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Why The Magic Kingdom’s Bypass Needs To Be Themed

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Running behind the eastern side of Main Street U.S.A. is a parallel bypass. This bypass has been used for some time, for major holidays, or any other time when the crowds are at their highest levels. The bypass was lacking theming as it was simply a glimpse into the backstage of the Magic Kingdom. Earlier this year some light theming was added to make the bypass a more official walkway. Simple additions like trees and railing have made the bypass less industrial, but I suggest that Disney takes it one step further.

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Image Credit: Sam McKim Disney Imagineer/Map Designer

What could fill this space? New Orleans Square has been done. What would blend well with Main Street U.S.A.? Thinking of what theming could fit into this bypass allowed my imagination to run free, but honestly I kept coming back to something Walt Disney himself had imagined in early concepts of Disneyland. Edison Square. Planned to be off of the eastern side of Main Street U.S.A., Edison Square was featured on park maps until 1964, and it now currently sit where Space Mountain is in Disneyland. Because of this there is simply no room for this idea to be fleshed out, but there is still hope for Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!

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Edison Square represented the inventive spirit of Thomas Edison. Portraying the turn of the century era, this street was supposed to be a visual representation on how electricity and technology changed the world. If this sounds familiar that is because Edison Square would become a huge inspiration for Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. In fact, GE, the eventual sponsor of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, was the original sponsor of Edison Square. The genius behind the bypass becoming Edison Square is that it could lead directly to Tomorrowland dropping guests right into the lap of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. In my opinion there is no better prerequisite for Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress than for guests to experience and walk around in the age when technology was just about to blossom into what it is today.

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Image Credit: Sam McKim Disney Imagineer/Map Designer

In Edison Square the buildings would act as a walk through that showed the change in technology over time, so while the original plan for Edison Square might be too similar to Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, I think the theming itself has enough potential for the Imagineers to work with.

I am a huge fan of any integration of original concepts that Walt worked on himself, but I especially like this idea because it would work so seamlessly with the street leading right up to Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. Any Disney parks fan knows that Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress needs a restoration, and in my opinion restoring the idea of Edison Square in order to prep guests for the show would be a perfect combination.

Will this ever happen? Most likely no, but I never put anything past the great minds of Imagineering. I do hope that regardless of whether or not it is Edison Square, that the Magic Kingdom bypass is eventually utilized as a themed area.

Stephen "Steve" Porter started going to the parks with his family in 1996. Since then he hasn't looked back! Steve was a cast member participating in the Disney College Program in 2013. Most recently he graduated from Penn State University!


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