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SAMLAND

The "E" Ticket

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by , 06-06-2012 at 07:52 PM


Leon and Jack Janzen grew up in the San Fernando Valley. Their first visit to Disneyland was in 1958. The brothers were hooked. The became frequent visitors to the Park and began to collect souvenirs, photos, and memories.

Many years later, in the Spring of 1985, they read a Disney News article about Disneyland collectibles by former Disney Chief Archivist David R. Smith. The brothers were inspired and decided they would produce a newsletter for dealers and fans that collected vintage souvenirs from Disneyland.


After much consideration, the newsletter was named after a suggestion by Jack’s wife Mary Ann; The “E” Ticket. The brothers explained their choice in Issue #1 in 1986. They said “there was a time when you carefully removed the best ticket in your Disneyland ticket book…the “E” Ticket…and exchanged it for a ride on the Jungle Cruise, the Mark Twain, or maybe the Pirates of the Caribbean. These wonderful little coupons permitted you to enter the very best attractions in the park or, for that matter, in any park.”

They added, “For most of us, this particular thrill passed with tickets books and childhood. We hope to rekindle some of this innocent excitement by taking a nostalgic look at all theme parks, their memories, and collectibles. Disneyland will be the focus of this newsletter.”


In 1986, Issue #1 was released. The brothers Xeroxed 200 copies for $60 and put the black and white pages between a two-color printed cover. They decided that the back cover would always feature a photo of Walt Disney. They gave the first issue away for free. The response was positive and immediate.

The first four issues featured mostly vintage Disneyland souvenirs from their own collection. Issue #5 would suggest the future when Imagineer Tom Scherman contributed an article about the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit in Tomorrowland.

The magazine became a mix of rare photos and drawings done by Jack. Leon focused on the editorial content. They went beyond Disneyland to cover Knott’s Berry Farm, Pacific Ocean Park, and other Southern California destinations.


The real breakthrough came in Issue #7 with an interview with Imagineers Marc and Alice Davis. This was the beginning of a long series of talks with the people who worked with Walt Disney and built the Park. The brothers recorded the stories of Bob Gurr, Rolly Crump, Roger Broggie Sr., Ken Anderson, Ward Kimball, Harper Goff, Wally Boag, John Hench, Sam McKim, Ollie Johnston, Bill Martin, Blaine Gibson, Tony Baxter, Bill Evans, Wathel Rogers, Frank Thomas, Marvin Davis, Bob Sewell, Marty Sklar, Fess Parker, Bud Hurlbut, Ray Bradbury, Michael Broggie, and Art Linkletter.


The popularity of the magazine continued to grow and by Issue #15 they had graduated to glossy coated paper and by Issue #21 they even added limited color to the interior pages. All of these advancements were bound in a new cover format.

In February 2003, The Walt Disney Family Museum had begun the process to house the brother’s work and to republish back copies. Diane Disney Miller said, “An important part of our museum’s mission is to continue to support research and acquisition of materials…interviews, letters, artifacts, that deal with my dad’s life and work, that we can present to those who seek us out. Nobody has done a better job of gathering, and preserving material related to Disneyland, to theme parks in general, than Leon and Jack Janzen.”


Tragically, on September 9, 2003 Leon Janzen passed away. Jack continued a few more years but decided to cease publication in 2009 with Issue #46.


Diane Disney Miller added, “The “E” Ticket is a treasure that will enrich our museum’s archive, and that, with Jack’s guidance; we will continue to make available. Each issue has something of interest, of meaning, to all who have memories of their first visit to Disneyland, and those who want to know more about how it all happened. The talented people who designed the park, created the rides, made my dad’s dreams and convictions happen, come alive in the issues of The “E” Ticket. There’s much to learn there, in these beautiful magazines, and to enjoy.”

And what about you readers? Do you treasure The "E" Ticket as much as I do? Did you stalk Disneyana on Main Street for signs of a new edition? Did you read it cover to cover or just look at the photos and read the captions?


Sam Gennawey is an urban planner, historian, and author.

If you enjoy reading SAMLAND, you'll love his book. Walt and the Promise of Progress City is a detailed look into how Walt Disney envisioned the future of communities. Along the way, we explore many facets of a fascinating man.



