One of my absolute favorite things about Disneyland's design, which no other park quite gets right (Universal's Islands of Adventure has a go at it, I think), is the amount of just random junk/objects/clutter (for lack of better terms) all over in the park. I don't mean park trash, maps, or litter...I mean, actual, antique, themed "junk". Props and items that make it feel lived in.
They really are nearly everywhere, even ToonTown (done in a more cartoony style), apart from Tomorrowland..it has some, but not nearly the same level of opportunities for this as other parts of the park. It is on second level building fronts, on the backs of buildings, around corners, in store windows, in queues, in the rides themselves, on the walls of store interiors...an abundance of area-specific, random, mundane and exotic items. Most theme/amusement parks try for this a little...a few carved Native American masks on the outside of a log ride building, and hey, it's themed! But no where comes close in dedication in this to Disney, that I have seen in person. These inhabit a different realm from some "featured" slightly hidden details, such as the Evil Queen peering out of her window, the mysterious light in the cupola of the Haunted Mansion at night, or the many perilous traps inside the Temple of the Forbidden Eye.
None of these items are "essential" to the story of the attraction or shop they may be found in, or near: however, even if most guests don't even see them or appreciate them, they are essential, I think to what makes Disneyland different even today. I'd even say, it might be they are designed and placed not to be overtly obvious to guests a lot of the time...they are just there, in the background, or above, quietly lending authenticity to the fake "reality" of the environments presented, not to be showy. So, here are some photos...and guaranteed, there is more out there than what I have photographed. Keep a weather eye open, mates, upon your next visit..who knows what you might spy...
Onwards to photos!