Disney’s Main Street USA : Creative Secrets

Did you know that Disney’s famous Main Street USA was inspired by Walt’s hometown Marceline, Missouri? As entrance to the park, it has its own unique style to embody the hometown feeling and has guests transported back to small town life. This iconic area of the park has many other secrets to it as well, are you ready to find out a few?

Disney’s Apartment

Walt had two little girls and had a vision to create a place that the whole family could enjoy together, thus the birth of Disneyland California which opened in 17 July, 1955. He had an apartment just above the Disney Fire Department on Main Street USA no more than 500 feet, and included a kitchenette and a bathroom. Walt use to spend most of his time in the apartment and sometimes would sleep there. It would be a place he could bring his family, as well as somewhere to watch the guests come flooding in when the park opened. He had a lamp situated in the window that he would turn on when he was at the park and workers would know he was there. Sometimes he would have it on as early as 4am. Since his passing in 1965, the lap in the window has continued to remain on to signify he’s watching over Disneyland and a reminder that his spirit lives on.

Movie Main Street Magic

This may become a bit of a surprise to you, but Disneyland was not designed by architects. In fact, it was designed by a team of people in the film industry including art designers, set designers, concept artist, etc. In film, sets are designed with a technique called ‘forced perspective’ which means it creates an illusion of the objects appearing bigger, smaller, farther away or closer than it actually is. Imagineers incorporated this technique into the building structures so they get smaller the taller they grow, creating the illusion that they are bigger than they actually are. All three stories are scaled differently to what ‘life-size’ would be. (First flow 7/8th , second 5/8th , and the third 1/2 scale) If you were to look up at the buildings on Main Street you may think it looks very tall, but in fact is shrinking in size the farther up to the top it goes. It is a very clever visual trick that they have implemented, not just on Main Street, but throughout the park as well. For example, the castle that is 77 feet tall looks to be towering high in the sky, but the same forced perspective is used here and if you look closely at the photo below you’ll see the windows get smaller and smaller the higher up it goes.

Disneyland California 60th anniversary

Hidden Mickeys

It is recorded that there are 1,000 hidden Mickeys around Disneyland California created by the Imagineers and you can start spotting them as soon as you enter the park and are walking down Main Street USA. Keep your eyes peeled because they are not always the easiest to catch, you may have to look up, down and all around. Some places to look are:

  • Inside the Main Street Magic shop
  • At the entrance to the Penny Arcade
  • Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlour Window

I won’t tell you exactly where they are, so next time you’re there be sure to keep a look out and spot a hidden Mickey! These are just a few of the magical touches placed throughout Disney, and while I am only talking about Main Street USA today, they are plenty other places to spot them scattered all throughout the park. If you are interested in finding more of the hidden Mickeys you can actually get a copy of a book telling you where they all are and is perfect if you are up for a scavenger hunt on your next trip.

Don’t miss out on the Disney Magic

The one thing that I love about Disney is their attention to detail and the creativity that goes behind the making of the park, films and more! It is all about the experience, and if you look close enough you’ll be sure to find a little extra magic waiting to be discovered.

Well, that’s all I have for today but I hope you enjoyed these little magical secrets. Creativity comes in all forms even down to the smallest detail. Be sure to like and subscribe to get more content every Monday, Friday and Saturday(:

Have a magical day!

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