Main Street, U.S.A. is America at the turn of the [20th] century – the crossroads of an era, the gas lamps and the electric lamp – the horse-drawn car and the auto car. Main Street is everyone’s hometown . . . the heart line of America. - Walt Disney
Nothing in my life excites me more than going under the train tracks (to the right side of course) and entering Main Street U.S.A.. After almost 50 years of visits and 10 years of living down the street and working for the resort, I still get goose bumps and tears in my eyes.
With most of MSUSA behind construction walls currently I thought we would take a moment and discuss the parks opening act. Lets begin with some showman ship. Look down after passing through the turnstiles you will see red bricks. Uncle Walt wanted this to represent the "red carpet" you would walk down heading to a movie premiere. The attraction posters in the tunnel are reminiscent of coming attraction posters at the theatre. Original Walt wanted a red velvet curtain at the other end of the tunnel to open each time a guest entered. This of course is not feasible for a park expecting upwards of 60,000 guests a day.
MSUSA of coursed opened as one of the original lands in 1955. Walt and his early imagineers designed the area to resemble Walt's adopted home town of Marceline MO.
Walt Disney stands framed by the covered waiting room of the Disneyland railroad station on Main Street in Anaheim, Ca., June 9, 1955. (AP Photo)
To this day my favorite spot on the entire planet is a bench in front of the Disneyland Rail Road station at MSUSA. I can sit there from park open to close. Enjoy the food available on the street, the entertainment around Town Square, and the families interacting with the characters. It is also the perfect vantage point for parades fireworks, and my beloved Flag Retreat.
OUR TOP 10 MAIN STREET U.S.A. LIST
1. The Mickey Floral, which greets guests, is one of the most popular photo ops in the world. The flowers are changed seven or eight times a year for the seasons and for holidays. The Mickey face holds approximately 32,000 individual plants alone.
2. The Dapper Dans barbershop quartet has performed on Main Street USA since 1959.
3. MSUSA does have a scent which magically come from Candy Palace either vanilla or gingerbread depending on the time of the year!
4. Main Street, U.S.A. is the only original land at Disneyland that has not been significantly altered. It was famously partly inspired by Walt Disney’s “hometown” of Marceline, Missouri.
Above, downtown Marceline in September 2001 in celebration of Disney’s birthday. This street served as a model for Main Street.
5. The Main Street Opera House is considered to be the oldest building in the Park, even though it wasn’t originally the Opera House; it served as the Park’s lumber mill until roughly 1961.
6. The places that have been open since opening day are: City Hall, The Emporium, Penny Arcade, Main Street Cinema and the Fire Department. The Candy Palace opened on July 22, 1955.
A horse-drawn streetcar takes guests from Sleeping Beauty Castle to Town Square in February 1962.
7. There are names of Cast Members, Imagineers and other important Disney figures written on the windows on Main Street.
8. Above the Fire Station is Walt Disney’s private apartment. A lit antique lamp in the window once informed staff when Walt was in residence. Today, the lamp remains lit as a tribute.
9. The Grand Canyon Diorama, which is featured along the scenic route of the Disneyland Railroad, is the longest diorama in the world: It’s 306 feet long and 34 feet tall and covered in 300 gallons of paint. After all, Walt famously loved trains. As Kaye Malins, the curator of the Disney Hometown Museum told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch back in 2012, “I do not think it is a coincidence a train station was the first thing people passed at Disneyland when it opened. Walt loved trains.”
The Disneyland Band has been marching along Main Street, U.S.A., for nearly 60 years. This picture, from June 1958, shows the band under a banner to mark the opening of the Grand Canyon Diorama, which officially opened on March 31, 1958.
10. Steve Martin once worked at The Main Street Magic Shop.
THE HIDDEN JEWELS OF MAIN STREET U.S.A.
Tilly - The young lady working in the box office of the Main Street Cinema has Marcaline as her hometown on here name tag.
The Penny - Above the Penny Arcade is a large penny. Note the year is 1901, the year Walt Disney was born.
Hitching post - There are several hitching posts on MSUSA. Only one is wooden, it is in front of the Photo Supply Shop
The Red/White Light - Across the street from the wooden hitching post check out the lights on the front awning of Refreshment Corner. The alternating red and white light meet in the corner with a bulb that is white on one half red on the other.
City Hall is based on the Ft Collins Courthouse in Colorado!