Mirror Disneyland - An Alternate History

MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
DISCLAIMER: MOST OF THIS INTRODUCTION IS BORROWED HEAVILY FROM THE WONDERFUL "DISNEYLAND - THE FIRST THIRTY YEARS", a book released for the 30th Anniversary of Disneyland in 1985.

This project has been a SECRET passion of mine for the past few months. After realizing my ideas for the "World's Largest Magic Kingdom" or "Disneyland Australia" were going nowhere and growing increasingly more unenjoyable to work on, I decided it was time instead to privately imagine an ALTERNATE HISTORY where Walt Disney had financial (and critical) support in the construction of his original Disneyland. Unlike the Disneyland of 2019, this alternate reality has what Walt Disney World granted: the blessing of size.

So, I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey... Come with me now into an alternate timeline where Disneyland was unprecedented in design, size, and immersion... Where California Adventure does not exist; rather, Westcot stands in its place... Come with me to...


Mirror Disneyland: An Alternate History



Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
- Harriet Tubman

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Inspired by:
“A Dream Called Walt Disney World” (1981), DisneyChris.com, ThemeParkTourist.com, Widen Your World, Ideal Build-Out, and Disneyland - The First Thirty Years

Dedicated to:

Walt Disney and his Original Imagineers

***


The Happiest Legacy on Earth

“If we can borrow some of the concepts of Disneyland and Disney World and Epcot, then indeed the world can be a better place.”
- Ray Bradbury


Will Jones of the Minneapolis Tribune once wrote of Walt’s Disneyland, “If it’s an amusement park, it’s the gosh-darndest, most happily-inspired, most carefully-planned, most adventure-filled park ever conceived. No ride or concession in it is like anything in any other amusement park anywhere.

Disneyland was never meant to portray the county fair or amusement park that Walt had known too well. It was instead to represent a “flight into a dimension beyond the reach of time.” The new concept in entertainment was that of a fabulous playground - a fairytale kingdom, a metropolis of the future, an untamed jungle - it was, above all, a place for people to find happiness and knowledge with a universal sense of communication and understanding.

“I don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they’re in Disneyland. I want them to feel like they’re in another world.”
- Walt Disney

Disneyland really began,” Walt said, “when my two daughters were very young. Saturday was always ‘Daddy’s Day’ and I would take them to the merry-go-round and sit on a bench eating peanuts while they rode. And sitting there, alone, I felt that there should be something built, some kind of a family park where parents and children could have fun together.


So, in his "spare time" between films and other projects, Walt began to dream of this "magical little park." Members of his staff recall Walt's vision for a "Magic Kingdom" adjacent to his Burbank movie studio. It was to be about eight acres in size, with pony rides, a riverboat, a train, and statues of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy alongside which visitors could pose for pictures. However, this "little idea" quickly became more magical and less "little." In fact, designs for themed architecture were being worked into the plan to give it more flavor. It soon became clear that eight acres would be far too small to hold Walt's vision.

By the early 1950s, concepts for the project had outgrown Burbank. By now, the project was something that would require a major amount of capital, and remarkably, the entire industry stood with Walt and Roy in their faith for this bold investment. "It was never a problem to convince the financiers that Disneyland was feasible," Walt recalled, "because dreams of this sort offer much collateral and great reward." To build Disneyland, Walt and his brother Roy not only had enough financial backing from eager-eyed investors, but also the support of the nation's amusement-park owners and operators.

With all doors open, Walt Disney Productions and the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) signed a seven-year contract that called for Walt to produce a weekly, one-hour television show.


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"Disneyland" was the perfect medium to bring the story of the Magic Kingdom into the homes of millions of American families. The television show made its debut in the fall of 1954, and the magic of Disney entertainment immediately became a household event across the nation. More importantly, there was more than enough money to make Disneyland, the themed "entertainment world," a reality.

The land, as Walt Disney remembered, was all flat - no rivers, mountains, castles, or rocket ships - just 10,000 acres of orange groves, farmland and walnut trees in Anaheim, California. As one designer recalled, “When we began designing Disneyland, we looked at it just as we do a motion picture. We had to tell a story, or in this case a series of stories. In filmmaking, we develop a logical flow of events or scenes that will take our audience from point to point through a story.” Because it had no precedent, there would be no simple solutions in Disneyland's design and construction. Everything would be one-of-a-kind. And yet, the uniqueness of Walt Disney's concept was nearly equaled by the uniqueness of the "Imagineering" team he formed to help make his dream a reality.


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The creative demands that would be placed on WED Enterprises would call for a harmonic blend of talents unequaled in the annals of the entertainment industry. There would be artists, sculptors, designers, architects, engineers, story tellers, special-effects experts and many others. In order to find most of these talents, Walt turned to the field he knew best - motion pictures. And in many cases, he selected people he knew best, those already skilled in the Disney approach to family entertainment. Key members of his own studio staff had open eyes and minds for new ideas.

"There was another thing we had to keep in mind in developing our Disneyland 'story.' In filmmaking, although we can control the sequence of events, the viewer might walk in late and, through no fault of our own, miss Scene One and never catch up on the story. But in Disneyland, we had more control. We designed the entire Park so that a guest couldn't miss Scene One or Two. From the moment he entered our 'theatre,' that is, our front gate, Scene One would begin for him." Thus, in Disneyland's design, everything would be a form of storytelling. The Disneyland audience would not simply sit before a motion-picture screen. They would physically experience an adventure, seldom as spectators, but almost always as "participants" in the drama.


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More to come! I promise! For reals this time!
 

MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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I'm going to go ahead and tag my usual readers. ;) Gotta keep everyone on track and posted! @DisneyManOne, @spacemt354, @S.P.E.W, @Twilight_Roxas, @orlando678- . Anyone else I'm forgetting, I apologize! I haven't been on here in months.

Since this is an alternate history of Disneyland, you'll notice that certain details are historically inaccurate or entirely fictional. For instance, in this update, the price tag of Disneyland is $35,000,000. The REAL Disneyland only cost $17,000,000 to build in 1954 - 1955.


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As Opening Day drew near, the Disney staff worked around the clock to ready this new "show" for its world premiere. One by one, scenes of the Disneyland show were completed, and finally, on July 17, 1955, Walt Disney's bold "new concept in family entertainment" was ready for its world debut. The "magical little park" had become a $35,000,000 "Magic Kingdom." And the dream had at last come true.

"To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts which have created America...with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world."
- Walt Disney

The magic of dreams coming true begins as we explore the ten cardinal realms of Walt Disney's Disneyland. "Scene One" was Main Street, U.S.A., where turn-of-the-century America would be relived.

Main Street, U.S.A.
"Main Street, U.S.A. is America at the Turn of the Century - the Crossroads of an Era. The Gas Lamp and Electric Lamp - the Horse-Drawn Car and the Auto Car. Main Street, U.S.A. is everyone's hometown... The Heartline of America."

Here is America from 1890 to 1910, at the crossroads of an era. Here the gas lamp is giving way to the electric lamp, and a newcomer, the sputtering "horseless carriage," has challenged Old Dobbin for the streetcar right-of-way. America was in transition; the discoveries of the late 19th Century were changing our way of life. At the end of Main Street, fanning out from a central hub like spokes in a wheel, were the other "lands" - easy to find, easy to enter, each a complete thematic experience bringing to life many of Walt Disney's greatest filmmaking endeavors.

Adventureland
“Here is Adventure, Here is Romance, Here is Mystery. Tropical Rivers - Silently flowing into the unknown. The Unbelievable Splendor of Exotic Flowers…the Eerie Sounds of the Jungle... With eyes that are always watching. This is Adventureland.”

Frontierland
"A Tribute to the Faith, Courage, and Ingenuity of the Pioneers. Here we Experience the story of Our Country's Past. The Colorful Drama of Frontier America in the Exciting Days of the Covered Wagon and the Stagecoach. The Advent of the Railroad...and the Romantic Riverboat."

Fantasyland
“Here is the world of imagination, hopes and dreams. In this timeless land of enchantment, the age of chivalry, magic and make-believe are reborn - and fairy tales come true. Fantasyland is dedicated to the young and the young-at-heart - to those who believe that when you wish upon a star, your dreams do come true.”

Tomorrowland
"A Vista into a World of Wondrous Ideas, Signifying Man's Achievements...a Step into the Future, with Predictions of Constructive Things to Come. Tomorrow Offers New Frontiers in Science, Adventure, and Ideals. The Atomic Age. The Challenge of Outer Space...and Hope for a Peaceful and Unified World."

