Designing Main Street USA - Main Street Station

Main Street Station is the first structure visitors see upon entering Disneyland Park, Paris. Its elevated station building is the barrier between reality and fantasy. The place where the young and young at heart "leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy".

Disneyland Paris Railroad - Main Street Station's layout is inspired by the the facade from the "it's a small world" attraction, where the trains go in front of the facade and then behind the central clock. The train station has the same outline as a glass covering that spans the track, links the main building with an adjacent structure (enclosing the organ).

The station building isn't tall. According to Walt Disney Imagineer Eddie Sotto (show producer Main Street USA at Disneyland Paris) it had to be low enough in order not to block the view of guests staying at the nearby Disneyland Hotel.

Countless elements of the building are adorned with the initials 'EDLRR'. This abbreviation stands for 'Euro Disneyland Railroad', the original name of the line before the park's name changed to Disneyland Paris.

Mister Eddie Sotto originally designed Main Street after a typical American town in the 1920's.

In the end this plan was abandoned. The train station ended up being a Victorian wood depot with an iron structure woven in (reminiscent of the initial concept).

The staircases and the cast iron structure are inspired by New York's Elevated train stations.

New York City’s earliest form of rapid transit was the elevated railway, or 'el' (1868). Although the els were dirty and noisy and blocked sunlight from the streets below, they allowed people to travel quickly and cheaply throughout the city for nearly a hundred years, helping transform New York into a bustling metropolis.

The organ in Main Street Station used to play a swelling musical fanfare. Its design is inspired by a piece of cabinetry that Mister Eddie Sotto once saw at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. Disneyland Paris plans to refurbish the organ in the near future.

The Station's platforms are incredibly long in order to accommodate trains with a large capacity (250 guests).

Before the arrival of the train, an announcement of the stationmaster can be heard. This spiel was voiced by Mister Eddie Sotto himself.

This is an never before published incomplete Eddie Sotto concept sketch of a bas relief bronze clock for the train station. It was to be located above the faux ticket booth facing into Main Street USA.

The train station has three portals leading into Main Street. This is unique to Disneyland Paris. The floors are all paved with English encaustic tiles, made in the tradition of the 19th century.

Encaustic tiles are ceramic tiles in which the pattern or figure on the surface is not a product of the glaze but of different colors of clay. As the pattern is burnt deep into the body of the tile, rather than painted on in a surface glaze, they are highly durable.

The center portal is visually blocked by the bandstand on Town Square. Because of this guests cannot see the castle from the ticketing area. Imagineers did not want guests to be drawn there without experiencing the splendor of Main Street USA first.

The Main Street Station features beautiful stained glass windows...

... and unique posters advertising the the wonders of Disneyland Paris.

More never before published concept art.


Gorilla's don't Blog ("it's a small world")
Tim Jennings ("credits photo")

Shared Knowledge

Submitted by Patrick on February 27, 2012 - 18:49 #

In Disneyland Paris, the sign below Main Street Station says "Here you leave today and enter worlds of history, discovery and ageless fantasy."

Submitted by Goovi on October 14, 2011 - 18:22 #

The stained glasses represent the 5 "lands" of the Disneyland (from top to bottom): Frontierland (Mississippi steamboats), Adventureland (Capt. Hook's galley), Fantasyland (Castle), Discoveryland (Orbitron).


Submitted by Miss Pink Fringe on March 14, 2012 - 16:52 #

This is amazing information, great for when I go later in the year!

Submitted by AJ on October 14, 2011 - 18:20 #

Amazing post! Everything has so much intricate color. It's just beautiful!

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