Is there anything better than some great Imagineering concept art? Only when it comes from master artist Herb Ryman, probably my favorite of all the folks Walt Disney employed to create renderings for his parks. (His work for EPCOT Center is my favorite.)
Here's a very cool, vintage slice of the entrance to Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A. in super large resolution (just click). Discerning eyes will catch a few interesting details. The Opera House appears on the opposite side of where it was eventually built. Mickey Mouse doesn't quite appear yet in flower form at the front of the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad station. Lastly, the ticket booths look to be a bit away from the paths that go under those train tracks, creating a bit of a garden between the real world and Walt's. I love that idea!
Due to the fact that I get to Disneyland rarely these days, I mind myself zooming past Main Street to get to whatever is new or has been changed since last visit. When we lived in California and visits were more common, I loved to roam the street, walking in the shops, and just take in the atmosphere. Be it the Fire Station or the Market House and the party-line telephone, the first land guests see may actually be filled with the most amount of detail and even the most charm.
There were a few advantages with the old "A" through "E" Ticket system. When you ran out of coupons (as they were called on the ticket themselves), you either purchased more tickets or your spent your time exploring. I'd go back to that in a heartbeat- and lose Fast Pass as well. Doing so would certainly redistribute the crowds and make for a better day in the long run!
(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)