In its 60+ years of operation, Disneyland has grown to include more "lands" and thematic destinations, all in which find their origin in the same fantasy and adventure that built Walt's Magic Kingdom in 1955:

New Orleans Square
"At the Bend in the River, the 'Gay Paree' of the American Frontier. At the Bend in the Mighty River. A New Orleans of Days Gone By."

Folktale Forest
"A Backwoods Refuge to the Great Heroes and Legends of the American Frontier. The myths of John Henry, Paul Bunyan, and Davy Crockett establish the romance and allure of the Great Outdoors. Here is a Sleepy Backwoods Hamlet, a Tranquil Refuge."

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

"The Crossroads of a Galaxy Far, Far Away: The Planet of Batuu. The Past, Present and Future of this Fantastical Realm Coexist Among the Soaring Spacecraft and Alien Creatures of this Thriving Spaceport. Galaxy's Edge Celebrates the Magic and Mystery of Star Wars; Here Imagination Gives Birth to Adventure."

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Liberty Street
"Past Main Street Stirs a New Nation Waiting to be Born. Thirteen Colonies have Banded Together to Declare Their Independence from the Bonds of Tyranny. It is a Time when Silversmiths Put Away Their Tools and March to the Drums of Revolution, a Time when Gentlemen Planters Leave Their Farms to Become Generals, a Time when Tradesmen Leave the Safety of Home to Become Heroes."

Hollywoodland

"The Hollywood 'That Never Was' - or Could Be. Hollywoodland is Dedicated to Hollywood - Not a Place on a Map, But a State of Mind. It Exists Wherever People Dream and Wonder and Imagine. It is a Place Where Illusion and Reality are Fused by Technological Magic. It is a Hollywood that 'Never Was' - and Always Will Be."
Disneyland has become an international symbol of happiness and inspiration...a living showplace of beauty and magic filled with the accomplishments, joys and hopes of the world. More than a billion "children of all ages" have enjoyed Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom, including kings, queens, prime ministers and presidents. Through the years, Disney's "Imagineers" have added new shows, attractions and themed "lands" as previously stated, while improving original ones. As Walt promised, "Disneyland will never be completed as long as there is imagination left in the world." Although the future holds the promise of even more dreams come true, the first 65 years at Disneyland marked an unforgettable era.

The following is, for your enjoyment, a virtual tour of this alternate, "Mirror Disneyland." In this fictional reality, we will look into both Disneyland and its sister-park: WestCOT Center. I invite you to enjoy your day at the "Happiest Place on Earth," even in this surreal and bizarre look at what could have been...
 

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MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The Esplanade

"I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing... That it was all started by a mouse." - Walt Disney



The date is July 17, 2020. This date is remarkable, for today marks the 65th Anniversary of Disneyland, the "Happiest Place on Earth."

Our adventure begins amidst the color and excitement of the Esplanade. The Esplanade is the heart of the Disneyland Resort. An accessible, spectacular port of transportation and travel, the air is filled with wonderful atmospheric music of the Disney Canon. Lush gardens, fountains and trees set an inspired threshold to the Main Gate of our Magic Kingdom.

North, we find Disneyland Park; south, WestCOT Center; west, the Disney Boardwalk & Hotel District, in addition to the Parking & Transportation Center; east, Harbor Boulevard and the world-class destination of Anaheim, California. The state-of-the-art Disneyland Bowl, an amphitheater in the spirit of the famous Hollywood Bowl looks to Harbor Boulevard to the east. The Monorail and WEDWay PeopleMover offer simple, sophisticated transportation throughout the Resort and well into adjacent Anaheim. The elevated network, once thought to be that of science-fiction, is now in line with science-fact, an accommodation for all guests, save those who wish to explore by foot or automobile. A small but beautiful set of walking trails and man-made woods look to the shore of Fantasy Lagoon, a staple since Walt's original Disneyland was built. The 100-acre lake is home to real beaches and water sports; fishing, parasailing, and water skiing among others.


The Boardwalk & Hotel District is an eclectic collage of shopping, dining and recreation near the shore of Fantasy Lagoon. Inspired by the lakeside village of Lake Arrowhead, California, we find a quaint paradise tucked among the serenity of a secluded wild; a great forest of the Pacific Northwest amid the Orange County sun. As would a real wilderness town, the four seasons are always present; snow in the winter, autumn leaves in the fall.

The Boardwalk District is of an “historic” origin, inspired by the lost Pleasure Island of Walt Disney World. Meriweather Adam Pleasure, renown oceaneer, founded the former “Pleasure Lake Village” we visit today. As the legend goes, each building once held an operation of Pleasure in this “lakeside” retreat for world travelers. A storied plaque at the entrance to each locale recollects the former use of the hallowed ground.

Pleasure Lake Village

Founded 1915

A living monument to “the wise fool, the mad visionary, the scoundrel, the scalawag, and the seeker of enjoyment,” Merriweather Adam Pleasure, who discovered Fantasy Lagoon and this inexplicable oasis in the spring of 1915. His charitable success with Pleasure Island of Lake Buena Vista, Florida inspired him to craft a retreat for his closest comrades of the Californian coast. Here they would discuss, discover and experiment in the exotic, the supernatural and the unexplainable.

Known as the Grand Funmeister, Pleasure vanished during his 1941 circumnavigation of the Antarctic. His daughter, Mary Sue, took over the Lake Village and its assets. Her management came to an end after an unfortunate run-in with Anaheim Law in 1955; thereafter, the Pleasure Lake Village was abandoned.

In 1990, archaeologists uncovered the site and its remains, and as the same had been done with a rediscovered Pleasure Island in 1987, a large-scale reclamation project into Disney’s Boardwalk & Hotel District had begun. By 1995, the old Lake Village was reopened and dedicated to the life and legacy of its vanished Lord & Master.




“Fun for All, and All for Fun”

Placed here by the Pleasure Lake Village Historical Society


MORE TO COME

 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
Well, I must admit; this is going to be quite an intriguing concept. I've seen various threads about updating parks in this style, but it's a rare occasion to see the "alternate universe" thread. Once I get done with the current semester in a few weeks, I plan to give a long-overdue update to Disneyland Maine, and maybe do an updated version of my plans for Walt Disney World. This is certainly going to give me inspiration for when the time comes! I can't wait to see what lies up your sleeve!
 

MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Well, I must admit; this is going to be quite an intriguing concept. I've seen various threads about updating parks in this style, but it's a rare occasion to see the "alternate universe" thread. Once I get done with the current semester in a few weeks, I plan to give a long-overdue update to Disneyland Maine, and maybe do an updated version of my plans for Walt Disney World. This is certainly going to give me inspiration for when the time comes! I can't wait to see what lies up your sleeve!
Don't worry, I plan on sticking through with this project, too. ;) It's almost more difficult making a resort from scratch IMO. Especially when you set a bar for yourself and constantly try to outdo it. I'm currently in the midst of a job hunt among other things, so my time is definitely more feasible for armchair Imagineering.

@spacemt354, it'd be great to get one of your incredible maps once all is said and done! Even better, you'll have most of the current Disneyland to work off of in terms of layout and whatnot. ;) Then again, I haven't been involved in these boards in quite some time, so I don't even know if you're still making maps haha.

Today's fun (but brief) update is inspired by the wonderful Disneyland Audio Index, which you can visit here: https://disneychris.com/a-day-at-disneyland-index.html

Disneyland Park

“I love the nostalgic myself. I hope we never lose some of the things of the past.” - Walt Disney

Inspired by the unrealized concept for "WestCOT Center" and the Disneyland Resort, "Mirror Disneyland" is a remarkable design in immersion and focus on the Guest Experience. The idea seeks to bring a personal and unrealistic vision of Walt's Disneyland into the 21st Century; the most detailed, fully realized theme park in history, rivaled only by that of Tokyo DisneySea.

In the design of Walt's Magic Kingdom, everything is a form of storytelling. We, the audience, will physically experience one adventure after the next, seldom as spectators, but almost always as "participants" in the drama. In contrast to the county fair or carnival known the world over, Disneyland Park is a seamless, thematic epic. This perfect blend of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy is in favor of the wild animals, alien creatures, and storybook castles found just beyond its Main Gate.

Main Street, U.S.A.


“Many of us fondly remember our small hometown and its friendly way of life at the turn of the century. To me, this era represents an important part of our nation’s heritage. On Main Street we have endeavored to recapture those by-gone days.” - Walt Disney


Walt Disney's love of model trains is often cited as a key inspiration in the creation of Disneyland. Those familiar with the "true-life" Disneyland of our own reality might recognize the same clock tower and gingerbread-trim of the Fort Collins-inspired Main Street Station. Once through the ornate turnstiles and beyond the gate, we glimpse the storied clock tower and station, the smile of a Mickey Mouse Floral. We often hear the haunting echo of the station master calling out announcements as an authentic, 3-foot narrow-gauge heritage locomotive pulls into the station. The romance and grandeur of early steam travel is captured in the excitement of the Disneyland Railroad.

