Have you noticed it? The parks, yeah, the design. A central hub and sections that spin off in many directions, almost like the spokes of a wagon wheel.
The parks have always fascinated me. The design, construction, the incredible thought process into the holistic approach of how people respond to their surroundings. Each Land specifically themed provides the visitor the first location finder when seeking an attraction. Without even having a map, one can get a general direction of which way to go from the hub. One can always return to the hub to get their “bearings” if they’re lost. This central location is easy to find and easily navigated. DLR’s castle used as an anchor visible from anywhere in the park, thus establishing the use of the Landmark in each park.
Image provided by Disney Tourist Blog
Main Street is the welcome mat. It sits on the porch of the hub directing one to the center of the park to be filtered in whatever direction needed to head to that favorite attraction. Ah the smells. Have you noticed when you walk down Main Street, you can smell all the delectable treats? This is due to a device that pipes the smells into the street. One of Walt’s strongest memories as a child was smelling the bakery when he walked by and he wanted this for his Main Street.
Image provided by WDWinfo
Walt also knew to sell his story, he had to control all your senses. At DLR, this was done with numerous solutions that quite frankly, is out of the box, never done before, thinking. Did you know DLR is a no fly zone? It has always been. This wasn’t a safety issue, it was because Walt didn’t want the sound of a jet engine blowing overhead, while his patrons were on Main Street listening to the Barbershop Quartet. Then there was the Berm. A manufactured hill built around the park to act as a sounding wall against traffic from the freeway and the other main streets full of traffic.
There is always a sound. Not just the crowd, but something in the background. If you go to DLR, and you are walking down Main Street, the first intersection half way is a break point. Turn right and you go to restrooms, locker and a sitting area in front of the ice cream cart. If you choose to relax here a moment, listen carefully and look to the windows on the second floor. You will hear a soundtrack playing that is themed to the window features. You may here a guy showering, a piano playing and not very well, a drill from a dentist. This soundtrack is not only a short story, but it also provides a sound barrier for unwanted noise, what they commonly call white noise.
Now, just sit back for a moment and think about how all this came about in 1955!!!!!!! The foresight, the incredible attention to detail. Even the trashcans are strategically placed based on research of how many steps a visitor took before just throwing the trash on the ground.
The incredible foresight of these great engineers, story tellers, and a man who had a vision has produced an entertainment venue that is sought out worldwide. What part of the parks fascinates you?
Sources Katharine Schwab/Fast Company & Numerous Disney Company Sources