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Comments

  1. mratigan's Avatar
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    Thanks Sam
    i never got the read one because I got in to Disney and the parks around the crease of publication
    they should do an ebook of the e ticket
  2. ralfrick's Avatar
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    When I started looking at Disney sites 15 years ago, I constantly saw references to The E Ticket and the Nickle Tour, all praise for both is absolutely justified. There are discs with the first 24 issues mratigan, although I don't know if any can still be bought. The SF Museum did have many issues on the shelf when I was there last year.
  3. danyoung's Avatar
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    I was a happy subscriber to The E Ticket for many years, and was very sad to see it end. Thanks for the spotlight on a very important part of Disney fan history!
  4. WDI33's Avatar
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    I treasure my issues of the E Ticket! They are an invaluable source for Disneyland history. Many back issues are available for purchase at the Walt Disney Family Museum Gift Shop including the cd-roms of very first issues!
  5. eicarr's Avatar
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    The most detailed source on Disneyland ever. Went on and on about the inner working of even the smallest rides and things like most of the parks "Muddy colored" ponds and rivers all being connected underground. I annoy my friends on visits to the park telling them all the random stuff I learned from E Ticket. Next time I'm at the museum(near me) I'll ask about it.
  6. daveinfontana's Avatar
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    I personally have all issues and they are a treasure of information. I always looked forward to the next issue. Maybe your article will bring a renewed interest in a fine magazine.
  7. ImagiNERDing's Avatar
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    I was fortunate to purchase the three CDs with a majority of the issues. My wife was able to buy all of them in paper format for me too. It is an amazing and unbelievable resource that I wish everyone could see!
  8. nunz's Avatar
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    I was a long time subscriber and was sorry to see it end. During a downsize I sold all my paper copies but have great memories of reading each and every article.
  9. Johnny's Avatar
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    The level of detail in the Janzen brothers' articles and interviews is top notch. Sam, thanks for also mentioning Jack's drawings, which are wonderful and an often overlooked treasure of this publication.
  10. SpectroMan's Avatar
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    Thanks for highlighting these gems of information. I treasure all my hard copies and will probablt keep them forever. I remember how great it was to actually see them for sale in Disneyana, despite the fact that it took two outsiders to produce something that Disney themselves should have done. RIP to Leon and I hope Jack is enjoying his retirement.
  11. TodAZ1's Avatar
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    Getting an "E" Ticket magazine from the Disneyana shop on Main Street was a tradition of mine when I'd visit the park every year or so. Truly a great magazine. Even more so for being an independant publishing endeavor.
  12. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Oh how I miss The "E" Ticket. It was really the definitive insiders look at Disney at the time. Luckily, I have many of the issues in paper. But I'd love to have the digital version for easier searching. Still find myself reading the Haunted Mansion issue (my favorite) over and over again.
  13. Crazee4mm's Avatar
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    In my opinion, there has never been a greater resource of what it was like to be a ravenous fan of all things Disney. The subject of their love practically jumps off every page. I especially enjoyed the virtual walk/ride-thru's of attractions long since relegated to Yesterland. Reading every issue was a wealth of re-sparked memories that I thought I had long ago forgotten. There was NOTHING I looked forward to receiving in the mail (I was a longtime subscriber too) more than The "E" Ticket Magaine. A magazine of absolute gold created by, and made for, people who could never imagine NOT having the gifts that Walt left to all of us in their lives. The devotion, details, respect, and unmitigated awe that Jack & Leon passed along to us were an absolute joy to read to any of us who had the pleasure of this wonderful magazine.
  14. stevek's Avatar
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    Best Disney parks magazine ever, hands down. Purchased the majority of the newer editions oat Disneyana on Main Street and was lucky enough to get all of the ones I didn't have on the CD-ROM's they released years ago. A shame they stopped publishing but understandable.
  15. Irving's Avatar
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    Amazing magazine!...Unfortunately I had only the 4 last issues of it. Definitely one of the most cherished treasures of my small Disney collection.
  16. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    I too never got a chance to read a single issue all the way though, I only glanced thru one or two for the images and the captions. I hope to someday find a copy of the nickel tour and (maybe) all the issues of the e-ticket too.


    Timekeeper
  17. Galapagos Jim's Avatar
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    I, too, am lucky enough to own a complete collection of The "E" Ticket Magazine. My very first issue was #14, the tour of Main Street, and from there I was hooked. I bought all of the earlier issues from a friend who was looking for cash to rebuild an old sports car.

    Every issue was packed with great stories and detailed interviews. BTW, Sam, your info is a bit inaccurate. The first full-color cover was #23, The Jungle Cruise. I prefer the charm and texture of the old monochrome covers, though; it really gives character to the artwork.

    For those of you who want to get ahold of back issues or the CD's, try contacting the Walt Disney Family Museum directly. When the third back issue CD became available I sent them an e-mail and they were very helpful to get it shipped up to me.
  18. RoyceM's Avatar
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    I too celebrate the terrific legacy of what Jack and Leon had done - and check out this shocking fact. Despite Marty Sklar having assisted and helped Jack & Leon with their E-Ticket magazine, and that Jack and Leon had interviewed those directly responsible for the designs, crafting and manufacturing of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride attraction(s), and they had assistance from Disney’s top two archivist, Dave Smith and Robert Tieman too, I have a legal 2006/2007 document (Disney has a copy too) in which Marty Sklar himself, on behalf of the Walt Disney Company, had proclaimed under oath that for all purposes Jack and Leon Janzen and their E-Ticket magazine weren't a credible resource. Furthermore, also during legal proceedings, that on one hand the Walt Disney Company, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio had presented a copy of The E-Ticket magazine with which to proclaim it was proof of what Marc Davis had designed, but on the other hand they also represented that Jack and Leon Janzen and Marc Davis were ignorant liars when it came to Marc Davis' creative work for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride attraction.
  19. janvincent_1313's Avatar
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    One of the first publications that got me interested in a deeper view of Disney history. I'm sad that they did not continue.