The Disneyland Railroad is one of the most iconic attractions in Disneyland: a Grand-Circle Tour of the Magic Kingdom. After station stops in New Orleans Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, we catch the many sights and sounds along the rails - an ancient jungle, a metropolis of the future, a burning settler's cabin - the unkempt underside of Tomorrowland transitions into the rim of the Grand Canyon.



A spectacular glimpse at one of the world’s longest dioramas, the Grand Canyon is a panoramic re-creation of the flora and fauna of Arizona’s Great Abyss. To Ferde Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite,” curious wildlife examine our train in hesitant caution. A freak thunderstorm brings a brilliant light to the promise of a vibrant rainbow, all while a flock of mountain goat look on…

But, a question remains - what was there before the Grand Canyon?


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Our train has brought us back millions of years in time, back to a day when mighty dinosaurs ruled the swamps and marshes of the fantastic Primeval World. Millions of years ago, warm primeval seas covered the region we call the "Grand Canyon." Our ancestors never heard the sounds we are about to hear, nor witnessed the sights we will see... This is a world that trembles beneath giant feet... The dinosaurs of the Primeval World diorama were originally created for the 1964 New York World's Fair and featured in an attraction called the Ford Magic Skyway. The design of the lifesize dinosaurs featured in this diorama was directly inspired by the "Rite of Spring" segment from Fantasia.

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However, this being a version of Disneyland with, as Walt would have put it, "the blessing of size," these mighty dinosaurs aren't alone in their prehistoric endeavors... In fact, some additional friends from the Magic Skyway have made their home at Disneyland amid the success of their World's Fair debut...

Our conductor speaks of a short detour right between that of the modern Grand Canyon and dinosaur-filled Primeval World. "That was the Grand Canyon as we know it today. But it wasn't always this way... Now, let's travel back in time - way back in time - back to the fantastic world of the Ice Age! Land of the Mighty Mammoth!"

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This "short detour" - a brilliant transition between the Grand Canyon and Primeval World - christens all three dioramas in this portion of the Disneyland Railroad as the official "Longest Diorama in the World." The World of the Ice Age is another lift from the Magic Skyway. Early man is seen in trial with the hardships of life in the Stone Age; saber-toothed cats, harsh climate change, and the hunt for survival. Hunters have trapped a mammoth in a pit. The poor beast trumpets for its freedom. Man used primitive drawings to record ideas. "Artists" can be seen casting their work upon cavernous walls. The so-called "inventor of the wheel" himself holds a sales pitch of makeshift grunts and warbles to the amazement of eager spectators.

From the Station, we pass through one of two tunnels on either side of the aforementioned Mickey Floral. A bronze plaque above either tunnel read a familiar sentiment:


“HERE YOU LEAVE TODAY
AND ENTER THE WORLD
OF YESTERDAY, TOMORROW

AND FANTASY”

An iconic attribute to any Magic Kingdom, electronic posters line the walls of either tunnel, each interchanging to offer a taste of the coming attractions and adventures. One unique detail, however, is that each poster features a simple animation; i.e. Dumbo actually appears to fly.

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MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Now if Godzilla showed up in Disneyland, it would be awesome. Okay, Rodan already did that when he flew over Tokyo Disneyland in one of the 1990s film...
Fun fact: Godzilla will cameo somewhere in this version of Disneyland. ;) Remember, we have a Hollywoodland in this reality.

Again, the Main Street overview takes heavy inspiration from the wonderful Disneyland Audio Tour by DisneyChris.com!

This particular update also takes great inspiration from one of my favorite books on the subject of Imagineering: The Art of Disneyland (2005) by Jeff Kurtti and Bruce Gordon.

While much of the writing is my own, a lot is borrowed from these incredible sources. As much as I hate plagiarism of my own work, I cannot go on without the acknowledgement of my personal sources. I think the beauty of Armchair Imagineering comes to us in this one-for-all and all-for-one melting pot of ideas and words.

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Main Street, U.S.A.


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"For those of us who remember the carefree times it recreates, Main Street will bring back happy memories. For younger visitors, it is turning back the calendar to the days of grandfather's youth." - Walt Disney
In their study of other parks and public spaces, Walt's team quickly realized that a single point of entry would best accommodate their new park. This would serve to acclimate the park guests and allow them a certain innate understanding of the park layout, but would also enable the designers to control the storytelling by creating a manageable sequence of experiences and images.

As the genuine grand Victorian houses of Los Angeles's Bunker Hill were being razed in the 1950s, Walt dreamed of rebuilding them. The Main Street of our Mirror Disneyland yields to that of a Victorian residential district, circa 1890 - 1910. Imagineer Harper Goff's youth in Fort Collins, Colorado was also significant in the development of Main Street, U.S.A. Town Square, where we first enter Disneyland, is akin to stepping back in time to a vibrant community gathering place of small town America at the turn-of-the-century.

"We have dedicated this happy place to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America. This dedication is engraved in a plaque at the foot of the flagpole in the Disneyland Town Square. Suddenly, as we come into the square, the cares and worries of today are left behind, and we find ourselves in a little town in the year 1900. On one hand is the City Hall, and on the other is a Fire Station. The marching band appears in full regalia. We see the emporium, the popcorn man, the old music store, and all the many shops. But let's take the horse-drawn streetcar and ride down Main Street." - Walt Disney

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In Town Square, we can board an old-fashioned Fire Engine, Horseless Carriage, Omnibus, or Horse-Drawn Streetcar, for a one-way trip to the center of Disneyland via Main Street, U.S.A. To choose a mode of transportation, each vehicle has a designated stopping zone marked by a decorative sign. City Hall is the home of Guest Relations. Friendly cast members are always on hand to answer questions, provide touring tips, make reservations and assist visitors with special needs. The second floor of the adjacent Fire Station was once the site apartment of Walt Disney, and its interior furnishings have been preserved just as he left them five decades ago. The furnishings within Walt's apartment include Victorian antiques that he and Mrs. Disney collected over the years.

A long standing tradition of Disneyland is a performance by a firehouse Dixieland band. The Hook 'n' Ladder Co. is no exception to this familiar joy of the Magic Kingdom. The world-famous Dapper Dans often perform in Town Square to welcome us as we enter the park. Their four-part harmonic repertoire includes barbershop ballads as well as many memorable tunes from the world of Disney. The Disneyland Lost & Found and Locker Facility can also be found in Town Square, a beacon for Disney's standard of excellence in customer service.

On a morning like today, when Main Street is open early to guests, we are invited to leisurely wander through Town Square and experience its shops, exhibits and attractions, as we anxiously await for the remainder of Disneyland to open, including round trips on the Disneyland Railroad and the first showing of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.


Disneyland's ten-year anniversary was celebrated with the dedication of one of the park's most momentous and dramatic accomplishments... Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Previewed at the 1964 - 65 New York World's Fair, the amazing production was brought to Disneyland where it has fascinated audiences ever since.

For the first time, Imagineers were challenged to create a "human" performer...an "Audio-Animatronics" figure which would simulate human movements realistically, and which would preserve the delicate dignity of a "Presidential" presentation.


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It is well documented that no other historical figure had inspired Walt Disney more than Abraham Lincoln. It had long been his desire to immortalize the inspiring words and chronicle the life of this great man. Veteran Disney actor Paul Frees narrates and Royal Dano portrays the immortal Lincoln, in this patriotic tribute to our 16th president featuring the world's first Audio-Animatronic robotic human figure. The stirring presentation exits not just into Main Street, but also into Liberty Street, a monument to the freedoms and dreams that made it all possible - Colonial America. The liberty story is a story without end - in fact, Liberty Street is the Boston of Johnny Tremaine himself, circa 1775... But we'll visit early Philadelphia and colonial Bostontown some other time...

For years, the Main Street Opera House was only a facade, used to disguise a lumber mill used during the park's original construction and later expansion. In 1961, this space would house an actual attraction - the Babes in Toyland exhibit. By 1965, Mr. Lincoln had moved in and, by 1973, The Walt Disney Story.

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Walt Disney might have done more to touch the hearts and minds of millions of Americans than any other man in history. He brought joy, happiness, and a universal means of communication to people of all nations. Certainly, our world shall know but one Walt Disney.

