From the Coker of Costa Mesa Collection. Starting bid: $95.EXPAND
From the Coker of Costa Mesa Collection. Starting bid: $95.
Matt Coker

What Are My Bids for a Frosty Disneyland Mug (Before the Auction)?

So I'm looking at some of the Disneyland memorabilia that the media is being allowed to look at before bidding starts next Saturday, Dec. 16, when I notice, for the first time ever, that I actually possess something being auctioned off.

The only difference between my Sgt. Preston's Yukon Saloon beer mug and the one pictured on the Van Eaton Galleries website is that mine is frosty because I just pulled it out of my freezer before snapping the photo.

Here is the Van Eaton listing:

What Are My Bids for a Frosty Disneyland Mug (Before the Auction)?
Van Eaton Galleries

If the circa 1980s referred to is the very early 1980s, it's possible I bought this while working as a Main Street Attractions host at Disneyland, which isn't nearly as exciting as it sounds because I was assigned to the parking lot (back when what is now California Adventure was a parking lot). On the bright side, while all other employees ... er ... cast members had to maintain smiley, happy facades, we in the lot got to yell at the customers ... ah ... guests.

This was especially allowed if you were in the process of being run over.

Considering how little I was being paid as a seasonal part-timer, it's more likely I either got the mug as a gift or on a trip to the park after entering the full-time workforce. Basically, at the Big D, I earned just slightly more than minimum wage, adjusted downward for union dues (even though I could not belong to the union) and the cost of mandatory regular haircuts (which I avoided to the point of getting sent home once or twice for hair over my ears). It prepared me for a life of living off nothing as a journalist.

Noting the Van Eaton Galleries start price of $100 for a mug that is expected to fetch $200-$400, I am willing to let mine go for a cool $95. Any takers?

Looking at other stuff on the gallery website, it made me wonder if I have anything else to barter. Seeing a barber pool striped cap that went with one work uniform ... er ... cast member costume, I can now kick myself for not having smuggled out one of my lame parking lot shirts, which were bright orange on one side of the descending buttons, bright yellow on the other side. I guess the yellow was needed so we would not blend in with the orange parking cones.

Current cast members have told me they have to take their costumes home to wash them, but they'd have been majorly fired back in my day for leaving the park with any piece of work clothing. A security guard even checked the bags of those who'd just clocked out. But I do seem to recall leaving the park with the long bright orange coat I'd wear during chilly nights. It's not here now, so I must've donated it at some point. I do still have the accompanying long brown scarf with a "Disneyland" insignia on it in my tote holding snow skiing clothing. I think. Wonder what the opening bid would be for that? Mine is priced to move, Mouseketeers!

That's it as far as being competition to Van Eaton Galleries, which boasts more than 800 rare items on the auction block, including books, posters, historical documents, original animatronic characters, a 1967 Autopia car, the actual paintings used to design Sleeping Beauty Castle, the prospectus pre-dating the opening of the theme park and much, much more. According to the gallery at 13613 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks:

Highlights include several early original paintings used in the design of “Sleeping Beauty Castle” (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000 ea.); an original animatronic “Fuzzball” character from the popular Captain EO attraction (Estimate: $50,000-$60,000); an original “Zorro” costume worn by Guy Williams during appearances at Disneyland (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000); an extremely rare “Rainbow Caverns” attraction poster, (Estimate: $15,000-$20,000); original signage from the “Haunted Mansion” attraction (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000) and  an original 1967 “Autopia” car body (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000)

Other highlights include a collection of “Golden Horseshoe” memorabilia from 25-year performer Fulton Burley’s estate and original Disneyland Railroad items including an actual wheel from a Disneyland train (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); an original prospectus pre-dating the opening of the park (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000), original props and signage from the recently closed “Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” (varying estimates); an original sign from the “Country Bear Jamboree” attraction (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000).


Live and online bidding starts at 11 a.m. on Dec. 16. Register at www.vegalleries.com/disneylandauction.

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