Welcome to this Happy Place
I was having trouble with thinking of what to write about. On the flight to WDW last week I sat next to some people and they gave me a great idea. I will be entering into a series about the lands specifically in the parks.
What better starting place then Main Street USA at Disneyland Resort.
Credit Disney Parks
Main Street is commonly referred to as the Welcome Mat. It channels the population to the central hub, anchored by the castle, to be distributed to other areas of the park. Main Street was designed in Walts minds eye. It was a reverence for the past in Marceline. Like any other land, it has changed over the years. When the park opened, there was a shop called “Hollywood-Maxwell Brassiere Co. of Los Angeles.” He was known as The Wizard of Bras. Yes, you could purchase high-end bras at Disneyland in 1955!!!! The store no longer exists, attesting to Walt’s vision that Disneyland will never be finished and always changing, and Main Street USA is no different.
Credit Disney History Institute.
Main Street is also functional. With it being the only entrance and exit, the stores were designed to walk through lengthwise as well as in and out. This channeled guests through all the product giving more opportunity for sales, and to some guests, bypassing the traffic going down the center of the street. The idea of closing lands individually at night, slowly channeling people through the last chance sales was an ingenious method to generate additional revenue.
Main Street also has devices which pump the smells from the shops into the street. Walt always reminisced about the bakeries in Marceline and how he marveled at the scents filling the street. It also didn’t hurt that the smells trigger hunger and create more sales. Candy, ice cream, bakery goods, coffee, all are part of the scintillating charm and scents of Main Street.
Next time you’re in DLR or the Magic Kingdom, don’t hustle to that attraction with the short line. Stop for a coffee and a knosh. Sit on a nearby bench. Sip your coffee, nibble your knosh and listen. Listen to the Main Street loop and relax. Close your eyes and picture yourself in the early 1900’s when life was a bit slower paced. While you do that, thank Walt for the opportunity to have a little moment of zen.