On my recent trip out West, we went to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA for a day. I was struck by the beautiful design elements and artistic touches I saw all over the California Park. There were also many California Craftsman style pieces as well as Art Deco, often in the most mundane places.

Walt Disney with a map of the original Disneyland

The park is dotted with artistic plant arrangements and mini gardens

California Craftsman style fountain. Similar to Art Deco style.

Pseudo Frank Lloyd Wright style building, with his iconic stonework patterns

My favorite – a total art deco pretzel stand! Gorgeous!

Closeup of a colorful mosaic over a bench

A larger section of the mosaic over a bench


  1. Disney gave his artists a lot of freedom, especially in park design. He was one of those bosses who figured he’d hired the best he could find and he might as well let them do their thing. It worked out really well — in both American parks. I don’t have any idea what the overseas parks look like, though.


    • That was the genius of Disney – he hired the best and let their imaginations take flight. He was always pushing the envelope and creating new technologies. He now has some virtual reality programs at the parks that Tom says are state of the art. They blew his mind! We went to see a short version of the Broadway play of Frozen at Disneyland. The costumes and sets were amazing and the special effects were awesome. I really felt like I was on Broadway. And these actors do three shows every day! They must have several casts because that’s too much for any actor to handle.


  2. Great photos! As a child, I was lucky to visit Disneyland in its early years, during a trip to see my grandmother. I wasn’t old enough to appreciate these types of things, but it sure was magical to a little girl from Small Town, Michigan.


    • What’s great about the Disney parks is that there is something for every age group. Kids love it on one level and grownups can appreciate it on a totally different level. I also noticed that my kids reacted differently at different ages, and liked some things more when they were younger and some more when they were older.

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    • I’ve been to both Disneylands a lot and am getting bored with them. That’s why I focused on the design elements this time – to give myself a different perspective and experience. And they really are beautiful and masterfully done. You go through many different ‘worlds’ as you walk through the parks. It’s quite interesting from a purely visual point of view.

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