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From Fort Collins, Colorado to Disneyland – Imagineer Harper Goff

Last summer, I spent a couple of weeks in Fort Collins, Colorado. While I was excited to be there for my work, I was disappointed at traveling so close to the West Coast, but not close enough to justify a trip to Disneyland. That is, until my wife handed this magazine to me at the Colorado Welcome Center and pointed at the bottom corner.


The article was about Harper Goff and how the town of Fort Collins was surprised to find out their connection to the Happiest Place on Earth. If the names Harper Goff and Fort Collins sound familiar, you probably listened to Show #436 – Disney Legend Harper Goff where Lou and Ryan talked about how Goff was inspired by his hometown when designing Main Street, U.S.A.

In fact, some of the buildings in Disneyland are almost exact replicas of the ones in Colorado.

I’ve never been to Disneyland so, unfortunately, I can’t show you side by side comparisons (but you can see some here).

I did get to see the Firehouse, which is now part bookstore and part tea shop.




And the Linden Hotel, which is now a gift shop called Nature’s Own.


Some of the other buildings that Goff used for inspiration were the First National Bank, the Colorado & Southern Railroad Station and the old courthouse (which has long been torn down).

Fort Collins is a beautiful town, and I loved being able to find a little piece of Disney in an unexpected place.

(Photos from the author’s personal collection.)


Chris grew up during the Disney renaissance of animation and took his first trip to Disney World when he was ten. Even though he has loved Disney his whole life, his obsession didn’t start until he began planning a trip for his honeymoon. Right now, his primary job (at least the one that doesn’t pay the bills) is to indoctrinate his daughter with his love of Disney while at the same time convincing his wife to move to Orlando, so he can become a tour guide in the parks.