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  1. #1

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    The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    So in virtually every thread about whether or not something new fits the theme, somebody brings up that "the castle doesn't fit at the end of Main Street" as an example of a Walt-era thematic violation.

    No matter how many times I have seen this argument, it never ceases to surprise me.

    First of all, the castle is not technically on Main Street. It's on the Central Plaza, the crossroads of all the original lands.

    But of course it's visible from Main Street...which I find to be the most beautiful visual metaphor in the entire park. It's not jarring, it's a purposeful juxtaposition between the safe, cozy Main Street and the fantasy and adventure that await you in the rest of the park. It's the idea of wandering down the main street in your hometown and daydreaming of castles in the sky...and one appears in front of you, right there on the ground!

    So to see that used as an example of a "violation of theme" is fascinating to me, because to me it's one of the best examples of visual storytelling and theme in the theme park medium.

    Then there's the argument that says that there's only a castle to begin with because Walt wanted to promote Sleeping Beauty. I think there would have been a castle anyway, because that's one of the major images associated with fantasy. Snow White ended with an image of a castle. Given his three choices of princess at the time (Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora), he probably chose the one that made the most promotional sense, but a fairy tale princess living in castle in a land of fairy tales is not a thematic stretch.

    I'm not saying that Walt never violated theme. I just don't get this example.
    "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TYESfNTP8&feature=plcp

    Retro Rant Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" (comedy review of direct-to-video
    Disney sequel):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../1/q1j7FU8QXu0
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7mC-...feature=relmfu
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUie...feature=relmfu
    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


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  2. #2

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    Not much to say, other than you're right. It is done on purpose. Although the castle is actually in Fantasyland, not Central Plaza, which is a section of Main St. Otherwise it would hurt the theme.

  3. #3

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    ^

    Thanks .

    Yes, you're right, land-wise, it's in Fantasyland.
    "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TYESfNTP8&feature=plcp

    Retro Rant Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" (comedy review of direct-to-video
    Disney sequel):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../1/q1j7FU8QXu0
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7mC-...feature=relmfu
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUie...feature=relmfu
    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


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    Pratfall the albatross superheroine visits the Carthay Circle Theatre.

  4. #4

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    I love the castle being where it is and wouldn't want it any other way. But when people argue about immersive theme and the things that break it, I have to ask why the castle gets a pass in their book. I personally give it a pass because I judge theme and aspects of the park on a case by case basis and for some reason, that castle right there just works so well even if it does technically take you out of turn of the century america. just like the jolly holiday works imo and why I will probably like the MS Starbucks when it comes.

    Anyway, I brought up the castle thing in another thread because I wanted to know what the
    anti-starbucks people believed was acceptable in pushing of theme and what wasn't. I wanted to see where they stood and what the limits are to theme when they are pushed and I think the castle is great for that sort of exercise. I personally believe the castle adds so much to the park and in no way affects theme in a negative way. My post was merely trying to figure out why others felt the same.
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  5. #5

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    The castle being seen from main street is both beautiful and romantic. Its like saying that tarzans treehouse ruins NOS....


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  6. #6

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    ORDDU: There are some out there who just like to argue about anything and everything because that's what they're all about. But most guests at Disneyland appreciate and agree with Walt Disney's original layout for the park and know how to enjoy it without looking for reasons to complain. Those are the Disney fans we prefer to associate with.

  7. #7

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Witches of Morva View Post
    ORDDU: There are some out there who just like to argue about anything and everything because that's what they're all about. But most guests at Disneyland appreciate and agree with Walt Disney's original layout for the park and know how to enjoy it without looking for reasons to complain. Those are the Disney fans we prefer to associate with.
    So then you are not ok with the new Princess Fantasy Faire since it is not part of "Walt Disney's original layout"?
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  8. #8

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneymike View Post
    So then you are not ok with the new Princess Fantasy Faire since it is not part of "Walt Disney's original layout"?
    Nice!
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  9. #9

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    The castle draws you into the park. It's an integral part of the design.

  10. #10

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    Quote Originally Posted by animagusurreal View Post
    But of course it's visible from Main Street...which I find to be the most beautiful visual metaphor in the entire park. It's not jarring, it's a purposeful juxtaposition between the safe, cozy Main Street and the fantasy and adventure that await you in the rest of the park. It's the idea of wandering down the main street in your hometown and daydreaming of castles in the sky...and one appears in front of you, right there on the ground!

    So to see that used as an example of a "violation of theme" is fascinating to me, because to me it's one of the best examples of visual storytelling and theme in the theme park medium.
    I completely agree with all of your post, but I especially love this point here. Beautifully said. The image of the castle at the end of Main Street, beckoning you to come, explore, and dream, is pure poetry.

  11. #11

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    Quote Originally Posted by gatheringrosebuds View Post
    I completely agree with all of your post, but I especially love this point here. Beautifully said. The image of the castle at the end of Main Street, beckoning you to come, explore, and dream, is pure poetry.
    Yes it is!!
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  12. #12

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    It's obviously a physical metaphor for "Home". A place at the center of the compass, to all the adventures in the world....within and beyond the berm.

    The DisCo. empire wouldn't exist without it.



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  13. #13

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    Disneyland was initially built for a 1955 audience who had never seen anything like it before. Without the castle, first-time guests might not have known there's anything beyond Main Street!

  14. #14

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    Sleeping Beauty Castle also plays on the typical arrangement of American Main Streets. These streets were typically aligned, either parallel or perpendicular, with the railroad (Main Street Station) and an important structure. In earlier towns this was typically a religious institution, but in later frontier cities it was more often a civic structure such as a court house or city hall, either way this prominent structure defined the town's skyline and character. Sleeping Beauty Castle fills this role, signifying that this place is both familiar an unique.

    The styling of Sleeping Beauty Castle is also not medieval, but a 19th century romantic vision of fairy tale castles (what King Ludwig was striving to build with Neuschwanstein). This provides more visual continuity with Main Street, USA, playing a role in the suspension of disbelief. Successful fiction typically does not throw in everything and anything, but has its own set of internal consistencies. At Disneyland the romantic worlds were made possible by presenting an image with strong, romantic consistencies to their source material. In its romantic authenticity Main Street, USA made it more possible to accept the anachronism that is Sleeping Beauty Castle.

    Also, the name Sleeping Beauty Castle was not solidified in the summer of 1955. Paul F. Anderson at the Disney History Institute recently ha an article about the vague naming of the Castle immediately after the park opened.

  15. #15

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    Re: The Castle Doesn't Fit at the End of Main Street (Yes it Does!)

    ORDDU: No, DisneyMike, you are quite wrong. The discussion at hand has to do with the castle at the end of Main Street. If you are trying to create an argument out of nothing then you're in the wrong place. So is Calsig31, who is another who loves to argue for the sake of arguing. I find both of your tactics on these boards tiring.

    ORWEN: We don't have a problem with the Fantasy Faire princess meet and greet being built next to Sleeping Beauty's Castle, either, as long as someone else brought that topic up. It's a natural fit right next to the castle.

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