June 10, 2017

From the Plaza Inn to the Crystal Palace

The Plaza Inn. What an absolutely wonderful place to eat when you want a break from the crowds at Disneyland! The exterior perfectly fits Main Street U.S.A. inside and out, and once inside, it feels far removed from a theme park as can be.

Walt Disney and the early Imagineers knew their audience, always striving to give them the best experience possible. Good enough was not the mantra of the time. Case in point: In 1965, Disneyland was in the middle of an iconic expansion still talked about among fans to this day.  Pirates of the Caribbean was was soon to debut. The Haunted Mansion was not far behind and neither was the great big beautiful New Tomorrowland

Guests visiting Walt's park had an opportunity to purchase a nice little souvenir book filled with concept art of upcoming attractions. The particular book this piece comes from had some rare art as well.  The Plaza Inn was given the Imagineering treatment from the beginning, starting with a rendering to highlight the feel of the place. 

You can almost see the inspiration for Walt Disney World's lovely Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom here. As with many things, Disneyland was the proving ground for what would come in the future. 

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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