Mirror Disneyland - Version 2.0 - An Alternate History


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

I've been away for some time. In fact, I logged in just yesterday to find a number of messages asking "When will Mirror Disneyland be finished?" "What's the hold up with Mirror Disneyland?" "Where's the rest of Mirror Disneyland?" So, how would one address these questions? Simple. Finish the dang thing.

I consider myself a busy person. I work a full time job and have quite a few hobbies and interests, including theatre, music, and miniatures. These are, of course, all time consuming and naturally take priority over finishing this beast of a project.

Here is the original project for reference:

Have you read the whole thing yet? Good, I'm glad you haven't!

This new thread will recenter the project not from scratch, but instead with a fresh set of eyes. I felt it was time to do a mega posting-week in which I edit, rewrite and redesign the original project into one final draft. One "canonized" alternate history.

A little over a year ago, after realizing my ideas for the "World's Largest Magic Kingdom" or "Disneyland Australia" were going nowhere, I decided to instead imagine an alternate history where Walt Disney had financial (and critical) support in the construction of his original Disneyland. Unlike the Disneyland of today in 2020, this alternate world has what Walt always wanted: the blessing of size.

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.

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 now to...

Mirror Disneyland: An Alternate History

Version 2.0 - The Final Cut

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


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 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." 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 entire vision.

By the early 1950s, the project had outgrown Burbank. By now, it would require a major amount of capital, and remarkably, in an unprecedented twist of history, the entire industry stood with Walt in his bold investment opportunity. "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 investors, but also the support of the nation's amusement-park owners and operators. Everyone was on board, and the newly named "Disneyland" was a surefire hit in the making.

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.


"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 became a weekly household event across the nation. More importantly, there was far more than enough money to make Disneyland, the themed capital of the "entertainment world," a reality.

The land, as Walt remembered, was all flat - no rivers, mountains, castles, or rocket ships - just
10,000 acres of orange groves, farmland, and walnut trees in sunny 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 film-making, 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 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 had formed to help make his dream a reality.


The creative demands 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 all forms of 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 the 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 in the third-dimension.

There was another thing we had to keep in mind in developing our Disneyland 'story.' In film-making, 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.

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" is Main Street, U.S.A., where turn-of-the-century America is 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 Disney's greatest film-making endeavors.

“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.”

"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."

“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.”

"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 65 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 first built the 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 George Lucas's 'Star Wars'; Here Imagination Gives Birth to Adventure."

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."

"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's Magic Kingdom, including kings, queens, prime ministers and presidents. Through the years, Disney's "Imagineers" have added new shows, attractions and themed lands, while improving the originals.

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 "Mirror Disneyland." In this fictional reality, we will look into both Disneyland and its yet-to-be-explored 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...

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, neighbored closely by the Parking & Transportation Center; east, Harbor Boulevard and the world-class vacation destination of Anaheim, California. The state-of-the-art Disneyland Bowl, an amphitheater in the spirit of the famous Hollywood Bowl, overlooks Harbor Boulevard. The Monorail, moving walkways, and electric Trams offer simple, sophisticated transportation through the Resort and well into neighboring Anaheim. The high-tech network, once thought to be that of science-fiction, is now in line with science-fact, a free accommodation for all guests, save those who wish to explore by foot.

A small, but beautiful set of walking trails and man-made forests look to the shore of Fantasy Lagoon, a staple since 1955. The 100-acre lake is home to real beaches and water sports; fishing, parasailing, and water skiing to name a few.

The Boardwalk & Hotel District is an eclectic collage of shopping, dining and recreation near the shores of Fantasy Lagoon. Inspired by the lakeside village of Lake Arrowhead, California, we discover a quaint paradise tucked among the serenity of a secluded wild; a great forest of the Pacific Northwest under the Californian sun.

The Boardwalk District is of an “historic” origin, inspired by the since 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 structure's former use.

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 unexplained.

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 an orange tree 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

Disneyland Park

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

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's love of model trains is often cited as a key inspiration in the creation of Disneyland. Once through the ornate turnstiles, we glimpse the storied clock tower and Fort Collins-inspired gingerbread-trim and design of Main Street Station, preceded by 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 in and out of the station. The romance and grandeur of early steam travel is captured in the excitement and adventure of the Disneyland Railroad.

The Disneyland Railroad is one of the most iconic attractions in Disneyland: a Grand-Circle Tour of the Magic Kingdom. With 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 on the American Frontier - the unkempt underside of Tomorrowland transitions into the dangerous 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 wild mountain goat look on…

But, it wasn't always that way...


Our train has brought us back millions of years in time, back to an era when gargantuan dinosaurs ruled the swamps and jungles 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 Audio-Animatronics dinosaurs of the Primeval World 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 life-size dinosaurs featured in this diorama was directly inspired by the "Rite of Spring" segment in

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



An iconic attribute to any Magic Kingdom, electronic posters line 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.


"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, the Imagineers 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

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, this 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. 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 his 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-Animatronics robotic human figure. The conclusion of this stirring presentation exits not just into Main Street, but also into neighboring 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, circa 1775. But we'll visit our original forefathers some other time...

For years, the Main Street Opera House was merely a facade, used to disguise a lumber mill during the park's original construction, and later expansion. In 1961, the 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.

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 depicts the art of animation, priceless memorabilia, nostalgic photographs, and historic awards, the Walt Disney Story skillfully displays all the above in a fitting tribute to the life and accomplishments of Walt Disney. This attraction is, respectively, climaxed in Walt Disney's greatest Audio-Animatronics achievement: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

In 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 intact, and displayed here just as Walt had left them.

More coming - today!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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. A War Memorial stands in tribute to the brave men and women who have served in America's Armed Forces, though the soldier depicted 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 beloved songs of the Disney Canon.


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 scenario overheard 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.

Both Main Street and Town Square are anchored in the impressive Emporium. This two-story department store is the largest mercantile in the entire park, a testament to the grandeur and nostalgia of a real-life 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.

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 own 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 benefits from the entertainment of its neighbor, the Wurlitzer Music Hall. The basic breakfast offerings remain much the same as they were in 1955, as does the restaurant's quaint view of all the early morning activity in and around Town Square.

Much of Main Street, U.S.A. has remained untouched since at least 1957. While select shops have come and gone, much of Main Street has remained one and the same with Walt's original vision. Here 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.


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 Great American Pastimes, a small store once known as the Main Street Tobacconist; a cigar store Indian is still positioned out front. The current store specializes in vintage sports memorabilia and merchandise. The distinctive sound of early 1900s cinema can be heard in all its ragtime glory 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 oddly continues 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 all in good fun.


"The old Market House filled with penny candy and fat, juicy pickles right out of the barrel," wrote Martin A. Sklar in 1969, brought 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 the other, the familiar setup of a Starbucks - had Starbucks been built 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 conveniently into neighboring Liberty Street.


An early sponsor of Disneyland was Upjohn Pharmaceuticals. The original contract 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 over. Walgreen's Apothecary retains 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," not to mention convenient snacks, candies and toiletries. The old 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 and counters. 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, Japanese manga, behind-the-scenes documents, photo books, and books for children and adults about Disney films.


Ice cream desserts are the name of the game, but sandwiches, natural food specialties, soups and salads, are also on the menu at the 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.

Disneyland and oranges share a long history. The former "Puffin Bakery" was 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 holds 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.


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, one in which wafts down the length of Main Street and toward the Esplanade.

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 outdoor patio, upbeat musical entertainment is provided in 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 Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, a holiday staple. Disney Clothiers Ltd. is one of the most popular shops in Disneyland, a suited replacement for the old Wonderland Music Store. The clothing store specializes in all manner of Disney themed clothing items. 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 also 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 premature 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 in the attached 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 the 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
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."


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. The Plaza Popcorn Wagon is one of several colorful snack wagons stationed through the Magic Kingdom. Each popcorn wagon is unique for its special flavoring. Such unique popcorn 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..."


In 2012, the former Plaza Pavilion became the Victorian gabled structure we now recognize 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 bisque 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, kites, and all.

We drop "inn" next at the elegant Plaza Inn restaurant. 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 Inn" 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 world-famous corn dogs.

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 through the years. 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, only 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 modern Canon.


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.

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, 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.


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 have 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. 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 the aforementioned titles. The thespians Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones direct their own spin on the classic tales, filled with all the desired - or undesired - wit and humor necessary.

Fantasy Faire has all the same detail and charm found in the nearby realm of Fantasyland. 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.

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 Imagineer Tony Baxter and his team to expand and "plus" the existing "story" for the tiny castle in the 250 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 carved deep beneath Sleeping Beauty Castle in late 1981, though it would not open to visitors 'til '83...


The Dragon's Lair beneath 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 wrong move will lead to a hot, rumbling surprise... The bones of unfortunate prey lay strewn about the cavern floor; suits of armor, fallen horses. Even worse, a series of large 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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Original Poster
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.

"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."


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, and instead, the land for Edison Square became Liberty Street.

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 snapshot of colonial Philadelphia and Boston premiered on November 21, 1958, the same evening Walt Disney's Johnny Tremaine was shown on television. In attendance was President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who proudly saw to the ribbon-cutting. A firework spectacular and orchestra in the regalia of colonial Jamestown were on hand for the occasion.


Both the Hall of Presidents and the Hall of the Declaration of Independence opened with Liberty Street. However, their success was mild to say the least. Eager patrons discovered the Hall of the Declaration of Independence to be underwhelming. In fact, the exhibit did not require the then-required ticket for admission - it was free. Visitors would watch as dramatic paintings of the American Revolution were illuminated with programmed spotlights. The dull presentation would end in an "encounter" with the Declaration of Independence itself (a copy, obviously).


The Hall of Presidents on the other hand was housed within a near-exact re-creation of Philadelphia's Independence Hall, which stands to this day in the heart of modern Liberty Street.

WED's intention for the show was groundbreaking. Huge 70mm 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 historic endeavor would be the largest amount of mechanical "humans" ever assembled on one stage. In reality, the mechanical workings proved too complicated for 1958. The Hall of Presidents opened with wax figures, sans animation. Walt was never pleased with the result, and neither were the Imagineers. Still, the Hall of Presidents remained in operation into 1965. Disgruntled, Walt did something unusual for his character - he settled.


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, now placed near the entrance to Disneyland, became an overnight sensation as it had in New York. The Hall of Presidents quietly closed the next day on July 19, 1965.

By 1972, the Hall of the Declaration of Independence had also closed. Temporarily, Liberty Street was left without a true attraction. Ironically, an improved 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. An idea to relocate Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln inside the Independence Hall was also nixed. Instead, veteran animator and Imagineer Marc Davis took the helm.


The four-act, six-theatre, revolving building used for General Electric's Carousel of Progress, was a great success at the World's Fair, and had enjoyed equal success in 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. Marc Davis made the bold suggestion to bulldoze the interior of the Independence Hall and simply relocate the Carousel Theater in 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.

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 opened 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...


The Carousel Theater was dismantled in early 1989. It was announced that The American Adventure, an attraction made famous by EPCOT Center, would fill the vacant Independence Hall. The original show had taken the concept of the Hall of Presidents and pushed the technology further - much 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 unique 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.


Set in the Revolutionary War, 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, varying in size, compose Liberty Street, one for each of the 13 Colonies. The town is filled with merchants and trades in reflection of the era. A flag for each of the 13 Colonies lines either side of the thoroughfare. The Liberty Tree and Liberty Bell have representation here. In fact, the mold for the Liberty Bell was taken from the real thing in Philadelphia. Disneyland was the first ever to copy the mold, and has proudly displayed their Liberty Bell since 1958.

"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


The impressive Liberty Tree is a live oak transported to Disneyland amidst 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.

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 odd angle; metal was not shipped to the U.S. during the Revolutionary War. An 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. This streak travels directly to Liberty Street's only restroom facility. Given indoor plumbing was not yet invented in colonial America, our forefathers would simply chuck their waste out the window and into the streets... Understood?

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 hosts demonstrations and is also responsible for shoeing the horses that travel down Main Street each day. Paul Revere's Silver Shop is unique, wherein all the wares available for purchase are made from 100% real 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 made these signals in the instance he was unable to perform his famous ride across the Massachusetts country side.


The soaring masts of a sailing ship overlook the rooftops. The historic Griffin's Wharf has been lovingly "transplanted" here in diorama form. A beautiful matte painting shows the broad oceanfront of the Atlantic, circa 1773. Sailing ships, schooners and seagulls sail beneath the clouds and vivid display of a blue coastal sky. A half-size replica of The Dartmouth, one of the three British vessels ransacked in the famous Boston Tea Party, has docked before the mural. The Dartmouth is a clever entrance to the Revolutionary History Museum.

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 famous 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. This empowered exhibition is in portrayal of our country's birth, well into the Civil War, Industrial Revolution and beyond, though the focus remains on our earliest years. The museum was a passion project of Walt Disney. Much of what remains today was chosen and placed there by Walt himself, even the U.S. Capitol in Miniature.

"Liberty Street presents a more serious side of our heritage. Perhaps the greatest dream to ever fire the imagination was the dream of a new nation founded in freedom. The birthplace of this dream is recreated on our Liberty Street. Here is a vision of colonial life as seen by Paul Revere, Patrick Henry, and Benjamin Franklin. Here, patriots have assembled to reaffirm their faith in liberty and justice for all."


The Fife & Drum Corps are a fondly recognized entertainment troupe of Liberty Street, a staple since 1958. Their music and rhythm hearken to the spirit and celebration of the American Dream. The musicians, clad in the blue uniform of Revolutionary America, have been integral through Disneyland's storied history of live entertainment. Conceived as a salute and celebration honoring the American Bicentennial, "America on Parade" began its daily performances down Main Street in July, 1975, at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World and continued until September, 1976. The Fife & Drum Corps led the beloved America on Parade, and have performed the "encore" for the Main Street Electrical Parade since July 4, 1976: "To Honor America."

The Washington Tavern is a title befitting of our inner patriot. The menu is in celebration of all things Americana, from smoked turkey legs and cheeseburgers to root beer floats and New England clam chowder. The stately colonial inn is Liberty Street's exclusive dining hall. Dinners here are a family-style feast, an all-you-care-to-enjoy supply of roasted turkey breast, pot roast and carved pork roast, all accompanied by the traditional sides. The main attraction is a replica of George Washington's Mount Vernon fireplace, an attraction also found at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. Walt Disney was so inspired by the early Knott's attraction that he commissioned his friend Walter Knott to build a second replica for his Liberty Street in 1958. This commission, along with the attendance of Walter and Cordelia Knott to Disneyland's Opening Day, would forever establish a strong relationship between Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, Orange County's crown jewels, a relationship that continues today.

The New England Print Shop began editing Disneyland's popular newspaper, The Disneyland News, in 1958, a newspaper still in syndication today. The newspaper is available for purchase here (for $1), as well as in the colorful Newsstands found near the Main Gate. The skilled proprietor uses an old Washington handpress like the one Ben Franklin used more than 200 years before. Samuel Osgood, Postmaster General was, at first, a false facade with a replica colonial post office inside. Walt quickly took to the idea of having a real and operational post office inside Disneyland. Since 1961, "Samuel Osgood" has serviced the famous mailboxes found throughout the Magic Kingdom. The location still accepts and distributes letters and packages today.


Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe is a lavish alternative to Main Street's Hallmark Store. The year-round decor of shimmering garland, lights, trees, and the sound of warm holiday music is in perfect compliment to the ornaments, wreathes, stockings, nutcrackers, and tree-skirts. Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe is most famous for its incredible Department 56 Village. Known for its illuminated portrayal of holiday nostalgia in miniature form, the display is one of the world's largest found in a retail location. Department 56 and Disneyland offer an exclusive village series: "Christmas in Disneyland," a miniature portrayal of Main Street, U.S.A. and Liberty Street in a winter wonderland.

Colonial Shoppers is most reminiscent of a southern "country store." The merchandise is specialized in stuffed toys, kitchenware, colonial clothing, hats, and vintage signs in portrayal of the farmland of California and New England.


In 2016, Liberty Street in California and Liberty Square in Florida were introduced to, what was at least described as, "A Unique Window on America."

The Town Crier calls for passers-by, gathering us 'round before the historic Revolutionary History Museum. Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam Eagle and The Great Gonzo soon appear at the windows of the colonial facade to bring their fuzzy view of American history to life. The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History is a reverent, hysterical and historical performance in depiction of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the midnight ride of Paul Revere, told only as The Muppets can.


In the heart of Liberty Street stands Independence Hall. This historic building has housed a number of attractions since 1958. Finally, and currently, the incredible and dramatic Mission Statement of Liberty Street: The American Adventure. In this dramatic production featuring 35 Audio-Animatronics figures, digital rear-projection images on a 72-foot screen and stirring patriotic songs, we will watch firsthand as the story of America unfolds.

The Disneyland version of The American Adventure is held in a stately theater found within Independence Hall. On either side of the audience stand life-size statues of the "Spirits of Freedom," iconic statues that embody the ideals of individualism, innovation and independence. A feat of entertainment, engineering and aesthetics, The American Adventure took Imagineers five years to complete for EPCOT Center in 1982, and a mere two for Disneyland in 1989 - 1990.

Pivotal moments in history appear and disappear seamlessly through the use of a massive mobile device. Ten different sets are stored under the stage and are moved forward or backward on cue by this American technological marvel. Our hosts, Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain allow us witness to such landmark events as the landing of The Mayflower, the Boston Tea Party, the winter at Valley Forge, the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War and the Great Depression.



Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Okay, we're back!

I think I'd like to limit myself to one day of posting a week. This way I don't overwhelm myself and give up. Sometimes too much of a good thing can be really bad for you. This will also help everyone catch up with the entire project and not lose out on seeing posts because I'm moving too fast! We'll finish with Adventureland for today, then pick up with New Orleans Square next week.

Today's post has inspiration from my usual sources (listed in the very first post), but also pulls from "Lost Treasures - Adventureland," an article found on Designing Disney. You can visit that here: https://www.designingdisney.com/parks/disneyland-paris/disneyland-park/adventureland/lost-treasures-adventureland/

Remember, this is an alternate reality, so Adventureland in this version of Disneyland actually has real estate. ;)



“Here is adventure. Here is romance. Here is mystery. Tropical rivers - silently flowing into the unknown. The unbelievable splendor of exotic flowers...the eerie sound of the jungle...with eyes that are always watching. This is Adventureland.” - Walt Disney

Primeval, exotic, and mysterious, Adventureland is an amalgam of fact and fantasy. In this timeless realm of exploration and discovery, we leave the everyday world behind, for here the atmosphere is filled with the sights and sounds typical of an isolated trading post on some hidden jungle waterway. Our senses are stirred by the sight of lush jungle foliage, the harrowing sound of wild animals, and the aroma of tropical blossoms.

"The spirit of adventure is often linked with exotic tropical places," Walt Disney wrote. "Many of us dream of traveling to these mysterious, far-off regions of the world. To create a land that would make this dream reality, we pictured ourselves far from civilization, in the remote jungles of Asia and Africa. The result is Adventureland, 'the wonderland of nature's own design.'"

The post-WWII craze for exotica of Africa, Asia and the South Pacific is the marquee entrance to Adventureland, akin to a distant port-of-call in some untamed region, seldom seen by civilized man. Masks, shields, and human skulls piked on spears adorn the bamboo-railing of this well-worn bridge. In the dense wetland below, unseen creatures snarl and screech with a hunger for human blood.

Mystery, danger, and haunting romance lurk around every corner in the wilds of this remote jungle. This Forgotten Kingdom, as the locals call it, lies somewhere in the middle of nowhere, an untamed, uncharted frontier, where "Tiki Culture" of the 1940s and '50s lives on. It is here where we discover the rundown settlement of Paradise Springs.

