Ludwig von Drake debuted in 1961 as did this Disneyland metal lunch box. Seeing Von Drake tour the various lands of Walt’s first Park is truly magical! Just ask him, he’ll be glad to tell you… for hours… and hours… and hours.
Paul Frees provided the voice of Von Drake in his classical period from 1961 to 1986. The character was first introduced as the host, presenter/expert, and all around self-professed know-it-all on the first episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color on NBC.
So who better to tour Disneyland and provide us all with a travelogue on steel?
So how do you tell which is the main image on a lunch box? It seems obvious, but the lid is intended to be the main display image, even when the other large side is equally interesting.
On the lid of this lunch box we find Von Drake doing some climbing on the Matterhorn mountain. He has found a little worm to study! In the background, you can see the Sky Buckets (extinct), Sleeping Beauty Castle, the monorail, a 20,000 Leagues sub (extinct), and the Rocket to the Moon (also extinct).
One of the best things about these old pieces of merchandise is the nostalgia they generate by reminding you of the old attractions that are no more!
Our Tour Guide next takes us to Main Street U.S.A. for a look at the Horse-drawn fire wagon (that now sits on display inside the Disneyland Fire Department in Town Square). I’m not sure what’s on fire but Von Drake seems to have it well in hand. Well, as well in hand as he ever has anything.
The other sides of the box take us to Adventureland for an exotic trip through the Jungle Cruise. Next our Tour Guide becomes a Cow Poke in Frontierland for a showdown with a… rabbit? Lastly, Von Drake goes rogue as he Cosplays as Captain Hook for an appearance in Fantasyland. Even the Jolly Roger sails by in the distance!
Most lunch boxes I find, and have, are missing the thermos. I was glad to find that this one had the original thermos, even though it is missing the stopper and lid.
Von Drake’s adventures in Disneyland don’t end on the box! On the thermos he is making another stop in the Jungles of Adventureland to catch himself some rare species of butterflies. But he had better be careful!
While chasing the Blue Beauty, he is almost swallowed by a Hippo, bitten by a snake (or does it just want a hug?), and is about to step on Ginger. That can’t end well, for I hear she snaps!
Aladdin Industries creates these wonderful metal lunch boxes. There is no end to the Disney-themed variants that they have produced over the years. This site has featured one from Walt Disney World, another focusing on The Magic Kingdom, and the most recent addition, one featuring The Rescuers. So make yourself a sandwich and enjoy yourself!
The bottom of the box places Von Drake back in Fantasyland for a look at King Arthur’s Carrousel with the back side of Sleeping Beauty Castle peaking out from behind. And I wonder what that food cart is selling? Could it be the famous Disneyland Popcorn?
You can see from the images that this metal lunch box is nice and rusty. But just enough rust to make it vintage and beautiful for display!
You can also see another post featuring this same lunch box that was done by our Guest Blogger, Nick, way back in 2013. He adds some fun details that he noticed which gives a different perspective. Oh, and his thermos is complete. Enjoy!