This ultimate Disneyland auction broke records, bringing in a staggering $8.3 million

Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride at Disneyland.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Over the span of 25 years, Richard Kraft amassed a collection of more than 900 Disneyland artifacts, props, and even ride vehicles, and when the Hollywood agent decided he was ready to part ways with these items, he wasn't going to do it quietly.

Kraft worked with Van Eaton Galleries in Los Angeles to auction off the pieces of Disney history. The weekend auction brought in $8.3 million, Van Eaton Galleries said Monday, including $483,000 for an original Dumbo the Flying Elephant vehicle and $86,250 for a neon letter "D" from the Disneyland Hotel, bought by magician David Copperfield. Jose, an animatronic bird that once lived in the Tiki Room, sold for $425,000, and a Skyway gondola from the 1950s sold for $621,000, a record auction price for a Disneyland ride, Reuters reports.

Several posters and theme park signs also broke records. For a month before the auction, visitors could come in and see the items on display, and tens of thousands of people showed up. In a statement, Kraft said when he decided to part with his collection, "it became much more about throwing a grand bon voyage party to those magical artifacts than about making projections about their worth." Many of those items were kept inside his house, like the Dumbo car, and they made him "feel as if I won the lottery." He said that part of the proceeds will go to organizations helping children with special needs.

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.