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In his book “By the numbers”, Buzz Price talks about the thought that a park needs a space of 100 square feet per guest. He is unclear what he means exactly though. Is this free roaming space for the guests (i.e. the walkways, queues etc), or the total space including all themed props, gardens etc.
With Disneyland sometimes having 60,000 guests, it’s hard to imagine the place needing 6 million (!) square feet.
What are your thoughts about this subject?
That works out to about 140 acres. Which to me seems not that impossible.
If I take Disneyland as a rectangle on Google Earth, it’s 4.7 million square feet in size. And since it is not actually a rectangle, this figure is overestimated. I’d say it’s a lot less than 4 million in reality.
Or am I missing something?
The whole resort is 500 acres:
(scroll to bottom)
The original property is generally posted as being 160 acres, with 85 of that being the publically accessible areas of Disneyland itself. (One source for this is, of course Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disneyland).
I don’t know how that figures out into square feet… grrr… Math!… but I’d be interested to know the answer of how much square footage per person there is.
For comparison, Magic Kingdom is supposedly 107 acres.
Well, according to Google: 1 acre = 43 560 square feet
160 acres = about 7 million sqr ft
85 acres = about 3.7 million sqr ft
If I measure Disneyland as a rectangle, it’s 2235*2254= 5 million square feet on Google Earth. So definitely more than the advertised 85 acres. I guess this could be right since the park is smaller than the measured rectangle.
In conclusion, the place is a lot smaller than what Buzz Price requires, right?
I guess it must be true… The 85 acres is supposedly the “publicly accessible” areas… which means it doesn’t include the backstage or access roads…It is possible that it doesn’t include parking lots either…(but it also might not include the newer Toontown expansion… which I hear is outside the railroad and berm… just the acreage of the original park). I am guessing that the backstage is part of that rectangle that you measured?
Buzz’s recommendations might be based on a more modern design aesthetic. A ton of parks have been built since Disneyland, and many of them seem to incorporate huge swathes of asphalt. I have heard that Disneyland feels very cozy (and often busy)… that it has a “charm” that you don’t find at the more modern parks…
The charm of the buildings at Disneyland, and more specifically the coziness, has less to do with the amount of walking area than it does the scale of the buildings. At Disneyland, the buildings were intentionally built to smaller than full scale in order to give it that ginger bread house feel. Off the top of my head, it’s 7/8 scale. This is a tangent, but that’s the answer about the coziness of thse place. I think it doesn’t have to do with the open areas in the park.
are you referring to the entire building being built to 7/8 full size, or just the facades? i guess this plus the forced perspective of upper levels does add to the ‘coziness’ factor. Ive yet to visit Disneyland but is it similar to facades and buildings at the magic kingdom?
At Disneyland, the buildings on Main Street are scaled to 7/8 of their original size. This is to give the buildings an illusion called forced perspective. Forced perspective gives the buildings on Main Street the sense of being taller than they really are. The buildings, which appear to be over three stories tall in places, are in actuality only one and a half stories tall. Forced perspective also plays apart in creating a sense of the length of Main Street. Buildings near Town Square are built slightly bigger than those near the plaza. Looking north up Main Street this gives the appearance of a long Main Street, making the castle appear farther away (and therefore larger) than it actually is. While looking south down Main Street, Town Square seems closer and helps weary guests feel closer to the exit at the end of the day.
At Magic Kingdom in Florida, forced perspective is still utilized but to a lesser extent. After all, the castle is roughly twice the size so the need for dramatic scaling or forced perspective is lessened.
Cinderella Castle does use forced perspective, though. They ran into the issue about needing the night light for planes on top of the turret. So, the building was meant to come in just under the height limit. To make it taller, the upper openings do get a lot smaller. The windows and openings get to be too small for a person (Tinkerbelle is huge compared to the window that she starts her flight from).
Even Space Mountain uses tricks to make it look taller. The support beams aren’t squared up. They get thinner as they reach the top. I don’t think that there’s a building, or plant, that hasn’t been scaled to look bigger (the trees on Main Street are pruned to keep from making the buildings look smaller).
yeah its really incredible how the use of forced perspective really influences how guests view the parks. its also used in a more extreme way at MGM studios where they have the flats of the NYC skyline built. depending on where you are, its very convincing.
I thought I read someplace that Main Street was designed with the opposite idea in mind. The castle is made to look bigger than it really is, but the illusion makes it seem closer, too, making it look like it isn’t that far to get there, drawing you in. It is supposed to look further when you are going out, making it look like too much effort, so that you will want to stay, and not have to make that long trek to leave the park.
I could definitely be wrong on this, but seem to remember seeing it someplace. I’ll do some research and try to find that source again.
I think you are right… The windows and openings at the top are smaller at both parks to enhance the feeling of size for the castle. The “bricks” decrease in scale as well… I think it’s just a matter of which park used it to more dramatic effect, and it seems that the verdict is that Disneyland used it more.
I am looking at the “Imagineering Guide to the Magic Kingdom” at the moment. What Nate said about Disneyland is also true for Magic Kingdom: the street looks longer coming in and shorter leaving the park. The Town Hall and Train Station are full size — partly to prevent visual intrusion (e.g. Space Mountain). So they are the only buildings on Main Street with all of the floors built to the correct size… The rest of the buildings are normal size on the first floor (12′ high), but the second and third floors diminish in size (10′ high, and 8′ high. respectively), so that the buildings look taller. So because, when you are leaving, the buildings at the end of the street look large, they also seem closer…
I always love the interesting analysis that “Foxxfur” gives. If you want to read some interesting (although slightly academic in style) writing about the differences between Disneyland and Disneyland 2.0 (a.k.a. Magic Kingdom), go here: http://passport2dreams.blogspot.com/2007/10/second-wheel.html
She has a lot of great writing about other things besides. I always look forward to reading her ideas…
I love my copy of “Imagineering guide to the Magic Kingdom”! Even when you know the perspective is forced, it doesn’t really look like it.
I did have it wrong. The exit is supposed to look closer on your way out, when you are tired out. It helps on the way in to give the right perspective of the street and castle.
I’ve tried to take pictures, with a long lens and a wide lens, but the camera doesn’t seem to work the same as the eye. It’s fun to see the effects of it.