Home » If You’ve Ever Walked In To a Disney Park, You’ve Probably Passed Dozens of These…And Never Even Noticed!

If You’ve Ever Walked In To a Disney Park, You’ve Probably Passed Dozens of These…And Never Even Noticed!

Anyone who’s ever visited a Disney Park knows exactly the kind of magic, mystery, and wonder that awaits within… sailing with pirates, soaring over London, exploring remote jungle rivers, and launching into space. It was the belief of Walt and his early Imagineers that guests would need primed to understand these adventures – the kind most had never expected could exist.

Bringing together talented artists, filmmakers, designers, and thinkers, they developed attraction posters… Just as a film’s poster tries to convey the action, adventure, intrigue, and romance of a movie in a single still image, so too do Disney Parks’ attraction posters act as living advertisements, drawing in and exciting guests as previews of what they’ll soon experience.

Image: Disney

Here, we’ve collected just a few of the dozens and dozens and dozens of attraction posters commissioned for Disney Parks around the globe. As styles, tastes, and – indeed – the parks have changed, so have these meticulously designed works of art, delicately representing the parks, their vision, and the masterpiece attractions within. In fact, we can trace the history of the parks by examining the attraction posters created in different eras for changing attractions! Do you stop and admire these stunning posters as you enter Disneyland or the Magic Kingdom? Which Disney Parks attraction poster is your absolute favorite?

1. Opening Years Posters

Some of the most classic and iconic attraction posters are also the oldest. Disneyland’s 1955 collection is perhaps the purest representation of the park. Each is sincerely timeless, looking as relevant and modern today as it did in 1955. Each also embodies that necessity to explain to guests exactly what they’d be doing aboard these unprecedented attractions… how they’d be seated, where they’d go, and what they’d see along the way. 

Artist: Bjorn Aronson (1955)
Location: Disneyland and Walt Disney World

By Disneyland’s 1955 opening, a generation had already fallen in love with the Peter Pan film that Disney had debuted two years earlier. But how would they know exactly what Peter Pan’s Flight at Disneyland offered? As brilliant, clean, and simple as can be, the poster art for Peter Pan’s Flight is a visual wonder, quickly and gently informing guests exactly what awaits within…

Artist: Bjorn Aronson (1955)
Location: Disneyland and Walt Disney World

Similarly, the Jungle Cruise poster is a timeless, spectacular, awe-inspiring draw, promising astounding adventures deep in the unknown jungles, all in the distinctive vibrant screen-printed color palate of the 1950s. In fact, count how many distinct ink hues the poster uses. 

Artist: Bjorn Aronson (1955)
Location: Disneyland and Walt Disney World

For an elephant of a different kind, the striking, vibrant poster for Fantasyland’s flat rides – Mad Tea Party, Dumbo, and the Carousel – is a beautiful work of art.

Artist: Bjorn Aronson (1956)
Location: Disneyland

The same could be said for the Storybook Land Canal Boats with its five-tone screen print…

Artist: Danny Handke (2008)
Location: Disneyland

…or the poster for the dearly departed Magic Kingdom classic and Lost Legend: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

The real power of these posters is how modern and attractive they still look, having aged timelessly and gracefully. Especially when displayed together, it’s evident that this spectacular poster collection could still stand in for the park’s lineup today.

2. The Haunted Mansion

Artists: Marc Davis and Ken Chapman (1969)
Location: Disneyland

A beautiful, historic white plantation house appeared on the outskirts of Disneyland’s New Orleans Square in 1963. However, it wasn’t until six years later (after the all-consuming 1964 – 65 New York World’s Fair and the unexpected death of Walt Disney in 1966 delayed the project) that the wrought-irons gates of the Mansion finally swung open. Though it was a long time coming, the 1969 opening of the Haunted Mansion was no less a triumph.

Artists: Marc Davis and Ken Chapman (1971)
Location: Magic Kingdom

When designers set to work creating Magic Kingdom, they ditched the Lousiana-based New Orleans Square (supposing that the real New Orleans was too close to Florida to feel “exotic”) and instead crafted a colonial seaside Liberty Square, placing the expanded Mansion in a redbrick gothic colonial manor.

