Are Disney theme parks like museums?
Published: October 24, 2011 at 5:13 PM
Did I just say museum?
An original dress from former First Lady Nancy Reagan, on display in the Magic Kingdom's Hall of Presidents lobby, along with other White House memorabilia.
You bet. And I don't mean that some of the rides are so old the belong in one, or that so many items of Disneyana are extremely collectible. Disney has collected rare antiques, steam engines, artifacts and movie props and hid them all over the parks. Did you know that a set of chairs in the lobby of the Tower of Terror in Disney's Hollywood Studios are actual antiques from the renaissance? Or that all of the mining equipment decorating the Big Thunder coasters are real antique mining machines? Or how about those penny arcade games, or orchestrium, or lamp poles on Main Street?
Even within the parks are mini museums. Things like One Man's Dream, or the stave church in Norway, or the amazing display on American invention in the American Pavilion or the presidential treasures in the Lobby of the Hall of Presidents. If you think about it, Disney's Hollywood Studios is one giant museum of film props hidden all over, in and out of the Back Lot Tour.
This all stems from Disney's effort to make their experience as close to the real thing. Such devotion to detail and preservation of wonderful items is not common in the theme park industry.
There could be a thick book with the history of all the integrated historic collectibles. Think about this next time you walk down Main Street, or fly by some mining machinery, or wish you could sit in that chair in the Tower of Terror lobby.
Enjoy the museums.