The Park – Innovation at Disneyland


In addition to creating “The Happiest Place on Earth”, Disneyland was innovative in many other ways. In the 50’s, believe it or not, waiting lines at banks or airports were traditionally a straight line. Sometimes a movie theater would bend them around a corner; the Department of Motor Vehicles would simply open the front door and run the line out onto the sidewalk.

Think what it would look like if security checkpoint lines at airports were linear instead of the sinewy system in use today! I had never seen a waiting line that snaked back and forth like the lines for attractions at Disneyland, where they created a holding pen that economized space.  Such was the system introduced by Walt Disney’s Imagineers.

They also thought of a way to use existing technology to create the Disneyland Monorail System. In 1959, it was the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere. Though the park was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays in the off-season, visitors could board at the Disneyland Hotel and still see the Park (though quiet on those days) from a bird’s-eye view. Now, monorails are common at places like metro airports, transporting passengers swiftly from terminal to terminal.

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