Got A Light? – Part Three – Magic Kingdom

In this third installment of my Lamppost blog series I’m going to discuss the Magic Kingdom. This first of the Disney World parks has a lot of diversity with its many lands and adventures so let’s get started.

Out in the parking lot we find extremely tall light towers. They’re not particularly attractive, but they do their job.

Parking Lot Lamppost

The Transportation and Ticket Center has similar, yet slightly different light fixtures than the parking lot. Take a look at the actual lights and you can see the difference. Thank goodness the lighting options within the Magic Kingdom show more imagination than these peripheral fixtures.

TTC Lamppost

The lampposts around the monorail station and adjacent area has a simplified “Main Street” look about them. This helps set the mood for your adventure to come.

Monorail Lamppost

A description often used when describing the era of Main Street is, “It’s a time when gas lamps were giving way to the electric light bulb.” How fitting since street lighting is the subject of this blog. The first fixtures we come to on Main Street are on Town Square and the Train Station. Here, multi-globed electric lights sit atop ornate poles. The lamps at street level are painted in a drab shade of green whereas the fixtures located on the upper levels of the Train Station have a bronze texture.

Town Square Lamppost

Train Station Lamppost

As we leave Town Square and walk down Main Street, we find that gas lamps are still king.

Main Street Lamppost

As I’ve done in the two previous Lamppost blogs, I’ve included a few non-lights simply because they cry out to be a part of this article. In this next picture we see a stately clock proudly displaying the current time. And in a way, it is a lamp as it does light up.

Main Street Clock

On The Hub, we find the same glass globes that are used in Town Square, but here the posts take on a simpler, less ornate design. In the second picture the light fixture sits atop a speaker.

The Hub Lamppost

The Hub Lamppost and Speaker

Let’s turn our attention next to Tomorrowland. Although there is lighting between The Hub and the entrance of this futuristic land, none of it is in the form of lampposts. The first such fixtures don’t show up until you reach Rockettower Plaza and you find them encircling this structure. It would be difficult to find a more simplified design than this.

Rockettower Plaza Lamppost

I applaud the Imagineer that thought up the idea of metal palm trees. These offer a whimsical touch to this concrete expanse and provide accent lighting when “up lights” illuminate the fronds in the evening. .

Palm Tree Lamppost

Along the route of the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, lighting typical of any highway can be found.

Tomorrowland Indy Speedway Lamppost

The rest of the lamppost lighting in Tomorrowland is uninspired. The poles look like the type you might find in a Wal-Mart parking lot. I think this is a throwback to the early visions of Tomorrowland when everything was designed to look stark and sterile.

Tomorrowland Lamppost

Let’s move next to Mickey’s Toontown Fair. But first, let’s take a look at the lampposts positioned just outside this land’s entrance (located in Fantasyland).

Fantasyland/Toontown Lamppost

Now let’s look at the lamps within Mickey’s Toontown Fair. Notice how similar, yet slightly different they are. This similarity helps create a smooth transition between the two lands.

Toontown Lamppost

Next to The Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm, the lamps are utilitarian, as might be found on a rural structure, and attach to no-nonsense 4x4s. And at Donald’s Boat, nautical lanterns sit atop similar posts.

Barnstormer Lamppost

Donald's Boat Lamppost

There is a walkway that connects Mickey’s Toontown Fare with Tomorrowland. The first picture shows the lamps lining the initial half of the path, while the second photo displays the lights closer to Tomorrowland. Notice again how similar, yet different they are, providing a smooth transition between lands. Also notice that the Tomorrowland globes have a ring around them, suggesting the planet Saturn.

Toontown/Tomorrowland Walkway Lamppost

Toontown/Tomorrowland Walkway Lamppost

My final mention in Mickey’s Toontown Fair is not a lamppost, but I felt it qualified for an honorable mention since it’s tall, slender, and lights up at the top.

Train Signal

In Fantasyland there are a number of lovely lanterns located in and around Cinderella Castle. The colored glass used in these fixtures provides atmospheric enhancement more than useful lighting

Castle Lamppost

Playful lampposts surround Dumbo. Pay special attention to the decorative tops. A scene from the movie is recreated here.

Dumbo Lamppost

Dumbo Lamppost Top

One of the most unusual lighting creations was designed for Ariel’s Grotto. This seaweed and shell lamp fits right in “under the sea.”

Ariel's Grotto Lamppost

Another bit of unusual lamppost design can be found near the Mad Tea Party. In this case, fanciful leaves and flowers create whimsical illumination for the area.

