Vote of the week: Should Disneyland trim its trees?
Werner Weiss' recent photo essays at his outstanding Yesterland website have reminded me of a question that's been bugging me for some time now:
Should Disneyland cut down some of its trees?
Take a look here and here, where Weiss documents the visual changes in Disneyland Park over the past five decades. To me, the biggest differences in these photos are the size of the trees.
Take a look at this photo I shot earlier this month. The trees tower over the castle, in the background. And trees obscure the view of the Main Street shops from even Town Square.
Much of Disneyland, including Sleeping Beauty's Castle was built using forced perspective. That is, upper floors were built to progressively smaller scales, allowing relatively small buildings to create a visual illusion of greater size.
But when trees next to these buildings grow over 10 feet tall, the forced perspective is compromised, then lost. Disneyland becomes Lilliputian Land, with small buildings dwarfed by the towering trees.
In some places, the greenery is needed, such as behind City Hall, where the tall trees now block the view of show buildings behind it. But in other places, trees obscure what could be welcomed views.
I believe that many more kids would want to venture over to Tom Sawyer's Island if they could see the many play areas on the island from the mainland. Now, however, trees obscure everything on the island, creating an immense green "blank space" in the middle of the Rivers of America.
Clearly, I'm in the camp which believes that Disney needs to either prune back or cut down many of the trees in the park, to return to the park's greenery to the scale it had in the 1960s. (Early Disneyland was too bare, IMO.) I'm sure that others will disagree. So let's put it out there: Should Disneyland cut back its trees?
Discuss in the comments. And thanks again for reading Theme Park Insider!
I expect you're going to take some heat from the green community for this piece, but I agree with you as far as the castle goes. However, with regard to Tom Sawyer's Island, I like the fact that the trees create a place of adventure away from the rest of the park. When you arrive on the island, it really feels like you've left the hustle and bustle of the park and have embarked on a turn-of-the-century adventure. You can't see everything awaiting you, so there's plenty to explore and discover. Also, when exploring the fort and caves and winding paths, you can't just easily look out and see rest of the park outside of the island. In the case of Tom Sawyer's Island, I feel the trees are an absolutely intrinsic part of the experience.
I agree with the last person. The trees make Tom Sawyer island. However, the trees on main street do kill the whole size thing disney tried to do originally. I noticed it looked funny right away. I am sure they have a way they could be trimmed to fit in correctly.
The trees also get in the way of the fireworks in the central plaza (the hub). Lots of people get their spots for the fireworks only to find out that the spot they selected is obscured by a tree.
If you've ever been to a nearly treeless park like Knott's crappy Farm, you will understand the importance of trees. I have been to Knotts in the summertime and had to leave early because it was so hot!
Here would be my plan for severe trimming, or cut-downs and replanting smaller species:
If you look at the Main St pics on Yesterland, it looks as if they did cut back the trees on Main St. I agree that it would be better to have smaller trees around and behind the castle to help with the forced perspective. The majority of the trees are nice to have around and add to the feel of the lands.
Only in the hub could I support trimming back some of the trees to help with fireworks sightlines and perspective. In the rest of the park the bountiful trees offer a welcome respite and beauty.
I'm with the last commenter. The trees make the park infinitely cooler and much more beautiful. I don't want a "real desert" theme over by Big Thunder, it gets hot enough in Southern California as it is, I certainly don't need any cacti reminding me of the fact.
I don't think they need to cut down any trees. I visited Disneyland in June for the first time and thought it was beautiful park. Trees should stay!
Without a doubt, trim, cut, remove, all the above. Great observation. I have been to the parks many times over the years and have never even considered how the trees and the parks surroundings have changed over the years. I'm sure this is overlooked by most guest, but it would be great to have it back to the way it was meant to be. Without the forced perspective the park is not truly what it was intended to be. It was designed this way for a reason and it should be restored at once!!
^But trees do grow so couldn't that have been the intention?
I'm so upset that Disney decided to ruin the entire look and feel of Magic Kingdom's Main Street over at WDW by tearing down all of the trees in the central hub as well as the ones lining the end of Main Street.
They trim the trees... what is the problem??? Do you not like the way they do it??? Yes....it may block some views, but I think that the views are actually improved!!! So what if you can't see the castle from a greater distance! this makes the castle even more respectable once you get closer to it! As for the rest of the park, I feel the same!
I think the trees behind the Castle for sure!
My main cutting would the trees behind the castle when viewing from the main street station. The trees ruin the force perspective action of main street. The castle is dwarfed by them.
I wonder why they left the trees behind the Castle grow so tall to start with? You think they would have kept them trimmed to maybe 20 feet years ago.
Some trees, like those on Tom Sawyer Island, can stay the way they are, but those trees on Main St USA and The Hub have to be significantly trimmed. It took this picture to make me realize how much the size of the trees do tower over the castle, which is supposed to tower over the entire park...I agree with Robert that the trees completely cross out the forced perspective, and if the castle didnt look short enough already (at least compared to Magic Kingdom's) the trees are doing it no favors
Although the trees can block the view of fireworks, I think they are great. I don't know how many of you have been to disneyland in July or August, but the trees provide welcome shade and relief. I often find myself looking for shade, and at disnelyand I never have a problem finding it.
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