Document details

The Architecture of Reassurance
Designing the Disney Theme Parks

March 17 - August 5,2001
National Building Museum

Disneyland, the world’s first theme park, opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955. Structured by its themes, the park was divided into five smaller “lands” designed around cinematic and cultural motifs with particular meaning to Walt Disney: Main Street U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland. The architecture of the theme park was familiar from movies and television shows: Disneyland was a kind of backlot tour of a make- believe place where the illusion of a frontier town or a space colony could be conjured up at will.

At the same time Disney saw the park as a tacit critique of the chaotic American city and the meandering post-war suburbs that were ruled by the automobile. New approaches to architecture and city planning are still central elements of the Disney parks. Today, the principles embedded in Disneyland have spread outside the parks and into the hotel complexes surrounding them, into stores and malls, and into our daily lives.

Main Street U.S.A.




Theme-park Architecture in the Real World




Primary location: Misc Websites (National Building Museum)


Source type Document
Language en
Document type Document
Media type text
Page count 5
Pages pp. 1-5


Id 3350
Availability Free
Inserted 2017-07-19