Over the years I’ve heard many rumors and myths concerning Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A. It’s the first land you enter and it sets the tone for the whole experience, so there is no doubt its crafting was carefully considered by Walt Disney.
I have heard that the facades of the buildings were purchased from actual run down Main streets across California and the midwest and then reconstructed at Disneyland, that the buildings and street use forced perspective (true in a way) to make it seem shorter on the way in and longer on the way out (although this seems to conflict with the first rumor), and that the street was modeled after the main street (Kansas Street) of Marceline, MO where Walt spent some time during his youngest years. No doubt Walt himself contributed to some of these rumors either directly or via quotes that were open to interpretation as part of his marketing idea that Disneyland was more than just a place on a map.
In a post this week Michael Barrier plays mythbuster on at least one of those rumors – Was Main Street USA a copy of Marceline’s main street?
I had always heard that Main Street, USA was an idealized compilation of BOTH Marceline and Fort Collins, CO. Fort Collins had apparently been the boyhood home of the Imagineer in charge of the principal design, and thus elements of it were incorporated along with Walt’s idealized recollection of what he considered a typical midwestern town. Can anyone expand upon this with more authority?