There are many secrets of Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland. Here are a few of my favorites:
When you first enter Disneyland the ground is red brick. Walt wanted you to feel like you were entering on a red carpet, being treated like royalty. Also he added the tunnels to walk through so that once you came through them, onto Main Street USA, you would feel you were entering a completely new world. I’d say he hit it right with the tunnels. Thankfully he was talked out of walking through curtains… Imagine the disarray that would have caused.
This one may be well known… When you are standing at the end of Main Street, USA and looking towards the castle, Disney Imagineers used “Forced Perspective” to make the castle appear larger than it is. Essentially it’s a trick where the buildings get smaller the further down the street you go… Forcing the Castle to appear larger. Disney has used this same “trick” in every theme park they’ve created.
Speaking of Main Street, USA, did you know the names on the windows above the shops are real people? Most of them are Imagineers who were essential to fulfilling Walt’s Disneyland Dreams. You’ll see UB Iwerks up there as well. UB was the first one to join Walt Disney at his new animation studio after he left Universal… UB Iwerks is also the co-creator of Mortimer Mouse… Now affectionately known as Mickey! Many many more Imagineers and other key Disney people are immortalized on these window panes as their own proprietors of which ever shop they now “own”. UB Iwerks shop is above the Main Street Bakery and he has a Stereoscopic Camera Shop.
Those Imagineers and Walt sure did come up with some amazing tricks to get us visitors to do the right thing. For instance the only place in the park that has a black street is Main Street… Why? Black gets hotter than any other color which in turn makes you want to move towards the castle and not create a bottleneck along Main Street…
Have you noticed that if you stand on the sidewalks of Main Street the trees block your view of the castle? And vice versa if you’re on the street? Here’s why! It was decided if you were on the sidewalk the best way to get you into the stores was to block the view of the castle and surrounding park… Just as if you’re standing in the street, the trees block the stores and will not distract you from moving along towards the castle. No wonder they are called IMAGINEERS!
Here’s one most people don’t consider but will have a “D’uh!” moment when you read this. You never hear the sounds of Anaheim which is right outside the gates. Guess what else you don’t get from Anaheim…??? The smell. Yup Disneyland has what are called Smellitzer’s around the park. They shoot a plume of scent some 200 feet in the air at just the right second and then fans suck it back out so as to not take away from the next smell. You never knew it happened, but you also aren’t smelling car exhaust or any other city smells. Most people know the instance of the citrus smell on Soarin Over California. That’s one you could hardly miss, but many more exist through out the park to give all your senses access to the magic! How bout some fresh baked cookies on Main Street, USA? Yeah you probably thought they were being baked right then…
One last tidbit about Main Street USA for you. The Gas Lamps along the street were 150 years old when purchased in 1955 and mostly come from Baltimore, MD. They were being sold for scrap at the time and were purchased for $1 per pound. Disneyland used to have a cast member dress up as a 19th Century lamplighter and light the lamps at dusk everyday… Now they stay lit day and night.
Check out details on the Glow With The Show Ears at California Adventure.
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Daniel is a self-proclaimed Disney Geek, Disney Vacation Planner and a Disneyland Specialist. When he’s not adding to the plethora of Disney Trivia in his head, you can find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter…