Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Disneyland, September 1955: Main Street, U.S.A.

Today begins a series of images taken only a few months after Disneyland opened. Focusing (oh, the puns) on Main Street, U.S.A. and Town Square, these photos show a section of the park whose architecture has changed little over the years (other than paint and landscaping). The first one for today is a shot that is difficult to duplicate today (taken from the train station), thanks to the mature trees that block an unobstructed view of City Hall. So instead, here's one taken from ground level:

I love that the vehicles are almost all still in operation, especially this park fave, the Horse-Drawn Streetcar. Guests still saunter unaware in front of it, soaking up all of the sights, oblivious to the poor horse attempting to plod ahead.

I also dig the fire department; even today, kids explore the living museum with wonder, checking out the stalls and crawling all over the chemical wagon parked inside.

It sure looks purty at night!

Last one for today takes us up Main Street where we see the Wonderland Music shop. Oh for the days when there were a variety of unique vendors on Main Street!

This shop is now home to the Magic Shop:

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more vintage & current Disneyland Main Street, U.S.A. photos at my regular website.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Hey those are some sharp 1955 photos - Thanks Dave! Great comparison shots too, they confirm why this is my favorite part of the park - its the most original "land" remaining.... I'm looking forward to the rest of the series...

TokyoMagic! said...

I wonder when they got rid of the street sign in that last B & W shot designating "N. Main St." and "Town Square E."? I think we've seen ones for East and West "Center St." as well.

Thufer said...

I agree with >Vintage Disneyland Tickets<, those are wonderful and I also love it when you do the 'updated' same view thing. Always fun.
In many ways, Main Street USA is still conducting the same business as it was in July 1955, it performs the same magic and it stands forever as a moment in time.
It both suspends and at the same time cements reality into the mind of everyone who walks through those tunnels.

JG said...

I agree with all above, and esp. your comment that the shops are not what they once were.

The original concept was a city street with city services, a bank where you could cash a check, the city hall where you could talk to the management, the opera house with a show, grocery stores, restaurants etc. So much has been lost in the homogenization of all the shops into one big Disney Store.

Of course, I think Disney lost out to the Discovery channel, this scientific popularization of nature was once Disney's strongest suit after cartoons. Tomorrowland lost it's soul with Disney's loss of a TV show to explore science.

No reason to keep the Nature's Wonderland when you no longer make shows about real animals, only animated ones.

No reason to sell books and souvenirs about real things either, just keep thinking up more imaginary ones. It's sad because except for Discovery, that whole market is now unaddressed.

Don't kids still want to learn about (real) bugs and dinosaurs?


Daveland said...

JG - All of the diversity was killed during the Pressler reign of terror. Hopefully that mindset will begin to change in the near future.

Connie Moreno said...

YES YES YES!!!! Love these shots. And you know what else happened in September of 1955, right? My first visit to Disneyland!!