Saturday, 12 November 2011 12:31

Behind the Scenes - Part 1

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Part One: Entrance & Main Street of Disneyland
For years Disneyland has filled hearts with fantasy and wonderment in some part because of the characters that can be found wandering around the park, but also in part because of its construction. In its design, Disneyland far surpasses the genius. Let me take you on a small tour of the park you thought you knew so well.

As you approach the actual gates at the very entrance of Disneyland have you ever looked down? Next time you are there, look down. At the opening of the 21st. century (2000) Disneyland offered guests a chance to actually be a part of the reconstruction of the park. Here, under the Monorail track, you will see tiles with names and dates on them. For years these tiles were available, and may still be, for you, the guest, to dedicate a moment in your life to be permanently attached to the most magical place on Earth! If you are curious about whether these tiles are even still available, head over to the Main Street Courthouse for more information. (Authors Note: My wife and I have a tile there. If you can find it, take a picture and post it here!)

As soon as you enter the park you are greeted by the smiling face of everyone’s favorite mouse, Mickey! This flower collage is changed at least 4 times a year to make sure that the flowers and plants used will be in full bloom for the season. The park is so dedicated to making sure your experience is magical that the face of Mickey will literally change overnight! To think that one day you can walk in and be confronted with a completely different Mickey Mouse face, made of flowers, from the previous day is enough to make anyone think magic is real!

As you walk through the tunnel that is formed from the track of Disneyland’s private train above you, you may feel as if you are walking into a time machine that is transporting you back through time. You blink your eyes as you arrive in Main Street. Here stands architecture without rival as you glance down the street to see, off in the distance, the Castle of Sleeping Beauty! The wonder of it may take a bit to sink in, but please do yourself a favor and stand there for a few minutes and look around. Smell the air, notice the attention to detail in even the flowers, hanging plants, balconies with tables and teapots, etc. Looking back down the street towards the Castle that seems to loom above all the buildings off in the distance you are overcome with the sense of giddiness and once again you feel like a small child in a land of magic!

Do you smell the candy? Can you hear that old rag-town band playing? See the horse-drawn buggies and the 2-story busses? All designed to put you at ease, relax the tension of the outside world, and to make you feel welcome into a wondrous place.

Interesting note here about that smell and music; If you look along the bottom of the buildings along Main Street you will see vents. Based on your senses you will naturally assume that the sound you are hearing is coming from there…and you would be wrong. The music is actually emanating from speakers set on top of the buildings and in the flower beds!

Those vents? Interestingly enough those vents are pumping out the smell of vanilla that is making you think you can smell the candy being made at the Candy Emporium. Go on. Bend close to one of the vents and inhale. I promise there won’t be any music coming from them.

Just one more clever use of space the designers put into the creation of Main Street. Now do me a favor and go stand on the Castle side of the Main Street flagpole.

Here is where I will expound upon you the sheer genius of design that Disney ImaginEars put into this part of the park. Take a look at the building next to you. If you are standing at my favorite part of Main Street then the Emporium will be to your left. This tall building of historic nostalgia is a wonderment to behold. Why? Because it’s not really as tall as it looks. Notice the bricks. At eye level the bricks are normal size, but once you start casting your gaze upward you will see that the bricks slowly get smaller! By the time you reach the top this nearly 3-story building is not quite a complete 2-story building! The designers wanted to make a grandiose appearance without having to spend a lot of money by actually building something grandiose. So they opted for the optical illusion you see every time you visit the park.

To add to this illusion is the Castle. Standing at the base of the Main Street Station and looking down the street towards the Castle you will swear that the Castle seems huge and off in the distance. But once again the magic and genius of the architecture has baffled your senses. In reality the Castle is roughly 2 ½ stories tall! What makes this illusion is actually the buildings along Main Street. As you walk towards the Castle you may find that the Castle is getting larger and larger, and it looks that way because the buildings along Main Street actually shrink in size as you get closer to the Castle!

Remember those bricks I was telling you about? They get even smaller as you get closer to the end of Main Street. So the bricks on the “second story” of the building at the end of Main Street are much smaller than the bricks of the “second story” of the buildings closer to the Main Street Train Station.

This design allows the guests to feel like they have literally stepped into a new dimension of magic that extends forever!

There’s so much more I want to share with you, but I’ve run out of space. So, come back and check in, here at OriginalD.com, and together we will continue the Behind-the-Scenes Magic tour through the park!

Joshua

Writer

Joshua is a major Superman, Star Trek, and genealogy buff! He is married to a woman who is just as much into Disney as he is! He reads a lot, loves to write, is a Facebook Fanatic, and is really into useless information... especially about history.

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