In 1931, the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.) set a course from England for Egypt on their zeppelin, the S.S. Unlucky. Instead, a freak typhoon hit, and their pilot, Dr. Albert Falls, lost control and inadvertently crashed the entire safari in the midst of some forsaken jungle - destination unknown. Amidst this uncharted jungle's menagerie of wild animals and hostile natives, the survivors christened this wilderness as the "Forgotten Kingdom," for this land held the ruins of an abandoned civilization the civilized world had not yet known.

"I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore..."

The survivors had no means of contact with the outside world. All their equipment for communication had broken in the crash. Thus, these few brave members of S.E.A. formed a small fishing village in the aftermath of their great discovery and unfortunate crash: Paradise Springs. Today, in 1935, a hazy mist rains down from the towering trees as we enter the rundown colony, where tangled wires and excavation lamps bring an ethereal light to the hidden swamps and mud-kissed, green-colored streets. The lights flicker and fade in sync with a churning power generator in the center of town. Crackling phonographs and old radios churn out Big Band music of the '30s and '40s. A decrepit Statue of Dr. Albert Falls trickles water from its foundation and into the town square, itself half-collapsed and covered in moss. The once handsome Dr. Falls stands on the back of a slain lion. As local lore has it, Dr. Falls was alone in the jungle when, from nowhere, he was attacked and swallowed whole by a ferocious lion. Somehow, he climbed right out and slew the mighty big cat with only his fists, soon after founding the town of Paradise Springs on the site of his escape.

Tattered canvas awnings, collapsed ruins, and rusted excavation equipment establish that Adventureland is a cinematic adventure set long ago. Lush waterfalls and lazy rivers float into cattail-laced bogs, where hungry leeches and crocodiles lie in wait. Among the symphonic chatter of exotic birds, shouting apes, and distant tribal drums, a crumbling, centuries-old temple looms before the sunset, flamingos soaring past... Welcome to Paradise Springs, 1935.

Both Paradise Springs and the Forgotten Kingdom were introduced in 1995 with the arrival of Indiana Jones and the Lost Expedition, Adventurerland's star "E-Ticket." This huge addition brought Walt's original concept for the land into one line of continuity; a thematic unification of every attraction, store, restaurant and detail with one overarching story.

But more on a certain Indiana Jones later...

In the early '60s, the word "Audio-Animatronics" was born from somewhat of an old Disney idea. WED's earliest forms of "Audio-Animatronics" made their appearance in the Jungle Cruise and Nature's Wonderland. The Enchanted Tiki Room, however, represented a whole new "flight" of progress in this sophisticated form of entertainment.

Located near the entrance to Adventureland, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room is a South Seas island adventure that features the singing of some 225 tropical birds, flowers and tiki gods. Even before entering the Tiki Room itself, we are given a taste of the tropical magic in store, as tiki gods and goddesses of the Enchanted Garden introduce themselves and tell exciting legends of the South Seas. An extravagant feast for the eyes and ears, this theater-in-the-round show invites spectators to experience a land of joyous song and wondrous miracles - the beauty and magic of the Pacific Islands. The show has won the hearts of millions, and for over a half a century. The soundtrack is among one of the most beloved in Disneyland.

Paradise Springs has architecture all too reminiscent of the old colonies found in French-Polynesia, Equatorial Africa, British-India, and the colonized islands of the Caribbean Sea - romanticized and kissed with Hollywood's pulp representation of "adventure." The ramshackle buildings of western influence and equatorial vernacular buildings evoke an exotic village appropriate to their location. John Hench said, "I began with a story idea that conveyed adventure and the spirit of Africa. At a glance, guests know that this is a special place for adventure."

1962 brought more adventure to Adventureland... Complementing the addition of an entire pool of frolicking Indian elephants to Adventureland's then star attraction, was the opening of the tropically themed Tahitian Terrace Restaurant, where the "Royal Tahitians" perform beneath the spreading limbs of a huge "Disneydendron." While inspecting this mammoth tree of cement limbs and artificial leaves, Walt gazed from the rear terrace of the restaurant and commented, "You can't see the show from here...the foliage is in the way. Let's do something about it." When his engineers confessed that it would be virtually impossible to raise the creation without great expense, Walt suggested that they simply add six feet to the trunk. The trunk was cut near the base, six extra feet of reinforced steel and cement were added - and the problem was solved!

Today, the Tahitian Terrace restaurant continues the tradition of a lavish Hawaiian luau with traditional Polynesian music and dance. The rhythmic native drum beats of the Royal Tahitians provide much of the live entertainment for the "after-dinner" review. A talented cast of hula dancers and skilled torch twirlers add more to the exotic excitement, particularly the daring fire walkers. The original show, however, has since been updated with the magic of Walt Disney Animation's 2016 film Moana.

The Tahitian Terrace is the current home of Moana: The Heart of Te Fiti. The waterfall curtain parts... This atmosphere stage show combines visual storytelling, dancing, puppetry and music, to recount Moana's adventures with the demigod Maui. The show features, apart from the traditional Hawaiian entertainment, dozens of tailor-made props, specially created costumes, and handcrafted decorations, all based on the 2016 film Moana and Polynesian culture. The costumes themselves are inspired by styles traditionally worn in Fiji, Samoa and Tahiti.


On the heels of Disney's animated blockbuster Aladdin, the original Adventureland Bazaar was demolished and transformed into an Arabian marketplace in 1992, complete with Oriental carpets, brass fixtures, and colorful canopies. Adding to the ambiance, the atmosphere is filled with haunting musical sounds evocative of 1,001 Arabian Nights. This is a fascinating maze of winding lanes, little squares and exotic gardens, where merchants beckon and barter, craftsmen sit cross-legged plying their trades, and musicians play to the seductive trickle of a quiet fountain. This indoor shopping arcade features a central alley and a number of distinct boutiques under one roof.

Oriental rugs and fringed shawls hang from the rough adobe walls, while below sit dresses of the finest Egyptian cotton, Indian tablecloths, bags of scented Moroccan leather, and costume jewelry gathered from across Persia. A king's ransom of exotic jewelry spills out into the streets from the Bazaar. East African tribal artifacts, handcrafted baskets, gaily painted pottery and strange wooden figures line the stone shelves. Mosaics and murals portray the icons and legends of 1,001 Arabian Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian folk tales compiled in Arabic in the Islamic Golden Age.

Aladdin's Enchanted Passage, a walkthrough attraction from Disneyland Paris, was added as an offshoot of the Adventureland Bazaar in 1994 to better increase Adventureland capacity with the coming arrival of Indiana Jones. Tucked into a corner of the marketplace, the Enchanted Passage is a modest but beautiful attraction. Here, we discover a maze of narrow streets and corridors, lined with elaborate murals, stained glass and glass-walled window dioramas. These tableaux combine limited animation and simple effects to help reenact key moments from the 1992 classic, Aladdin.

The old "Big Game Shooting Gallery" was wholly authentic, utilizing real rifles that shot actual pellets at tin targets. This was, however, discontinued. This most colorful shooting gallery was dismantled and replaced with Colonel Hathi's Safari Club, which remains today.

Colonel Hathi, militant elephant of The Jungle Book, was once the trusted animal sidekick of Colonel Critchlow Suchbench, member of S.E.A. Hathi and Suchbench embarked on one grand adventure after the next, as depicted through photographs and murals in the Safari Club. They (stumbled up) scaled Mount Everest, (awkwardly sank) sailed across the Delaware, and (were roasted by the sun) vacationed in Polynesia. Their adventures came to a halt when Suchbench vanished in a local bar... Hathi has faithfully waited for his commander to return, but alas, the gruff elephant has since built this arcade from bamboo and banana leaves to pass the time while waiting.

Walt never wanted an "off-the-shelf" arcade game that guests could see anywhere else. Like the Penny Arcade on Main Street, the Safari Club's games are of the pre-video, mechanical variety. Nearly every game was customized to a greater or less degree for Disneyland. The arcade does, however, house a rare pinball machine originally designed by Williams Electronics in 1993. The "Indiana Jones Pinball Machine" features real music and voice clips from the Indiana Jones series, even a reprisal of Sallah by John Rhys-Davies. The metal cabinet has been redecorated with bamboo and "straw," to better match the unique and one-of-a-kind Safari Club.

Shrunken Ned might be the only reason to visit the South Seas Traders shop. The obvious victim of a foul headhunting accident, this "jungle witch doctor" is Adventureland's only self-service practitioner, offering useless medical advice at the drop of a coin. "Oh no," Ned proclaims from his perch, a rusted meat hook, as you display your tongue for examination. "It is worse than I ever imagined - we'll have to remove the entire head! Luckily, in your case, you won't miss it! Ha ha! Yes, a bit of jungle humor there, eh, what?" The South Seas Traders gift store is one of Disneyland's more exotic shopping opportunities, a yesteryear boutique offering Hawaiian shirts and paraphernalia, shrunken heads, rubber snakes and insects, tiki totems, masks and shields, toy machetes and pop-guns, plush jungle animals, and other rare trinkets and curios from the South Pacific. The elusive Dole Whip can be found next door at the Tiki Juice Bar.

The world famous Jungle Cruise remains one of the park's most elaborate "E-Ticket" attractions to this day. In 1955, it was considered by many to be Disneyland's "finest achievement." The Jungle Cruise has been the subject of perpetual addition, removal, change, and updating since its opening. Significant renovations have occurred in 1956, 1957, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1976, 1985, 1993, 1994, 1999, and 2005.

When it opened as "Jungle Rivers of the World," the Jungle Cruise was intended to be educational as well as entertaining, representing stretches of rivers such as Burma's Irrawaddy, the Nile of Egypt, and the Rapids of Kilimanjaro. The names of the river launches were chosen with this idea in mind: the Amazon Belle, Ganges Gal, Zambezi Miss, and Congo Queen among them. Over the years, the tone has evolved from one of reality and education to an exotic adventure-fantasy.

“Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd - Est. 1931
‘World Class’ Riverboats Departing Daily from Paradise Springs Harbor
Passengers - Freight - Pets - Feed - Cursed Relics and Wild Animals by Permit Only
Deep Jungle - African Veldt
‘Guaranteed’ Safe Passage Thru Hippo Pool & Cannibal Country
Connecting with Riverboats to Schweitzer Falls & Temple of the Forbidden Eye”

In the trusted hands of our outspoken guide, we creep down rivers rarely traversed by civilized man, well into the heart of darkness... Beautiful plants, fierce creatures and other such remnants of a fantastical yesteryear inhabit the mystic jungles and waterways. Aboard one of sixteen thirty-passenger riverboats, we explore twisted, danger-filled rivers and venture through impenetrable forests, the secret world of dancing natives and charging hippos. A band of exuberant gorillas overrun a deserted safari camp - a rhinoceros has trapped a misguided safari - ancient spirits materialize in an ethereal rage. As always, waiting around the final bend in the river is Trader Sam, "Head Salesman in the Jungle."


In 1962, an entire pool of frolicking Indian elephants brought "Audio-Animatronics" to the Jungle Cruise. Recognizing the limited animation available both technologically and in terms of the figures' staging and physiognomy, Imagineer Marc Davis included kinetic interaction with water elements to heighten the entertainment value of the Sacred Bathing Pools of the Indian Elephants. Marc favored a more lighthearted approach to the tableaux alongside the jungle rivers. Although the animals looked naturalistic, an element of caricature and comedy was added to each figure.

Never content with the status quo, in 1964, Walt, Marc and the Imagineers again surveyed the regions of "darkest Africa." This time, an African Veldt was added and filled with a variety of "wildlife," big and small, namely the famous "Lost Safari." The staging of the lions feeding on a "sleeping" zebra in the African Veldt was part of the mix of reality and fantasy that the Jungle Cruise evolved into.

The original Jungle Cruise boathouse featured an impressive lookout tower, but after only six years, the maturing jungle canopy - already thirty feet high - made the tower impractical and out of scale, and was soon after demolished. A new two-story Victorian boathouse was built in 1994, with a theme tied into the nearby Indiana Jones attraction, set in 1935. Today, as we wait for our journey, we hear the comical "Global Broadcasting Service" interlude a number of crackling songs from the Swing and Big Band era.


1994 saw an incredible expansion and reroute of the Jungle Cruise. The addition of Indiana Jones and the Lost Expedition called for much of the original river to be rerouted, expanded, or replaced altogether. Adventureland, once the smallest land in Disneyland, became one of Disneyland's largest based solely on attraction real estate. The new route takes our boat through the inner-most sanctums of the waterlogged Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Even the Disneyland Railroad acts as a passer-by through the narrative of the massive, subterranean temple.

The current Jungle Cruise is centered around the massive archaeological dig looming beyond the trees: a spectacular Southeast Asian temple right out of the movies. The soaring pyramid stands along the banks of a misty, forgotten river, with waterfalls thundering all around it. The Temple of the Forbidden Eye is this very temple. Rather than sailing around the exterior and elsewhere into the jungle, we become a part of the story and sail through the temple along the rim of a cooled lava vent. Ore cars fly past and troop transport jeeps careen by. But, this of course is only a small portion of the redesign. Marc Davis himself was brought from retirement to redesign the remainder of the classic attraction. Much of the humor, drama and brilliance in staging he brought to the Walt Disney World version in 1971 were once more replicated for Disneyland. This Jungle Cruise would become, fittingly, the standard for all Jungle Cruises to follow.

Back ashore, our travels bring us to the aroma of pineapple, meats and seafood from the local mess hall. The Angry Rhino Tavern is the former "Sunkist, I Presume." The current establishment is an indoor saloon and pub, typical to an isolated trading post in the jungle. The angered head of a rhino sits mounted above the hollow fireplace, perhaps one and the same with the rhino of the Lost Safari...? Nevertheless, the angry rhino often comes to life, bellowing steam from its nostrils and even grunting angrily. The menu here is delectable sushi, fine Hawaiian shaved ice, and delicious, barbecued shish kebab skewers.

From the weathered statues of tigers and elephants scattered amidst the underbrush, to the false storefronts and houses owned by some adventurer or jungle denizen off on a fool's quest, the modern Adventureland is perhaps one of the most detailed lands ever conceived for a Disney Park. One such detail is that of an old phone booth, crawling in moss, still in operation. Picking up the receiver will barrage one's ears with chatter and transmissions from the surrounding regions: “Aloha! This is the operator from the Remote South Seas Island Outpost. I’m sorry, but we have been unable to find the Swiss Family Robinson. Thank you. Mahalo!


From the pages of Jonathan Whyss's novel, Swiss Family Robinson, came the 1961 Disney film of the same name. One year later, the Swiss Family Treehouse literally "grew" to life-size in Adventureland. The tree used six tons of reinforced steel and 110 cubic yards of concrete in construction. With over 300,000 handmade vinyl leaves and blossoms, the 80-foot high wonder weighed almost 150 tons when it opened to Disneyland visitors. "The world is full of nice, ordinary little people who live in nice, ordinary little houses on the ground...but didn't you ever dream of having a house up in a treetop?" Resonating from a pipe organ salvaged from a shipwreck, we hear the memorable "Swissapolka" throughout our climb and descent of the famous treehouse.

"Dateline: Paradise Springs, 1935.


The remote jungles of a Forgotten Kingdom - from all over the world they are flocking here, following the strange story of a mysterious temple and gifts from the gods. The story begins, one year ago, world famous archaeologist 'Indiana Jones' follows a tattered map to an ancient edifice. Could this be the fabled Temple of the Forbidden Eye? According to Jones, the temple contains a Chamber of Destiny - where an ancient idol lured visitors with promises of gifts - eternal youth, earthly riches, or visions of the future. But, many who looked into the eyes of this double-dealing deity took a detour to doom! A chilling tale indeed... But not chilling enough to cool off the hot pursuit of thousands of greedy globe-trotters! They're ready for a supernatural shopping spree..."

It was not until this current year of 1935, that Paradise Springs and the Forgotten Kingdom have received global attention. The sensationalized black-and-white news media of the day has drawn the nouveau-riche of western high society to this remote jungle outpost with the promise of gifts "from the gods." After 2,000 years, the lost Temple of the Forbidden Eye has been unearthed by famed archaeologist Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones. The inhabitants of this Forgotten Kingdom once built and worshiped in this sacred realm. Scholarly research and unwitting locals laid the groundwork for "Indy's" discovery. But, in the end, a secret map and a healthy helping of bravery led Dr. Jones to the temple door...

Teaming with noted Egyptian archaeologist Sallah, Dr. Jones summoned the courage to go where no man had set foot for two millennia. His tenacity paid off! The Forbidden Eye was open for all who dared enter. Legend was, the temple god, Mara, could bestow the gifts of wealth, youth or future knowledge on those pilgrims who were worthy. Thus, Paradise Springs became a smash tourist destination for adventurers worldwide. But, a darker tale has surfaced...

Rumor of a treacherous curse now hangs over the temple. Some even whisper that visitors have been disappearing forever behind the silent temple walls... So far, even Dr. Jones has been unable to confirm or deny it. Until he does, the Temple of the Forbidden Eye will remain off-limits to all but the most foolhardy. It doesn't take a college degree to know that some riches, no matter how grand, aren't worth the deadly price...


An overgrown bamboo forest and canyon of volcanic rock lead us well past the last outpost of the Swiss Family Treehouse, and into the midst of an archaeological dig. Crumbling relics and uncovered artifacts lead our trail deep inside the clifftop residence of the Forbidden Eye...

Within the mysterious tombs of this long-lost temple, we follow Indy's footsteps and encounter intricate booby traps, decayed skeletons, and the flutter of unseen vampire bats... Carvings and frescos tell the story of Mara, a powerful deity who promises great treasures - and vengeance to those foolish enough to gaze into its all-seeing eyes. The unearthed artifacts and shimmer of lanterns lead our steps to a rusty motor pool for the Indiana Jones Adventure. The rugged troop transport vehicles will not only carry us down a well-hidden track, but also act as a self-contained motion base complete with audio system and safety apparatus - and looks for all the world like it belongs in the "Forgotten Kingdom" in the 1930s. Given the unique enhanced vehicle motion system that was developed for this attraction (EMV), Imagineers were given free rein to create an adventure right out of the movies.

An "outdoor" bit of off-roading in the jungle brings us back inside the temple and into the Chamber of Destiny... Someone, probably you, foolishly looks into Mara's eyes and, in no time at all, we are thrust into the middle of inconceivable dangers - screaming mummies, swarms of giant insects, spear-throwing wraiths, collapsing bridges, slithering snakes - and a massive, two-ton rolling boulder. This is, of course, not forgetting a near-climactic race along the water's edge whilst the temple collapses around us.


Legend recalls an abandoned mining operation not far from the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. In fact, a short trek from the excavation camp brings us to such an operation, where dark caverns and hollowed arsenals lead to an underground hearth of sorts, still in operation, waiting for us.

As if the mine itself is haunted by the spirits of the deceased mine workers, our private ore car departs sharply from the subterranean junction, embarking on an unforgettable roller coaster ride through a setting all-too-familiar with fans of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The swaying, tilting Raging Spirits has sudden drops and corkscrews. The finale is shared with a dramatic scene of the Indiana Jones Adventure, Jungle Cruise and Disneyland Railroad - a volcanic chasm. The entirety of Indiana Jones and the Lost Expedition Complex is shared in one brief but spectacular moment.

The Adventureland Veranda replaced the former Aunt Jemima's Pancake House (our reality's current "River Belle Terrace") in early 1971. A similar restaurant of the same name opened in Walt Disney World just nine months later. The former comfort food location closed its obstructed view of Frontierland's Rivers of America and focused more on the exotic side of things. The Frontierland side still took after News Orleans' French Quarter. The Adventureland side, however, was redesigned to better match a collage of the colonized Caribbean and western perception of China. More so dramatic in scale was the complete "flip" of the outdoor patio. The original patio was enclosed and pressed against the trail in Frontierland. The new patio would look into the traffic of adjacent Adventureland.

