Article from Secrets from the World of Disney from Mickey to Magic Kingdom.
The construction of Disneyland began with Main Street, USA, who's design Walt based on a romanticized version of a U.S. town in the early 1900s.
"For those of us who remember the carefree time it creates, Main Street will bring back memories," Walt said. "For Younger visitors, it is an adventure in turning back the calendar to the days of their grandfathers youth." i
One of the first finished structures was this Disneyland Fire Department. Located in Town Square, the building housed the horse drawn chemical wagon. The cart originally transported tanks of biocarbonate soda to fight fires, but Walt used it to shuttle visitors, up and down Main Street in the early years.
A PLACE of HIS OWN
On the second floor of the firehouse--hidden from Park guests--was Walt's secret apartment. The 500 square foot dwelling was designed by Disney set decorator, Emile Kuri. The Victorian style space was outfitted with elegant furniture, deep bread fabrics and rose motifs.
While most second floor in Disneyland, were just for show, Walt's apartment-- which still exists today--was fully functional. The front door, actually located in the back of the building, leads to a small hallway, that feeds into the living room, which doubled as Walt and Lillian's bedroom and had two red couches with foldout twin beds. Portraits of their mothers hung above their sofas.
It was their refuge, it was their little place period," daughter Diane revealed. "The decor, it was all little things that they picked up where they were traveling around the country."
There's also a kitchenette and Walt's wooden desk near the window overlooking Main Street.
Around the corner is a closet with a small vanity area connected to a bathroom with a shower. A door behind the vanity area leads to the wood patio that discreetly overlooks the Jungle Cruise attraction. Walt decorated it with white wicker furniture furniture and a covered deck.
naturally, Walt had a fire pole installed in the apartment.
"He practically live there," Lillian said of the Disneyland home.
THE SECRET UNVEILED
When Walt was "in town", he made sure employees knew by lighting a table lamp that could be seen in the front window. The Lamp now respectfully remains permanently lit.
Walt's apartment was concealed from the public until August 1963, when National Geographic Magazine published the first interior picture in a 50 page article titled "The Magic Worlds of Walt Disney".
Disneyland visitors may have been unaware of Walt's room with a view, but Walt couldn't resist showing off the place to celebrity friends.
"If there were special people in the park, Mother and Dad would go out and they will provide them up." Diane said. Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen (of Davy Crockett fame) were both out there...Dad was looking out that window and saw them and he said, "Hey, come on up!"
Dick Van Dyke recalled an occasion where he and Walt were hanging out in the pad. "Walt was looking out the window of his apartment when he saw an employee from Adventureland cross Main Street in a Tahitian costume," Van Dyke said. "He got right on the phone. He didn't want the illusion of Main Street USA spoiled."
In the 1960s, Walt frequently invited his grandchildren for sleepovers, and gave them free run in the park.
Today relatives still occasionally use apartment so Diane, "It was really a very cozy family place."
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