As you enter the turnstiles of Disneyland the first thing you'll notice is the train station that sits on top of a beautifully decorated hill. This station is a prime example of Walt Disney's direct influence on this park as Walt's love of trains led to this station and many others just like it to be built in all the "Magic Kingdom" style parks around the world. This station also provides a great photo opportunity for guests and sets the stage for the story of the classic American town
Next as you approach the two archways passing under the station you are greeted by a sign that beckons you into the park. It promises of what lies ahead of you at disneyland; a world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. Walt wanted Disneyland to have something for the whole family to enjoy and the park certainly does as there is really something for everyone's interests here.
If you look down at the ground in the archway that leads into the park you will notice that its painted red and this is because Walt Disney wanted to "roll out the red carpet for his guests" as they entered the "show" of Disneyland. As soon as you enter the main part of the park you become part of the show as you really feel as if you have been transported back in time to a classic American street. The first two buildings you are greeted by are the beautiful city hall and fire department buildings. Originally, the Fire Department housed Walt Disney's private apartment but now it holds a shop on its lower level while city hall is appropriately home to guest relations.
The view from the front of the park down Main Street is truly special as the old-fashioned buildings frame the castle at the end perfectly. Unfortunately when I visited the left side of Main Street was undergoing maintenance so it doesn't look quite as impressive as it normally does but Disney is creative even in their use of construction walls as they are made to blend in with the buildings around them. This is just a little extra touch that Disney adds but all these little things add up to create the Disney magic that is loved around the world.
Traveling down Main Street one of the first buildings you run into is the Main Street cinema which plays some of the classic disney cartoons and is free for anyone who wants to step in for a couple minutes and cool down and watch Mickey in his cartoons such as the original Steamboat Willie.
There are a lot of great places to grab a bite to eat along Main Street such as the Carnation Cafe and Blue Ribbon Bakery. Both restaurants provide a great place for families to grab a quick bite before they head of to one the other lands of the park or to satisfy hungry, cranky kids who have spent a long day in Disneyland.
There are also many places to shop along Main Street as both sides of the street are lined with unique disney souvenir stores. In fact there may be too many places to shop as additions in the recent past have partially ruined the imagery of the street that intersects Main Street U.S.A. This street was added to give the illusion that you were really on Main Street in a small town and there were other roads branching off of it but as evidenced by the fruit stand in the picture below which makes the street less prominent than it once was. Still, Disney for the most part has done a good job maintaing the original feel of the area as a walk down Main Street can truly make a person feel as if they have been transported back to the turn of the century.
As you near the end of Main Street U.S.A. the centerpiece of the park, Sleeping Beauty Castle comes into focus. Although this castle is not quite as impressive as its Magic Kingdom counterpart it still is a very eye-catching and beautiful focal point, or "weenie". It and the partners statue in front of it are photographed perhaps more than anything else in Disneyland because it is such a popular and iconic spot. Sleeping Beauty Castle is the perfect place to embark on new adventures as you travel out to the experience all that the lands of Disney land have to offer.
I hope you enjoyed my first photo tour of Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland. I hope to provide many more of these in the near future that will travel through many different areas of the Disney parks!