Interior murals capture the varied adventures of Africa, Asia and South America, most famous in nature. Overhead compartments are filled to overflowing with suitcases, excavation equipment and gear for whatever bold expedition might lie ahead. International flags, license plates, and memorabilia of an international military adorn the storied walls. The melting pot of cuisine is distinctly in influence from China and the Middle East. The outdoor veranda has interspersed detail that hints at an ongoing excavation in the surrounding vegetation.

The dense jungle turns into a temperate evening in New Orleans, Louisiana. The beaten path of the world's tropics leads to the historic French Quarter of the Delta City. The music of Dixieland fills the air. We have just stepped back in time to New Orleans Square.



Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Oh, what the heck. One more post for this week! But no more until next week! If you haven't visited Adventureland yet, please do so!


New Orleans Square

"She was the nation's most colorful and exciting city, America's capital of aristocracy, a bristling port exporting more commodities than New York. Cotton was king and the good life was its decree. Its unique atmosphere will live again in New Orleans Square, Disneyland."
- WED Press Release, 1966

Walt once spoke of his vision for New Orleans Square: "Disneyland has always had a big river and a Mississippi sternwheeler. It seemed appropriate to create a new attraction at the bend of the river. And so, New Orleans Square came into being - a New Orleans of a century ago when she was the Gay Paree of the American frontier... From the lacy iron grillwork of its balconies to the sound of a Dixieland jazz band and the sight of the majestic riverboat 'Mark Twain' steaming 'round the bend at the foot of Royal Street, New Orleans Square recalls her namesake, the fabled 'Queen of the Delta,' as it was a century ago when cotton was king and the steamboat ruled the Mississippi."

The Old South has always had a major design influence on Frontierland. Sam McKim created the first general view of New Orleans Square in 1957. His design called for the addition of a Thieves' Market, a Wax Museum, and on the outskirts of town, a Haunted House, in addition to the existing Swift Chicken Plantation. These original plans changed over time.

Although a number of Disney Imagineers contributed to the project through the first half of the 1960s, the classic design of New Orleans Square was established largely by Herb Ryman. Herb drew a number of sketches in portrayal of life in the old French Quarter and an evil pirates' hideout. "I said I had some ideas, I knew how New Orleans Square ought to look, I knew how it ought to be," Ryman recalled. "But it was not my project." Walt replied, "It is now, do anything you wish. I'm coming back at noon tomorrow and I want my Square.
Evidently, Walt was pleased with what he saw that next day. I had split the three walls open into three facades. I believed that the winding streets curving out of view would arouse people's curiosity and invite them to explore.

In Ryman's plan, the largely front-facing "Thieves' Market" show building was broken and split into a "neighborhood," thus creating a more intimate setting for Walt's Delta City. "Walt would never let us show any sign of aging. He said, 'No, I don't want it to look old.' And I said, well, New Orleans is old; it's been there for hundreds of years. And he said, 'I want this to look clean, and the paint is fresh, just like the day it was built.'"

The various show components of New Orleans Square evolved significantly since their first appearance on a souvenir map in 1958. The previously indoor Thieves' Market turned into Ryman's outdoor district of shops, restaurants and boutiques nestled among the winding streets and back alleys, and included everything from an antiques shop to a perfumery. The Haunted House became a Haunted Mansion, and it sat on a slight rise overlooking the Rivers of America. The Rogues' Gallery (the "Wax Museum") was now dubbed the Pirate Wax Museum. Both attractions would showcase a walking tour of the Delta City's dark side, long known as a land of pirates, vampires, ghosts, and voodoo...

The Imagineers reproduced the grand city of Louisiana in every minute detail. There are winding streets, ornate, iron-trellised balconies, romantic courtyards, and exquisite, gourmet restaurants. Even the quaint little shops that line the narrow avenues of this romantic land add to its charm and warmth. Of course, New Orleans Square is enhanced even further by its strolling Dixieland musicians, The Royal Street Bachelors, who wander through the narrow promenades playing authentic Dixieland jazz.

In bringing his version of the Crescent City to life at Disneyland, Walt took his time and spared no expense. Planning of New Orleans Square began in the aforementioned 1957, ground was broken in 1961, but the Grand Opening did not occur until July 24, 1966. During this decade, a new pinnacle of design sophistication was reached, and a new level of technical complexity came to Disneyland in Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion, both progeny of the 1964 - 1965 New York World's Fair, and both located in New Orleans Square. The Pirate Wax Museum and "Haunted House" had come a long way.

New Orleans mayor, Victor Schiro, joined Walt Disney for the opening of New Orleans Square. The five-acre, $21 million expansion authentically captured the beauty and intrigue found in the famous Louisiana city a century ago. A New Orleans reporter covering the story said, "It's the next best thing to being there..." New Orleans Square was the second new land built at Disneyland since Liberty Street in 1958. The price tag was a little more than equal to the amount the United States paid for the real New Orleans in the Louisiana Purchase.


“What poor hull lies smashed on the cruel rocks, pounded by the angry sea? Who knows the gallant efforts o’ the wretched crew to save the ship? I knows, ‘cause I was there! ‘Twas the royal fortune, bound for the Spanish Main, with enough treasure aboard to… Dead men tell no tales!”
In the late 1950s, Walt Disney introduced the concept of a pirate adventure to his staff at WED. Like so many other Disneyland dreams that eventually became reality, the idea for a pirate show, namely a "Rogues' Gallery" or "Pirate Wax Museum," was far ahead of the technology required to achieve the desired effects. It was not until the middle 1960s that the Pirates of the Caribbean show could move forward toward actual realization. The research, story development and actual construction of the project required several years and the expenditure of millions of dollars.

In the Spring of 1967, the rowdiest crew of black-hearted swashbucklers who ever plundered the Spanish Main "came to life" in a thrilling "Audio-Animatronics" adventure. Today, the Pirates of the Caribbean stands as one of the finest examples of the art of "Imagineering" - the blending of creative imagination with technical know-how. The attraction could be considered Disney's "crown jewel"; one of Walt Disney's greatest achievements and a living legacy of the master showman.

The stately manor house that holds Pirates of the Caribbean was directly inspired by the famed Cabildo in New Orleans's Jackson Square. The Cabildo was built in 1799 to house the Spanish colonial government, and is perhaps best known as the site in which the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803. The genteel appearance of the manor is in stark contrast to the hidden dangers that lurk inside...

An ornate grand foyer welcomes visitors from the hustle of the Big Easy and into the home's finely appointed lobby. Paintings of pirate ships, sea monsters, epic ocean battles and a map of the Western Hemisphere adorn the walls, along with portraits of an aristocratic gentlemen and his lady, perhaps the master and mistress of the house. A decorative birdcage (perhaps inspired by a mechanical piece Walt had purchased in New Orleans years prior), an old treasure chest, and a scale model of a galleon complete this picture of Southern gentility, while offering a taste of the adventure to come... Caricatures on the mansion walls are based on some of Marc Davis's earliest designs for a "pirate show."

Sailing silently through a moonlit Blue Bayou, our ramshackle boat plunges down two waterfalls and deep into an underground cavern where we are greeted by several eerie reminders of the tumultuous buccaneer period. The thunder of rampaging waterfalls can be heard on every side, skeletons hold sway over a mountain of pirate treasure, and a haunting voice issues an ominous warning of danger lurking ahead... And danger there is...

“No fear have ye of evil curses sez you… HARRrrr - HU - HUMmm. Properly be warned, sez I. Who knows when that evil curse will strike the greedy beholders o’ this bewitched treasure… Dead men tell no tales.”

Rounding a corner, we are suddenly caught in a crossfire between a stone-walled fortress on the right and a cannonading pirate ship on the left, the latter complete with bellowing Audio-Animatronics buccaneers and gunfire aplenty. After avoiding a barrage of flying cannonballs that land too close to our boat for comfort, we sail next into a seaport town where a few rum-fuddled looters ransack and burn the community, chase after and auction off valuable treasure, and sing and laugh to the fetching tune, "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)." And finally, with the cracking and popping of burning wood roaring all around us, we sail in and quickly out of a storage room filled with gunpowder, cannonballs and whiskey-filled, gun-shooting pirates.

How do you take a grim subject like pillaging pirates burning an innocent town and make it into family entertainment? The Disney Team approached it in cinematic terms - with a heavy accent of fun. "I moved away from the historical to create something more humorous," Marc Davis recalled in 1999. Like a film comedy, however, Imagineers such as Davis and Xavier Atencio realized that "when all is funny, none is funny," so the attraction, even today and after several thematic renovations, is carefully and skillfully balanced between the profane and the comic.

Our adventure with the fabulous Pirates of the Caribbean exits out onto Royal Street near, fittingly, Pieces of Eight, a converted warehouse filled to overflowing with ill-gotten goods, stolen, bartered for or otherwise... The spoils of a pirate's life are sold here, namely fool's coins and gems, plastic swords, hook-for-hand replacements, miniature telescopes, eye patches and more, all under the watchful, and only eye of "First Mate Jenkins." Jenkins, a "tough guy" parrot with a peg leg, captain's hat, eye patch and anchor tattoo, squawks and whistles from above the register, often caught singing: "Yo ho, yo ho, a parrot's life for me! Squawk!"

Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, Long John Silver, Edward "Blackbeard" Teach, Black Bart, Calico Jack, and Henry Morgan are among the legends and terrors who find their legacy - in wax - inside the dark Rogues' Gallery.

In this hall of infamy, the most infamous cutthroat seafarers are united under one roof, their crimes detailed through placards and well-humored narration, as spoken by the salty tongue of an unseen mariner. Rogues' Gallery is all that remains of the original concept for Pirates of the Caribbean. The museum also happens to house one-of-a-kind, pirate-themed arcade games in beautiful wooden cabinets with rope edges. Such "retro" games include "Freebooter Shooter," a shoot-em-up game with drunken pirate-targets, and "Whack-a-Croc," inspired by the pesky crocodile that follows Captain Hook. Fortune Red, a mechanical pirate soothsayer with a disgruntled grin and finger pointed at an "X Marks the Spot" on an unfurled treasure map, offers to tell our fortune at the drop of a coin - no doubloons necessary.


Dorothea Redmond had an evocative sense of mood and style that resonated from her compositions, most often in her preferred medium of watercolor. The Blue Bayou Restaurant, a romantic and haunting "exterior," housed completely indoors, like a spectacular permanent movie set, caught the imaginations and paintbrushes of several Imagineers. Capturing the eerie but strangely idyllic mood of the moonlit bayou, with the melancholy but welcoming light from the bait shack, was done exceptionally well by Duane Alt. More impressive is how much of Alt's visual spirit and that of Dorothea Redmond's Blue Bayou, as pictured above, were able to translate into the final reality of the attraction itself.

The Blue Bayou is perhaps Disneyland's most elegant dining location, a timeless capture of the romance, beauty and elegance of a southern swampland in the glow of twilight. Here we might dine under the moon and stars while boats carrying passengers aboard the Pirates of the Caribbean drift by, just before charting their course down a series of waterfalls. We are surrounded in the essence of New Orleans as overhead strings of colorful balloon lanterns cast an ethereal glow, dotting the darkness where crickets chirp, frogs croak and fireflies wink. The flavors of the Big Easy await; bone-in ribeye steak, roasted chicken maison, petite lobster tail, Louisiana gumbo, and more decadent elements of authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine.


"If this looks like a page out of an old New Orleans photo album, it was planned that way."

In a change from the pristine facades of its Midwestern neighbor, Main Street, U.S.A., color styling in New Orleans Square incorporated tonally reserved hues with a wash of "aging" over the brand-new paint to obtain the real feel of "Old New Orleans." The result didn't look dirty or unkempt, but added a patina of age and baroque character appropriate to the romance of the river bend.

Walt Disney made no secret about his love for Dixieland music, and from Disneyland's earliest beginnings, the venerable sound of New Orleans jazz has filled the Magic Kingdom. Equal was his love for the Delta City itself. The fantastic Disney Gallery is an attraction and merchandise exhibition located right above the Pirates of the Caribbean, tucked away from the world below, a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered by passerby. Originally, the second-floor space had been conceptually designed as Walt Disney's "Royal Suite," where Walt and Roy could entertain and host notable public figures and family. The location instead, in 1987, became home to an art exhibition that lined the walls and rooms, filled with conceptual artwork, scale models and memorabilia to capture the imagination and hearts of visitors the world over. The Disney Gallery features an elegant Victorian interior with chandeliers and hand-woven carpets. The music is an appropriately themed interpretation of Disney Classics, each performed in a baroque style, complete with harpsichord.

Located at Number 33 Royal Street, New Orleans Square, is one of Disneyland's best-kept secrets. "The most exclusive address in all Disneyland" has long been shrouded in mystery and is marked only by a "33" sign next to a locked green door. The second-story restaurant inside is decorated with antique furniture collected by Walt and Lillian Disney on their family vacations to New Orleans. Some of the furnishings include actual props and set pieces used in classic Disney films and attractions, such as The Haunted Mansion, Mary Poppins and The Happiest Millionaire.

Club 33 was originally conceived by Walt Disney as a place to entertain dignitaries, VIPs and corporate sponsors, though he died shortly before the club opened in 1967. The private club is exclusive to members only, and has a waiting list that runs well past a decade in length. Members pay a mere $11,000 yearly, entitling themselves entrance to Disneyland, exclusive entertainment amenities and access to some of the only alcohol served in Walt's original Magic Kingdom.

The idea of having an antique shop within Disneyland is said to have come from Walt Disney himself. The One-of-a-Kind Shop is the most unique venue in all Disneyland; the gifts here cannot be found anywhere else. An eclectic selection of antique clocks, jewelry, playing cards, statuettes, miniatures, 19th Century objets d'art, Italian masks, old photographs and other treasures from the past are sold here. The style and craftsmanship of a bygone era are the true attraction; a testament to the beauty and grandeur of 19th Century Americana. Lafitte Jewelers and Cristal d'Orleans emulate a Southern take on Main Street's China Closet and Crystal Arts, only, the merchandise here is distinctly more "New Orleans" and far less "Disney." Mlle. Antoinette's Perfumerie and a Caricature Portrait Artist add an additional touch of authenticity and detail to the already impressive atmosphere of New Orleans Square. The varied Flower Marts and Candy Carts further build a thematic "panorama" of beauty and elegance.

New Orleans Square has numerous courtyards and sheltered walkways just off-the-beaten-path of Disneyland's hustle and bustle. Coming from the second-floor windows, we might overhear some of the Big Easy's denizens caught in several comical scenarios, including a southern seance, a destructive feline and a clever, wisecracking mockingbird. The lush Court of Angels opened with New Orleans Square in 1966. The hidden gem was one of the last Disneyland fixtures designed by Walt Disney before his untimely death. The beautiful Court has been the popular spot for family photos, engagements, and even character meet 'n' greets, but more often than not remains a quiet and reflective oasis.

Porte d'Orleans, found in the heart of the French Quarter, is well-versed and stocked in a variety of Cajun spices, chicory-coffee, beignet mixes, hot sauces and kitchenware authentic to the "Queen of the Delta." The Creole Cafe, home to the world-famous Monte Cristo, features dark woods, brass fixtures and stained glass that transport us to the Big Easy's oldest neighborhood. We can "people-watch" on the elegant covered patio or dine inside with the vintage artifacts and furnishings of "Walt's Day." Amidst character displays from The Princess and the Frog, we find the very same espresso machine that served Walt cups of his favorite brew. The famous French Market restaurant is based on the New Orleans original in the historic French Quarter. The large outdoor cafe has delicious Creole dishes and southern fried soul food. The non-alcoholic Mint Julep Bar is located nearby. The French Market was, for several years, the common performance venue for "Teddy Buckner" and his band of "Jazz All-Stars." Today, the French Market continues the tradition of live music, often featuring a performance or two by the Jambalaya Jazz Band and "Queenie," their soulful leading lady.

In the darkest corner of the old French Quarter, flickering candles and a sign made from human bones welcome us to the dimly lit interior of Dr. Facilier's Voodoo Emporium. The eerie "Voodoo" Emporium is a popular shop where all manner of Gothic and occult themed paraphernalia can be found in great abundance. The macabre abode of Dr. Facilier, a.k.a. "The Shadowman," has merchandise of the Disney Villains, The Haunted Mansion and Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, and items of the occult and beyond - tarot cards, crystal balls, voodoo dolls, mysterious daggers and more. Possessed masks, living dolls, glowing spell books and ethereal shadows are the norm in this bizarre boutique. In fact, the miniaturized Witch from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is kept in a birdcage here, begging and bartering with passers-by for her freedom.

The train depot that serves Frontierland and New Orleans Square is notable for its adjacent telegraph office, where the constant clatter of Morse code delivers the 1955 dedication of Disneyland. This is, naturally, the second stop of the Disneyland Railroad: New Orleans Square Station.

The Disneyland Band will often leave Main Street, U.S.A. and wander throughout the Magic Kingdom. Occasionally, their music will find them in an odd place or two, namely outside an unusual and foreboding manor home at a bend in the Rivers of America. The ominous "Grim Grinning Ghosts" is their performance of choice, performed here in the sound and style of a New Orleans jazz funeral; beautiful, eerie, but triumphant.
In early layouts for Main Street, U.S.A., the land included a small residential area located behind the east side of Main Street. The small, crooked avenue "dead-ended" at a crumbling haunted house on a hill overlooking the turn-of-the-century Midwestern town. Harper Goff drew up the concept in a panoramic view entitled "Church, Graveyard, and Haunted House"; it was the first rendering of a haunted house at Disneyland. The residential area was eventually discarded and replaced by Liberty Street.

Walt resurrected his Haunted House concept in 1957. The planned site had been relocated to the southwest corner of Frontierland on a site then occupied by Magnolia Park. Walt mentioned the project during an interview with the BBC, as he expressed his concern for all of the ghosts that had been displaced from their ancestral homes due to the London blitz during World War II and new construction to make way for modern housing. He then announced plans to build a sort of retirement home at Disneyland for all of the world's homeless spirits.

“When hinges creak in doorless chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls. Whenever candlelights flicker where the air is deathly still - that is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight!”

The Haunted House rose from the grave again in 1961, along with New Orleans Square, both of which had first appeared on the Disneyland Souvenir Map back in 1958. However, the Magnolia Park home of the Haunted House had been taken over by an expansion of the Jungle Cruise. With the Adventureland border shifting west, a small piece of land was designated for a new and improved New Orleans Square. Walt moved the attraction north to the site of the old Swift Chicken Plantation restaurant.

In all the legend and lore of "haunted New Orleans," there was one old house, scarcely noticed by day, but carefully avoided by night. It was always ramshackle, seemingly abandoned, and thoroughly rumored to be a Haunted Mansion.

New Orleans Square's Haunted Mansion is just as foreboding. A peculiar chill shivers through you... The hairs on your neck stand straight-up... And you feel as if someone is watching - as you hasten past the family plot...

Disneyland's most spirited attraction features not only its 999 floating, jumping, dancing residents, but also stretching rooms, creaking doors, and other little surprises guaranteed to send shivers up the spine of even the bravest visitor. But we are not left to shiver on our own! Disneyland even supplies an official "Ghost Host" to keep our company during our little tour, and he takes no time at all to introduce himself. The moment we have entered the Mansion's chilling parlor area, he begins his running commentary that will follow us wherever we go.

