Ambiance: Main Street, USA (1955)
Meetable Characters: none
Shows: World of Color (Lady and Tramp eating spaghetti), Paradise Pier, Disney California Adventure (2010)
World of Color: Winter Dreams, Paradise Pier, Disney California Adventure (2013)
At first blush, your average Disneylandphile would dismiss Lady and the Tramp as a complete non-entity at the park. This apparent lack of representation is especially disappointing since the movie was released (June 22, 1955) only a month before the park opened (July 17, 1955). But, what if I told you an entire land was, in part, inspired by the movie? Perhaps due to said shared chronology of the two projects, Walt simultaneously decided to model both the small Maine town that served as the setting for Lady and the Tramp after his boyhood home of Marceline, Missouri as well as Disneyland's own Main Street, USA. So, really… they inspired each other. As to that, a lot of the same artists working on the movie were pulled in to finish work on the park so the similarities among the architecture, design and colour palette are to be expected.
Unfortunately though, there aren't a lot of specific inferences to Lady and the Tramp on our Main Street. While it was once planned to include a themed Dog Catcher-Cart photo-op and Dog Pound, these ideas were never actually realized. One bright idea I thought I stumbled upon was tucking a “Tony's” themed Italian restaurant into one of Main Street's many alleys but, little did I know, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom already features its own Tony's themed eatery on their Main Street. I'd still love to see something to this effect added to Disneyland though – maybe just a simple walk-up, window service type of deal where they would serve pizza by-the-slice all whilst the Bella Notte softly plays in the background.
Now, I don’t have any real concrete evidence for this other than wild conjecture on my part but there is one small, but important feature at the park that may have been inspired by the film. In the picture above, the name “Joe Rinaldi,” one of the movie’s screenwriters, is painted on the bottom left hand corner of the Barber Shop window. And??? Well, this small and minor throw-away detail (maybe even a prank by an artist that got past the editors) could very well have planted the seeds for the idea to use those upper-story Main Street Windows as a way to honour those who have had a significant impact on the park. Sure, this may all be a mere coincidence and completely unrelated but considering the shared time frame and design, the connection has to at least be considered.
A painted mural greets pets at Disneyland’s Kennel Club.
Acting almost as Disneyland’s credits, like in a movie, Disneyland has over 80 names painted on the upper windows of their buildings. While the vast majority of those are in Main Street, a few have spilled over to Adventureland, Frontierland and Mickey’s Toontown.
According to Marty Sklar (Disney Imagineer) "to add a name [on a window] today, there are three requirements: (1) Only on retirement. (2) Only the highest level of service/respect/achievement. (3) Agreement between top individual park management and Walt Disney Imagineering, which creates the design and copy concepts."
Portraits of both Lady and Tramp can be found displayed in Main Street’s Silhouette Studio.
While the similarities between park and movie are subtle at best, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure (2001) hits you over the head with it by featuring an animated facsimile of Main Street’s Town Hall.