An auction of Disneyland’s theme park vehicles, artifacts and props raised more money than expected with a total of $8.3 million organizers said on Monday. The auction was held over the weekend in Los Angeles, California.
One piece sold for more than four times the presale estimate: an original Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride car was purchased for $493,000. Magician David Copperfield also participated in the auction by snatching up a neon letter D from the Disneyland hotel. According to auctioneers Van Eaton Galleries, Copperfield paid $86,250 for the piece.
Richard Kraft possessed a 900-item collection and staged a “That’s From Disneyland” public exhibit for the month of August in a former sporting goods store in suburban Los Angeles. The store turned into an auction for August and was visited by tens of thousands of people. One couple apparently loved Disney so fondly, they decided to get married in the store during the auction.
Richard Kraft is a Hollywood agent who began collecting Disney items about 25 years ago. He was inspired to collect from visits with his late brother to Disneyland in southern California. He held onto many of the items for a period of time, including the Dumbo car which he kept in his home.
After the two-day sale, Kraft said in a statement, “When I finally decided to let it go, it became much more about throwing a grand Bon Voyage party to those magical artifacts than about making projections about their worth.”
“I’m still in a state of shock that Dumbo, Jose the talking parrot and trash cans from Disneyland could make me feel as if I won the lottery,” he added.
Jose, an animatronic bird from the Tiki Room, sold during the auction for $425,000. The auction also shattered several purchase records for Disneyland posters and theme park signs. An original vehicle from the 1950s, a Skyway gondola, set a new auction record for a Disneyland ride. According to Van Eaton Galleries, the vehicle sold for $621,000.
Richard Kraft says he will be donating a portion of the proceeds to two organizations who benefit children with special needs. Kraft’s 4-year-old daughter Daisy suffers from the rare genetic disorder, Coffin-Siris Syndrome, and Kraft said he wants to help benefit children who cope with it as well as similar conditions.