Artists: Marc Davis and Ken Chapman (1983)
Location: Tokyo Disneyland

When Haunted Mansion made the jump to Tokyo Disneyland (the first international park in Disney’s repertoire) the ride was relocated to Fantasyland – a better cultural fit for the resort’s local visitors. There the colonial mansion was aged and tattered to better convey what awaited within for the Japanese audience.

Artists: Don Goozee (1992)
Location: Disneyland Paris

Designers threw out the rulebook when developing Disneyland Paris, recasting Disney rides – even fan-favorite classics! – with new stories and twists. There, the ghostly estate was relocated to Frontierland, where the story of Phantom Manor intertwines with Big Thunder Mountain and all of the rides, attractions, and even restaurants in the land with one overarching continuity. You can read more about that in our list of Disney Parks Classics that Look Different Overseas.

In our must-read look at Disney Attractions with Spiritual Sequels, we explored Disney’s other metaphysical manor that exists, even if it has practically nothing in common with the others. The must-see masterpiece at Hong Kong Disneyland is so sought-after and so spectacular, it earned its own in-depth feature, Modern Marvels: Mystic Manor that’s well worth a read for any Disney Parks fan.

3. Disneyland Railroad

Artist: Bjorn Aronson (1955)
Location: Disneyland

While Bjorn Aronson’s original 1955 attraction poster for the Sante Fe & Disneyland Railroad has been eclipsed in popular culture by the 1976 “window box” poster that’s become the poster art for the rest of Disney’s railroads, the mid-century opening day display perfectly encapsulates the 1950s with its vibrant colors and simple shapes. It also compliments the Railroad’s later additions:

Artist: Paul Hartley (1958)
Location: Disneyland Park

A poster for the 1958 addition of the Grand Canyon Diorama and…

Artist: Claude Coats (1966)
Location: Disneyland

…the 1966 addition of the Primeval World diorama, featuring dinosaurs relocated from the ride Disney produced for Ford Motors at the 1964 – 65 New York World’s Fair.

4. The Posters of New Tomorrowland

In 1967, Disneyland debuted its New Tomorrowland – a truly astonishing world of sleek lines, Space Age sensibilities, and forward-thinking ideas pioneered by Walt himself. This “World on the Move” was meant to be a bright, kinetic, utopian look into what tomorrow could hold; a sincerely futuristic, scientific vision of the future.

Artist: Ken Chapman (1967)
Location: Disneyland Park

One of the land’s most spectacular additions was another Lost Legend: The Peoplemover. The sleek, gliding, constantly-moving ride powered by Goodyear tires was meant to be an actual, living showcase of what the future of mass transportation could look like. The attraction poster, meanwhile, accurately captures the aerodynamic, pastel, utopian future Walt’s New Tomorrowland had so embodied.

Artist: Ken Chapman (1967)

Similarly, the swirling Rocket Jets embodied Americans’ pop culture fascination with the Space Age…

Artist: John Drury (1967)

…while another Lost Legend: Adventure Thru Inner Space used the Mighty Monsanto Microscope to bring the wonders of the Atomic Age closer to home – the first ever installation of Disney’s tried-and-true Omnimover ride system. Altogether, these posters were living embodiments of the sleek, bright, pastel, blue-and-white future that New Tomorrowland brought to life.

5. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye

Artist: Drew Struzan (1995)
Location: Disneyland Park

If you think the attraction poster for Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure looks like it could be an authentic movie poster for the next installment in the franchise, you’d be right. That’s no coincidence. Disney brought on Drew Struzan (the original artist responsible for the film series’ iconic posters, as well as those for Star Wars, Back to the Future, and more than a hundred others) to create the ride’s one-sheet. However, things could have gone very, very differently…

When Disney secured the rights to build theme park attractions based on Lucasfilm’s Raiders of the Lost Ark hero, the license did not include Harrison Ford’s likeness (which is why neither his face nor voice is featured in the incomparable Disneyland E-Ticket ride). Struzan knew that obscuring (or worse, outright replacing) Indy’s face on an attraction poster would be an embarrassment. He reportedly called up Harrison Ford himself, requesting special permission to use the actor’s likeness on the attraction poster only. Ford allegedly told him, “If you’re painting it, then you go right ahead.”

