Recently, one of my INCREDIBLE sources sent me a compiled list of Main Street Transportation options. I will share this info and also add a few Daveland photos to help illustrate this most excellent listing:
The Horse-Drawn Streetcars
…are composite reproductions of 19th Century streetcars and were built at the Studio Coach Shop. “Imagineers” at WDI built the four streetcars by working from photographs of earlier authentic vehicles. There is no other place in the world where time is deliberately pushed back more than 100 years to make it possible for a guest to experience the sensations of feeling, seeing, hearing, and even smelling everything associated with a turn-of-the-century “hay-burning Oatsmobile.”
The Horseless Carriages
….are sometimes called the “1903’s,” but you could pick any year – 1904, ’05, or ’06, and be just as accurate. These little cars are of WDI “composite” design. On the basis of extensive research, Studio designers created a horseless carriage which was a composite of the design and size of many gas-driven cars of that early period in automobile history.
The Horseless Carriages are a little bit of everything. The two-cylinder engines are actually not auto engines, but have the horsepower, the sound – and even a slight case of the shakes – as did the originals. WDI designers selected today’s most efficient two-cylinder water pump engines. Some of the external parts, such as lights, are authentic.
….is a very nearly authentic reproduction of Fifth Avenue busses which were the main mode of transportation in turn-of-the-century New York. Some are still in operation there. Only one authentic part, an old electric klaxon horn, is used.
The drop frame chassis is from a modern-day truck, and the bus has both power steering and power brakes. Certain adaptations in height and seating to provide greater comfort, safety, and convenience for our guests were made by Studio designers, but the busses are as nearly authentic as possible. The motor takes advantage of modern improvements which provide for better operation—and no smog.
The Motorized Fire Engine
…is similarly a composite design of a hose-carrying fire engine of the turn of the century. The primary change we made was to place seats where the hose was carried. The Studio men designed a chassis, then pored through standard catalogues for unlikely, but practical equipment – a jeep rear axel, a three-speed truck transmission, the power plant of a small pick-up truck and standard drive-line parts. The bell and siren are authentic, purchased after considerable search.
At the turn of the century, gas-driven cars were considered a novelty—and a hazard—lacking the reliability of a horse. Motorized fire equipment was merely supplementary to the more respected stead.
The Horse-Drawn Fire Wagon/Chemical Wagon
…in the Fire Station at City Hall is authentically reproduced from pictures. The hats, axes, and other props are authentic. The wagon is part of the show, but is no longer used on Main Street to carry guests. As a special treat, here is a photo of the Fire Wagon before it ever came to Disneyland, sitting on the studio backlot:
…were also reproductions from pictures of surreys found in Standard Vehicle Catalogues. Necessary parts were located or made by Owen Pope. Owen and Dolly Pope operated the Pony Farm when the park opened in 1955, and did the original design and construction of the surreys. The Pony Farm is now the Circle D Ranch.
To save wear and tear on the ponies, surreys have always been made as lightly and delicately as possible. Because of the great number of guests carried, the wheels were made sturdier than those on most catalogue models—another factor that was built into the attraction. Although the surreys were part of the show when the park opened, they are no longer used to carry guests. Today they can be found on display in Big Thunder Ranch.
The Touring Car
…is the new Grand Marshall vehicle with a uniquely Disney touch—Mickey Mouse tread designs on all four tires and the spare tire attached to the rear. The new car now carries guests of honor down the park’s daily parade route in grand style. To fit the theme of Main Street, U.S.A., the Grand Marshall vehicle was designed after a 1912 touring car and can fit up to 11 guests. The design also allows guests in wheelchairs to board easily and ride in the main seating area. A wheelchair lift is built into the undercarriage that remains hidden until needed.
See more vintage & current Disneyland photos at my regular website.