Imagineer Ken Anderson found a photo of an antebellum mansion in Baltimore and was so captivated by its shape and ornamentation that he translated the design almost verbatim into this neglected and windswept setting shown above. Much as they had with Pirates of the Caribbean, the Imagineers combined genuine thrills with a large dose of humor, but with somewhat less balanced results than their previous E-Ticket effort. Claude Coats, Ken Anderson, Marc Davis, X Atencio, Rolly Crump, and Yale Gracey all worked on the show elements for The Haunted Mansion.

For six years, the distant, ominous Haunted Mansion stood unoccupied upon the New Orleans shores of the Rivers of America. A sign posted in front offered passers-by a once-in-a-lifetime invitation...

All Ghosts
And Restless Spirits

Post-lifetime leases are
now available in this
don't be left out in the sunshine! Enjoy
active retirement in this country club
atmosphere the fashionable address for
famous ghosts, ghosts trying to make a name
for themselves...and ghosts afraid to
live by themselves! Leases include License
to scare the daylights out of guests
visiting the Portrait Gallery, Museum of
the Supernatural, graveyard and other
happy haunting grounds. for reservations
send resume of past experience to:

Ghost Relations Dept. Disneyland
Please! Do not apply in person.

And soon the letters came, from many parts of the world. There was the nine-year-old who wrote, "On Halloween, I help in a spook house at our school," and the 12-year-old who claimed to have "scared my mom clear out of her wits." And the frustrated New England spinster, chagrined because "not one of my neighbors believes in witches...ANYMORE." Walt Disney once remarked, "We'll keep up the grounds and things outside, and the ghosts can take care of the inside."

The Haunted Mansion is one of Disneyland's most popular E-Ticket attractions. Here, the emphasis is more on the light than the fright, and dark humor and comical puns abound. Disneyland's happy haunting ground is home to 999 spooky residents, famous, infamous or otherwise. In the midst of the ethereal manor's halls and walls, we glide past a rattling casket in the conservatory, float by a grand ballroom and its waltzing apparitions, and spin through a cemetery where the spirited residents regale us in song.




Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Alright, time for this week's post! If you haven't visited Mirror Disneyland yet, please be sure to check out Main Street, Liberty Street, Adventureland, and New Orleans Square.


Folktale Forest





The pavement in New Orleans Square has turned from grey to maroon. The Old South of Louisiana has transformed into the tall pine trees, quaint waterfalls and crystal streams of the Pacific Northwest. A rustic sign, as detailed above, welcomes our transition into Folktale Forest, where, legend has it, the myths and legends of American folklore reside in relaxed harmony.

The American Indian and the culture of Native America were components of Disneyland from the beginning. The Indian Village in Frontierland was part of Disneyland from opening day, and stood until 1971. The original Indian Village displayed ancient Native American customs and crafts, while entertaining guests with authentic dances from such tribes as the Apache, Navajo, and Pawnee. All dances were performed with the permission of the respective tribal councils and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

However, Disneyland was - and still is - forever changing.

It was a spring day in 1966. With several new projects on the drawing board, including the enormous Walt Disney World in Florida, Walt Disney had begun a typical process - tossing out ideas to see what would “grow.”

Hey, Marc,” Disney Legend Marc Davis recalled Walt Disney saying one day in the early 1960s, “let’s do something with bears.

Walt’s “bear idea” matured into a stage musical featuring a cast of Audio-Animatronics down-home ursine performers singing, yodeling, and playing country music, intended as a centerpiece attraction at a Central California development called Mineral King. Walt would often come by Marc’s office to check the progress on the “Bear Show,” and seemed to have a special fondness for the ideas and characters, laughing out loud on occasion at a particular sketch or design. It is widely believed that what would become the “Country Bear Jamboree” was Walt Disney’s “last laugh.”

The Mineral King project never materialized, but the “Bear Show” opened at Walt Disney World in 1971. It was such a rousing hit there that plans for creating a duplicate in Disneyland began almost immediately. The southwest section of Frontierland, once the location of the Indian Village, became the Pacific Northwest of Folktale Forest, opening in 1972. The Country Bear Jamboree, opening on an extended run, was the hit show of Disneyland’s then official eighth land.


In its early years, Folktale Forest only had a few facilities besides the “Bear Show." The overall Pacific Northwest feel of the area was designed to differentiate the “geographic location” of Folktale Forest from the Old Southwest of Frontierland, the mighty Mississippi of the Rivers of America, and the Delta of New Orleans Square.

In 1983, Disney Legend Tony Baxter was tasked with the problem of “what to do with Folktale Forest,” which was, at the time, an underutilized and lightly trafficked “land.” The Country Bears had never really caught on at Disneyland. Meanwhile, on Liberty Street, America Sings was playing to half-empty houses. The public had since lost interest in the reverent celebration of America’s music. Its imminent closure would mean the loss of 114 Davis-designed Audio-Animatronics critters. Tony’s solution turned to a film that he long considered to be one of the great untapped resources in the Disney Vault, Walt Disney’s 1946 classic Song of the South, based on the “Uncle Remus” folktales of Joel Chandler Harris.

The film was a perfect fit for Folktale Forest. Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear would feel right at home with the Country Bears, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill, and Paul Bunyan. The characters had been making live appearances in the Magic Kingdoms for years and the Disney version of Tales of Uncle Remus had never gone out of print, but the film itself had become publicly unavailable for its depiction of African-Americans in the postwar South. Fortunately, Tony felt strongly that portions of Song of the South had all the fixings of an E-Ticket adventure, which he initially dubbed “Zip-a-Dee River Run,” and then CEO Michael Eisner agreed.

“What do you think if we recast all those figures from America Sings as characters from ‘Song of the South’ - because they look like little critters in a bayou - and that was it.”
- Tony Baxter

Tony, Bruce Gordon and John Stone began work immediately on what would become Splash Mountain. The exterior of the attraction would be composed of the rolling green hills and red clay riverbanks of the Deep South, all overlooked by Chick-a-Pin Hill, the gnarled tree stump home of Brer Fox. Chick-a-Pin Hill would become the attraction’s central icon and a landmark for Folktale Forest, as well as the point of departure for a climactic, five-story plunge into the Briar Patch at the base of the mountain. “We want everyone to think the ride is over with the drop,” said show producer Bruce Gordon. “But then they re-enter the show for the grand musical finale.” A grand Zip-A-Dee Lady showboat was, in its time, the largest animated prop ever made for a Disneyland attraction, measuring 50 feet long and 30 feet tall.

Tony and Bruce chose to create a composite of all the stories featured in Song of the South, with its own beginning, middle, and end. The story was told primarily through music, which allowed the various critters to sing Brer Rabbit’s tale as riders passed by in hollowed-out logs. With the arrival of Chick-a-Pin Hill, a “point-of-transition” was established. The Haunted Mansion is the first “landmark,” followed by a trek into the surrounding bayou country, or more appropriately, Folktale Forest. Tony’s intent was to re-brand Folktale Forest as a natural extension of New Orleans Square, creating a collective, but fanciful, “Dixieland” set in the Deep South.

Splash Mountain opened on July 17, 1989, Disneyland’s 34 Anniversary, and included the record-setting five-story, 47-degree plunge down Chick-a-Pin Hill at over forty miles per hour, making it, to this day, the fastest attraction in Disneyland.


Folktale Forest opened in March, 1972. The small land has remained remarkably the same - other than the arrival of Splash Mountain - since opening day. The area is a rustic, "outdoorsy" reflection of North American folklore. Marc Davis himself oversaw the land's construction and design. The forest would pay tribute to the mythology of American folklore; Davy Crockett, Paul Bunyan, Tom Sawyer, Johnny Appleseed, John Henry, Casey Jones, and Pecos Bill. It was the first new land to open since its neighbor, New Orleans Square, in 1966.

The gargantuan footprints of Paul Bunyan lead our trail into Folktale Forest. Fortunately, the prints aren't deep enough to make us lose our footing, but are certainly shallow enough to impose intrigue and wonder at the size of the man who made them. Even so, the hoof-prints of Babe, Paul's blue ox, trail right alongside Paul's. If one listens closely, they might hear the booming voice of the mighty lumberjack (Thurl Ravenscroft) singing out in the backwoods: "With my double blade ax and my hobnail boots, I go where the timber's tall. When there's work to be done, don't mess around just sing right out for Paul!" The tall redwoods rustle - certainly, Paul and Babe are near.

Apart from the tall pines and ferns, a number of blossoming apple trees line our entrance into Folktale Forest. An aged fence is our only barricade between us and the beauty of Johnny Appleseed's own handiwork. In fact, Johnny's own footprints can be seen in the surrounding earth, fresh and new. Like the voice of Paul Bunyan heard out in the deep wilderness, we often can hear the ethereal spirit of Johnny Appleseed's heavenly creed: "Oh, the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need, the sun, the rain, and the apple seed. The Lord is good to me." Naturally, this is the location of Johnny Appleseed's Fruit Cart. The makeshift merchant's stall appears to have been built by Johnny himself, with the help of his critter companions.


The Bluegrass Boys are a favorite performance troupe of the original and current Folktale Forest, and often perform alongside costumed characters from the Country Bear Jamboree and Splash Mountain. The wide open esplanade of the Folktale Forest proper is the perfect location for an afternoon or evening hoedown under the stars. Live square dancing became a new tradition at Disneyland in 1972. The Hoedown Happening begins without notice. A ride operator from Splash Mountain walks into the street and starts waving a hat. He is soon joined by other residents of Folktale Forest, including the Country Bears and other critters.

The Little Hiawatha Trading Post, nestled in the foundation of Splash Mountain, is an old cabin with a "cobblestone" chimney and thick grass growing on its roof. The former "Indian Trading Post" was renamed for Little Hiawatha, the titular character of a 1937 Silly Symphony. The rustic shop is unique for its selection of Native American arts and crafts, including a large selection of pottery, turquoise jewelry, totems, and kachina dolls. The former "Indian War Canoes" became the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes in 1972. Named for the legendary 19th Century pioneer, the 20-passenger Explorer Canoes are real, free-floating canoes; there is no motor or track. This seasonal attraction offers a stunning glimpse of frontier wildlife and iconic locales, including an idyllic Native American village, and the majesty of "Nature's Wonderland." The north bank of the Columbia Gorge, complete with a beautiful waterfront and five sparkling waterfalls is particularly memorable.


Davy Crockett might have won his famous race with Mike Fink ("King of the River") long ago, but Mike Fink has his name plastered on the marquee. The classic Mike Fink Keel Boats disembark from the water's edge near Folktale Forest. The Gullywhumper and Bertha Mae depart daily, albeit seasonally, and have the pride of being the actual boats used in the filming of The Legends of Davy Crockett. Of course, the boats have been redesigned since then. The Rafts to Tom Sawyer's Island depart from Folktale Forest.

Tom Sawyer's Aunt Polly has her own restaurant at the bend in the river. Aunt Polly's Kitchen is the most tranquil, down-home dining spot in the Magic Kingdom. We must cross a bridge and stroll through a small forest to reach this rustic retreat nestled in the shadow of Splash Mountain, where a white-washed fence and wood sculpture of Tom Sawyer welcome us with an all-important question: "Hungry?" Crispy fried chicken, boysenberry, apple and raspberry pies, fresh greens, sweet potato fries, and other comfort foods come from the titular kitchen. Surrounded by lush foliage, we view the spectacular Rivers of America from the restaurant's sprawling two-story terrace. It's a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle.


"Howdy, folks! Welcome to the one and only, original Country Bear Jamboree, featuring a bit of Americana - our musical heritage of the past."

The Country Bear Playhouse stars 22 lifelike northwest animals who sing, strum and pun their way through a thoroughly entertaining fifteen-minute show. The emcee of the show is a bear named Henry, an amusing chap who stands seven-feet tall and wears a live raccoon-hat. His job, like his mindedness, is simple - keep the audience in stitches and introduce the stars of the show. The show is home to a cast of bruins not seen in your typical national park. Nobody hibernates through the rollicking, paw-pounding, unbearable country-western musical antics of the bodacious Five Bear Rugs, the swinging Teddi Barra, Terrence the "Vibrating Wreck from Nashville Tech," and the sorrowful heart-tugging refrains of Big Al.

In 1971, the Country Bear Jamboree opened as one of the original attractions at Walt Disney World in the new Magic Kingdom's Frontierland. The audience response was beyond enthusiastic. The Disneyland version would have twice the capacity of the single-theater Magic Kingdom version. This was possible, of course, through the use of two identical theaters with two identical Audio-Animatronics casts.

In 1972, the Country Bear Playhouse opened in Disneyland as the star attraction of Folktale Forest. The "underground" theater was located beyond a covered bridge and 'cross a lazy stream, nestled in a hillside surrounded by Australian tree ferns and azaleas. It was the first Disneyland attraction cloned from Walt Disney World. The Spring 1972 issue of the Disneyland News, the Liberty Street-produced newspaper, labeled the classic attraction perfectly: "One of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World in Florida is the country-western musical mish-mash known as 'Country Bear Jamboree.' It stars the wildest bunch of foot-stompin', knee-slappin' rip-snorters ever to lumber out of the north woods. And this spring, the 'rip-snorters' are coming to Disneyland, bringing with them, along with their lack of talent, a whole new land to the 'happiest place on earth': Folktale Forest."


The seasonal Country Bear Christmas Special premiered in 1984, and the summer-themed Country Bear Vacation Hoedown followed in 1986. In 1993, the Country Bear Halloween Hootenanny debuted. In 2012, both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Country Bear shows closed for refurbishment. The Disneyland version opened with a "new" show entirely, a peculiar, but seamless combination of the original Jamboree and Vacation Hoedown with additional music - the Country Bear Revue: A Tribute to the Music & Lore of the American West. All three shows continue to operate at Disneyland.

Country Bear Playhouse Showtimes

Country Bear Revue: January - August
Halloween Hootenanny: September - October
Christmas Special: November - December

The John Henry Building, "established 1870," holds inside it a number of rustic and unique locales. The building itself is named for John Henry, an African-American folk hero. Henry was said to be a "steel-driving man." His raw strength helped forward the expansion of the United States Railroad. According to legend, Henry's "steel-driving" prowess was measured in a race against a steam-powered drill, a race that he won, only to die in victory with a hammer in his hand. The railroad trestle at level with the treetops is named for Casey Jones, "The Brave Engineer." Casey Jones was a true-life American railroader, killed on April 30, 1900, when his train collided with a stalled freight train. His legend recalls:

"The passengers did not suffer, and there was no panic.

I was jarred a little in my bunk, but when fairly awake the train was stopped and everything was still.

Engineer Jones did a wonderful as well as a heroic piece of work, at the cost of his life.

The marvel and mystery is how Engineer Jones stopped that train. The railroad men themselves wondered at it and of course the uninitiated could not do less. But stop it he did. In a way that showed his complete mastery of his engine, as well as his sublime heroism. I imagine that the Vaughan wreck will be talked about in roundhouses, lunchrooms and cabooses for the next six months, not alone on the Illinois Central, but many other roads in Mississippi and Louisiana."

The legend of both John Henry and Casey Jones is retold in a plaque at the base of the Casey Jones Railroad Trestle. A statue of John Henry can be found near the railroad tracks in the adjacent wilderness.

The John Henry Building holds, among others, Paul Bunyan's Mile Long Bar. The Mile Long Bar uses a mirror illusion to create an endless service counter, the counter fashioned from large tree-trunks. Max, Buff and Melvin, the stag, buffalo and moose trophy heads of the Country Bear Playhouse, also hang inside and above entrance to the Mile Long Bar. The trio welcome diners with a chorus of "Come On In."


Pecos Bill's Wilderness Arcade is the fourth and final arcade in Disneyland. Pecos Bill is, or "was," a fabled cowboy of Manifest Destiny, known to the Southwest of Texas, New Mexico, Southern California, and Arizona. Bill was raised by a pack of coyotes. His horse, Widow-Maker, was so named because no other man could ride him and live to tell about it. The game cabinets, like those featured in the other arcades of Disneyland, are of the pre-video and mechanical variety. Games include "Hoofin' Henry," a miniature tap dancing bear (Henry) set into motion through the repeated mashing of buttons, and "Johnny Rio," a mechanical gunfighter who challenges passerby to a draw, offering sarcastic insults to anyone unable to match his sharp-shootin' abilities. The former "Ursus H. Bear Wilderness Outpost" became Crocodile Mercantile with the addition of Splash Mountain in 1989. The proprietor, an eternally relaxed "Brer Crocodile," sells the wares of a true wilderness expedition: animal statuettes, nature books, fishing poles and hiking gear.

We enter and exit Splash Mountain through a rundown lumber mill of the Old South. In designing the attraction, the Imagineers tried to create a fully dimensional attraction grounded in reality but with the feel of an animated cartoon. "In a cartoon, you paint to blend everything together," Tony Baxter explains. "The backgrounds are painted and then you add painted characters on top of those backgrounds. We've tried to do the same thing here." This attraction includes 950,000 gallons of water, 3 dips and a 5-story drop.

Our bayou adventure follows happy-go-lucky Brer Rabbit on his way to the "Laughing Place." But be warned: Brer Bear and Brer Fox are in hot pursuit of this wayward hare. The music heard through Folktale Forest today is adapted from the Academy Award winning musical score of Song of the South. It can also be heard throughout the vicinity of Splash Mountain, where one finds, tucked away under the shady pines and red clay riverbanks, the miniature dwellings of woodland critters. One of the recurring themes for Splash Mountain itself is perhaps the most universally recognizable and popular Disney songs of all time, "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah."


On the edge of the galaxy, between the Unknown Regions and Wild Space, there is a long-forgotten planet called Batuu.

Ironically, our portal into this strange and forgotten world comes not through Disneyland's realm of science-fact and fantasy, Tomorrowland, but instead through the once desolate Big Thunder Trail of Frontierland or the backwoods Wilderness Trail of Folktale Forest.

The densely wooded "Outer Rim" of Folktale Forest transitions our wilderness trail from 19th Century America to another world entirely; another world set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Until next time! Maybe sooner than a week? ;)


Well-Known Member
On the edge of the galaxy, between the Unknown Regions and Wild Space, there is a long-forgotten planet called Batuu.

Ironically, our portal into this strange and forgotten world comes not through Disneyland's realm of science-fact and fantasy, Tomorrowland, but instead through the once desolate Big Thunder Trail of Frontierland or the backwoods Wilderness Trail of Folktale Forest.

The densely wooded "Outer Rim" of Folktale Forest transitions our wilderness trail from 19th Century America to another world entirely; another world set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Until next time! Maybe sooner than a week? ;)
As much as I'm loving this, I'm afraid I'll have to skip over this one. I don't want any spoilers for Galaxy's Edge. I still say that I want the first time I see anything about the rides of Galaxy's Edge is when I see them in person. Sadly, that won't come at least till 2021. It's my biggest goal as a Disney fan at the moment to be at Walt Disney World the day it turns 50 -- October 1st, 2021, and I intend to live up to that goal.

Even when I watched Some Jerk with a Camera's vlog about Galaxy's Edge, I had to minimize the screen or change the tab when they showed on-ride footage of Smuggler's Run; and I'll probably have to skip the forthcoming Rise of the Resistance vlog altogether once that comes out until I ride it myself.

But no matter what, I still look forward to what's to come with this thread, MANEATINGWREATH! Keep up the good work!


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Original Poster
If anyone has not yet visited Mirror Disneyland, please do! So far we've explored Main Street, Liberty Street, Adventureland, New Orleans Square, and Folktale Forest.