The Walt Disney Story (Featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln) has shown at the Opera House since 1973. A stirring attraction offering rare film footage that portrays the art of animation, priceless memorabilia, nostalgic photographs and awards, the Walt Disney Story skillfully displays all in a fitting tribute to the life and accomplishment of Walt Disney. This attraction is climaxed in Walt Disney's greatest Audio-Animatronic achievement - Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

Within the main lobby of the Opera House are several exhibits honoring the legacy of the man behind the mouse. Walt's actual formal and working offices are still exhibited here. All the furnishings were transported from the Burbank studio, and displayed at Disneyland just as Walt had left them.


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Both Main Street and Town Square are anchored in the impressive Emporium. The impressive, two-story department store is the largest mercantile in the entire park, a testament to the grandeur and nostalgia of a Victorian Main Street. Wooden escalators, crystal chandeliers, and sweeping rotundas set our stage.Per tradition, storefront window vignettes portray scenes of the Disney Canon: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, and The Jungle Book.

***
 

MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Continuing on with our tour of Main Street. Again, DisneyChris.com has been a huge guide in this particular land. It is rare to find helpful sources or information in regard to the design of Walt's original Main Street. Yesterland.com also had a great deal of influence and resource.

As always, feedback is much appreciated! I'd really love to hear your thoughts. ;)

Main Street, U.S.A.

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A Disneyland tradition since 1955 is the Flag Retreat Ceremony held every evening, just before sundown, at the base of the Town Square flagpole. The moving yet understated ceremony serves as a reminder to us all that Walt Disney himself wanted Disneyland to honor the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America. Seen in the above artwork by Imagineer Harper Goff, a War Memorial stands in tribute to the brave men and women who have served in America's Armed Forces, though the soldier in portrayal is that of a Union lieutenant in the Civil War.


A band concert in the park was a common civic diversion of small town American life at the turn-of-the-century. The Disneyland Band hearkens back to that time with their daily concerts in Town Square. The iconic program includes energetic musicians, synchronized marches, popular songs of the early twentieth century, and songs of the Disney Canon.

Late into the night, an organist provides a live concert on his Wurlitzer organ, which can be heard throughout Town Square, a haunting musical backdrop for the romantic evening hours at the Magic Kingdom. Said organist is the unofficial "proprietor" of the Wurlitzer Music Hall. Millions have been treated to live music in Disneyland's Music "Hall," whether by electric organ, concert grand or antique player piano. Instruments of all variety, size and origin are for sale, along with the world's largest library of Disney sheet music for purchase. The popular "Disneyland Forever" kiosks allow us the opportunity to instantly download or create personalized CD's with selections chosen from a vast library of rare Disneyland audio recordings.

The Great American Egg House often benefits from the entertainment of its neighbor, the Wurlitzer Music Hall. Maxwell House sponsored the Magic Kingdom's premiere coffeehouse from December 1, 1955 to October 8, 1957. When Hill Bros. Coffee took over sponsorship, an outdoor garden was built near what would one day become the entrance to Liberty Street. By 1975, Hill Bros. had left, and in its wake stood the Great American Egg House that we know today - everyone's favorite breakfast nook. The basic breakfast offerings remain much the same, as does the quaint view of all the bustling early morning activity in and around Town Square.



In this reality of our Mirror Disneyland, much of our Victorian Main Street, U.S.A. has remained untouched since at least 1957. While select shops have since been removed (i.e. "The Wizard of Bras") or replaced altogether, much of small town Main Street has remained one and the same with Walt's original vision. The Great American Egg House and Wurlitzer Music Hall are two examples of Main Street's attention and respect for its history.

On our Main Street, we experience the simpler pleasures of small town America as it were over a century ago, enjoying the sights and sounds of a bygone era. America was going fast. Towns and villages were growing into cities. Soon the gaslight would be replaced by electricity. At this time, little Main Street was still the most important spot in the nation, combining the color of frontier days with the excitement of the new twentieth century.



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Of course, no Main Street, be it young or old would be complete without a variety of shops, stores and restaurants, and Disneyland certainly obliges. The Magic Shop has been a Disneyland staple for decades, and is even where comedian Steve Martin began his career. Sandwiched between the magic shop and Main Street Cinema is the peculiar Great American Pastimes, a small store once known as the Main Street Tobacconist, proof being that a "cigar store" Indian is still positioned on the sidewalk out front. The store specializes in vintage sports memorabilia and merchandise. The distinctive sound of early 1900s cinema can be heard in all its ragtime charm from inside the Main Street Cinema. The films shown here are an assortment of live-action short and feature-length subjects of the silent era, as well as classic Mickey Mouse shorts, including the one that made him a star: Steamboat Willie.

Oddly enough, the Main Street Cinema is haunted by its very own phantom, inspired by Lon Chaney's titular role in The Phantom of the Opera (1925). This bizarre trademark of the original Magic Kingdom (seriously) carries well into the present, a macabre gag for the ages. The eerie phantom lurks around the lobby and slithers into the viewing room to frighten unsuspecting guests; but it's all in good fun.


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"The old Market House filled with penny candy and fat, juicy pickles right out of the barrel," wrote Martin A. Sklar in 1969, brought park guests "the personal adventure of examining, shopping, and inhaling the nectar of nostalgia." The pot-bellied stove and woodsy warmth remain in the old Market House, a seamless blend of nostalgic general store and modern Starbucks Coffee. A deli counter and selection of meats and cheeses are on one end of the store, while on another, the familiar setup of a Starbucks - if Starbucks had appeared in 1900. Mounted on the walls of the Market House are several old-fashioned telephones. Lifting the receiver to our ear, we might hear a comical party line conversation authentic to the 1890s.

Center Street runs perpendicular with Main Street. East Center Street has perhaps the most beautiful sight in Disneyland - the Main Street Flower Mart. There isn't a wilted petal in sight - the flowers are always fresh - being they are made of plastic... East Center Street travels directly into neighboring Liberty Street.



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An early sponsor of Disneyland was Upjohn Pharmaceuticals. The original deal included a shop and exhibition to replicate an early 20th century apothecary, complete with a mock pharmacy counter displaying antique medicine bottles. Guests could buy pain relievers, vitamins, and jars filled with "Pixie Dust." Today, Walgreen's has taken charge. Walgreen's Apothecary retains much of what made the original Upjohn Pharmacy unique, including the faux counter-top and antique medicine bottles. Like its predecessor, the old apothecary continues to sell over-the-counter pain relievers, vitamins, cold medicine, cough drops, and the aforementioned jars of "Pixie Dust." The beloved Candle Shop also remains intact. The thick scent of candle-wax and vanished flame fill the air; candles of all shape, size and color stock the shelves, counters and ceilings. Walt Disney was passionate about the value of books, and a Book Store was a component of Main Street from the earliest designs.

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney
This is your small, friendly neighborhood bookstore of yesteryear. The reading selection includes bestsellers, classics, magazines - and perhaps the world's finest assortment of Disney-related books anywhere; Disneyland travel guides, books about Imagineering, history books, Walt Disney biographies, manga, behind-the-scenes documents, photo books, and books for children and adults about Disney films.

***
Obviously, there is a lot more to come for Main Street. We still have an entire upper-half of the main thoroughfare to explore!
 

MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Any feedback? Anyone? Haha. Of course, the likes on the posts are appreciated. ;)

***
The ground floor buildings of Main Street are built on a 9/10 scale, with the second and third stories built progressively smaller; forced perspective at work. Throughout, the air is filled with song. The Background Music (BGM) is a collection of popular songs authentic to the gaslight era, as well as many recognizable show tunes from the Broadway stage and motion-picture screen. Like the credits in a movie, the windows on Main Street are used to honor those who have contributed to the creation and development of Disneyland. But, some windows "honor" a number of shops typical to what one would have encountered in the 1890s, though comical in nature...

"Open wide! This won't hurt a bit," we hear from the D.D.S. inside the so called "Painless Dentist." Naturally, the sound of agonized screams and drilling follow. "Now, now, now! These are the modern methods..." Another comical scenario is the agonizing resonance of a young piano student taking a lesson at the Main Street Music School. "Not the ruler! ANYTHING but the ruler!" The frightened student shrieks. Her teacher replies, "Slow down! Count!" Hotel Marceline has the sound of a shower, the brushing of the teeth, and a shave. The name given to this hotel is derived from Walt Disney's own hometown of Marceline, Missouri, which is said to be the inspiration behind Main Street, U.S.A.



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Ice cream desserts are the name of the game, but sandwiches, natural food specialties, soups and salads are also on the menu at the beloved Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant. Landmarked by its "antique" delivery truck out front, the former "Carnation Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant" retains the charm and nostalgia of its former residence. Sit inside near the old-fashioned ice cream counter or outside under the red-and-white umbrellas. The star here is, of course, the ice cream. Table-service or quick-service "take-out" are both available.

The Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant stands where the current Carnation Cafe is in our reality: West Center Street.


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Disneyland and oranges share a long history. The former "Puffin Bakery" shuttered to make room for what would become the current Sunkist Citrus House. Since July 31, 1960, the Sunkist Citrus House has offered 100% fresh-squeezed Sunkist orange juice and ice cold pink and yellow lemonade, not forgetting coffee, dessert rolls, lemon tarts, cheesecake, and the famous Sunkist frozen juice bar.

In the symphony of Main Street, the Shooting Gallery and Penny Arcade add another nostalgic note. The Penny Arcade features a number of vintage arcade cabinets from the turn of the twentieth century, including the turn-the-crank kinetoscope movies, mechanical fortune tellers, and various other tests of strength and skill. Disneyland's original (and first) shooting gallery is located here. However, the original pellet guns have since been swapped for electronic guns that use infrared beams. One will not find a single video game inside the Penny Arcade. All the coin-operated conveyances are of the mechanical variety. The Candy Palace shares in the Penny Arcade complex.


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Sink your sweet tooth into an array of old-fashioned confectioneries - caramel apples, frosted marshmallows, shortbread cookies, toffee, fudge, chocolate-covered strawberries, sour worms - you name it. The glass-walled kitchen looks into the live "performance" of skilled candy makers at work. The aroma is that of an intoxicating blend of sugar, vanilla, butter, and caramel.


At the northwestern end of Main Street is an old-time soda fountain and hot dog joint, known fondly as the Corner Cafe, or "Coke Corner." In the adjacent outdoor patio area, upbeat musical entertainment is provided via a ragtime pianist, and often the famous Dapper Dans. Enjoy crowd-pleasing American classics like specialty hot dogs, sourdough chili bowls, soft pretzels, desserts and fountain drinks. After Coke Corner's original pianist, Rod Miller retired in 2006, a new tradition began with Robert Glen ("Ragtime Robert").

Halfway down Main Street, on the corner of East Center Street, is the famous Hallmark Store, formerly the "Hallmark Communication Center." Founded in 1910 by Joyce Hall, Hallmark is the oldest and largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States. Main Street's own Hallmark Store delves in the sale of greeting cards, picture postcards, toys, gift wrap, candies, and a holiday staple - Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments for Christmas.


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Disney Clothiers Ltd. is one of the most popular gift shops in Disneyland, a suited replacement for the old Wonderland Music Store. The clothing store specializes in all manner of Disney themed clothing items. In operation since 1956, one of the most unique souvenirs in Disneyland can be found at the Silhouette Studio. Here, talented artists quickly cut out accurate likenesses suitable for personalized framing. A virtual wonderland of china porcelain and priceless bric-a-brac, Crystal Arts and the adjoined China Closet are more a unique attraction than gift shop. Here, talented craftsmen create hand blown crystal souvenirs in full display of passers-by. Items of all shapes and sizes are available, including intricate glass miniatures and towering crystal castles. Hand engraving is also available. Exclusive Disney statuettes by Jim Shore, Lladro, Hummel, Precious Moments and Swarovski are for sale, right alongside the many snow globes, ornaments and music boxes on display.

Crystal Arts and the China Closet can be found inside the old - but short-lived - Wizard of Bras shop, Disneyland's one and only intimate apparel store. It once showcased the history of women's underwear on a rotating display. Walt's own misgivings about the exhibit led to its subsequent removal.

Nikon has been an official sponsor of Disneyland since 2013. Nikon Photo Supply sits in a rather carefree corner near the end of Main Street, right next door to the Baby Care Center and First Aid location - not forgetting the "exit" (or entrance) of Liberty Street nearby. The storied camera store offers hour long film development, cameras for rent and on site photo experts. Patrons can also pose for a souvenir portrait in early 20th century costumes at the adjacent photo parlor.


The Central Plaza

"Oh, oh, oh!
Let's go fly a kite
Up to the highest height!
Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring..."




The Central Plaza celebrates the wonders of nature and the joy of the imagination, offering an absolute escape from the everyday world. This is the "Hub" of Walt's Magic Kingdom. At the end of Main Street, fanning out like spokes in a wheel, are the other “lands” - easy to find, easy to enter, each a complete thematic experience: Main Street, U.S.A., Liberty Street, Frontierland, Adventureland, Hollywoodland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, New Orleans Square, Folktale Forest, and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge*.

*New Orleans Square, Folktale Forest, Galaxy's Edge and Hollywoodland are not accessible from the Central Plaza. Rather, guests must travel through a respective "neighbor" to reach them.

The popular songs of the Disney Canon provide an orchestral backdrop for the color and excitement of the Central Hub. With no shortage in benches, tables or shaded trees, the Central Plaza is an ideal place to relax and absorb the scenery. "Partners” is a storied tribute to Walt and his most treasured creation, Mickey Mouse. Walt and Mickey, hand-in-hand, look down Main Street, a timeless capture of a “Man and his Mouse.” A plaque at the base of the sculpture reads:

“I think what I want Disneyland to be most of all is a happy place - a place where adults and children can experience together some of the wonders of life, of adventure, and feel better because of it.” - Walt Disney

***​

More to come! Thoughts?
 

Attachments

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
This is all very exciting, my friend! True, I'm not that familiar with Disneyland, but I do like how you incorporated long-since-gone restaurants and shops into your plans. Can't wait for more!

Also, I must ask two questions of you: First, if Winnie the Pooh is to make an in-ride appearance here in your Mirror Disneyland, I hope it is not in Folktale Forest. Even in the modern Critter Country, it's so strange to have a British character in the middle of the Pacific Northwest-themed area of the park.

Second, have you heard that Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway is coming to Mickey's Toontown? I was thinking, maybe it could show up somewhere in Hollywoodland. I think I know where you put it, so I think it would be an excellent addition.
 

MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
This is all very exciting, my friend! True, I'm not that familiar with Disneyland, but I do like how you incorporated long-since-gone restaurants and shops into your plans. Can't wait for more!

Also, I must ask two questions of you: First, if Winnie the Pooh is to make an in-ride appearance here in your Mirror Disneyland, I hope it is not in Folktale Forest. Even in the modern Critter Country, it's so strange to have a British character in the middle of the Pacific Northwest-themed area of the park.

Second, have you heard that Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway is coming to Mickey's Toontown? I was thinking, maybe it could show up somewhere in Hollywoodland. I think I know where you put it, so I think it would be an excellent addition.
Thank you for noticing! Honestly, a lot of Mirror Disneyland's Main Street is one and the same with Walt's original (at least circa 1960). The Sunkist House, Hallmark Store and Pharmacy for instance were all real fixtures of Main Street at one point. Even the scareactor dressed as the Phantom of the Opera was a real thing in the Main Street Cinema. Personally, these feel more "smalltown" than the current shops in real world Main Street. The goal here is really to emulate a bygone Disneyland. A lot of never-built attractions from the Walt era will also make their home here (i.e. Liberty Street).

I have Fantasyland intentions for Pooh haha. Not Folktale Forest. The Country Bear Playhouse still exists in my world. Pooh's existence in Critter Country is a weird side effect of the late Eisner years. The attraction was spearheaded by Tony Baxter, but still, it just doesn't work. As a child growing up in the 90s, I slowly watched as Critter Country became less Song of the South and more 100 Acre Wood.

Yes, I have heard! I'm actually quite excited about it. We haven't had a new attraction in Toontown in over 30 years! It might end up in Hollywoodland, you never know. Hollywoodland itself will take up the spot occupied by Toontown in the real world.
 

MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
@Evilgidgit, Oswald will have a place in Hollywoodland. ;) You'll see. The Partners statue in the Central Plaza remains the same as our current history.

Again, DisneyChris.com has helped a lot with the overview of the Central Plaza.

***
Walt Disney would occasionally be dissatisfied with his staff's designs and would take over an attraction or landscape's planning himself. In the concept for Tom Sawyer Island, Walt felt that the artists had misunderstood the idea, and so one evening he took home the plans. By the next morning, he had designed the whole shoreline as it basically exists today. The same could be said for the Central Plaza.

Ruth Shellhorn, a consulting landscaping architect for Disneyland, reflected on Walt's continual "changes of heart," in an article for Landscape Architecture: "I doubt if this procedure could have been followed successfully on any other project on earth. But this was Disneyland, a sort of fairyland. And Walt's belief that the impossible was a simple order of the day so instilled this spirit in everyone that they never stopped to think that it couldn't be done - they just did it, with amazing speed."


