Friday, September 01, 2006

Souvenir Friday- Nara Dreamland

In the 1960s a group of Japanese investors and developers made the trip to Disneyland with the idea of building an amusement park in Nara Japan. When the group was here, they purchased every souvenir they could find and pored over the guidebooks and maps. Then the builders got to work and ended up building a clone of Disneyland with some definite Japanese touches. The first image is a photograph taken in 1964 of the Main Street Station. The next two images are postcards of the park showing the Castle and Main Street from the Castle. The final images are from the guidebook published by Dreamland featuring the front and back cover and one of the pages of their Fantasyland with the Haunted House with satan in it. I have another set of postcards, some wrapping paper, gate handout map and a wonderful full map poster that is designed like the Sam McKim maps of the 1960s. One day if your lucky, I will share them with you....

14 comments:

Davelandweb said...

Good Lord! I can't believe what a blatant rip-off this place is! is it still in business, and did Disney ever sue over this?

Matterhorn1959 said...

Nara is still in business although not quite the park that it once was. Disney never sued and they knew about it as the map came out of Retlaw.

Dan Goodsell said...

Wow great stuff. I just did a search to see some pics of the current park. There are a few nice park reports and then I found a post saying the park was closing on Aug 31, 2006! Your post turned out to be an epitaph.....

Tangaroa said...

There is an amzing video of this park - it's like a surreal Disneyland trip in the Twilight Zone!

tokyo guy said...

Yes dan goodsell. Nara Dreamland closed yesterday after it's 45 years of operation!

See these pages...

http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/dream41833/dream29.htm

http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/dream41833/dream30.htm

http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/dream41833/dkp09.JPG

Even they had Liberty street type of area next to Main Street. Very interesting thing is overall layout of the park look like DLP! I mean the positon of adventureland and river of america looks very similar to DLP.

Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, this is really fascinating. What a shame that it just closed. Check out the Peter Pan pirate ships, the skyway, etc. Cool!

mistryl said...

I know someone who went last year, he said it was frightful. I really wanted to go there! I can't believe that I can't now, I had no idea it was closing! Sad, sad.

TiKiMOOSE said...

I never knew elephants roamed amoung the giant Saguaro Cactus!?!
Actually the site I saw made the place look like a dump. Main Street had boarded up shops and maintenance vehicles parked all over. The monorail was dirty and rundown. They said the best part of the park was the roller coaster.

perkypickle said...

pstrick...fantastic timing! just when your post may have created an instant attendance spike!

great stuff!!!!

Anonymous said...

The Sankei Shimbun which is one of five large newspaper publishing companies of Japan,
reported the new fact which no one talked until now.
http://www.sankei-kansai.com/02_keizai/kei083101.htm

(Translate from Japanese to English)
http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sankei-kansai.com%2F02_keizai%2Fkei083101.htm&langpair=ja%7Cen&hl=ja&ie=UTF8

Anonymous said...

Thats very sick.....
It's like having sex with your grandmother or something, it's just wrong.....

mikki Wilder said...

I need some help...I am helping to coordinate a tour guide reunion taking place in 2008 and I need to get images of the EARLY YEARS at Disneyland. I am looking for photos that can show this history and maybe some back stage activities of the park in the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. Anything you have, including costumes, old attraction photos, it would be appreciated. Please contact me at wilder@wilderideas.com...Thanks! Mikki

Minako said...

Hi... just happen to cross your site...

Im planning to go to Tokyo or Hong Kong Disney this Christmas. Hoho and I found some stuffs from Hong Kong Disneyland here as well:
disneycloth.cwahi.net

I will definitely take tones of photos there!!!

Anonymous said...

soo - Nara Closed in 2006 - the Dreamland park is still there intact, but now deserted. Rip-Off - not quite: Disney part funded: remember in the 60's it was near impossible for foreign investment in Japan. But Disney didnt count on a replica; so did try to sue and failed. Disney opened in Tokyo; Nara died within almost the same timeline. Story closed, but Nara was successful for 50 years!

My last trip to Nara (Feb2012) I nearly got caught snooping around the park - its quite a sight to behold...