As much as I'm loving this, I'm afraid I'll have to skip over this one. I don't want any spoilers for Galaxy's Edge. I still say that I want the first time I see anything about the rides of Galaxy's Edge is when I see them in person. Sadly, that won't come at least till 2021. It's my biggest goal as a Disney fan at the moment to be at Walt Disney World the day it turns 50 -- October 1st, 2021, and I intend to live up to that goal.
I totally understand if you skip this one, but there will be differences with my Galaxy's Edge. If anything, it's an idealized version of what I think the land could benefit from. Heck, I'd at least skim through and read over the Star Tours section included. The good news is, I'm knocking this out all in one post, so we'll be right back in Frontierland next week! I'll be conscious in not posting spoilers from the rides. ;)


Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

"For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire."


The collaboration of George Lucas and the Imagineers in Disneyland was a mythic dream fit for the young and the young-at-heart. “When we started discussing the idea,” says Tony Baxter, “George immediately saw the potential. But he wanted to put a new twist on the story. Disneyland has always been known as a place where nothing could go wrong. In this show, something would go wrong.” The cause of the “intentional misadventure” of what would be called Star Tours was a friendly, well-meaning but totally incompetent droid pilot named Rex.

For several years, the Imagineers had been tinkering with the application of a flight simulator motion base as an attraction vehicle. The notion of incorporating an aerial chase scene of a Star Wars adventure with this technology was a natural fit. “George wanted to make the audience think the spaceship was a typical Disneyland ride vehicle on a track,” show producer Tom Fitzgerald recalls. Vibrations and bumps were programmed into the motion base to make passengers feel as if they were actually moving along a track - at first. “Then, look out!” Fitzgerald grins.

Star Tours was inspired by the classic Star Wars films, and was the first ever theme park attraction to use flight simulator technology. On board the StarSpeeder 3000, the rookie pilot Rex would take passengers on a harrowing flight into deep space, encountering icy comets and deadly TIE Fighters, all before destroying an Imperial Death Star. The large, multi-tiered Star Tours “Spaceport” filled the hole left by the Carousel Theater in Tomorrowland. This would negate a former proposal to replace the Adventure Thru Inner Space attraction. Inner Space remained intact.

Star Tours would inspire the creation of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Disneyland’s newest Land opened in 2019, a short walk northwest of Frontierland and Folktale Forest. Star Tours closed on January 5, 2018. The classic attraction would be updated and relocated to Batuu, whereas the hole it left behind in Tomorrowland would be filled by a different sci-fi adventure... But we'll explore Tomorrowland another time.


To dedicate Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger was joined in front of the Millennium Falcon by Star Wars icons including George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams. And during the historic ceremony - which was set to the John Williams score composed especially for the land - the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy (the Millennium Falcon) roared to life for the first time.

Galaxy's Edge opened to the public on May 31, 2019 and at the Walt Disney World Resort on August 29 that same year. John Williams composed the unique orchestral theme for the new land, his first ever collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering and Disneyland Park.

Batuu's largest village is a settlement known as Black Spire Outpost, which has become a thriving destination for those who would prefer to go about their business unnoticed - scoundrels, rogues, smugglers and, recently, whispers in the woods reporting sightings of individuals associated with the Resistance.

Amid the omnipresent brew of conflict in the galaxy, sits an exotic outpost surrounded by a beautiful forest landscape dominated by the petrified remains of towering ancient trees, from which Black Spire Outpost draws its name. The modern village is built on the remains of crumbling structures built by a long-extinct civilization. Chat with the locals, and meet travelers from across the galaxy. Wander a street market filled with rare and unusual artifacts - and more than a few hidden treasures.

The buttes and rock-formations of the American Southwest and Columbia River Gorge are a seamless transition with the alien life and color of the well-concealed Batuu. Upon our arrival in Black Spire Outpost, we are immediately cast into an authentic re-creation of a Star Wars spaceport, complete with alien lifeforms wandering the streets, droids and spacecraft whirring past, signs and messages written in Aurebesh, and an exciting encounter for any Star Wars fan - a life-size Bantha roped to a stable.

No visit to Batuu is complete without a frosty confection from Smiga's Bantha Shack. The vendors at this quirky stall offer travelers an invigorating, refreshing drink that's a favorite among the locals. Luke Skywalker can be seen enjoying blue milk in Episode IV - A New Hope and green milk in Episode VIII - The Last Jedi. Both these exotic delicacies are enjoyed here. Also enjoyed here - savory Bantha Burgers. Smiga, the Shistavanen proprietor, is seen in the back kitchen, growling at her employees in a bizarre, grunt-like language.

The First Order has arrived on Batuu in pursuit of the Resistance. Report for duty and make your way to Docking Bay 9 where the First Order has set up the temporary First Order Cargo post next to their shuttle, and all to win the hearts and minds of the locals. Kylo Ren and his elite Stormtroopers disembark from their shuttle and patrol the streets of the Outpost. Be ever so mindful as you step over to the Dark Side and encounter this imposing Supreme Leader of the First Order. Fresh steam and smells waft from the covered-patios and stalls of an open-air market. A much disliked Gungan named Leek holds watch over Otoh Gunga Delights. Fried frog legs and "Jar Jar Fries" (fish and chips) are made to order daily. Astromech Droids control technicolor carts that sell "galactic-style" Coca-Cola product.

Welcome to the local cantina, where smugglers, bounty hunters, rogue traders and weary travelers of all ages come together to refuel, enjoy music and conduct business - no questions asked. With an expansive menu of exotic concoctions for young ones and adults, the cantina is a welcome rest stop before our upcoming galactic journey.

We enjoy the bold musical entertainment courtesy of the eclectic Max Rebo Band, Jabba the Hutt's former house musicians. Max Rebo, Sy Snootles, Joh Yowza, and Droopy McCool all survived the rescue of Han Solo on Tatooine. At some point, their galactic "reunion tour" crashed on Batuu and left them in debt to proprietor Oga Garra. The cantina adheres to Oga Garra's strict code of conduct, but patrons can be...unpredictable, so just keep your head down - and drink casual. Oga's Cantina specializes in fantastical drinks sourced with ingredients from across the galaxy that will delight even the youngest crew members. To order selections with alcohol - like the Jedi Mind Trick cocktail, Bad Motivator IPA or Toniray wine - they will need to see your identification.

Dok-Ondar is the Ithorian you seek for selling and buying rare and uniquely-valued (and acquired) items, antiques and artifacts from across the galaxy and spanning all eras of history. Hidden inside Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities, we'll encounter a rotating collection of unique items that include everything from jewelry, to ancient tools, to rare kyber crystals, to statues - and even a collection of famous lightsabers. The eclectic assortment of goods comes from many different planets and eras. How Dok-Ondar acquired all of these treasures, no one knows. Some secrets are better off kept that way. Other secrets are better off kept for sale on the shelves of Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities. A constant presence in his den, Dok-Ondar resonates with something mysterious, enigmatic and almost mystical - and so do the objects he gathers.

His shop is packed with crates, boxes and assorted carvings, and a close inspection reveals that each object has its own story to tell. Everything is carefully curated and arranged according to an unknown order. When one stumbles upon something, they might wonder - did they discover it by chance or were they meant to find it?

Initially, Black Spire Outpost was entirely devoid of Background Music. Only the sounds of an exotic marketplace - droid chatter, alien language, faint music cues - filled the otherwise vacant air. It didn't take long for the introduction of several classic John Williams and other Star Wars themes. The featured songs include:

1. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge Symphonic Suite" - John Williams, Disneyland Park & Disney's Hollywood Studios Park
2. "The Rebel Fleet/End Title" - Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
3. "Parade of the Ewoks" - Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
4. "Rey's Theme" - Star Wars: The Force Awakens
5. "March of the First Order" - Star Wars: The Force Awakens
6. "The Force Theme (Binary Sunset)" - Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
7. "Yoda and the Force" - John Williams, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
8. "Across the Stars (Love Theme)" - Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
9. "Princess Leia's Theme" - Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
10. "Ewok Celebration and Finale" - Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
11. "The Battle of Crait" - Star Wars: The Last Jedi
12. "March of the Resistance" - Star Wars: The Force Awakens
13. "Han Solo and the Princess (Love Theme)" - Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
14. "The Rise of Skywalker" - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The Droid Depot is a workshop stocked with parts, chips, manuals and other tech items useful for constructing one's very own droid, one of the galaxy's most indispensable sidekicks. First, register your choice of the BB-series unit or R-series unit with the clerk, who'll provide a basket and blueprint for parts. Next, proceed to the assembly line and begin the droid-building experience at the Parts Station and Build Station. A resourceful astromech droid, R2-D2 has shown great bravery in rescuing his masters and their friends from many perils. He formed an unlikely but enduring friendship with the fussy protocol droid C-3PO. Both "Threepio" and "Artoo" can be found wandering near the Droid Depot in search of "Master Rey."

Hungry travelers can fuel up on galactic grub at the local Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. At this restaurant housed in a working hangar bay, choose from a variety of dishes prepared with exotic ingredients - all of it delicious, but none of it familiar. Chef Strono "Cookie" Tuggs has docked a food freighter loaded with fresh supplies and he's ready to satisfy the appetite of visitors and locals alike with an array of unique offerings. His planet-hopping travels allow him to prepare fare with unusual flavors that delight customers.

Weequay pirate Hondo Ohnaka is looking for discreet flight crews to deliver a backlog of hard-to-find items to particular clientele - no experience necessary!

In an attempt to go "legitimate," former pirate Hondo has established Ohnaka Transport Solutions on Batuu. Despite his best claims, Transport Solutions is, in reality, a front for smuggling. After the Battle of Crait, the Millennium Falcon landed on Batuu, where the Resistance established a base outside the Outpost. Ohnaka made a deal with Chewbacca to use the ship, and hired us, a temporary crew, to take part in one or more of Ohnaka's jobs, most often tasked with hijacking First Order supplies. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run is our chance to ride in the famous cockpit of the Millennium Falcon on a daring flight - and whether you're pilot, engineer or gunner, every role is crucial.

The engines rumble as the Falcon blasts off, pushing our crew back in our seats as we launch into hyperspace towards adventure. The ride sequence is randomized; travelers riding Smuggler's Run will experience three of the eighteen different segments during each journey. This gives the attraction the advantage of being both highly repeatable and constantly surprising. The main priority is always "borrowing" valuable goods from the dreaded First Order.

A full-size StarSpeeder 3000 has docked not far from the entrance to Ohnaka Transport Solutions. A number of comical pit droids do their absolute best in repairing the docked craft, but often to no avail. Nearby, an Imperial AT-ST walker, now decrepit and covered in moss, looms in the forest underbrush. This is the entrance to the relocated Star Tours, a Tomorrowland original.

Spaceport THX-1138 is a far cry from the former Tomorrowland Spaceport. This rustic and re-purposed shell of a former spice warehouse has become a sleek and inspired terminal of intergalactic travel and commerce. When relocating and updating Star Tours for the first time since 1987, the Imagineers were given the opportunity to design a spectacular "Arrival Hall" for THX-1138, bringing all the Star Wars music, imagery, and environments together to create a new experience for the refreshed attraction.

Once inside the Arrival Hall, we find a setting reminiscent of a modern-day airport - there's a baggage claim, a center for ground transportation, a customs desk - overhead, media projections explain the story of Star Tours and its competing carriers. There are multiple carriers (Tatooine Transit, Air Alderaan), but today, we are able to experience the galaxy through Star Tours. The lighting and music in the Arrival Hall set the story for our Star Wars adventure, as well as interjecting advertisements for various destinations - Naboo, Bespin, Crait, Jakku - and recruitment adverts for the threatening First Order Academy.

C-3PO and R2-D2 banter and work on repairs for the badly-scarred Transport 22 in the Maintenance Bay, lovingly re-created from the original attraction. PA announcements and the familiar Star Tours "jingle" set the scene. A large screen on the northern wall of the Maintenance Bay entertains us with a loop of travel and tourism ads. But in keeping with the theme, all of the destinations being promoted are within the Star Wars continuum. "Star Tours announces another of our exciting action-adventure tours! Join us on the trek to Tatooine! Start your visit with a trip to the Galactic Zoo, then race over to the Mos Eisley Cantina for cocktails with the galaxy's most outrageous characters! If 'adventure' is your middle name, this is the tour for you! The trek to Tatooine. StarSpeeder service begins soon, reservations are limited, so call your travel agent or Star Tours today."

The Droid Room has also been retained from the original attraction, though a few new (but familiar faces, seen above) throw in an appearance or two. As we wind our way through the immersive terminal, we interact with friendly G2 "goose" droids. The talkative repair-bots crack jokes and make humorous comments whilst repairing R2 and BB-series droids to the techno-rhythms of the radio station "K-DROID FM." An additional G2 droid scans baggage on a conveyor belt, often revealing what peculiar contents are inside each bag.

The original Star Tours attraction has been overhauled to include not one, but ten different flights with ten different RX droid pilots. Though only six StarSpeeder cabins exist (seating forty guests each), each time we board Star Tours leads to a randomized flight sequence, destination and pilot - in HD-3D. "Solar glasses" protect our eyes from the possibility of toxic solar radiation. There is no telling where our StarSpeeder 3000 is headed - it's by will of the Force.

The possible ride scenarios include:

1. Endor, led by rookie pilot Rex. This is the original attraction, completely remastered to feature a First Order Starkiller Base rather than an Imperial Death Star. The original soundtrack, R2-D2, and performance by Paul Reubens are retained.

Tatooine, led by veteran pilot Sal. Our StarSpeeder launches into hyperspace and lands on the desert world of Tatooine, right in the midst of an exhilarating podrace. The elderly Sebulba, still embittered from his loss to Anakin, rams our ship, sending us flying into the presumably empty lair of a Krayt Dragon. Scavenger Jawas immediately begin to salvage our wreck, before being scared off by a thunderous roar. A massive Krayt Dragon awakens and gives chase, resulting in our crash escape through a Hutt-led crime battle in the Outer Rim star system, and our eventual return to Batuu.

3. Mustafar, led by female pilot Jen. Jen's bumbling navigator, BB-05, unintentionally transports our Speeder to the volcanic world of Mustafar rather than the desired Bespin. A volcanic eruption, "lava-surfing" and concourse through a mining operation culminate in an accidental exploration of Darth Vader's abandoned castle, currently being investigated by Kylo Ren. Kylo gives chase, resulting in a lava-borne dogfight and emergency return to Batuu.

4. Hoth, led by Edd, a veteran droid of the Galactic Civil War. Though our flight is intended for Toydaria, Edd decides to take us to Hoth and revisit the famed Echo Base of the Rebellion. Instead, we stumble upon a battle between the Resistance and the First Order. AT-AT walkers join the larger First Order AT-HH walkers, while Resistance Snowspeeders battle on. An unintentional sledding trip (in which our Speeder is temporarily tethered and pulled by Tauntauns) leads into the dangerous ice caverns of Hoth, climaxing in an encounter with a Wampa snow monster family. We escape and return to Batuu.

5. Naboo, led by the elderly Mac. Mac and his navigator, R1-99, have poor communication, and miss our landing in Naboo, rather diving underwater toward the Gungan city of Otoh Gunga. After mistakenly ramming into an aging Jar Jar, horrible sea monsters give pursuit, nearly swallowing our Speeder. An emergency return to the surface launches us into Naboo's atmosphere, right in the midst of a battle between Naboo Starfighters and the First Order. General Hux recognizes our ship to contain a Resistance Spy (a random guest photographed early in the ride) and demands our surrender. We escape to Batuu, but not before destroying a First Order Star Destroyer.

6. Coruscant, led by the "hip and edgy" DJJ. DJJ happens to be an actual DJ, and is only doing this "StarSpeeder gig" as a side hustle for his music career. In fact, he's going to be late to his gig on Coruscant. So, instead of our intended destination of Rodia, we hastily travel to Coruscant and careen through the bright lights and traffic of the city's underside. It turns out, we have a Resistance spy on board (again, a random guest), and First Order forces are aware of our presence. They have enlisted several bounty hunters to catch us. DJJ misses his gig, but safely returns the spy to Batuu, but not before some serious danger in the skies above Coruscant.

7. Kashyyyk, led by another female pilot Ann. The Wookiee planet is in the midst of a hostile takeover by the First Order. Fortunately, our StarSpeeder 3000 can help save the day. After a speeder bike chase in the forest and crash-course through Wookiee settlements, we receive a transmission from Poe Dameron - Resistance backup is coming! An incredible forest battle ensues between the First Order and the Resistance, resulting in the freedom of the Wookiees and a personalized thank you from Chewbacca. We return to Batuu safely.

8. Geonosis, led by a sleep-deprived pilot named Sam. Sam hasn't had routine maintenance in some time, and has the nasty habit of "falling asleep" at the controls. On our way to Geonosis, Sam knocks out, leaving our navigator, BB-02, to take command. After near-destruction in the asteroid belt of Geonosis, we crash-land our badly damaged Speeder inside the old Droid Factory of the Trade Federation. Sam awakens, only to mistakenly hit the laser cannons, subsequently firing and restarting some machinery. Immediately, production begins on new Battle Droids, and our immobile Speeder is caught on a conveyor belt. Fortunately, BB-02 reboots our craft, and we escape destruction in time. By now, the new Battle Droids are complete and have cornered our ship, mistaking us for "Jedi scum." They open fire, only for their outdated weaponry to send us blasting backward and back on track to Batuu.

Canto Bight, led by a gambling pilot named Red. Red is thrilled to return to his favorite world, Canto Bight. Upon our smooth arrival, it appears the planet is still in the midst of chaos following Finn and Rose's daring release of the captive Fathiers. After parking illegally on the beach (in which we are shooed away by a resident), we get sand in our thrusters and can't seem to regain a comfortable height. We instead crash right into the casino, causing complete havoc and destruction throughout. We then race alongside a number of escaped Fathiers in the wild before returning to the stars and getting caught in a tractor beam. Our captor is none other than King Prana, the crime lord who enlisted Han Solo to deliver him Rathtars in The Force Awakens. Prana mistakes our Speeder for one of his own smugglers. Red fires his cannons to release a number of captured Rathtars in the hold of Prana's ship and a madcap escape ensues. Do we return to Batuu? Of course.

10. Exegol. Like the original flight to Endor, we never make it onto Exegol. In fact, our pilot Rob never intended for our flight to come here - our navigator, BB-19, was a spy for the First Order, and realized that there is a possible Jedi Knight on board (again, a random guest). Rob has to overpower BB-19 and take command to navigate our tour through a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Kylo Ren is right on our tail, and dark visions from the presumed to be dead Emperor Palpatine intersperse our harrowing adventure. We return safely to Batuu.

The randomized selection of which RX-pilot and destination we receive is determined by a specialized computer. Each cabin and RX droid are built entirely the same. Each Audio-Animatronics figure is programmed to maintain any of the ten distinct pilots and personalities at the drop of a signal. This provides for ultimate re-ridability. Each ride sequence totals 4:40, the same length as the original attraction.


The Black Spire Marketplace is an eclectic bazaar reminiscent of the real-world Middle East and South Asia. The open-air shops and eateries are all of a unique and exotic flavor.

As we wander the market, we follow the intoxicating scent of grilled meat wafting through the air.
Ronto Roasters is a favorite stop for crews preparing for their next mission. Inside, spot the hanging podracer engine heating up a spit of meats. A pitmaster droid turns the mechanical spit, grilling a large side of ronto - a massive beast native to Tatooine. The colorful Kat Saka's Kettle is an eclectic snack shop, where grains from all over the galaxy are on display. Order a generous, piping-hot helping of this popular and flavorful local specialty popcorn and enjoy it in our exploration of the marketplace.

