Mapping the Happiest Place on Earth: Disney’s Medieval Cartography

  • Stephen Yandell
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


Can you ever really be lost in Disneyland? After all, the park offers an ordered, safe model of the world. Admittedly, opening day in 1955 found guests disoriented in a variety of ways,1 but Disneyland has since generated phenomenal success by prioritizing guests’ feelings of comfort and familiarity. Walt Disney championed these priorities at every stage of the park’s development: Main Street USA, he insisted, would provide an ideal welcome by offering guests aspects of their childhood,2 and an easy-to-reach central hub would offer a constant “sense of orientation.”3 Today, even the most unprepared guests navigate the park easily because of these features, while taking advantage of clear signage, an army of cast members, and an endless supply of brochure maps.


Theme Park Cast Member Aerial Perspective Disney World Riverside Drive 
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Copyright information

© Tison Pugh and Susan Aronstein 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Yandell

There are no affiliations available

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