Disney Disneyland Studio 360 American Icons
Katie Cooper

Izzy Kleiman has been an Annual Passholder to Disneyland since she was 5.

Disney Disneyland Studio 360 American Icons
Katie Cooper

Now 11, Izzy Kleiman’s fandom is stronger than ever.

Disney Disneyland American Icons Studio 360

The entrance to Disneyland in Anaheim, California. 

Disney Disneyland American Icons Studio 360

Sleeping Beauty Castle in California’s Disneyland is raised slightly above Main Street USA, making it the focal point of the park. The road also narrows, drawing your eye (and the rest of your body) towards the castle.

Disney Disneyland Main Street USA American Icons Studio 360

The Market House on Main Street USA.

Disney Disneyland Main Street USA American Icons Studio 360

Even the flowers are carefully chosen to correspond with the color scheme and overall “story” of Main Street USA. 

Disney Disneyland Main Street USA American Icons Studio 360

Above the firehouse sits Walt’s private study, where he would work and entertain guests at Disneyland. Today, cast members keep a light on 24 hours a day to remember the park’s creator.

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln Disneyland American Icons Studio 360

"Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln:" the animatronic president recites bits of the real president’s famous speeches. 

Haunted Mansion Disneyland American Icons Studio 360

The entrance to the Haunted Mansion. The attraction is part of New Orleans Square, where the facades are copied from real buildings in New Orleans.

Haunted Mansion Disneyland American Icons Studio 360

Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion. Kim Irvine, Disneyland’s Art Director, is a second generation employee: both of her parents worked for Disney. Her late mother, Leota Toombs Thomas, worked in the model shop where the Haunted Mansion was developed — her face was the model for Madame Leota. At the end of the ride, she is also the voice of Little Leota, beckoning riders to return.

Haunted Mansion Disneyland American Icons Studio 360
Cory Doctorow

A small portion of Cory Doctorow’s collection of Haunted Mansion memorabilia. These plaster wall-plaques were sold in the 1970s at Walt Disney World. 

Disneyland American Icons Studio 360

Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland. Each theme park has a unique castle: the castles in California and Disneyland Paris belong to Sleeping Beauty, while the castles at the parks in Florida, Tokyo, and Hong Kong belong to Cinderella.

Disneyland American Icons Studio 360

Disney incorporates all sorts of tiny details into the park design. Since this castle belongs to Sleeping Beauty, one of her woodland friends perches nearby.

Walt Disney World American Icons Studio 360
Jenny Lawton

Kurt Andersen talks with Imagineer Gary Landrum and press associate Todd Heiden in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom in Florida.

Walt Disney World American Icons Studio 360
Jenny Lawton

Stroller parking at the Magic Kingdom. 

Walt Disney World American Icons Studio 360
Abby Boylston

Princess Jasmine (Lauren Boylston, 6), after visiting the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

Walt Disney World American Icons Studio 360
Marie Fabian

Annabel Fabian, 9, her mom Genie Cesar-Fabian, and Tigger. 

Walt Disney World American Icons Studio 360
Courtesy of Rachel Hankle

Rachel Hankle played Snow White at Walt Disney World for two years.

Walt Disney World American Icons Studio 360
Courtesy of Clay Chaffin

Michael Clowers performing as a Kid of the Kingdom in 1989 at Walt Disney World. 

Walt Disney World American Icons Studio 360
Courtesy of Clay Chaffin

Michael Clowers and Clay Chaffin (who played Prince Charming) at Walt Disney World in 1989. The couple has been together ever since.

Saving Mr. Banks Disneyland American Icons Studio 360
Walt Disney Studios

Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks (with Emma Thompson).

A Public Reading of An Unproduced Screenplay about the Death of Walt Disney American Icons Studio 360
Julieta Cervantes

Larry Pine as Walt Disney and Frank Wood as Roy Disney in the Soho Rep production of Lucas Hnath’s play A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney.

WS Paul McCarthy Disney American Icons Studio 360
Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth (Photo by Joshua White)

Still from Paul McCarthy’s installation WS, 2013. McCarthy often uses the images of Disney characters in his work, recasting enchantment as something more menacing. “I think one thing about Disney is his intention is putting you to sleep, putting you into a dream and not waking you from a dream,” says McCarthy. “And the case of an artist, I think, is to try and wake yourself.”

Disney Celebration Florida American Icons Studio 360
Jenny Lawton

The Siegel Family — Julie, Marita, and Jim — of Celebration, Florida, in front of their home.

Disney Celebration Florida American Icons Studio 360

A typical street in Celebration, Florida. 

Disney Celebration Florida American Icons Studio 360

Looking down Market Street in Celebration. The fountain and tidy storefronts have a similar sensibility to Main Street USA in Walt Disney World.

Disney Celebration Florida American Icons Studio 360

Market Street in downtown Celebration. 

Disney Mickey Mouse Celebration Florida American Icons Studio 360

Celebration is proud of its Disney lineage: some of its electric transmission towers are shaped like Mickey Mouse. 

Disney Christmas Celebration Florida American Icons Studio 360

To celebrate the winter holidays, downtown Celebration is covered in “snoap” — a soapy snow substitute that falls from the streetlamps.

Walt Disney Disneyland Mickey Mouse American Icons Studio 370

At Disneyland, a statue of Walt and his most iconic creation keep watch over their kingdom. 

American Icons: The Disney Parks

Walt Disney didn't just want a theme park — he wanted to create a scale model of a uniquely American utopia.