The result is easily one of the most cinematic, grand attraction posters for any Disney Parks ride on Earth… and the only allusion to Harrison Ford’s likeness related to any Indiana Jones attraction.

6. Submarine Voyages

Artist: Sam McKim (1959)
Location: Disneyland Park

Since 1959, submarines have been churning through the waters of Disney Parks across the globe. First, Disneyland’s Submarine Voyage gave guests an unthinkable look into the world of sub-sea research – truly as novel and futuristic as space travel to audiences of the era.

Artist: Adapted by Richard Hebner (1971)
Location: Magic Kingdom

By time Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, it was clear that the E-Ticket submarines would be a must-have, but submarines were no longer fit for Tomorrowland. That’s why Imagineers went back to the drawing board and re-imagined the ride as a fantasy adventure based on Jules Verne’s most beloved novel, creating a Lost Legend: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Submarine Voyage.

Artist: Ralph Eggleston (2007)
Location: Disneyland

Ultimately, both submarine rides were shuttered by cost-conscious, budget-cutting regimes. Magic Kingdom’s was cemented over and turned into New Fantasyland, but Disneyland’s was eventually revived as the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, preserving the beloved ride system and even referencing the original’s attraction poster in a loving tribute.

7. Disney California Adventure Collection

Artist: Greg Maletic

When Disney’s California Adventure opened in 2001, even die-hard fans couldn’t find much to celebrate about the underbuilt, underfunded, and creatively starved park. We chronicled the darkest days of Disney’s biggest bust ever in its own standalone feature, Disaster Files: Disney’s California Adventure.

However, the dismal performance of the original park did spark something Disney had never done before: it admitted defeat. Disney’s California Adventure was gifted a ten-year makeover topping $1.5 billion, introducing new attractions and new lands along the way. The park closed for a single symbolic day and re-opened the next morning – June 15, 2012 – with its own custom-designed attraction poster collection.

Artist: Greg Maletic (2012)

Though Greg Maletic designed each, he carefully considered the eras of Californian history represented by each of the park’s themed lands when selecting colors, textures, and styles. For example, the Red Car Trolley attraction poster is designed to resemble a real Pacific-Electric Trolley poster as it would’ve appeared in the 1920s, complete with the park’s iconic Carthay Circle Theater and advertising “The Shortest Route Between Buena Vista Street & the Hollywood Tower Hotel.” Speaking of which…

Artist: Greg Maletic (2012)

Speaking of which, the poster for the park’s Lost Legend: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror would feel right at home in a 1940s cinema showing a sci-fi movie marathon, capturing both the extravagance of the Hollywood Tower Hotel and the eerie darkness of an episode of The Twilight Zone.

Artist: Greg Maletic (2012)

Meanwhile, the poster for Grizzly River Run resembled a 1930s National Park Service poster, including a silk-screened look with only four or five distinct ink colors – appropriate for the new land’s historic and reverent National Park theme.

Artist: Greg Maletic (2012)

The park’s opening day Lost Legend: Soarin’ Over California received the same treatment…

Artist: Greg Maletic (2012)

… and of course, the park’s new headlining E-Ticket Radiator Springs Racers in the incomparable Cars Land got in on the act, too. The brilliant collection is a work of art in its own right, stylistically connecting the park’s rides and lands in an overarching visual style that suits the distinctly Californian park… Even if that Californian focus has all but faded in the four years following the makeover.

Image: Disney / Marvel

For example, it’s believed that Maletic also designed the attraction poster for Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, though it’s unclear what era of Californian history the poster may have been based on. (That’s a joke.)

