The Magic Behind The Scenes – Follow The Architecture And Timeline

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The Imagineers never seem to miss a trick. There is a bit of a unique flow in the Magic Kingdom that starts at Peter Pan’s Flight and flows through Liberty Square and into Frontierland. The flow is both architectural and chronological and is quite neatly woven together with one minor exception.

Those of us who have ridden Peter Pan’s Flight (is there anyone who has not?) realize that it is focused on life in early London and as we move from there towards Liberty Square we first encounter the Columbia Harbour House as we go from London to the colonial era of America. Once we pass under the Columbia Harbour House we have now entered the northeastern U.S. in the early 1700’s as represented by the architecture of my beloved Haunted Mansion. Liberty Square itself represents mid century Boston while the Hall of Presidents represents late 1700’s Philadelphia.

As we head toward Frontierland we come to the Diamond Horseshoe (or whatever the current name is, it changes) which has a style that represents St Louis in the early 1800’s which is enhanced by the proximity of the Liberty Belle. Further on, we approach the Country Bear Jamboree‘s Grizzly Hall bringing the Rocky Mountains of the mid 1800’s to mind. Here is where the minor exception mentioned above happens.

We all love Splash Mountain but you don’t get there by heading west from the Rocky Mountains so we take a sharp geographical left to the post Civil South of the 1870’s which is the time line for this attraction. Chronologically correct but a geographic aberration. But – I think we all forgive the Imagineers for this one because Splash Mountain is such a terrific attraction. Proceeding from Splash Mountain we transition into the desert southwest where The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (a huge personal favorite) represents the Monument Valley located in my home state of Arizona. There, we have made the journey!!

I want to credit the Imagineering Field Guide To The Magic Kingdom for helping me organize these facts which have been rattling around my head with all of the other tons of useless information residing there. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!


Chip and Co Past Writers and Friends