Shopping for your next excursion through the Outer Rim? Need a new robe to greet the ambassador of your home planet, or just want to pick up some casual garb to blend in with the locals? Then Black Spire Outfitters is the shop for you. No galactic traveler should return home empty-handed. Here in this humble, jumbled shop called Toydarian Toymaker, we'll find all manner of artisanal playthings and collectibles handmade by the grotesque toymaker, Zabaka the Toydarian. Her fantastical storefront is cluttered with crates of toymaking supplies and other works in progress - including a tauntaun rocking horse. Zabaka's silhouette is often visible through the frosted back window of her workshop as she flits around crafting Wookiee dolls and classic games like chance cubes and sabacc. At the exotic Creature Stall, you’re free to explore as you peek into cages and crates filled with hard-to-find fuzzballs from across the galaxy. Bina, the stall’s proprietor, scours star systems to keep this storefront stocked with unique companions for her customers. Marvel at a large collection of cackling Kowakian monkey-lizards, the rambunctious pets popular with shadowy underworld figures—including Hutts. Most of the creatures here are available for purchase (restrictions may apply to rathtars).

On the outskirts of town is a sight yet unheard of in the Star Wars Canon - the Batuu Jedi Temple. This long-since abandoned remnant of the Jedi Order is no longer accessible to mere travelers as ourselves. Now, only the highest point of the temple remains, the rest left sunken and forgotten beneath the forest-floor. Driven by the onslaught of the First Order and former Galactic Empire, the surviving Jedi now use the hallowed ruins for remote training. Brave Jedi Knights have assembled Force-sensitive children from throughout the galaxy. These fearless young recruits will learn how to wield lightsabers - and feel the Force in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. But beware: horrific visions of Darth Maul, Darth Vader and Kylo Ren plague this ancient site... Also on the outskirts of town...

A group known as the "Gatherers" usher us into a convert workshop packed with unusual parts, whimsical pieces and miscellaneous memorabilia collected from the wrecked Jedi Temple and other far reaches of the galaxy.

Under their guidance, you can construct your very own lightsaber and bring it to life through the power of kyber crystals in Savi's Workshop. Builders beware - you must protect the shop's secrecy to avoid being discovered by the First Order!

Once your lightsaber is complete (purchase required!), you'll be ready to embark on incredible new adventures - from the far reaches of Wild Space to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge!

The wilderness outside Black Spire Outpost is teaming with life and substance. Unusual creature and droid-tracks scar the mud-hardened traveler's road. Peculiar sounds and mating calls fill the towering trees and alien underbrush. Broken-down droids and forgotten parts litter the sides of the beaten path. And, perhaps most notably, the proud craft of Resistance fighters, including a life-size X-Wing, have docked for safety in this hidden oasis.

Chewbacca, Rey and other members of the Resistance have established a base camp in the Batuu forest. The First Order wouldn't dare comb these untamed wilds... Rendezvous with other Resistance allies in a forested area near the ancient Jedi ruins. There, members of the Resistance have set up a secret makeshift post at Resistance Supply. We can stock up on essential gear and supplies so we are better prepared for the star attraction of Galaxy's Edge...

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a massive attraction with multiple ride systems that is unlike anything else ever experienced before at the Disneyland Resort.

The Resistance needs our help! Hidden in the forest outside Black Spire Outpost, Rey and the Resistance are gathering recruits for a secret mission.

With the First Order desperate to extinguish the spark of Rebellion, the mission is bound to have unexpected twists and turns. When our transport is abducted by an imposing Star Destroyer filled with legions of stormtroopers - and Kylo Ren - we'll need all the help we can get. Fortunately, a covert team of Resistance fighters - including Poe Dameron and BB-8 - is at the ready to give us a fighting chance at escape...and a chance for the Resistance to rise.

FINALLY DONE. Phew. This took me an entire day to compose. I hope you all enjoy!


Well-Known Member
5. Naboo, led by the elderly Mac. Mac and his navigator, R1-99, have poor communication, and miss our landing in Naboo, rather diving underwater toward the Gungan city of Otoh Gunga.
So that's what this ending shot meant.
Took them long enough.
After "mistakenly" ramming into an aging Jar Jar, horrible sea monsters give pursuit, nearly swallowing our Speeder.
Fixed it for you. ;)


Well-Known Member
Cool so the Millennium Falcon Smuggler Run be in this, and does Batuu or any attraction has a connection to the Disney+ series The Mandalorian?


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It's time for this week's post! Boy, it's a big one.

I have to assume by now that we have finally moved to Page 2. So, if you have not visited the rest of Mirror Disneyland yet, please do so now back on Page 1. If you have already, let's move right along from a galaxy far, far away to the American Frontier a century ago.

@DisneyManOne, it's safe to look now!

Fantasyland will be next week!




"All of us have cause to be proud of our country's history, shaped by the pioneering spirit of our forefathers. It is to those hardy pioneers, men of vision, faith and courage, that we have dedicated Frontierland. Here you can return to frontier America, from the Revolutionary War era to the final taming of the great Southwest. Our adventures are designed to give you the feeling of having lived, even for a short while, during our country's pioneer days."
- Walt Disney

The expansion westward through the North American continent was not only the stuff of history, but for the audiences of the mid-twentieth century, it was as if a great legendary mythology was as recent and real as your grandfather's tintype. American literature, pulp fiction, motion pictures, and early television capitalized on the public's familiarity with (and proprietary feelings for) the stories of "how the West was won," and Walt Disney realized it was a required experience in his new amusement endeavor.

The American West was a key element of Walt Disney's childhood. Born in Missouri in 1901, and raised in Chicago and Kansas City, Walt was only a generation away from the pioneering westward movement, Mark Twain's Mississippi, and the dominance of the railroad and riverboat. His pride in being an American was a reflection of his generation, and he was confident that others were as interested in and excited about seeing these representations of the recent past as he was in building them. A construction supervisor recalls Walt's glow of pride as water flowed into the Rivers of America for the first time, and his feeling of desperation as it promptly disappeared into the sandy soil of the former orange grove. After some experimenting, clay soil was finally trucked in to "waterproof" the leaking riverbed.

In Frontierland, the original Imagineers have built a colorful land in celebration of our American forefathers, rich frontier heritage, and the romance and allure of Manifest Destiny. Here, the United States during the era when it was still a floundering young nation has been recreated and preserved for all generations to appreciate. In this historical land of both fact and fiction, wooded natural surroundings transition into a rustic frontier town that is still in operation. There are the flags of the original 13 colonies flying proudly over the log-walled stockade entrance to the land. A small encampment of Plains Indians lies in the shadow of the great fortress, its inhabitants' docked canoes poised for an adventure that will happen just out of sight and mind...

The stockade entrance to Frontierland is styled after a 19th Century U.S. Calvary fortress, as often found through the American Southwest in the days of our Manifest Destiny. Just inside this log portal flies the American flag with its original field of 13 stars. We have been whisked from the modern day and taken back to the dust-swept, horseshoe-scarred streets of a western settlement, circa 1871. The orchestral theme of a Hollywood Western fills the air. Wooden sidewalks lead to the entrance of bustling frontier stores, where settlers can purchase a complete line of woolen goods, lady's apparel, and souvenirs.


Walt wanted Disneyland visitors to see deep, dimensional vistas that would make the park seem boundless, and draw them in to explore. Here the personal interplay is in the foreground; at mid-ground the ramparts of the Frontierland settlement frame the departing Mark Twain, steaming into the infinite distance. A cigar store Indian Chief stands guard from a shaded porch - weary travelers seek refuge in quaint rocking chairs - wanted posters and aged advertisements line the sand-kissed facades and signposts, pulling our adventurous spirit deeper into this romanticized vision of a bygone era.

Marked by a rooftop laden with antlers, an old seller's trick to attract business, the General Store is our "go-to" for any and all souvenirs of the Old West, from hard candies and pop-guns to coonskin hats and sarsaparilla. The Yensid Hotel and Buzzard Bathhouse (where "baths cost 5 cents"!) are a clever guise for a restroom facility. Westward Ho! Clothing Co. is Disneyland's leading purveyor in western-wear: cowboy hats, boots, spats and jeans. The grim T. Ravenscroft, Undertaker might be a false facade, but the upright coffin out front offers the photo opportunity of an afterlife-time.

In the early 1990s, Imagineer Bob Baranick convinced Disneyland to purchase an antique hearse from a local dealer for use in a proposed Young Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. When plans for the show were eliminated, Bob proposed placing the hearse near the Haunted Mansion, but Tony Baxter, Disneyland's creative lead at the time, countered that a hearse would seem better suited near the false facade for T. Ravenscroft, Undertaker. Inspired by the wildly popular "invisible dogs on a leash" that were sold at the park, Tony proposed hitching the hearse to a phantom horse. This appropriate photo op made its debut in September 1995 and has been delighting macabre visitors ever since.

The Assay Office, as history goes, was an important part in every western mining colony. Here the ore is sampled and assayed, and fortunes were either made or lost on the results. The assayer would determine the amount of gold in a single ounce of the sample brought to him. Frontierland's Assay Office, however, is used nowadays as a trading post for pin trading.

Walt Disney and his friend Walter Knott, founder of neighbor Knott's Berry Farm Park, maintained a friendship well into the construction of Disneyland from 1954 - 1955. It was Walter Knott, in fact, who suggested to Walt the idea of including a detail he had introduced to his Ghost Town in 1940: "Peek-Ins." Peek-Ins, as defined by Knott's Berry Farm: The Early Years, are "hand-carved wooden figures posing in various scenes." Walt was so smitten with the idea that he commissioned Andy Anderson, the man who carved Peek-Ins for Knott's, to carve and design three new Peek-Ins for his Frontierland. Thus, Knott's and Disneyland would forever share an iconic attribute of the Old West: visual humor.

In the Sheriff's Office, the lazy "Sheriff Jack" sits fast asleep, unaware that the villainous Injun Joe of Tom Sawyer is about to make his escape via dynamite. In the Jailhouse, Black-Eyed Pete, notorious outlaw and all-around meanie, is holding a poker tournament with a duo of skeletons, the jail's prior but since forgotten occupants. In the only direct lift from Knott's Berry Farm, the Barber Shop has a remarkable gag in which the befuddled barber has a sudden realization - the rough customer in his chair is the same criminal described in a wanted poster on the wall...

Disneyland's longest-running show, the Golden Horseshoe Revue, has been a popular "hitching post" for audiences since Disneyland's Opening Day. With five shows daily, it's little wonder that the Revue continues to hold its place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running show in history - with more than 43,000 performances as of 1986!

Before the main show begins, a "magic lantern" slide show offers a comical diversion as our server delivers hamburgers, french fries, ice-cold Coca Cola and other non-alcoholic beverages. The original Revue starred Betty Taylor as Slue Foot Sue, Wally Boag as a comical traveling salesman (and Pecos Bill), and Donald Novis as the genial "silver-toned" Irish tenor. This family-friendly show also includes, to this day, a number of beautiful Can-Can dancers and occasional Guest Stars. This show was a favorite of Walt's, as he would often watch from one of the private boxes next to the stage.

The Golden Horseshoe Saloon was famously modeled after the saloon featured in the Warner Bros. film Calamity Jane. Ironically, Harper Goff had designed the "Golden Garter Saloon" for Calamity Jane in the early 1950s. By 1954, construction began on the Golden Horseshoe, which would, at Harper Goff and Walt Disney's agreement, be a near-exact recreation of the Golden Garter Saloon featured in Calamity Jane.

The Silver Banjo Barbecue is located right next door to the Golden Horseshoe Saloon. Don DeFore, star of the silver screen, acted as proprietor from 1957 to 1961. In Disneyland, Don DeFore's Silver Banjo Barbecue officially opened in 1957. After Don DeFore's departure, it simply became known as...the Silver Banjo Barbecue. Today, the Silver Banjo Barbecue is sponsored by Famous Dave's, a popular barbecue restaurant chain in the United States.

"Welcome to
The Biggest
Little Boom Town
In the West
Pop. 2,015 - 247 - 88 - 38
Elevation 135 FT.


In January of 1977, the two-acre "Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland" attraction began an incredible metamorphosis.

A new panorama of towering rock formations was "appearing" on the western horizon of Frontierland - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was moving in!

Big Thunder was a "mountainous" project; over seven years of planning, two years of construction and $15.8 million were required to bring this thrilling new adventure to reality. As the "mountain" began to grow, plaster and paint were added to create "rocks" and "boulders." Huge cranes were used to hoist the complete upper buttes (weighing up to 28 tons) into position atop the massive steel framework. The newly constructed "old" buildings and varied rock formations were given a timeworn appearance by craftsmen called "agers and grainers." Their artistry, combined with authentic mining artifacts and themed landscaping, recreated the atmosphere of the Old West a century ago. Tony Baxter was captivated by the scenery of Bryce Canyon National Park in Southern Utah, and based his first designs for what would become Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to resemble the park's "hoodoos," whimsical formations created by erosion of Claron limestone, sandstone, and mudstone into spires, pinnacles, and mazes.

In September 1979, the gold rush era was reborn in Frontierland, as Big Thunder's mine trains began carrying passengers into the rugged landscapes of the Old West - through foreboding caverns, raging waterfalls, and even an "earthquake" that caused an "avalanche"!

"The Miner Details of Big Thunder"
A Story from Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad dates back to the wild and woolly boom town days when every prospector west of the Rockies was looking for gold. The following is the tall tale heard tell by one of those prospectors who got it second-hand from old Sam, the last of the Big Thunder Miners:

Yessir, it is 1840, and around these parts, things got prit' near quiet as the hangin' tree on Sunday after the Big Thunder Mine tapped out. One day there ain't none richer, the next, even a ghost wouldn't have much interest in her.

Things got mighty busted up and rusted down inside Big Thunder, so Sam told me while sluggin' from a dusty bottle of Old Imagineer. He was the last prospector inside that mine. Fact is, poor old Sam took a spill and done landed belly up in one of them ore cars. Next thing he knows, the car takes off like a skinny coyote after a plump hen!

Off he went, a headin' fer the mine. Seems like that old ghost mine came to life for Sam. He swears the rusted winch engine was a pumpin' and a wheezin' and just when he was thinkin' he must have bats in his belfry, there was bats! Then he sat up to see what he could see in the dark, and there was pools of rainbow water and waterfalls, and plenty of them rocks the schoolmarm calls "stalactites and stalagmites."

The walls of the canyon kept comin' in closer and closer at old Sam and he yelled until he couldn't yell no more. All of a sudden, the car thunders into a pitch dark tunnel, with Sam holdin' on fer dear life. Comin' back out the other side, he spots a couple a danged skunks foolin' with blastin' powder, like to blow the top off a whole derned mountain! Little ways away, danged if'n there ain't a Billy goat chawin' on a stick of the stuff! But Sam didn't have no time to worry about that, 'cuz next thing he knows he's whippin' down Spiral Butte and headin' right back down into Big Thunder Mine. Sam figgered he was goin' in and never comin' out this time, with all that rumblin' and shakin' and rocks comin' down all around him. He closed his eyes tight but the next thing ya know he was outside and high-ballin' down on the track again, right over the Bear River Trestle Bridge.

That ore car finally squealed to a stop right smack dab in the middle of Big Thunder Town. Sam just sat up, brushed off the dust and said, "I ain't had this much of a whoop and a holler since the Grub Gang hit town. I just barely got out with my hide!"

Sam's amazing ghost story was told and retold over the years, and because of it, no one was ever brave enough to even set foot near the mine - until the day a bold young Imagineer heard the tale and thought it might be fun to take a ride on old Big Thunder himself. Sure enough, he did, and the train ride turned out to be so much fun he decided to officially re-open the mine. Folks soon heard the news about Big Thunder and began to arrive there to take their own wild ride on the legendary runaway train.


Color is as important a design element as architecture in communicating an effective sense of place. "Like music, color is one of the great joys in life," Imagineer John Hench wrote. "We know that color is a direct experience: people see color, and they feel color's emotional effects. What really matters for us is that color provides an extraordinary expressive means for communicating ideas."

The Mark Twain Riverboat arrives at the Frontierland Dock. The Mark Twain is an authentic reproduction of the historic vessels that ferried people up and down the mighty Mississippi River. A working steam engine converts the water from the Rivers of America into steam that in turn powers the large paddle that propels the boat. The 28-foot tall riverboat is comprised of 4 pristine decks:

- Pilothouse, also known as the top deck, features the wheelhouse and Captain's Quarters
- Promenade Deck includes a salon and a collection of vintage photos and maps
- Texas (or Sun) Deck is the ideal place to enjoy the outdoors as you float down the river
- Main Deck includes the boiler and pistons that run the paddle-wheel

Disneyland's Mark Twain is one of the few Opening Day attractions still being enjoyed by visitors today. Walt named the Mark Twain after the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. The famed author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - and Walt's personal hero - Clemens was also a riverboat pilot as a young man. The 105-foot long, 150-ton sternwheeler was transported to Disneyland and assembled at its own dry dock on the Rivers of America. The ship's hull was constructed at a Long Beach shipyard, while the body was built at the Disney Studio.

A full-scale replica of the first ship to carry the American flag around the world, Disneyland's Sailing Ship Columbia was christened July 14, 1958. The ten-gun, three-masted ship was designed from plans and photographs supplied by historical and governmental groups. With the exception of its hull (which was also trucked in from a Long Beach shipyard), the proud windjammer was constructed entirely at Disneyland. The Columbia's creation was the result of a conversation between Walt and the manager of Frontierland, as they were casually observing the water traffic on the Rivers of America - the Mark Twain, two Mike Fink Keel Boats, two Tom Sawyer Island Rafts, and three "Indian War Canoes." "Look at that," Walt remarked to his companion. "Now there's a busy river." The other man expected him to complain about the congestion. Instead, Walt continued, "What we need is another BIG boat!"

Music has always been a pivotal atmospheric element of the sightseeing excursion. The Disneyland Band has been performing live on the bow of the Mark Twain since Opening Day in 1955, and the tradition continues to this day, often marching over from Main Street, U.S.A. for a concert aboard the steamship. 1961 celebrated the second anniversary of "Dixieland at Disneyland," a musical spectacular upon the waters of Frontierland. To introduce the talents of over 50 jazz musicians, "Satchmo" Louis Armstrong led the production from a raft especially constructed for the occasion. Disneyland featured its own "house" Dixieland bands at the river show, which included the Firehouse Five Plus Two, the Disneyland Strawhatters and the Young Men from New Orleans. The "Young Men" featured vocalist Monette Moore and a quintet of veteran jazz players; Joe Darensbourg, clarinet - Johnny St. Cyr, banjo - piano man Harvey Brooks - drummer Alton Redd and trumpeter Mike Delay. By contrast to the experienced musicians playing at the park in 1961, a new group of "unknowns" made their professional debut at the now defunct Carnation Gardens...the Osmonds.


In 1956, the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train wound its way through rocky, desert landscapes filled with cacti and precariously balanced boulders. The climax of the adventure was the multi-hued waterfalls cascading through Rainbow Caverns. Based on Walt's True-Life Adventure films, the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland brought a spectacular overhaul to the former Rainbow Caverns Mine Train. The attraction featured a "cast" of more than 200 animated birds, reptiles, beavers, deer, bears, and other animals. After more than a year and a half in development, the popular adventure opened in 1960. It included the spouting "Old Unfaithful" geyser and the spectacular, phosphorescent waterfalls of Rainbow Caverns.

The Mine Train closed in January of 1977 for the construction of Big Thunder. The time had come to replace the old mine train with a thrilling and different kind of mine train. However, much of the detail and atmosphere from the original Nature's Wonderland was retained in both Frontierland and the Rivers of America. Cascade Peak, a rugged mountain with several large waterfalls, has survived well into today. Many of the Audio-Animatronics animals found new residence along the tracks of Big Thunder Mountain and the Rivers of America.

