Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Disneyland That Never Was, Pt. 2
This one is probably my very fave of the series, and I sure wish it had been built. It would have been a nice addition to the Main Street area.
Edison Square, 1963: A new land intended to be located just a few steps from Main Street, U.S.A. down “Plaza Street” between the Plaza Inn and the Kodak Shop, would feature a paved brick street leading to a residential square showing America passing from the ‘old’ of the 19th century to the ‘new’ of the early 1900s. The electric light is seen taking the place of gas lamps; horse-drawn vehicles would give way to electrical and gasoline-powered horseless carriages. It was designed as a composite of several major American cities at the turn of the century, from New York City to San Francisco, and behind the façades an attraction called “Harnessing the Lightning” would celebrate the life and work of Thomas A. Edison using five dioramas. Although the street was never built, many of the ideas were later realized in the General Electric Carousel of Progress attraction.
Although the calendar listed this project as 1963, as far back as 1957 this idea was being advertised in the park as an upcoming reality (you can also see the Pirate Wax Museum marker on this map, too).
1958 came and went...still no Edison Square.
Meet and Greet with Tikis, 1963: Recently found by Disney archivists in former Walt Disney Imagineering President Dick Irvine’s correspondence files, these never-before-published sketches for unusual costumes were based on the carved Tiki Gods of the Enchanted Tiki Room attraction. The designs explore ideas for several walk-around characters, including a “greeter,” a “drummer,” and even one who “walked on his hands.” The drawings don’t include notes on how the costumes would be used, so we don’t know if they predated the current “talking” tikis in the pre-show area of the attraction, if they were meant to be in addition to the tikis, or if they were meant for use throughout the park. Unfortunately for Tiki fans the world over, these particular costumes never walked off the drawing board.
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