Keys to the Kingdom: Clever Park Design

We all know how cleverly the Magic Kingdom was designed – with different lands and different themes. When I was on the Keys to the Kingdom Tour recently, I was introduced to some new information on the clever way that rides, restaurants and shops are placed around the Kingdom. I wanted to share a couple of examples with you – one from the very beginning (placed before the park opening) and one more recent. These examples prove that things are not random at the Magic Kingdom; and the locations of new additions are not by happenstance.

If you have wandered around at Liberty Square, you have probably noticed the New England feel. Even the Haunted Mansion at Disney World has a New England façade. This is most probably because the original intention was to base the attraction around the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.

If you enjoy a sweet treat from time to time, I’ll bet you have stopped by the counter service quick stop, Sleepy Hollow, for a great Funnel Cake during your visit. You have probably also realized that it got its name from the Washington Irving classic, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

When you visited Sleepy Hollow, did you happen to go into Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe that is right across the way?

If so, did you happen to notice the sign that reads “Music & Voice Lessons by Appointment- Ichabod Crane, Instructor”? I have gone into this store many times and, until the tour, had never noticed it.

Everything was so well thought out when they first opened Walt Disney World; but what about the more recent additions?

When you enter into the Magic Kingdom on Main Street USA you will see the hat and monogram shop, The Chapeau, off to the right in Town Square. The sign for the shop is a beautiful hat box.

It turns out that the opening sequence of Walt Disney’s 1955 film, The Lady and the Tramp, is based on Walt’s life with his wife, Lillian. In the film when Jim Dear gives his wife Darling a puppy on Christmas morning hidden in a hat box, that is representative of the actual incident from Walt Disney’s life when he presented Lilly with a beautiful Chow puppy.

So, the hat box sign at The Chapeau is representative of that moment, and the store just happens to be right across from Tony’s Town Square Restaurant; the restaurant inspired by the Italian trattoria where Lady and the Tramp shared spaghetti and a kiss.

So, you can see that there is thoughtful, clever design in everything at the Magic Kingdom. I am sure the same is true at the other parks as well. Each detail of the parks is perfectly planned, whether we notice it or not.

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Chip and Co Past Writers and Friends

2 thoughts on “Keys to the Kingdom: Clever Park Design

  1. Walt Disney World never ceases to amaze the people. Their movies are loved by numerous kids and adults and their theme park attractions and rides are unforgettable

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