Welcome to Jim Hill Media - Entertainment News : Theme Parks Movies Television

"Behind the Magic" exhibit to open next Friday at the Henry Ford Museum

"Behind the Magic" exhibit to open next Friday at the Henry Ford Museum

Rate This
  • Comments 9

Some people claim that the first theme park was created by Henry Ford. There is no doubt that Ford's Greenfield Village near the massive Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan was a major influence on Walt Disney's design of Disneyland.

'; dc.write(''); dc.write(''); //-->
That is one reason why the Ford Museum has partnered with The Walt Disney Company's Imagineering division to put together what may be the most comprehensive display of Disneyland artwork and artifacts ever assembled. "Behind the Magic: 50 Years of Disneyland" opens to the general public on Friday, September 30th  and will then run through January 1, 2006.

I had the opportunity to make a small contribution to this exhibit. The curators saw a book I helped write a couple of years ago, "Walt Disney's Missouri: The Roots of a Creative Genius." Many of my postcards of Marceline and Kansas City, Missouri are reproduced there and they wanted to use an old view of the main steet of Marceline in the exhibit.

Most Disney fanatics know that the main street of Marceline is the inspiration, and to some degree the model, for the Main Street, U.S.A. area of Disneyland, and the corresponding parts of the other Magic Kingdoms in Florida, Japan, France and China. But what is not as widely known is that Walt visited the Main Street of Greenfield Village in 1948 with Ward Kimball.

They had just been to the Chicago Railroad Fair and extended their stay in the Midwest by two more days to see the unique collection of historic buildings which Henry Ford had opened nearly twenty years earlier. Ford began the park with his own birthplace, a small wood frame structure. As years passed he added acquisitions like the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop and home, Thomas Edison's laboratory and H. J. Heinz' grocery store.

Ford began to create a reproduction of a New England town, built around a town square. His Main Street included a gazebo/band stand, just as Walt's original plan for the Town Square of Disneyland did.

Ford's village also featured a manmade lake with an island in the middle. He put an old-fashioned steamboat in the lake and it still circles the island each day, just as the Mark Twain circles Tom Sawyer Island.

Ford also had an old steam locomotive refurbished and put open-air passenger cars behind it for his park's visitors to ride. And the tracks this train rides circle his village, although the track only went partially around the park at the time of Walt and Ward's visit.

The similarities between the two parks are striking, to say the least. After Walt and Ward began their trip back to California on the Santa Fe Railway, Walt began to think about his ideas for what he called a little "Mickey Mouse Park" in more concrete terms. His earliest description of the park in an August, 1948 memo is almost exclusively a picture of Main Street. It talks about a "Main Village" with a Railroad station at one end and a Town Hall at the other. In between are the Opera House, Movie Theater, Drug Store, Hobby Shop, Candy Factory and Toy Store including a book department "that would carry all the Disney books."

My wife and I will be attending the Henry Ford Presidents' Dinner in Celebration of the Premiere of the Disneyland exhibit on Wednesday, September 21. Marty Sklar, Vice-Chairman of Walt Disney Imagineering, will be speaking. I'll file a report when we return.

Blog - Post Feedback Form
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Post
  • As for me, on pro-academic-writers.com/.../essay-writing you will find useful advices about essay writing.  It will help you to write your perfect essay

  • <a href="http://www.dsfdsfs.ss>fsdfs</a>

  • sdfsdf

  • If it comes to topic selection, I always ask my friends to help me. But today I found this <a href="essaysreasy.online/.../easy-essay-topics">essay writing blog</a>. Please, take a minute to visit it!

  • I want to visit this museum next month. You can visit resume-chief.com/.../nursing-resume this page and find me there. Alright?

  • Torque Pro for PC is a useful application for motorists that can save several thousand rubles on car diagnostics.

  • Want to hang out with friends but have to write an essay? Check top essay services where you can place an order and be sure in professional paper help. https://topessayservices.com/

  • I recently opened my own small business and now all my free time is spent on its development. Therefore, I do not have time to write any works at all. A question arose about the choice of a person/company for writing text works. The choice fell on edubirdie because of their funny design. After ordering two works, in my experience, I can say that the work comes on time and a decent quality.

  • I was tired of living alone all the time and I turned for help to the website yourmailorderbride.com/asian-brides The staff at this site helped me find my soulmate in a fairly short period of time. Everything is good between us now. I was satisfied with their service, I decided to recommend them to my friends.

Page 1 of 1 (9 items)