Tom Sawyer Island opened to the public in 1956, and was dedicated by Walt and two youngsters from Hannibal, Mo., representing (who else?) Becky Thatcher and Tom Sawyer. The island, the only attraction designed entirely by Walt Disney, is a reflection of the world Twain conjured in his stories. Days before construction began, Walt took the plans home and re-imagined the design, creating the inlets, coves and atmosphere as they are today. The island is filled with suspension bridges to cross, tree houses and rocks to climb, trails to survey, caves to explore, and an authentic replication of a frontier log fort: Fort Wilderness. Fort Wilderness was constructed from logs hewed by hand and trucked in from nearby mountains. The timber was floated across the Rivers of America and hoisted up to dry land, where it was assembled to create the realistic 19th century army fort. The fort stands perched on a lookout hill with a view of both the island interior and the river bend, which heightened its realism and sense of place.

By early 2000, Team Disney Anaheim had determined Frontierland's Mexican restaurant, "Casa Mexicana," the former "Casa de Fritos," to be a redundant and under-performing slice of real estate. Walt's Magic Kingdom had seen a spike in attendance with the addition of WESTCOT Center in the previous decade, and a desire for a new attraction to soothe the attendance boom was prevalent. 2000 also marked the year Paul Pressler, former head of Disney Consumer Products, was appointed Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Pressler was notorious for being big on cost-cutting and little on thematic ingenuity. Pressler's brand of "creativity" instilled reduced attraction hours, Cast Members having to wash their own uniforms, and merchandise, merchandise, merchandise. Seeing that WESTCOT had an entire area dedicated to Latin American cuisine and culture, Pressler's solution to this redundancy with Casa Mexicana was a colorful band-aid, one in which remains today: Woody's Roundup, an attraction built to move merchandise.

Based on Toy Story 2, released the previous year in 1999, Woody's Roundup is a literal spin on the old carnival standby: the whip ride, a fast-moving turn-table originally designed for Coney Island, New York. Woody's Roundup, with its whimsical western backdrop and multitude of technicolor "toy" ponies, is hosted by Sheriff Woody and Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl. Andy has set up one of his favorite playsets, a western town and stable. But when his mom told him it was time to leave for Cowboy Camp, Woody and Jessie came to life, wasting no time in letting all the toy ponies out to pasture. After hitching the ponies to carts, the wild duo began welcoming passers-by to take a tune-filled spin and "do-si-do" around Andy's backyard. A toy radio plays such finger-snapping selections as "Woody's Finest Musical Hour" and "You've Got a Friend in Me." The hoof-tappin' hoedown begins as the ponies enjoy a square dance, swinging their carts - with us inside - to the sound of the downhome, country-flavored melodies.

In 2010, Tom Staggs became Chairman. Staggs sought to reverse the cost-cutting measures and poor management instilled on the Parks and Resorts in the prior decade. One such reversal - a complete redesign of the out-of-place Woody's Roundup attraction.

The colorful, toy-like western town was swapped for a more realistic and aged appearance, similar to the rest of Frontierland. The toy ponies, Woody and Jessie remained, but all reference to the attraction being set in Andy's backyard was removed. The new story, appropriately, would reset the attraction into a romanticized vision of the Old West. The Woody and Jessie found here were merely "stylized" versions of the "real-life" Woody and Jessie. So, despite their appearance being taken directly from the films, it was now assumed that the Woody and Jessie featured in the attraction were "real western icons" in which the toys we know were based on. Woody's Roundup has since become one of Frontierland's most popular attractions.

The "Al's Toy Barn" gift shop, built at the exit of Woody's Roundup in 2000, was notorious for hosting an out-of-place meet 'n' greet with Buzz Lightyear. In 2010, Al's Toy Barn became just the Toy Barn and lost Buzz, strictly featuring a realistic western theme.

When Walt Disney World opened in 1971, guests were astonished at the omission of Pirates of the Caribbean. The Imagineers had no interest in repeating their former success, and had planned to outdo Pirates with Western River Expedition, an Audio-Animatronics extravaganza that would out-dazzle the Caribbean boat ride in every respect. The water ride was to be the centerpiece of Thunder Mesa, an expansive show complex that would also house hiking trails and pack-mule rides, and a runaway mine train down its hills and through its valleys. "Western River" would be a wild and woolly musical adventure starring cowboys and Indians, masked banditos, and high-kicking cancan dancers, culminating with a raging forest fire and a final, dizzying plunge down a waterfall and into the Rivers of America. Marc Davis's theme park magnum opus would be complete by 1976, just in time for the resort's fifth anniversary and the nation's Bicentennial.

However, Roy O. Disney, Marc's biggest cheerleader for the project, had passed away in late 1971. Roy's replacement, Card Walker, made it his top priority to bring a smaller version of Pirates to the Florida Park. The Imagineers tried to sell him on what they considered would be the next generation of "E-Ticket" attraction, but the new CEO would hear none of it. Pirates opened in Walt Disney World's Adventureland in 1973. Western River would now seem redundant with the addition of Pirates. Even worse, Thunder Mesa would cost an astronomical $60 million to build. The energy crisis of the 1970s had wreaked havoc on the travel industry. Further complicating matters, concern was expressed over Marc's portrayal of Native Americans, which were decidedly cartoonish and not at all politically correct, even for the far-more-politically-incorrect '70s. Western River was abandoned - dead in the water.

Test Track, a high-speed "giant slot car" attraction, opened at EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort on March 17, 1999. The highlight of the Future World attraction was (and still is) a speed trial on a track around the exterior of the show building at a top speed of 64.9 miles per hour, making it the fastest Disney Attraction ever built. The innovative ride system was a huge win for the Imagineers. Their spectacular invention would allow a number of attractions to be built that were previously thought impossible, including "Journey to the Center of the Earth," a Jules Verne-inspired thrill ride later built at Tokyo DisneySea in 2001. One Imagineer, however, felt as if now, more than ever, would be the perfect opportunity to make amends with an old friend and mentor. Tony Baxter, wishing to right a wrong, successfully found means to introduce Western River Expedition to Walt's Disneyland.

On July 4, 2005, the same month and year of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary, Frontierland and its Rivers of America fell under the shadow of an immense rock-wall, something like Big Thunder Mountain, but much taller, wider and more dense, a panoramic backdrop for the whole of Frontierland. This is, of course, the soaring silhouette of Thunder Mesa. Guests approach Thunder Mesa from the south and enter the maw of an abandoned mine shaft labeled "Thunder Mesa Expedition," the new title of Marc Davis's legendary attraction.

Tony Baxter and his team carefully looked into Marc's original drawings and concepts for the attraction. In fact, the attraction, built in celebration of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary, would be as close to Marc's vision as possible, save for a few new additions and required edits.

First, the boat ride and climactic waterfall were eliminated, deemed redundant with the nearby Splash Mountain and Pirates. Instead, the ride would utilize rustic "wagons" in emulation of those once used by American settlers. The wagons operate on a ride system "borrowed" from Test Track - a "giant slot car" of sorts.

Second, the Thunder Mesa complex would be sized down and would only feature Thunder Mesa Expedition - no other attractions.

Third, the negative portrayal of Native Americans was almost entirely eliminated. Marc's "Rain Dance" scene was replaced with a dramatic and supernatural earthquake that occurred while riders traveled through Boot Hill, a western cemetery. In a moment of pure fantasy, skeletal cowpoke would arise from their crypts and give chase, sending the wagons flying off-course and into a raging forest fire. Masked banditos would see to a climactic finale in which riders would be sent careening down the slope of Thunder Mesa and through a series of narrow canyons and buttes, similar with Tokyo's Journey to the Center of the Earth. The ride's finale would also see to a fantastic new scene not designed by Marc Davis. Surely, Marc's beloved (but revised) Western River Expedition would go on to become one of Disneyland's most beloved and time-honored attractions.

Winding tunnels and abandoned mines of the Thunder Mesa Mining Operation open into a surreal canyon under the veil of twilight. From aboard our wagon, we embark on a spellbinding adventure beneath the stars, where clouds and constellations in the shape of western icons float past. Hoot Gibson, a nosy owl, is our narrator as we drift through a cowboy encampment at sunset. Singing cattle, cacti and cowpoke transition into a stagecoach robbery at high noon, where masked banditos and their masked horses take aim at their horrified hostages. We next roll into the mining town of Dry Gulch, where boisterous cowboys, dancing showgirls, disapproving townsfolk, and vile outlaws take the night by storm.

A tour of Boot Hill, the local cemetery, goes awry when our wagon relives a fateful earthquake which awakens the deceased of Dry Gulch. The undead give pursuit. A wildfire engulfs a surrounding pine forest, sending our wagon uphill and into further danger - the banditos have returned, and this time we're the hostages. Amid the crackle of lightning and gargantuan flames, we narrowly escape via Thunder Mesa's immense slopes - an 80-foot drop and race through dangerous canyons and caves below.

The adventure concludes as we see to the arrest of the banditos at the hands of the sheriff. The criminals are shipped away via steam engine to parts unknown while all the townsfolk gather in joyous song, a fitting finale to our western expedition.

Big Thunder Ranch, which remained open alongside Thunder Mesa Expedition, closed in early 2016. By 2019, both Folktale Forest and Thunder Mesa would have a lot more traffic in their proximity. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge had opened just behind Frontierland, and fortunately, Thunder Mesa Expedition remained untouched, though, less could be said for a beautiful redesign of the Rivers of America. The modern classic would go on to welcome even more passengers than it ever had before, and Disneyland remains the only Disney Park today to feature Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion and Thunder Mesa Expedition all behind one gate - the Marc Davis Trifecta.

As the Summer Season dawns on the Disneyland Resort, the Rivers of America are magically transformed into an amazing celebration of imagination, hopes and dreams. The incredible world of Mickey Mouse's imagination comes to life in Fantasmic!, an extravagant nighttime pageant as viewed from the streets of Frontierland and New Orleans Square. Tom Sawyer Island is the thematic stage for this timeless clash between good and evil, which uses state-of-the-art lasers, projection mapping, mist-screens, pyrotechnics, and extraordinary projection mapping to make the story come to life.

In Mickey's dream, we witness the forces of good and evil engaged in conflict, where Pink Elephants, Heffalumps & Woozles, singing Genies, swashbuckling pirates, and Disney Princesses more surprisingly appear on and around the Rivers of America. When Mickey is pulled into the Magic Mirror, the forces of evil are awakened as the Queen of Snow White calls upon some of Disney's most dastardly Villains - Ursula, Oogie Boogie, Dr. Facilier, Chernabog, and Maleficent, the latter who transforms herself into a 45-foot, fire-breathing dragon!

"Welcome to Fantasmic! Tonight, our friend and host, Mickey Mouse, uses his vivid imagination to create magical imagery for all to enjoy. Nothing is more wonderful than the imagination—for in a moment, you can experience a beautiful fantasy or an exciting adventure! But beware… nothing is more powerful than the imagination—for it can also expand your greatest fears into an overwhelming nightmare. Are the powers of Mickey’s incredible imagination strong enough and bright enough to withstand the evil forces that invade Mickey’s dream? You are about to find out. For we now invite you to join Mickey and experience Fantasmic!—a journey beyond your wildest imagination."



Well-Known Member
It looks good, but with Oogie just a personal opinion I would replace him with Rasputin from the animated film Anastasia with a rendition of in the dark of the night as he shares his plans to torture Mickey before it switches to Dr.Facilier. Just a personal opinion.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster


"The Age of Chivalry, Magic, and Make-Believe Reborn"

Fantasyland was always portrayed as Walt's favorite, although much like children, no doubt he'd be hard pressed to pick a favored land in his Park.

Fantasyland, however, was the realm of his already-famous and most-beloved canon and characters, a land that Snow White, Peter Pan, Mr. Toad, and Alice (of Wonderland) might call home. Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald were also perfectly at home in the regal fairy tale and comfy storybook settings - created for this entertainment experience by many of the same men and women who had brought them to the movie screen.

"When we were planning Fantasyland," Walt Disney said, "we recalled the lyrics of the song 'When You Wish Upon a Star.' The words of the melody, from our picture 'Pinocchio,' inspired us to create this land. What youngster, listening to parents or grandparents read aloud, has not dreamed of flying with Peter Pan over moonlit London, or tumbling into Alice's nonsensical Wonderland? In Fantasyland, these classic stories of everyone's youth have become realities for youngsters - of all ages - to participate in."

The symbol of the Magic Kingdom is the enchanted Sleeping Beauty Castle, as previously explored on our tour of the Central Plaza. Sleeping Beauty Castle represents all that makes Disneyland the "Happiest Place on Earth." The 77-foot tall medieval castle serves as the gateway to a world of dreams and hopes. The drawbridge has only been lowered twice - once at the opening of the Park in 1955, and again in 1983 at the re-dedication of Fantasyland.

Eyvind Earle, the influential production designer of the animated Sleeping Beauty (1959) personally created several tableaux of the film's pivotal scenes for use in the original Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough, opened in April 1957. The attraction was closed on October 7, 2001. On July 17, 2008, it was announced that the attraction would reopen in the style of the original Earle dioramas, enhanced with technology previously unavailable in 1957. The renovation reopened on November 27, 2008. This iconic attraction features three-dimensional displays, sound and stunning special effects, and a final climactic scene where Maleficent transforms into a fire-breathing dragon.

When Disneyland opened in 1955, Fantasyland had just six attractions. For reasons of budget, schedule, and creative intent, the initial decor for the Fantasyland courtyard was that of a simple medieval tournament, with brightly colored awnings, tents and banners. From 1982 - 1983, the Fantasyland area was remodeled inside and out, and new exteriors reflecting the locale and era of the core attractions were built. On May 25, 1983, after a year and a half of reconstruction, the Land that best reflects the spirit of the classic Disney animated films reopened, with well over sixteen attractions in an all-new, Alpine-themed setting. Cobblestone pathways and colorful foliage reminiscent of the Black Forest put the finishing touches to Fantasyland's new Bavarian Village. Each attraction today sports a detailed, three-dimensional facade, while technological advances and stunning special effects combine for truly memorable fantasy-adventures.

When New Fantasyland premiered, a medieval court-inspired troupe known as the Make-Believe Brass began daily performances in the Castle Courtyard, and have remained a staple into today. The Make-Believe Brass is an underscore to the royal Sword in the Stone Ceremony, hosted by the sorcerer Merlin. The resting place of the legendary Excalibur, a literal "Sword in the Stone," is located in the heart of the courtyard. An inscription reads “WHOSO PULLETH OUT THIS SWORD OF THIS STONE AND ANVIL IS RIGHTWISE RULER BORN OF ENGLAND.” King Arthur has sought the clumsy counsel of Merlin in his search for a substitute King or Queen of England. Of course, the end result is often unexpected - or hilarious.

One of the original Opening Day attractions at Disneyland Park, the King Arthur Carrousel, is nestled in the idyllic heart of Fantasyland, a nod to the inspiration for Walt’s Park, the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round. Its prancing white steeds hearken back to the great charge of the legendary Knights of the Round Table and the heroic King Arthur of Camelot, whose famous Sword in the Stone is positioned in the carousel foreground. The historic attraction is surrounded by sculpted greenery, vibrant flowers and a soundtrack from its antique fairground organ, all in which set the stage for a cavalry of 68 ornately carved, hand-painted horses and chariots. From the surrounding statues of a “Dance of the Hours” (Fantasia) to the nine painted vignettes of Sleeping Beauty, each detail of the carousel is imbued with the spirit of Walt Disney's living masterpiece: Disneyland.

The King Arthur Carrousel and most of its horses date back more than 90 years. This regal masterpiece was handcrafted by the Dentzel Carousel Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and eventually found its way to Sunnyside Beach Park in Toronto, Canada in 1922. When Walt Disney first purchased the revolving menagerie from its location, it featured horses, giraffes, deer and other animals. He wanted everyone to ride a galloping horse like King Arthur, so additional antique horses were located and incorporated into the renovation.

The immediate courtyard behind the castle contains some of the only Fantasyland architecture that has remained untouched since Opening Day. Here we find a number of charming boutiques that specialize in what else, but Disney magic. The "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique" offers, with the wave of a wand, head-to-toe pampering suitable for even the most castle-worthy celebration, a royal transformation for everyday kids to turn into elegant princesses and shining knights. The Castle Heraldry Shoppe is Fantasyland's most "historic" establishment, a chance for us to investigate our family name and crest, and subsequently order an item with the crest on it, or simply purchase medieval merchandise: re-creation daggers, shields, swords and armor.

The stories of the Castle Courtyard are all of films released in the time of Walt himself. The nostalgia and detail of "Old" Fantasyland is reborn in this venerable celebration of Classic Disney, the true heart of a "Fairytale Renaissance" - four classic dark rides, two original, each of the six in representation of a different childhood emotion.

Strong villains have always been important in Disney storytelling. Walt Disney often said that a strong villain was the key reason a hero was interesting. "Until a character becomes personality, it cannot be believed. And without personality, a story cannot ring true to an audience." The Evil Queen peers down through the curtains of her ominous Gothic Tower, the foreboding, spine-tingling entrance to Snow White's Scary Adventures. The eerie manor still holds inside the frightening dungeon and laboratory of the Evil Queen.

A breathtaking, three-dimensional mural and diorama of the Seven Dwarfs' Cottage and the "Enchanted Forest" prelude the beauty, grandeur and magic of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. We then board a mine car, named for one of the Seven Dwarfs, for a harrowing adventure through the film's darkest and scariest moments. Fortunately, Snow White does receive her "Happily Ever After," though the same could not be said for the fate of the Wicked Witch... Snow White's Scary Adventures represents fear, a childhood staple.

The stately English home of the Banks Family at No. 17, Cherry Tree Lane is intertwined with a soaring "Big Ben" and the patchwork "rooftops" of London.

Jolly Holiday with Mary Poppins was introduced in 1983, a suited replacement for the former Fantasyland Theater. The unique dark ride brings us aboard a miniature carousel of sorts, one in which transports us inside one of Bert's chalk paintings and into the colorful, albeit peculiar world he has unintentionally designed. Our horse magically pulls off from the rest of the carousel and has us caught in the midst a wild horse race alongside barnyard animals, dancing penguins, and, of course, the Pearly Band with their beloved "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." An unexpected thunderstorm brings us to the rooftops of London ("Step in Time") and finally into a flock of soaring kites on a brilliant, windy day ("Let's Go Fly a Kite"). Jolly Holiday with Mary Poppins was the first Disney attraction based on Mary Poppins, and certainly wouldn't be the last. Jolly Holiday with Mary Poppins represents the music of our childhood.

A Swiss Chalet, across from the former Fantasyland Theater, and later Mary Poppins, was built for the Fantasyland terminus of a ride through the middle of a hollow Matterhorn and into the adjacent Tomorrowland. The old Skyway Buckets gave passengers a bird's eye view of the Park, soaring high above Fantasyland, through the cavity of the Matterhorn, and over Tomorrowland. The Skyway closed on November 9, 1994. There the old chalet sat empty for years, until in 2003, when something new opened inside...

Although Winnie the Pooh had been a popular character since the publication of Winnie the Pooh in 1926, and a Disney stalwart since Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree in 1966, he didn't make his debut in his own Disneyland attraction until the opening of Pooh's Hunny Hunt in 2003.

This attraction, the world's "first trackless dark ride," had previously premiered in Tokyo Disneyland on September 4, 2000. Its success there led WED to push Park Management to rehash the old Skyway Station and transform it into something spectacular, a West Coast version of the Japanese smash. Team Disney Anaheim agreed, and with a budget of over $130 million, Pooh's Hunny Hunt opened in the northwest "hills" of Fantasyland in the summer of 2003.

