When you enter a Magic Kingdom, the most important factor is the Wow. This Wow hits you many times in a Disney park but its most famous encounter is when you start walking up Main Street and get hit by its magical perspective : Main Street in its center, with its colofrul sidewalks and gay traffic, sided by two rows of late 18th/early 19th century buildings. The two symetrical parts of this canvas, clearly seperated by the cable car tracks, are bound and topped by one construction not matching the Main Street theme at all, a renaissance castle. Watch this view, spot this kid buying a baloon away from its overing flock, or this smiling driver honking is co-Cast Member with a melody. Hear the mighty voice calling for the Santa Fe which is already whistling in the distance : in my sense you are being hit by a Magic Kingdom’s perspective Wow !
Here are the 6 Perspective Wows of the 6 Magic Kingdoms.
In California, the Castle, to Walt’s own deception has always been regarded as too small. And even though in the early days it was quiet visible at the end of Main Street, now the trees are all grown up and fluffy and for most of them as high as the Centerpiece of the park. So looking down Main Street U.S.A. you hardly see Sleeping Beauty’s Castle behind the full grown plantation of the hub. This seriously diminishes the effect of the Wow. This and the grey cemented pavement makes it not the greatest Perspective Wow.
In my opinion the best Perspective Wow is Orlando’s Magic Kingdom. There, even though every Main Streets are the same length, and so are the distances between the gate and the castle, the perspective look at its best.
First because the constructions of its Main Street are slightly higher than in Disneyland to match the height of the castle. It makes the building confortably topping every trees, even those full grown. And because the castle is so high and wide it really fills the gap between the two last Main Street buildings and perfectly bounds the two sides of the perspective.
Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant is, as many agree, certainly the most magical Disney Castle. Event though it’s not as tall and wide as Florida’s Cinderella’s, the landscaping surrounding it fill the gap just as nicely. It’s also one of the greatest perspective Wow because of the red tiles paving the ground and the height of the buildings which is equivalent to Walt Disney World’s Main Street.
In Tokyo, the perspective Wow can be seem at first rather disapointing. When they build this Kingdom back in the early 80’s Imagineers had to consider the high precipitation of the Kanto area. They therefor decided to cover Main Street by putting a giant marquee above it that reflects XIXth century european train stations.
Beside, in a purpose of giving the park some larger space, Imagineers created vast landscaping and set the castle 630 feet away from the end of
Main Street World Bazaar instead of the regular 500 feet. The result is quiet unique, and not ugly at all. It’s part of the charm of the first oriental Magic Kingdom.
Although it is a faithful replica of Disneyland’s Main Street and castle it’s a bit different.
First the trees lining up Main Street are still young and not covering every buildings. The trees circling the Hub in Disneyland have not been planted in Honk Kong, therefore the castle view is not blocked in any way.
Second the pavement is not plain grey cement but garden tiles.
And last but not least, the mountains surrounding Hong Kong are delicately dressing the back of the perspective which adds up one more thing to the beautiful combination of early century street and renaissance castle : timeless mountains.
After hearing the first rumors about the main-street-less 6th Kingdom, one could have been afraid to now experience the Wow. But Mickey Town, although much shorter than Main Street still provides a nice opening curtain for the castle backdrop.
In spite of its record 700 feet distance from the edge of Mickey Town, the 197 feet tall Storybook Castle still looks rather massive against Shanghai’s sky.
A high castle, trees well trimed, colorful pavement are the elements which differentiate Pespective Wows around the world. But for the sounds, the cheer, the kinetic elements moving up and down this beautiful manshaped living painting, every single Magic Kindom has it! That’s why no matter which Magic Kindom you’re stepping into, you are always gonna get hit by the Perspective Wow