Before there was the Matterhorn, there was the Candy Mountain. It was to be built out of clear plastic that resembled rock candy, and decorated with giant gum drops, lollipops and licorice twists. When looking at the completed model, though, everyone agreed it just kind of made them feel sick, and so the Imagineers tossed it into the trash.