In Walt Disney’s worlds, architecture was a mesmerist’s task of spinning gold from paint and turning stucco into stone. Walt watchers — those who worked with him or studied him closely — will assert that he never intended Disneyland or Walt Disney World to be “real,” but, at the same time, they will talk about his preoccupations with making it all completely believable, a pretend world with no jarring intrusions; the oxymoron of totally authentic inauthenticity. “Imagination is the model from which reality is created,” Disney once said, showing that he knew exactly what he was doing when he turned fiction into fact, making myth and legend part of everyday life. (Page 14)
Building a Dream: the Art of Disney Architecture. Beth Dunlap, 1995
Imagine that–authentic inauthenticity. So where does that lead us? That Walt saw (due to his death in 1966) as architecture as the final art form? Although he was planning EPCOT before he passed, he was never able to instill the confidence of creating the actual city. No one but Walt could have pulled off that one.
The next time you are at Walt Disney World–whether it is in the parks or the resorts–notice the authentic inauthenticity. How does it make you feel to stroll down Main St. USA, even though you know the buildings aren’t truly to scale? Or taking a trek around World Showcase, where you know that you are only sampling the countries like an appetizer. Have you checked into the Wilderness Lodge and been awed by the grandeur?
That is the point. Feelings and story. Attachment. Nostalgia.
Close you eyes and imagine that you are walking down Main St. USA.
Pretty nice, eh?