Pooh's Hunny Hunt represents imagination. Pooh Corner sits at the exit, a fitting merchandise cornucopia for all things Winnie the Pooh...and Tigger, too.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride represents fun. Guests embark on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride from Toad Hall, the country estate of J. Thaddeus Toad, Esq.

To travel the road with Mr. Toad is a wild ride few could ever forget. The attraction takes us on a wild speed race through the English countryside, wreaking havoc on the town along the way. Approaching the grand manor known as Toad Hall, the English influence is unmistakable. A 19th Century-inspired weather-vane in the shape of a motorcar tops one of the gables, and just above the entrance stands a stone statue of a dapper Mr. Toad himself. The antique motorcars featured in the attraction are named for one of the various characters from The Wind in the Willows.

Our wild ride has us skid past teetering stacks of books and tumbling through a fireplace, before hurtling into a formal dining room and out a wall-sized window. We race alongside a riverbank and barnyard, just narrowly missing a flock of sheep. While avoiding a platoon of policemen and a disheveled gypsy camp, we crash through scaffolding, splatter a stack of pies, smash crates and ignite a fiery explosion - and come bumper-to-bumper with a runaway train! Shall we escape trial for our trail of destruction? Or is something more devilish in store?

It's bedtime in the Darling children's nursery, but Wendy, Michael and John have some unexpected visitors! Timbered Tudor and a soaring clock tower mark the entrance to Peter Pan's Flight. Weather vanes reference the story of Peter Pan - a crocodile, and an airborne golden sailing ship. A Peter Pan statue, meant to evoke the famous Kensington Gardens statue, stands outside the entrance. This Opening Day attraction is based on Walt Disney's 1953 animated classic, Peter Pan, which in turn was based on J.M. Barrie's play and book of the same name about a 12-year-old boy who refuses to grow up.

Our adventure begins in London, where we learn to fly with the Darling children, courtesy of their bedtime heroes - Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. Next, we head off into the night sky as Peter leads the way to Pixie Hollow, the Lost Boys' hideout, Mermaid Lagoon and Skull Rock, where he finally comes dagger to cutlass with Captain Hook. It's a swordfight to the finish as the two face-off in a dastardly duel that leaves Hook cooked in the jaws of a grinning Tick-Tock Croc! Peter Pan's Flight, of course, represents the beauty of childhood.

The Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship and Restaurant was, and still is, a Disneyland landmark north of the Castle Courtyard, though the name changed to the current Hook’s Galley when Chicken of the Sea dropped its sponsorship in 1969. The boat sits docked within a sandy lagoon amidst steep coral cliffs, tropical settings and an imposing Skull Rock, a replication of scenes from the animated classic Peter Pan. The ship was rebuilt entirely in 1982, reopening with New Fantasyland as an ominous galleon made from concrete and fiberglass rather than timber and wood. Skull Rock became a part of Disneyland in 1960, and has remained since. Pizza is the main attraction of the modern Hook’s Galley.

Canal Boats of the World opened with the rest of the Park on July 17, 1955. The cruise offered little more than a view of earthen embankments and undeveloped landscaping. The addition of miniature scenes from Disney animated movies transformed the attraction to Storybook Land Canal Boats, which opened on June 16, 1956. One of the most delicate, picturesque realms in Disneyland - Storybook Land - was introduced in Fantasyland as one of Walt’s personal favorites.

The Spring 1958 issue of The Disneyland News described the finished product in vivid detail: “A kingdom in miniature, Storybook Land presents life-like re-creations of villages, castles, houses and other buildings from the pages of fabled stories—scene after scene of painstakingly detailed settings. If you’ve ever wanted to actually see, from close up, Geppetto’s Village high in the snow covered Alps; Kensington Gardens from the story of Peter Pan; the straw, stick and brick houses of the Three Little Pigs; and the Crazy Quilt Country from ‘Wynken, Blinken and Nod,’ they’re all there—along with many more—in Storybook Land. Gaily painted, picturesque European canal boats take visitors through the mouth of Monstro the Whale into this wonderful world.”

Model makers at the Disney Studio labored six months turning artists’ visualizations of Pinocchio’s Village, the straw-stick-brick homes of the Three Little Pigs, and other fabled favorites into detailed buildings. On a scale of one inch to a foot, they fashioned lead hinges so six-inch doors would actually open for electricians to change light bulbs. Tiny toys were carved for the window of Geppetto’s shop, and “stained glass” and leaded windows were handcrafted and installed.

When the miniature dwellings were complete, landscapers brought the village to life by the ingenious use of plants and flowers. After selecting plants whose leaf size was but little more than a quarter inch, they further restricted growth by planting them in containers. A three-foot tall Japanese Boxwood, with gnarled trunk, was shaped and pruned to represent the oak tree where Alice entered the Rabbit Hole. A 100-year old grapevine was uprooted and turned upside down to appear like the “terribly tortured old snag” in front of Ratty’s home from Wind in the Willows. Finally, a “magical” growth retardant was added to all the little trees and shrubs to further restrict growth to no more than one inch per year.

The charming Alice Wonderland is an attraction that won’t be found anywhere else.

This dark ride was one of two new attractions that opened at Disneyland on June 14, 1958, the other being the Sailing Ship Columbia in Frontierland. The mischievous White Rabbit who led Alice astray made amends by presenting the fairy-tale blonde with the key to Fantasyland’s then-newest adventure in a colorful Opening Ceremony. In 1984, a year after the rest of New Fantasyland opened, the painted cut-outs of the original attraction were replaced with three-dimensional characters and set pieces. New lighting and state-of-the-art special effects were later added in 2014.

“It doesn’t matter if you believe me or not. But common sense doesn’t really work here. You’re mad, I’m mad. We’re all MAD here.”

Alice in Wonderland is our curious voyage down, down, down the Rabbit Hole and into the nonsensical world of Alice’s Wonderland. Here we discover an upside down world of wonder, mystery and danger. Tulgey Wood and the Queen of Hearts’ Castle await amidst a peculiar labyrinth of magical creatures, conflicting signage, glowering flowers, and a grinning Cheshire Cat. A chatty Doorknob welcomes us: “Looking for the White Rabbit? Well, see for yourself!” Alice in Wonderland represents the adventure of childhood.

A Caucus Race leads astray and into a crop of beautiful, singing flowers - standing six to eight feet in height! Hungry dandelions and a snarling tiger lily lie in wait… The Caterpillar enjoys his favorite pipe from atop a technicolor toadstool. “W - H - O - are you?” Alice, having grown to an extraordinary size, bursts through the walls of a disgruntled White Rabbit’s cottage. Card Soldiers frantically “paint the roses red” in fear of their mistress: The Queen of Hearts. After defeating the Queen in a game of croquet, we are forced to escape our undesired fate through an outdoor “slide” of spiraling high and low hedges and hills. One wrong turn aboard our sour Caterpillar-shaped car might lead right back to the Castle; one right turn might lead to our safe return to Fantasyland.

The wildly popular Mad Tea Party was originally located where the King Arthur Carrousel sits today. The carousel was originally squeezed into the tight real estate between the Mad Tea Party and Sleeping Beauty Castle for some unbeknownst reason. As part of New Fantasyland, Disneyland built an all-new Mad Tea Party near the entrance to the Alice in Wonderland attraction.

Fantasyland’s iconic spinning teacup ride has been dizzying Disneyland guests ever since Opening Day. Inspired by the Mad Hatter’s tea party from the animated classic Alice in Wonderland, this timeless attraction features the same resplendent colors and objects of disproportionate size. Madcap music fills the air as we rotate beneath a canopy of colored lanterns. A wheel in the center of the teacup lets us control the direction and speed of our spin.

In the early months of 1959, a new form slowly emerged on the Orange County horizon. Residents could hardly believe that a mountain was actually “growing” in full view of the Santa Ana Freeway: Disneyland’s own “Bit O’ Switzerland.”

Matterhorn Mountain grew from two origins: Walt Disney’s trip to Switzerland to visit the set of Third Man on the Mountain, and his desire to eliminate the central support pylon of the Skyway attraction, which looked too industrial for his taste. Soon, Walt was making plans for a speeding bobsled run that picked up where Third Man of the Mountain left off, a chance for the audience to experience firsthand the icy slopes of a Disneyland Matterhorn.

Numerous photographs of the Swiss peak were carefully studied to create the most accurate replica possible. The final result is a perfect 1/100th scale re-creation of the famous Swiss peak. Matterhorn Bobsleds was the first roller-coaster-style attraction at Disneyland Park - and the first tubular steel coaster in the world. The iconic attraction is also one-of-a-kind - no other Disney Park can claim the Matterhorn.

Matterhorn Bobsleds opened on June 14, 1959, along with the Submarine Voyage and the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System, with a live, ninety-minute television broadcast. Vice President Richard Nixon was on hand to dedicate the attraction with Walt by his side. Other distinguished guests included the Swiss Consul General and members of The Sierra Club whom Walt recruited to climb his mountain for the TV cameras. The Matterhorn was an instant hit and remains one of the Park’s most popular attractions.

Walt had always intended the show to be just as compelling within the dark tunnels and icy caverns as it was on the snow-covered slopes and ridges outside. But, the Matterhorn’s “second phase” was postponed when Walt and his Imagineers were sidetracked by the New York World’s Fair. The original intent was for the mythical Abominable Snowman to haunt the Matterhorn on opening day, but there just wasn’t enough time or money. Harriet Burns had gone a long way toward finishing a full-size, fiberglass-and-fur cloth mock-up of the abominable snowman by the attraction’s busy first year or two of operation.

In 1978, a total of fifty new tandem bobsleds were built, some from scratch and others from existing vehicles. The lift tunnel was completely enclosed to “keep in the cold," with a decidedly effective special effects snowstorm, and later, in 2015, an “uphill encounter” with a digital abominable snowman, adding to the chilly atmosphere. Then, as the bobsleds reached the top of the lift hill and began to pick up speed, a pair of angry red eyes glowed brightly in the darkness, our first encounter with a “mysterious, lurking snow monster,” as Imagineers referred to the show’s new star. The sleds then passed through an eerie fog bank and ice caverns filled with glowing crystals and wrecked “mountain climbing” equipment, before beginning a high-speed trek down and around the mountain.

The highlight of the new show was of course the Abominable Snowman, “Harold.” A total of three snowmen were built for the attraction, one for the “A” side, a second for the “B” side, and a third that was visible from both ride tracks. The original snowmen were swapped for more realistic, "lunging" Audio-Animatronics snowmen in 2015 as part of Disneyland's 60th Anniversary.


One of Disneyland’s most renowned and best-loved attractions, “it’s a small world,” has proved to be the “happiest cruise that ever sailed” - the most musical and lyrical attraction at Disneyland. A salute to the children of the world, this delightful attraction speaks the international language of goodwill. Its impressive exterior playfully represents landmarks from around the world including France’s Eiffel Tower, Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa, and India’s famed Taj Mahal.

One of the four Disney-designed shows at the New York World’s Fair, the attraction features more than 300 “singing and dancing” dolls representing children the world over, all spotlighted as they serenade boat-borne guests with their meaningful song, “It’s a Small World (After All).” Surrounded by whimsical topiary gardens, the kinetic facade of “it’s a small world” has in its center a thirty-foot animated Clock Tower. Every 15-minutes the clock wildly springs into motion as a parade of 24 internationally-themed children march around its base.

Imagineer Mary Blair designed much of the original attraction. Mary Blair’s career with Disney spanned more than forty years. Yet it is possible that she will best be remembered for the vivid color styling and design of “it’s a small world.” Imagineer Rolly Crump recalled of Mary Blair’s assignment to “it’s a small world,” “I think it hit her at the right time. It was a powerful package for her. It was about children, the freedom of color, and that Walt had asked her to do it. Like she’d died and gone to heaven. It had to be the crescendo for her because I’ve never seen anything as powerful as her work. She just whipped this stuff out.

In a way, “it’s a small world” is a summation of all that was unique in Mary’s work. Her drawings were simple and crisp, the colors flat and bold. Walt Disney regarded her color styles and good taste as nearly infallible.

The ride might have opened in 1966 at Disneyland, but additional characters debuted in 2009 - thoughtfully placed and designed for the appropriate nations. Now we must keep an eye out for Peter Pan and Tinker Bell in England, Cinderella in her native France, Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket in Italy, Hercules and Pegasus in Greece, Aladdin and Jasmine in the Middle East, The Three Caballeros in Mexico, Ariel and Flounder under the sea, and many more familiar Disney Friends from the world over.

The “happiest cruise that ever sailed” exits into Small World Imports, a one-of-a-kind shop in showcase of the unique toys, dolls and clothing exclusive to the design and color of "it's a small world."

The Mickey Mouse Club Circus “came to town” on Thanksgiving Day, 1955. Although it included the first live appearance by television’s Mouseketeers, the overall Circus did not have the uniqueness of the other Disneyland shows, and was discontinued in early 1956. Its spiritual successor, however, lives on…

In 1979, the Small World Promenade welcomed a new neighbor. Dumbo’s Circusland, an original “Sub-Land” set aside from the European Village proper, is located on five hitherto undeveloped acres both inside and outside the berm adjacent to “it’s a small world.” Here, circus banners herald a wide variety of attractions, including a relocated and elevated Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Casey Jr. Circus Train.

The taller trees of the nearby Storybook Land transition into a sparkling thoroughfare of striped awnings, festive banners, popcorn lighting, and “retro” circus posters with classic animated characters, where hot-air balloons soar overhead and searchlights pierce the heavens above. The banners and posters hearken to such fictitious acts and attractions as “The Reluctant Dragon: Fire-Eater” or “Shere Khan: Man-Eater.” Circus animals have left behind their footprints in the pavement; the elephants seem to have also left behind their peanut shells. Tournament flags and shouting barkers line the midway on our trail toward Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Dumbo’s Circusland provides a home for the Disney Characters who are a little too “bizarre” to fit in with the rest of Fantasyland. This “Phase One” expansion of New Fantasyland brought Dumbo the Flying Elephant to the center of Circusland, elevated high above the land on an ornate platform.

Dumbo is a favorite attraction for anyone who is of preschool age and younger, but parents and adults delight even more when they see the sheer joy it brings to the eyes of a little one. Dumbo represents the true spirit of fantasy, and reminds us all to believe in our dreams and soar above the clouds. With the help of Timothy Mouse and a “Magic Feather,” we climb aboard Dumbo for a joyful flight around the skies of Disneyland, reliving that magical moment when Dumbo first discovered his gift of flight - the sights and sounds of Fantasyland whirl by far below. The handmade, gold-flecked carousel is an artistic masterpiece all its own, dropping jaws and inspiring countless passengers to follow their hearts and their dreams.

A well-known European manufacturer of circus organs built the attraction’s vintage mechanical band; the organ, built circa 1915, weighs three-quarters of a ton. It’s circus-like music can be heard well over a mile away.

The Casey Jr. Circus Train was conceived as a sort of low-speed roller coaster, climbing and dropping over the “cartoon” landscape of Storybook Land. Secure in their various cages, boxcars, and cabooses, passengers aboard the Casey Jr. Circus Train will cheer along as Casey proclaims “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,” while he chugs and puffs his way up a particularly steep hill.

As we ride the rails and tour the miniature countryside of Storybook Land, we catch glimpse of:

- The Dwarfs' Mine and Cottage from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- The three houses and the Big Bad Wolf's cave from The Three Little Pigs
The Gingerbread House from Hansel and Gretel
- Rapunzel's Tower and the Snuggly Duckling Tavern from Tangled
- The manicured London park from Peter Pan
- The royal city of Agrabah and the Cave of Wonders from Aladdin
- The French village and mountaintop castle from Cinderella
- The snowy landscapes of Peter and the Wolf
- A "Night on Bald Mountain" from Fantasia
- Halloween Town and Christmas Town from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
- The Giant's Patchwork Quilt from Lullaby Land
- Toad Hall from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
- Belle's Village and the Beast's Castle from Beauty and the Beast
- The Alpine village from Pinocchio
- The English village and Rabbit Hole from Alice in Wonderland
- Prince Eric's Castle and Atlantica from The Little Mermaid
The Emerald City from Return to Oz

A major refurbishment in 1994 introduced the contemporary settings from Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Return to Oz. Other scenes, were added in 2015 in celebration of the Park's Diamond Anniversary. 1994 also introduced the inclusion of miniature character figures in their respective locations, a detail not found in the 1956 version.


Circusland is the home of not one, but two dark rides.

Stromboli, the cruel puppeteer of Pinocchio, has set up his eerie puppet theater in this timeless trolley park... The color and whimsy of Dumbo's Circusland fades in favor of the dark sanctums and (lifeless) puppet-filled corridors of the theater's grim backstage. Posters herald the arrival of "Pinocchio," Stromboli's star attraction. A bit of light enters the atmosphere through a lavish mural in portrayal of all the characters, friendly or otherwise, from Walt Disney's 1940 animated film, Pinocchio.

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey is sure to captivate with its well-loved story of the lonely woodcarver Geppetto and his desire to have a real son. Along cobblestone alpine roads, we follow little Pinocchio and his faithful conscience Jiminy Cricket as they attempt to avoid fateful encounters with the wily Foulfellow and Gideon, the Coachman of Pleasure Island, and Monstro the Whale. Guided by the “wishing star,” we meet the lovely Blue Fairy and ultimately share in Pinocchio’s happy ending where he becomes a "Real Boy."

Geppetto’s Toy Tent is a must-see for toy collectors and world-travelers alike, a warm collection of international trinkets and treasures. Hand-carved marionettes, nutcrackers, cuckoo-clocks, toys, music boxes, and dolls stock the shelves, each an import from Central European countries. Big Top Souvenirs is our typical "amusement tent" filled to overflowing with merchandise in theme and brand with Dumbo's Circusland. Big Top Treats is also found inside this charming mercantile, a "show kitchen" famous for its cotton candy, caramel apples, shaved ice and other carnival treats.

In late 2006, the famed "Clown Restaurant" of Dumbo's Circusland closed unexpectedly. It was transformed and rebuilt from the ground-up.

As of 2008, the twinkle of popcorn lights and smell of vanilla have attracted the attention of passers-by toward the allure and excitement of the Coney Island-reminiscent Carnival Corral. Bullseye welcomes eager patrons into an old-fashioned indoor-midway cut from the same cloth as a turn-of-the-century Coney Island, New York. Innumerable fun house mirrors, nickelodeons and other classic games of the midway fill the Corral. Woody, Buzz and friends have all been detailed into every game, a fitting portal to the Toy Box Playhouse. Mr. Potato Head, carnival barker, is the star performer here. The old "hockey puck" performs a daily song and dance routine in celebration of the Carnival Corral's true main attraction: Toy Story Mania!

Woody's mouth leads a magical transition from the outdoor nostalgia of Dumbo's Circusland and into the toy box of Andy Davis. The chest is strewn floor-to-lid with over-sized board games, puzzles and gargantuan toys. Then, we board a carnival-inspired tram, a pair of 3D glasses handy, and use a spring-action shooter to take aim at various "revisionist" games of the boardwalk. There are 5 fast-paced games to play.

Walt had a miniature railroad set up in his backyard he called the "Carolwood Pacific." His pride and joy was the Lilly Belle, a hand-built model train named in honor of his wife, Mrs. Lillian Disney. The Disneyland Railroad stops in Dumbo's Circusland at the "Carolwood Station."


Walt Disney's lifelong love of trains was expressed in the Disneyland Railroad. His backyard toy had "grown up" and now he could share with the world another of his childhood fantasies. His interest dated back to his teenage years when he "rode the trails" selling candy and newspapers on trains rolling between Kansas City and Chicago.
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