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To Tell The Truth: Forced Perspective On Main Street, USA

To tell the truthWoohoo!  Another To Tell The Truth is here!  This is how you play:  I will give you a scenario, followed by four stories.  The thing is, only ONE of the stories is true.   It is your job to guess which story it is.  You can leave a comment below arguing why you think yours is correct or why you think the other three are fiction if you would like.  Now, on to the question! Forced perspective:  an architectural technique that employs optical illusion to make an object appear taller or shorter it actually is.  In the case of Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, taller.  The Imagineers used forced perspective along Main Street, USA to make every building appear taller.  Well, not every building.

Forced perspective wasn’t used on the Town Square Exposition Hall because they needed to block the Contemporary Resort.  This resort would have been seen from the south and east areas of the park, and Disney would NOT let that happen!  But Town Hall isn’t the only building on Main Street that doesn’t use forced perspective.  What other building on Main Street does NOT use forced perspective?


 Story 1

What am I talking about?  All the buildings on Main Street use forced perspective.   If only some buildings didn’t use force perspective, the buildings that utilize this unique trait would appear much shorter than the other buildings, thus ruining the point of forced perspective in the first place.  Forced perspective is used to make a building look taller, but if an actual tall building is on Main Street, you would be able to tell the difference.

Story 2

The upper floor of the train station is actually used by guests, so it is necessarily full scale.  If they had used forced perspective here, it would be very obvious, even new guests, which could tarnish a little bit of the magic for some people.  Plus, it obscures the view of the castle from the entrance area so that the “grand reveal” of the castle is exactly when Imagineers intended it to be.

Story 3main street

Tony’s Town Square is also used to block the Contemporary Resort.  Even though the Contemporary is pretty far away, you still need two buildings to block it to ensure that no guests can see it from any angle on Main Street.  In addition, there is a Cast Member’s Only room located on the second floor of Tony’s Town Square, and the Imagineers figured that the Cast Members would be more comfortable if forced perspective wasn’t used because it could mess with your head a little bit, and the taller workers might have to bend down to move around.

Story 4

The Firehouse located on Main Street USA does not use forced perspective. The top floor was meant to be used by Walt himself as his “home away from home”.  He stayed over the firehouse at Disneyland, and planned on visiting both the castle and the firehouse.  After the building was complete, they realized that no one would ever be able to live there.


Okay Disney fans, what other building on Main Street besides the Town Square Exposition Hall does not use forced perspective?  Let me know which you think is correct (or if you prefer, which ones are not) below.   Thanks for reading, and have fun guessing!


See ya REAL soon!     


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Quote of the week: “If you keep on believing the dreams that you wish will come true.”  ~ Cinderella, Cinderella


Makena is a 14 year old high school student who spends much of her free time researching Disney. She enjoys sharing Disney facts and even plans Walt Disney World vacations (including searches for secrets and Hidden Mickeys) for friends and family. Makena began blogging for WDW Radio in December 2011.