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The Central Plaza is an off-shoot to turn-of-the-century Main Street, U.S.A. Several musical groups associated with Main Street often perform in the Hub, including the Dapper Dans, Disneyland Band and Keystone Cops saxophone quartet. The Dapper Dans often travel past on their bicycle built for four, appearing throughout the Hub for impromptu performances. The Plaza Popcorn Wagon is one of several colorful snack wagons stationed throughout the Magic Kingdom. Like the Tokyo Disney Resort in Chiba, Japan, each popcorn wagon is unique for its special flavoring. Such flavors include Butter (Main Street), Garlic Parmesan and Barbecue (Frontierland), Cheddar Bacon and Gumbo (New Orleans Square), Caramel and Cinnamon (Fantasyland), and Ghost Pepper and Curry (Adventureland).

"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag
'Feed the birds,' that's what she cries
While overheard, her birds fill the skies..."


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In 2012, the former Plaza Pavilion became the Victorian gabled structure we now recognize today as the Jolly Holiday Bakery Café. The restaurant is a natural and thematic reflection of 1964's Mary Poppins. The winds have changed and brought in an enchanted selection of sandwiches, including cold roast beef and bleu cheese on a crispy French baguette or a toasted ham & Swiss cheese sandwich with apple chutney. Light yet hearty chicken noodle soup and tomato basil soup with grilled cheese top the gourmet offerings. Seasonal pastries and blended coffee drinks are for dessert. The interior decor speaks of Number Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane - carousel horses and framed kites.

Next, we drop "inn" at the elegant Plaza Inn restaurant. Originally known as the Red Wagon Inn, the current Plaza Inn is one of Disneyland's most luxuriant restaurants. All appointments are authentic mementos of the gay and glamorous 90s - including the stained glass ceilings, entrance hall and foyer taken from the St. James home in Los Angeles, one of the West's most noted old mansions. Atmosphere, however, is not confined to the building alone. The menu itself brings back visions of historic good eating - steaks and chops, salads and soups, fish and crustacean. Luxury aside, the Plaza Inn retains its true nature - an "all-you-care-to-enjoy" buffet. Despite Walt's removal of the "Red Wagon" name in the early 1960s, the Little Red Wagon Corn Dog Cart has parked its horse-drawn delivery wagon near the Plaza Inn, where its friendly driver sells their now world-famous corn dogs.

Minnie Mouse holds a daily Plaza Inn Character Breakfast. This reservation only experience gives us the opportunity to dine alongside our favorite Disney friends, often of the rare and unusual background; Rafiki, Timon, Baloo, Mushu, Captain Hook, Max Goof, and even Launchpad McQuack are among the invited "patrons."




By day, we line up at the curb to see and hear the astonishing sights and sounds of Fantasy on Parade, a traditional cavalcade of favorite Disney friends, colorful floats and marching bands. A former Christmas offering, Fantasy on Parade has since become a celebration of all magic and imagination, ever evolving and changing to keep to standard with the popular canon. The unbridled enchantment and vivid pageantry of fantasy winds its way through the park in a thrilling spectacular. The beloved parade features glorious, state-of-the-art floats, colorfully costumed performers on stilts, pendulums and swings, knights on horses - and even a steampunk, mechanical fire-breathing dragon.


Fantasy on Parade first debuted on December 18, 1966. Walt Disney tragically passed away shortly before the premiere on December 15, 1966. Since then, Fantasy on Parade has grown from an offering exclusive to the Christmas season and has rather become Disneyland's longest running and most frequently updated parade, only retired temporarily for special events, holiday or anniversary parades. The current incarnation runs from January through August, unavailable for the Halloween and Christmas season.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” the Voice of the Magic Kingdom echoes.In just a few minutes, the lights will be dimmed so you may fully experience a cherished and beloved pageant beyond the boundaries of imagination: The Main Street Electrical Parade. This sparkling fantasy recreates scenes from many of Walt Disney’s most memorable film classics in over half a million colorful, twinkling lights. We hope you’ll enjoy the unusual, electrifying magic and exciting fantasy of the Main Street Electrical Parade.”



"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... Disneyland proudly presents our spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination in thousands of sparkling lights and electro-syntho-magnetic musical sounds - the Main Street Electrical Parade!"
One of the most unusual and beautiful pageants to glitter its way down Main Street premiered in 1972 as one of the highlights of Disneyland's summer nighttime entertainment. Winding its way through the park, the Main Street Electrical Parade dazzles spectators with a half-a-million tiny, twinkling lights depicting fanciful scenes from Walt Disney's film classics - though this repertoire has expanded to welcome films of the Pixar Canon.

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It required nearly a hundred artists and craftsmen to create the sparkling, battery-powered parade floats, some measuring up to 14 feet high and 75 feet long. The unusual music, electronically produced, is transmitted to each float's amplifier/receiver, which broadcasts the melodies in a unique and unprecedented sound system, used now in every Disney parade. The Main Street Electrical Parade would, by popular demand, become bigger and brighter ever since, and will celebrate its fiftieth consecutive anniversary in 2022. It never left*.

*This is, of course, untrue in our real Disneyland. The original Electrical Parade retired in 1996. It later traveled to New York, Walt Disney World and even Disneyland Paris. It made its eventual return to Disneyland in 2017, but only for a short while. This fact is untrue, of course, in our Mirror Disneyland.



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Ever since Benny Goodman first performed at Disneyland in 1961, the Magic Kingdom has played host to a variety of Big Bands. In 1963, Walt Disney himself presented some of these Big Band leaders with miniature piano-radios, honoring their talents and marking Disneyland's first "Cavalcade of Big Bands." The Elliot Brothers, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Barnet, Gene Krupa and Les Brown were among those in attendance. Other "greats" of the Swing Era that performed at Disneyland included Harry James, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington.

Carnation Plaza Gardens opened August 18, 1956. The colorful dance pavilion and bandstand had hosted some of the greatest Swing and Big Band groups of all time. Since 1958, its dance floor had music and dancing on summer evenings, seven nights a week. But, sadly, on April 30, 2012, the historic Carnation Plaza closed. Work began to transform the original pavilion into Fantasy Faire, a natural extension of Fantasyland. This small off-shoot of a storybook village opened to the public on March 12, 2013.


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The new corner of Fantasyland has more detail and charm than the original Carnation Plaza had in its later years. The Royal Theatre is the old dance pavilion re-purposed, and, as promised in initial press releases, Big Band and Swing dancing returned and has stuck around ever since. An old tradition lives in a new light; a remnant of Disneyland history. However, during the day, the Royal Theatre is home to additional live entertainment - comical reenactments of Tangled, Frozen, and Beauty and the Beast, as told by Shakespearean minstrels Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones.

***

We'll continue our tour of the new Fantasy Faire and Central Plaza in the next update!
 

MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Happy Easter, readers! I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday.

This post, while short, took me a significant amount of time to write. I'm so exhausted from the exuberant feast of today's dinner that I couldn't keep focused and had to keep going back to double check my writing. Lol.

***


Storytelling at Royal Theatre is a funny and fantastical glimpse into a, er, um... Professional? Sure, we'll go with that.

Storytelling at Royal Theatre is a funny and fantastical glimpse into a "professional" reenactment of Frozen, Beauty and the Beast or Tangled. The storied thespians Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones direct their own spin on the classic tales, filled with all the desired - or undesired - wit and humor required.


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Fantasy Faire has all the same detail and charm found in the nearby courtyard of Fantasyland and its flagship castle. The architecture is that of the Old World; stone and timbered walls, chimney vents, arched windows and tiled rooftops with steeply pitched gables. Figaro, the mischievous cat from Pinocchio, can be caught dozing near a bird in a cage, occasionally waking when the bird sings. Clopin's Music Box is an oddity, but a treasure all the same. Clopin Trouillefou, king of the gypsies, stars in his own mechanical marvel. A turn-of-the-crank brings a musical "Topsy Turvy" to an animated diorama of Notre-Dame's "Festival of Fools."

In the center of town, a 16-foot-high stone sculpture pays homage to Rapunzel's Tower. A miniature Rapunzel can be seen gazing out a tower window. After sundown, her hair, twisting down and around the sculpture, periodically comes to life with twinkling lights and music.


The main attraction in Fantasy Faire is the Royal Hall where the beloved Disney Princesses gather each day to meet their guests. Between the Royal Hall and Royal Theatre sits Fairy Tale Treasures, a Princess-themed gift and souvenir boutique. Details in the woodwork feature acorns and sculpted squirrels, with some squirrels appearing to "hold" the weight of the architecture. Maurice, Belle's inventor father from Beauty and the Beast, has built a food wagon, Maurice's Treats, across from the Royal Theatre, selling his culinary "inventions": bread twists in a choice of chocolate, strawberry or cheddar cheese garlic. Maurice has also produced a signature beverage - the "Boysen Apple Freeze," a signature blend of 100% apple juice with wild berry flavor and foam.

