Smile, You're on Stage!
The attraction posters located inside the entrance tunnel serve an important purpose; they remind us that we’re about to see a show. Like most theaters, coming attraction posters can be found throughout the lobby. You’ll also notice the popcorn vendors just as you enter the park which also tie into the theme. Did you know that Disney employees are called
Main Street, is inspired by Walt’s childhood memories of Marceline, MO. He felt that it was a picture-perfect example of the all American town. Walt particularly had fond memories the trains passing through town so it’s no accident that the train station is a prominent building here.
Can you figure out what holiday is about to be celebrated? You might catch a glimpse of the Family Fun Day Parade, a marching band, or even the mayor dressed in his formal attire. It’s the Fourth of July! Can you find the other clues scattered around Main Street?
Forced Perspective: The buildings lining both sides of Main Street USA might look like full scale buildings, but on closer look they actually get smaller as they get taller. The first floor is about 12’ high, the second stories are only 10’ high, and third stories are a mere 8’ high. This was done to fit the scale of the park. A full scale three story building would appear too large against the rest of the park. Here’s a tip: imagine standing behind one of the third story windows - it should put things into perspective for you.
Left: Engine Company 71 in Walt Disney World. Right: Disneyland Fire Department. The Disneyland version also housed an apartment for Walt Disney and his family.
Look for the "Partners" statue at the end of Main Street (just in front of the castle). You'll see Walt Disney gesturing down Main Street with his arm extended and Mickey Mouse holding his hand. Walt never saw Disney World completed, perhaps the statue suggests that he wanted Mickey to carry on his dream.
Smoke Tree Ranch: On the Partners statue, notice Walt DIsney’s tie clip. It's a logo for the Smoke Tree Ranch, an exclusive community in Palm Springs, CA. Walt had purchased a home there in 1948 but only after convincing the board of directors, who were reluctant to allow “Hollywood types” in. Walt was proud of his membership and could often been seen wearing tie clip with letters STR on it.
Copies of this statue are located in Disney theme parks all over the world. Another is located at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.
A picture perfect example of the all-American town. Notice the use of forced perspective, second floors are scaled back to create the illusion the building full size.
Other than Halloween and Christmas, every day is Independence Day. Pay particular attention to all the flags, bunting, parades and marching bands that pop up periodically.
Best Kept Secrets!
The storefront windows were designed low so that even the youngest of visitors could see inside.
Tony’s Town Square Restaurant: Look for the Lady and the Tramp reference embedded in the sidewalk in front of Tony's Town Square Restaurant. (Hint: paw prints)
Engine Company 71: Although it’s in the same location as it’s Disneyland counterpart, The Magic Kingdom’s version is very different. The “71” in Engine Company 71 refers to the year the Magic Kingdom opened, and there’s no apartment on the second floor like in Disneyland.
Left: Walt Disney World Center: Disneyland Right: Walt Disney Studios Burbank, CA
Walt Disney World Railroad
There are 4 locomotives on the Walt Disney World Railroad. The Lilly Belle was named for Walt's Wife. The Roger E. Broggie was named the Imagineer who helped build Walt's scale railroad, the Carolwood-Pacific. The other two are named for Walt and his brother Roy respectively.
While in the railroad station, most guests just pass through the lobby and miss all the details on display. Be sure to tour the lobby and especially check out the nickelodeon player (it actually works).
Did you know there is a tour that goes behind the scenes on the Walt Disney World Railroad. You’ll get to see how the engineers begin their day, the history behind the trains, and a rare opportunity to see the maintenance garage for both the trains, and the monorails. Contact your Disney travel agent for information.
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