Then and Now: Lafitte’s Anchor at Disneyland Park

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

One of my favorite things about Disneyland park is its history. As the first in what would become many Disney parks, Disneyland represents years of legacy and tradition. You may be able to name the attractions that still remain in the park since opening day, but what else? Which details, with their quiet stories, are still tucked away in corners of Disneyland park, 57 years later?

Lafitte's Anchor in Frontierland at Disneyland Park in 1955

In what was then Frontierland, guests in the summer of 1955 could see Lafitte’s Anchor – a “relic” from the pirate ship commanded by Jean Lafitte in the battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. But, as the plaque warned, “… don’t believe everything you read.”

Lafitte's Anchor Now Sits in New Orleans Square Along the Banks of the Rivers of America at Disneyland Park

The anchor has been moved a bit and has a new plaque, but you can still see this piece of Disneyland history in what is now New Orleans Square, along the banks of the Rivers of America.

What other bits of the past have you found while exploring Disneyland park?

Read more about the history of Disneyland park in the posts below:


  • One book that is good for the details at Disneyland is “The Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland”. The current softcover and hardcover souvenir books sold at the parks are also good. The hardcover book is called “Disneyland Through the Decades”.

    • Great tips – thanks, Donald!

  • I’m going to disneyland after work today. I’ll go look for that anchor.

  • I agree with Mike. There should be a book, if there isn’t one already, that gives some insight into the history of the park and items that guest often look over….

  • Some of the rockwork in the Big Thunder Ranch area is scenery from the old Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland, as is the mining town in the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad queue. There is a sprig of leaves from the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse attraction on the Tarzan’s Treehouse tree. Of course, I always pay my respects to the Country Bears that I dearly miss by glancing at Melvin, Max and Buff when I ride Winnie the Pooh.

  • Our family loves the blog and particularly when you post items about the Park’s history. Can you recommend some books that have photos and articles detailing the history of the Park. A “Then and Now” type of book that shows original photos of locations and attractions and photos of what the same area looks like today would be really appreciate (especially aerial views).

    Keep up the good work on the blog. You are a valuable part of the Disney experience!

    Arizona Mike

    • Thank you, Arizona Mike! I’m glad to hear you enjoy reading these posts as much as I enjoy writing them. For some great books on Disneyland history, stop by 20th Century Music Company on Main Street, U.S.A. – for example, “Disneyland Through the Decades / A Photographic Celebration” is available there.

  • Lafitte’s Anchor is my favourite joke in the whole of Disneyland!

    Other favourite pieces of Disney history: the petrified tree, the “Class of ’55” attractions (they looked so good in gold!), the classic Mickey cartoons in Main St. Theatre, what’s left of Tom Sawyer’s Island and the Penny Arcade, the railway memorabelia in Main St. Station and the Lilly Belle carriage, the remains of the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland left along Big Thunder Trail…

  • At least its now in the properly themed land. I would hate to have to move that at least for the last 2 of the 500 ft. it had to be moved.

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