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If you ever had a dream, and had that dream come true, then you probably know a little something about the magic of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

"When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are

Anything your heart desires will come to you..."


Sleeping Beauty Castle is a fairytale world resplendent with pomp, circumstance and pixie dust. The architectural style is a composite of French and Bavarian influence from the Middle Ages. The 75-foot tall spires appear to be even higher through the visual technique of forced perspective, with larger stones placed near the base, and progressively smaller ones toward the top.

It
is not only the iconic architectural symbol of Disneyland, but also the entrance to Fantasyland. "When You Wish Upon a Star," as sung by Jiminy Cricket, sets the tone for those entering Fantasyland through the royal portico and drawbridge. Inside, the Sleeping Beauty story is retold through over 10,000 individual tiles, their colors flecked with real gold. The scenes speak of romance, magic, and beautiful dreams all come true. This incredible mosaic was first introduced in 1983 with the rest of "New Fantasyland," a detail inspired directly by Walt Disney World's Cinderella Castle. Sleeping Beauty Castle is a fairytale made real, a focus for the wonder that is the Magic Kingdom.

Also introduced in 1983...

The small size of Sleeping Beauty Castle - when compared to Cinderella Castle in both Walt Disney World and the then recently opened Tokyo Disneyland - lent Tony Baxter and his team of Imagineers to expand and "plus" the existing "story" for the tiny castle in the 215 acre Disneyland. The moat around the Central Plaza hadn't been touched since construction in 1955. However, this would change with the addition of a cavernous grotto built deep beneath Sleeping Beauty Castle in late 1981, though not open to visitors 'til '83...


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The Dragon's Lair underneath Sleeping Beauty Castle is home to a monstrous prisoner... Once the ruler of the skies, this defeated dragon lies chained against jagged rocks and subterranean waters. It may be dozing now, but tread carefully, as one false move will lead to a hot, rumbling surprise... The bones of unfortunate prey lay strewn about the cavern floor. Even worse, a series of horse-size dragon eggs begin to shuffle and crack from their nest - we best make our escape before they hatch...


A beautifully carved set of marble statues arrived as a gift to Walt Disney, who gave John Hench the assignment of finding means to display them in Disneyland. The problem? Snow White was the same size as all the Dwarfs. Hench solved the scale problem with clever staging and perspective, placing Snow White high on a hill near a small deer. The Snow White Grotto and wishing well have remained east of Sleeping Beauty Castle ever since. The ethereal voice of Snow White "wishing for the one I love" echoes from deep within the well. Coins tossed in the well are donated to children's charities around the world, in particular the Children's Hospital of Orange County, a short drive from Disneyland itself.


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An area just off the Central Plaza, located behind Tomorrowland and Main Street, U.S.A., was once the site planned for "Edison Square." This cul-de-sac would have included a walking tour through the history of electricity in America. The idea was shelved, only to later become General Electric's Carousel of Progress at the 1964 - 1965 New York World's Fair. Instead, the land for Edison Square became Liberty Street.

"In fact, this book intrigued us so much," Walt Disney said, speaking of Esther Forbes's novel Johnny Tremaine, "that we not only made a technicolor motion-picture of it, we're also creating an entire new section in Disneyland the park based upon it. As you know, Disneyland Park is a sort of a monument to the American way of life. But after reading 'Johnny Tremaine,' we realized we had overlooked one major item in the blueprint - a memorial to the freedoms that made it all possible. Well, we're busy putting it in, right here off the Town Square. We're calling it 'Liberty Street.' Everything is in the planning stage, of course. But our research has taken us back to a period we like to recreate as a reminder that the liberty story is a story without end. In fact, Liberty Street will be Johnny Tremaine's Boston of about 1775."

A "second Main Street," if you will, Liberty Street runs perpendicular with Main Street, U.S.A., a natural bypass and secondary choice for egress*. This timeless snapshot of colonial Philadelphia and Boston premiered, un-ironically, on November 21, 1958, the same evening Walt Disney's Johnny Tremaine was shown on television. In attendance was then President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who proudly saw to the ribbon-cutting ceremony with Walt himself. A firework spectacular and Disneyland Band in the regalia of colonial Jamestown were on hand for the occasion.

In our Mirror Disneyland, Liberty Street beat out New Orleans Square as the first new "land" added to the Magic Kingdom's already impressive roster.

*Egress: the action of going out of or leaving a place.


***
Next time we will begin our exploration of Liberty Street, the first "new land" in our Mirror Disneyland. What do you expect to see in Disneyland's smallest land?
 

MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Today's look into Liberty Street will mostly focus on its troubled history. Remember, this being an alternate reality, I have completely rewritten a major part of Disneyland's history. Feedback, of course, is appreciated.

My previous sources of inspiration (in my writing) were again used today, particularly The Art of Disneyland, DisneyChris.com, Yesterland, and Disneyland - The First Thirty Years. Enjoy.

Liberty Street

The incredible success of Disneyland led Walt and his Imagineers to realize that the Magic Kingdom needed more capacity, and fast. The considerably narrow Main Street required an alternative route to help with foot-traffic and congestion on peak days. A land in celebration of early America and its independence slowly began development, an obvious choice for a thematic extension of Main Street, U.S.A.

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Initially, both Liberty Street and Edison Square were planned for the vacant real estate behind Tomorrowland and Main Street. In this design, both "lands" would act as extensions of Main Street, but both would halt in a dead end cul-de-sac. It was decided shortly before construction began that, to better alleviate traffic flow, Liberty Street alone would take the real estate, a straight-shot from Town Square into the Central Plaza along Main Street's eastern berm.
Both the Hall of Presidents and the Hall of the Declaration of Independence opened with Liberty Street on November 21, 1958. However, their achievement was "minuscule" to say the least. Eager patrons discovered the Hall of the Declaration of Independence to be underwhelming. In fact, the exhibit did not require a ticket for admission - it was free. Visitors would watch as dramatic paintings of the American Revolution were shown upon with programmed spotlights. The narrated presentation would end in an "encounter" with the Declaration of Independence itself (a copy, obviously).

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The Hall of Presidents on the other hand was housed within a near-exact re-creation of Philadelphia's Independence Hall, which still stands to this day in the heart of modern Liberty Street. WED's intention for the show was groundbreaking: huge 70mm projection screens would grace a spectacular auditorium the length of several school buses. 34 U.S. Presidents would fill the hidden stage behind the screens, as portrayed by wax figures with realistic mechanical movement. This bizarre and daring endeavor would be the largest amount of mechanical "humans" ever assembled on one stage. In reality, the mechanical workings proved too complicated for completion. The Hall of Presidents opened with wax figures, sans animation. Walt was never pleased with the final result, and neither were his Imagineers. Still, the Hall of Presidents remained in operation well into 1965.

Entertainment and technology were simply not ready for such an advance in 1958. Disgruntled, Walt did something unusual for his character - he settled.


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Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opened in the Main Street Opera House on July 18, 1965. The toast of the recent New York World's Fair had opened in the Main Street Opera House to better garner attendance. Its placement near the entrance to Disneyland was wise - Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln became an overnight sensation as it had in New York a year prior. The Hall of Presidents quietly closed on July 19, 1965. By 1972, the Hall of the Declaration of Independence had also closed. Temporarily, Liberty Street was left without an attraction, only shops, restaurants and minor exhibits. Ironically, a much improved version of the Hall of Presidents opened in Walt Disney World in 1971, complete with Audio-Animatronics figures of every U.S. President. It was decided not to replicate the successful attraction in Disneyland. The idea to relocate Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln to the Independence Hall was also nixed. Instead...

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The four-act, six-theatre revolving building for General Electric's Carousel of Progress was a great success at the World's Fair, and had enjoyed equal success in the New Tomorrowland in 1967. However, when the Carousel closed for the show's relocation to Walt Disney World, the massive Carousel Theater in Tomorrowland remained empty, just as the Independence Hall had for six years prior. Imagineer Marc Davis made the bold suggestion to bulldoze the Independence Hall's existing theater, and simply relocate the Carousel Theater to its place. Why for?

America Sings... After more than two years in development, America Sings, a comical, tune-filled adventure tracing nearly 200 years of our nation's musical heritage, opened July 29, 1974. The old Independence Hall was now a clever facade and "foyer" for the well-concealed and relocated Carousel Theater. Described as "the first Disneyland 'mega-musical,'" the hosts were an avuncular Audio-Animatronics eagle named Sam (with the voice of Burl Ives), and his owl sidekick Ollie Owl.


