Thursday, August 1, 2013

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Liberty Street and Edison Square


There have been many planned attractions in Disneyland, to never see the light of day. Branching off of Main Street, USA, there were to be several other streets set in-line with the theme of grand, old-fashioned America that was represented by Main Street. Such streets included, Edison Square, Chinatown, International Street, and most notably, Liberty Street.


Liberty Street hearkened back to the days of Colonial America, inspired by New England storefronts and cobblestone streets with a harbor and stationary flagship. Walt Disney's fascination with history and progressive thinking, led him to envision many tributes to the early and pivotal days in America. While Main Street represents the "turn of the century", Liberty Street would showcase the setting for settlers of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as would have been seen in the 18th century.


Edison Square was a bit like Liberty Street, though based instead on the days of Thomas Edison. Edison was a genius inventor whose practices today wouldn't have been so well-received. He is credited with the invention of the phonograph, the lightbulb, and even movies. Edison Square was not only a tribute, complete with a statue of Edison, but again, an exhibit that replicated the everyday life of Americans as they discovered new technologies like the automobile, and electric lighting.

Guests readied for the grand opening of Liberty Street and others. Signs decorated the closed-off pathways to the future sites. The maps were marked and illustrated with what was to come.


But the years went by, and we still never saw any of these planned attractions. They were left to the imagination.


I believe that if these ideas had come to fruition, Disneyland would have gone in a completely different direction. Rather than having such a focus on Disney franchises and characters, it would have better kept alive the rational Walt Disney dream of creating a timeless universe where visitors can visit different timelines of the past, present, and future. Frontierland would perhaps have become more alive with the spirit of adventure akin to the worlds of Davy Crockett and Tom Sawyer. With Liberty Street, there would be little need for the maritime streets of the much later New Orleans Square, and perhaps the pirate theme would have been a less dominant feature of Frontierland. Whereas today's pirates in Frontierland have all but assimilated the original pioneer and American Indian themes (see Pirate's Lair).

But who knows? All we can do is look back on what could have been. But if they never built Liberty Street and Edison Square, then what took their place?


Perhaps the future isn't so bad after all.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info. Do you know when Disney gave up on developing these areas?

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  2. I think that when The Magic Kingdom in Florida began being built he opted to build it as Liberty Square instead. That's all I know, there are probably a lot more details...

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