8. Space Mountain: De La Terre à La Lune

Artist: Tim Delaney, Rudy Lord, and Stuart Bailey

Location: Disneyland Paris

There may be no attraction poster as instantly stunning and complex as the one designed for Disneyland Paris’ one-of-a-kind interstellar coaster. To fit Disneyland Paris’ unique European-retrofuture-inspired Discoveryland, the cosmic coaster was redesigned from the ground up as a tribute to Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon, catapulting riders via the gleaming bronze Columbiad Cannon into the stars.

Entirely different from the more sci-fi Space Mountains across the globe, the beautiful Lost Legend: Space Mountain – De la Terre à la Lune was a wonder as detailed, thoughtful, and romantic as its poster. Today, the ride has been permanently reassigned as Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, even if the golden steampunk exterior and ornate Victorian cannon seem an odd fit.

9. Flying Saucers

Artist: Rolly Crump (1961)
Location: Disneyland

Perhaps one of the most short-lived attractions in Disney Parks history, the enigmatic Flying Saucers live on as a legend. Located in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, the family favorite featured single-person “saucers” that would float on a cushion of air not unlike pucks on an air hockey table.  Guests would zip to-and-fro, bouncing and rebounding from one another.

While truly groundbreaking and astounding in its engineering, the Flying Saucers were expensive to operate, required extensive maintenance, and offered a low hourly capacity relative to Disneyland’s attendance. Even so, the attraction poster remains a marvel, if only because Disney Legend Rolly Crump designed it. Crump even reported that Walt saw his design and asked, “Is that it? That’s the drawing?” Rolly responded, “That’s my style.” Walt, appreciating his candor, said “Oh, okay!”

Artist: Greg Maletic (2012)
Location: Disney California Adventure

Interestingly, John Lasseter – lifelong Disney fan and Chief Creative Officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios – saw Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land as the perfect place to revive the lost Flying Saucers concept… and to recreate the lost attraction poster. Luigi’s Flying Tires opened with the reborn park on June 15, 2012. It didn’t even last as long as the original Flying Saucers, closing in less than three years to make way for Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters – an LPS-guided family flat ride.

10. The Monorails

Artist: Paul Hartley (1959)
Location: Disneyland

The Disneyland ALWEG Monorail opened in 1959 (on the same day as the Submarine Voyage and the Matterhorn Bobsleds, with all three earning the newly-created E-Ticket designation and prompting a “Grand Re-Opening” of Disneyland). The first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere, Walt had intended the Monorail to be a sincere display of the future of mass transit. The Tomorrowland ride originally offered a “grand circle tour” of the park’s Submarine Lagoon and Matterhorn, though it would later be extended to reach the Disneyland Hotel.

Unfortunately, the ride’s inclusion in Disneyland cast the technology in pop culture as more of a theme park novelty than a believable model of public transportation, and the Monorail has never really taken off as an urban transport tool. Instead, it became more or less synonymous with Disney Parks.

Artist: Paul Hartley, adaptation unknown (1971)
Location: Walt Disney World

Its most famous installation, of course, would be at Walt Disney World, where the Monorail really did become a legitimate transportation system, connecting Magic Kingdom (and the deluxe hotels near it) and Epcot via a series of spurs and circuits. Fittingly, the attraction poster was redesigned to replace the Matterhorn with the Contemporary Resort, creating what may be the only attraction poster for a ride that’s outside the theme parks. From 1959 to 1971 and unto today, the poster still looks modern and attractive. Now that’s timelessness.


Art, cinema, entertainment, engineering… Disney Parks have always blurred the lines. That’s why, for may Disney Parks fans, park maps and attraction posters are the closest we can get to encapsulating what makes Disney Parks so special. Through these media, we can trace the growth of Disney Parks alongside shifting trends in art and entertainment, all the while using posters to imagine what awaits in the indescribable adventures that the Parks offer.

And still, our look here has barely scratched the surface of the Disney Parks attraction posters out there.

Now, we want to know from you in the comments below. Which Disney Parks attraction posters are your favorite? Why? Do you gravitate toward certain styles, eras, or even artists? Which must-see posters did we miss?