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Undiluted and absolute Marc Davis. The artist considered this attraction exemplary of his finest work, and it is the purest representation of his unique amalgam of anatomy, caricature, animation, staging, and humor. Using the same revolving carousel technology as its predecessor, America Sings featured a cast of 110 Audio-Animatronics characters in a six-act show tracing the evolution of popular music in the United States. With hundreds of music cues, moving scenery, and the revolving auditorium, the show presented more programming, timing, and technical challenges than any other attraction to that date.

The beloved and nostalgic America Sings was in celebration of the American Bicentennial. Unlike the former Carousel of Progress and Hall of Presidents, America Sings introduced clever theatrical techniques to make the animal performers appear onstage, such as having characters rise up into view on one side of the stage while lighting directed the viewer's attention elsewhere. The Enchanted Tiki Room and Country Bear Jamboree had established the concept of an Audio-Animatronics musical revue before, but America Sings perfected it.

In 1983, Imagineer Tony Baxter began to dream up what he initially called "Zip-a-Dee River Run," a water flume thrill ride featuring the characters from Disney's Song of the South. When that dream emerged as Splash Mountain in 1989, a whole menagerie of critters were needed to fill the colorful cast. Nearly a hundred of the various animal figures seen in Splash Mountain were relocated from America Sings when its unfortunately closed in 1988.

Again, Liberty Street was left without an attraction.

But, not for long...


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The Carousel Theater was dismantled in early 1989. It was announced that The American Adventure, an attraction made famous by EPCOT Center when it first opened on October 1, 1982, would fill the since vacant Independence Hall. The original show had taken the concept of the Hall of Presidents and pushed the technology further - far further. Its smash success in Florida made it the obvious replacement for America Sings. In record time, The American Adventure was built and opened to the public on July 17, 1990 - Disneyland's 35th Anniversary.

"Golden Dream," the patriotic ballad by Robert Moline with lyrics by Randy Bright, became the unofficial anthem for Liberty Street. The American Adventure continues into today as Liberty Street's longest running and star attraction. The Walt Disney Story Featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln has a peculiar dual exit - one path leads to Main Street, the other exits directly into the foyer of Independence Hall, forever uniting The American Adventure with its greatest inspiration: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.


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Next we will visit Liberty Street as it appears today! So, stay tuned...
 

MANEATINGWREATH

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
If you have not done so already, please read through the previous post in regard to the history of Liberty Street. In said post, you'll learn of the land's disastrous opening in 1958, the replacement of its original Hall of Presidents with America Sings, and the replacement of America Sings with The American Adventure. Remember, anything is possible in Mirror Disneyland. ;)

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Set in the Revolutionary War era, Liberty Street is almost the same as it stood in 1958. The architecture is a blend of several American colonies as they existed during the nation's earliest years. A total of thirteen buildings compose Liberty Street, one for each of the 13 Colonies. The town is filled with merchants and trades in reflection of the time period. A flag for each of the 13 Colonies lines either side of the thoroughfare.

The Liberty Tree and Liberty Bell have representation here, just as they do in Walt Disney World's Liberty Square. In fact, the mold for the Liberty Bell was taken from the real thing in Philadelphia. As the story goes, 50 replicas of the Liberty Bell were made to celebrate the 200th anniversary of America's independence in 1976. Pennsylvania, already having the real thing, donated their copy to Walt Disney World in 1989. Despite this, Disneyland was the first to copy the mold, and has proudly displayed their Liberty Bell since 1958.

Liberty Street has a sense of humor, magic and history that can't be replicated anywhere else in Disneyland.


"The original Liberty Tree, a stately elm, was a rallying point for pre-revolutionary activities. The open space under its branches was called 'Liberty Hall' and a flag pole was erected through its branches with a hoisted flag the symbol for action

Countless inflammatory cartoons and verses were nailed to is trunk and many Tories hung in effigy from its branches. Perhaps its proudest moment was the repeal of the Stamp Act when innumerable lanterns blazed among its branches for all to see."
-
A Sign Near the Liberty Tree
Disneyland's Liberty Tree stands not far from the entrance to Liberty Street in a garden just off-the-beaten path. The Liberty Bell is found nearby.

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The impressive Liberty Tree is a live oak transported to Disneyland amidst Liberty Street's construction in 1957. Walt himself was on hand to select and relocate the proud tree. The tree itself is well over two centuries old and is a worthy tribute to the real Liberty Tree in Boston. Historically, the real tree was a beacon for the American Revolution - those rallied against the oppression of the British Empire would gather here in protest or plotting.


Of the thirteen buildings on Liberty Street, three are attractions. The rest include shops, restaurants and exhibits in replication of early American life. The electric innovation and homespun facade of Main Street, U.S.A. has vanished. The street here is lit by candlelight and lantern's glow. The old shutters on each building hang at an angle; metal was not shipped to the U.S. during the Revolutionary War. A rather odd detail, truly authentic to the era, is that, while most of the pavement appears red (compared to Main Street's grey), a brown streak travels down either side of Liberty Street, several feet in width and massive in length. This streak travels directly to Liberty Street's only restroom facility. Seeing as indoor plumbing was not yet invented in colonial America, our forefathers would simply chuck their waste out the window and into the streets... Get what this detail stands for?

One of the first sights (and sounds) is the Blacksmith Shop. Antique hinges, lamps, horseshoes, and other items are made here by a skilled blacksmith. The smithy (blacksmith) hosts demonstrations and is also responsible for shoeing the horses that traverse Main Street every day. Paul Revere's Silver Shop is unique, wherein all the wares available for purchase are made from, you guessed it, silver. The second-floor window of said shop has two lanterns, a reference to the poem "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. "One, if by land, and two, if by sea," reads the poem. The two lanterns indicate that the British have arrived "by sea." Paul Revere notably made these signals in the instance he was unable to perform his famous ride across the Massachusetts country side.


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The soaring masts of a sailing ship protrude among the rooftops. The historic Griffin's Wharf has been lovingly "transplanted" (not the real thing, obviously) in diorama form to Liberty Street. A beautiful matte painting* shows the broad oceanfront of the Atlantic, circa 1773. Sailing ships, schooners and seagulls sail beneath the impressive clouds and vivid display of a blue New England sky. Only one physical ship fills the waters of the miniature wharf, a half-size replica of The Dartmouth, one of the three British vessels ransacked in the famous Boston Tea Party.

The Boston Tea Party is demonstrated aboard The Dartmouth in a walk-through presentation above and below deck. The Tea Act of May 10, 1773 gave permission to the British East India Company to sell tea from China in American colonies without paying taxes apart from those imposed by the Townshend Acts. American Patriots, namely the Sons of Liberty, strongly opposed the Townshend Acts, believing it to be a violation of their rights. Demonstrators, some disguised as Native Americans, destroyed a large and entire shipment of tea belonging to the East India Company. Boston Harbor was filled with tea, and the harsh British response escalated into the American Revolution.

*Said matte painting is a clever backdrop for the Griffin's Wharf diorama. The painting is located on the back-wall of the Main Street Market House, a.k.a. Starbucks.


Our tour of The Dartmouth transitions ashore into the Revolutionary History Museum.

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The Revolutionary History Museum has been recognized by the United States Government as a national museum, meaning it to be at the quality and content of Washington D.C.'s Smithsonian Institute. Since 1958, admission has been free. The museum is so large that it takes three of Liberty Street's thirteen buildings to hold it all.

The emotional and empowered exhibition is in portrayal of our country's birth, well into the Civil War, Industrial Revolution and thrilling achievements of the 21st Century, though the focus remains on our earliest years. The museum, for as much as he didn't want Disneyland to be a museum, was a passion project of Walt Disney. Much of what remains in exhibition today was chosen and placed there by Walt himself, even the U.S. Capitol in Miniature.


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Stay tuned, we still have much to explore on Liberty Street!
 

DisneyManOne

Well-Known Member
I haven't had a chance to reply yet due to my busy life, but now that things have calmed down a bit, I want to say that I'm really loving this so far!

First of all, my prediction regarding Hollywoodland was right. I knew that it would replace Toontown.

I have never heard of Fantasy on Parade before. How much of the old parade will be preserved in this new version? Because to me, your Fantasy on Parade sounds like a hybrid between the original, Festival of Fantasy and Storytellers on Parade at Shanghai.

How will the Dragon's Lair work, building-wise? Is there even anything underneath Sleeping Beauty Castle in the modern-day Disneyland?

I am loving Liberty Street so far! When I return to my Disney World ideas in a week or two, I may include a few aspects from Liberty Street into Liberty Square.
 
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