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Secrets of WDW Discuss narrowing main street in the Trivia and Games Forums forums; I have heard that Main street goes wide to narrow towards the castle to make the castle look farther away. Vice versa towards the main st. train station. Narrow to ...
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    prickle's Avatar
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    narrowing main street

    I have heard that Main street goes wide to narrow towards the castle to make the castle look farther away. Vice versa towards the main st. train station. Narrow to wide so leaving doesn't look so far away. Has anyone else heard this?

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    Re: narrowing main street

    I've heard of the angle of the building being different, not the narrowing of the street. The buildings being angled a certain way makes it seem like from Train Station to Castle is really short but Castle to Train Station is really long is the theory I've heard.
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    Re: narrowing main street

    The explanation that I've heard is that the vanishing point (the point in a perspective drawing to which parallel lines not parallel to the image plane appear to converge) is different depending on which end of Main Street you're standing.
    If you're in Town Square, the vanishing point is the entrance to Cinderella Castle making Main Street appear longer, but looking the opposite way, the vanishing point is the flag pole in Town Square making the street appear shorter.
    Also, Main Street is slightly uphill from Town Square to Cinderella Castle making the walk seem longer, but downhill going to Town Square (which is great at night when everybody is headed for the parking lots!).
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    Re: narrowing main street

    I knew of the slope, but never heard of the street width varying.

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    Re: narrowing main street

    I'll ask someone right now that will know. It's amazing how many theories/explanations there are to this. Interesting thing to bring up, prickle.
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    Re: narrowing main street

    Quote Originally Posted by UBMICK35000 View Post
    The explanation that I've heard is that the vanishing point (the point in a perspective drawing to which parallel lines not parallel to the image plane appear to converge) is different depending on which end of Main Street you're standing.
    If you're in Town Square, the vanishing point is the entrance to Cinderella Castle making Main Street appear longer, but looking the opposite way, the vanishing point is the flag pole in Town Square making the street appear shorter.
    Also, Main Street is slightly uphill from Town Square to Cinderella Castle making the walk seem longer, but downhill going to Town Square (which is great at night when everybody is headed for the parking lots!).
    This is pretty close to the explanation I've always heard. This is why I am always in awe of the original imagineers!
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    Re: narrowing main street

    Found it!

    I knew I had read an explanation of this somewhere and I couldn't stop until I had located it.

    See "The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom" by The Imagineers, on the bottom of page 24.

    Here's the full text:

    "This forced perspective, combined with the depth of the hub beyond the end of the street, opens up a vast and exhilarating vista to the Guest entering the Park for a day of adventure. Conversely, the full-sized buildings around Town Square and the lesser depth of the Square itself conspire to make the same path appear shorter to the same weary Guest trudging toward the exit at the end of the day. Think of it as an optical illusion for your feet."

    The information about the actual vanishing points may have come from one of the tour guides on either 'Keys to the Kingdom' or 'Backstage Magic', I can't recall which one.
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    Re: narrowing main street

    Thanks for the research UBMICK. The feat of purposly designing the park this way is fantastic.

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    Re: narrowing main street

    heard this from my friends who work there
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    Re: narrowing main street

    Quote Originally Posted by UBMICK35000 View Post
    Found it!

    I knew I had read an explanation of this somewhere and I couldn't stop until I had located it.

    See "The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom" by The Imagineers, on the bottom of page 24.

    Here's the full text:

    "This forced perspective, combined with the depth of the hub beyond the end of the street, opens up a vast and exhilarating vista to the Guest entering the Park for a day of adventure. Conversely, the full-sized buildings around Town Square and the lesser depth of the Square itself conspire to make the same path appear shorter to the same weary Guest trudging toward the exit at the end of the day. Think of it as an optical illusion for your feet."

    The information about the actual vanishing points may have come from one of the tour guides on either 'Keys to the Kingdom' or 'Backstage Magic', I can't recall which one.

    This vanishing point makes complete sense seeing as the train station is much closer to the south end of Main Street than Cinderealla Castle is to the north end of Main Street.
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    Re: narrowing main street

    Quote Originally Posted by UBMICK35000 View Post
    Found it!

    I knew I had read an explanation of this somewhere and I couldn't stop until I had located it.

    See "The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom" by The Imagineers, on the bottom of page 24.

    Here's the full text:
    "This forced perspective, combined with the depth of the hub beyond the end of the street, opens up a vast and exhilarating vista to the Guest entering the Park for a day of adventure. Conversely, the full-sized buildings around Town Square and the lesser depth of the Square itself conspire to make the same path appear shorter to the same weary Guest trudging toward the exit at the end of the day. Think of it as an optical illusion for your feet."
    The information about the actual vanishing points may have come from one of the tour guides on either 'Keys to the Kingdom' or 'Backstage Magic', I can't recall which one.
    I've got the book so I'm very familiar with the information about forced perspective being used to trick the eyes/brain.
    But, this is the first time I've ever heard it suggested that Main Street USA is narrower at one end then the other. As in, if you stretched a tape measure across the street from curb to curb at the north end and then the south end, you would get a different measurement? If that is in fact what is being suggested...?
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    Re: narrowing main street

    I think the confusion here is from the use of the word "forced" at the beginning of the quote.

    The north - south perspective of Main Street isn't "forced". Picture standing on a train track. You know that the rails are parallel but if you look in each direction they appear to converge at a point in the distance. That's true perspective. If Main Street did actually get wider or narrower, then I don't think the illusion would work. The difference in width would be apparent whether you were looking from Main Street to Cinderella Castle or vice versa. What seems to make the illusion work is the difference in the distance from the end of Main Street to the Castle at one end or from the end of Main Street to the Train Station at the other, which is pointed out in the quote. We can have both points of view and both work. True "forced" perspective works only if we have one point of view, like when you stand on Main Street and look up at the building facades and they appear to be taller then they actually are.
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    Re: narrowing main street

    Having been in architecture for the last 30+ years, I am VERY familiar with perspective - one-point, two-point, forced or otherwise. I was rendering in perspective before a lot of people on this site were a glint in their momma or daddy's eye.
    The only thing I was questioning goes back to the original post - did someone tell the poster that Main Street was actually PHYSICALLY narrower at one end than at the other?
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    Re: narrowing main street

    Mickeytoo, yes someone told me the street was physically narrower at one end than at the other. I have never heard of this before thats why I asked the Disney experts on this forum. I am digging the answers. I know one thing though, on the way out my feet are telling me its a long ways to the gate. lol

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    Re: narrowing main street

    Is there a forum member out there that's down at The World right now, or going soon, with access to a tape measure that can confirm this one way or the other, please?!
    If not, I might just have to do it myself in July.
    That won't attract any security, huh?
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