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From Dream to Reality at Disneyland Resort

posted on April 20th, 2011 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort

In 1964, Walt Disney introduced a concept for a new attraction at the New York World’s Fair that would celebrate children around the world. More than four decades later, “it’s a small world” continues to be one of the most beloved Disney Parks attractions of all time.

'it's a small world' at Disneyland Park

Even more than the famous song that you can’t seem to get out of your head, one thing that sticks with me from “it’s a small world” is the art that takes you on a journey around the world. Artist Mary Blair is among those who played an integral part in the development of this classic attraction. Her artwork remains to this day, an inspiration to our Disney artists and Disney fans. Her designs have captured the hearts of many and can be seen throughout each “it’s a small world” attraction at Disney Parks worldwide.

Until today, there has never been an opportunity to showcase the collection that inspired it all. But thanks to Kim Irvine, Dave Golbeck and team, The Disney Gallery will unveil a brand new exhibit May 13 to celebrate the art of Mary Blair and 45 years of this classic Disney attraction.

The other day I had the unique opportunity to get a quick peek of what you’ll see when the exhibit debuts. Here are a few of the images:

Celebrating the Art of Mary Blair at The Disney Gallery

Celebrating the Art of Mary Blair at The Disney Gallery

I hope you enjoyed this inside look. As I find out more, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Are you a fan of Mary Blair art?

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Filed: Art of Disney, Disneyland Resort



Tom from IA on April 20th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I am a HUGE fan of Mary Blair. Her work has left an indelible impression on the Disney legacy and I for one hope it is never phased out!

For YEARS I have been trying to get my hands on a copy of John Canemaker’s “The Art and Flair of Mary Blair.” But, sadly, it’s out of print.

I would love to see this exhibit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to go to Anaheim anytime soon. :(


Joelle on April 20th, 2011 at 4:08 pm


Is there an end date for this exhibit? My next trip is in December and Mary Blair is my favorite Disney artist – really hoping to see this collection!



Michelle Harker on April 20th, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Hi Joelle! I believe the next exhibit is slated for early October.


Andrew from GA on April 20th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Where are Mary’s drawings with the Disney characters?


Michelle Harker on April 20th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Hey Andrew,
I only posted a couple of the pieces from the exhibit, you’ll see many more when the show opens.


Margaret from CA on April 20th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

In my memory, the Mary Blair style of art IS the “look” of the 1960s that I remember from my childhood. You know, there’s a new movie out called “Walt & El Grupo” about the trip that Walt and company took to South America and in it, they show how Mary Blair’s art form really blossomed and came into it’s own unique style during that trip. Good movie.


Amber from CA on April 20th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I just love Mary Blair, she was a genius.

Will any of these gorgeous pieces be available for purchase as prints?


Michelle Harker on April 20th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Hey Amber! Just so you know many of the pieces in the collection that will be on display starting May 13th in The Disney Gallery will be available on Art on Demand. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.


Juan-Miguel from CA on April 20th, 2011 at 6:40 pm

This is wonderful news! Mary Blair’s art is absolutely iconic – I’m always amazed at how under-represented she is, considering that she embodied Mid-Century design before there was a Mid-Century design. Her use of color was also very influential. Just look at Alice In Wonderland or Winter Wonderland from Melody Time. Can’t wait to feast my eyes on this! It would be awesome if there were another printing of “The Art and Flair of Mary Blair”! yay… ok I’m gushing…


Abbie on April 20th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Mary Blair is my hero. I wish I could see this exhibit!


Eric from CA on April 20th, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Terrific news! My wife and I are big fans of the artist. Can’t wait to see the exhibit. We always appreciate your merchandise related posts Michelle. Thanks!


Matthew on April 20th, 2011 at 8:12 pm

This exhibit looks great, looking forward to it. Now if only Olszewski would do a replica of her old Tomorrowland mosaic.


Lori from MA on April 20th, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I love Mary’s work! Hopefully I will make it to CA this summer. There should be a new coffee table book of her work.


Danielle on April 20th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I love Mary Blair’s amazing work and legacy. Please think about having this exhibit at Walt Disney World at some point too!


Kelly on April 20th, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Cannot wait! Huge fan of both Mary Blair and the attraction itself. I hope there is tons of merchandise!


Adam on April 20th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Mary Blair is incredible. I love all of her work. Do you know if there’s a book featuring just her art?


Jon from CA on April 21st, 2011 at 11:25 am

Sounds like a great exhibit! But one correction, Mary’s original art was actually exhibited before. In 2009 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Too far away for most, but it looked like an amazing exhibit!


Michelle Harker on April 21st, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Hey Jon! You are absolutely right! I forgot about it being at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Thanks for the reminder. I guess you could say, it will be on display for the first time here at Disneyland park. Have a great day!


Lauren on April 26th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I love this! This seems amazing. Any chance of it coming to Disney in Florida??? :)


Carla from CA on May 12th, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Tom from IA…I HAVE that book…its amazing. Let me know if you find it! I am planning on being at DL this Friday and Saturday. When I heard of this exhibit I was estatic! Thanks for offering us all a look at Art that may never have been seen before:)