Mad Tea Party Lamppost

The lampposts near Pooh’s Playful Spot are rustic and are just what you’d expect to find in the 100 Acre Wood.

Pooh's Playful Spot Lamppost

The majority of the lampposts scattered around Fantasyland are black wrought iron and typical of what might have been found in a European village of long ago.

Fantasyland Lamppost

Fantasyland Lamppost

Fantasyland Lamppost

As we travel into Liberty Square, we see lighting fixtures lining the bridge. These posts are actually part of the structure’s design.

Liberty Square Entrance Lamppost

There are two lampposts in front of Hall of Presidents. These simple, colonial fixtures would be inconsequential if not for the eagles perched on the top of each.

Hall of Presidents Lamppost

Hall of Presidents Lamppost Top

As you might expect, the Haunted Mansion has its own unique lampposts. Years of neglect have allowed a green patina to form on the metal’s surface and the lamps themselves have a spooky look about them.

Hall of Presidents Lamppost

The rest of the lighting in Liberty Square fits right in with the Federal and Georgian architecture of the area. These lanterns, in days gone by, would have been lit each evening by a lamplighter.

Liberty Square Lamppost

My final non-light for this blog is one of the birdhouses found near Hall of Presidents. In reality, no birds live here as this is just a hiding place for a speaker.

Liberty Square Birdhouse

Now let’s jump over to the entrance of Adventureland. Several years ago, a bridge was built linking this area with Liberty Square. The lamppost that guards this passageway is another good example of transition. The ropes binding the beams together have more of an Adventureland feel while the lanterns would be more at home in Liberty Square.

Adventureland/Liberty Square Lamppost

This next photo is of the lamppost that illuminates the entrance walkway into Adventureland.

Adventureland Entrance Lamppost

The basic lamppost used in the first half of Adventureland has a colonial feel about it — as if it was transported here by Europeans as they discovered new territories.

Adventureland Lamppost

Near Swiss Family Treehouse, the lampposts are makeshift. The family used salvaged goods from the shipwreck to fashion lighting fixtures.

Swiss Family Treehouse Lamppost

The lampposts that surround Magic Carpets of Aladdin are ornate and suggest a locale somewhere in the Middle East. Once again, the colored glass allows these lights to function more as a decorative enhancement than a functional bit of lighting.

Magic Carpets of Aladdin Lamppost

In Caribbean Plaza, the lampposts are very elaborate and fit nicely with the Spanish colonial architecture.

Caribbean Plaza Lamppost

The final section of the Magic Kingdom I’ll be discussing is Frontierland. Here, almost all of the lighting is in the form of kerosene lanterns (electrified) hung or mounted on a rustic pole.

Frontierland Lamppost

Frontierland Lamppost

Frontierland Lamppost

Frontierland Lamppost

Frontierland Lamppost

It’s interesting to note that the wooden walkway that skirts the Rivers of America has two different lanterns. The first picture shows the lights closer to Liberty Square and the second displays the fixtures closer to Splash Mountain. Once again, the use of different light helps with the transition between the two lands.

Frontierland Walkway Lamppost

Frontierland Walkway Lamppost

Well that’s it for the Magic Kingdom. Tomorrow I’ll post the final blog in this series all about Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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18 Replies to “Got A Light? – Part Three – Magic Kingdom”

  1. I thought I would mention a tidbit I’ve heard and noticed on my trips to the Magic Kingdom. The light posts with the 3 clear/opaque plastic coverings in tomorrowland actually cast a hidden mickey onto the ground, usually in the early morning.

    Here is a picture of the lamppost I’m talking about:

    It was a while since the last time I looked for it, so these posts might have been taken down since I saw them (forgot to check them out on my last visit).

  2. i have been to disney about 6 times i take my children and husband it is a great place it is brill going to the magic kingdom to see all the diffrent rides the park is kept so clean and meeting the charactars is good to see the family faceslight up is good i had a look at lamp post the last time we were there so it is nice to see how different they are disney makes you feel so welcome it is a great place to go elaine calder from aberdeen scotland

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  4. I love your attention to detail. The dumbo lights are my favorite! You always bring up things that I never would have noticed on my own. Thanks! I never thought lightposts could be so interesting!

  5. Dear Jack,
    I just read your 4 part series on all the types of lighting around Disney World. I had absolutely no idea there were so many different ones! Talk about attention to details!! I guess it goes to show me how much I still miss when I am there. I will have to pay more attention when I am there in April! What an amazing article. Thanks so much 🙂

  6. I remember that there used to be torches lit on the way into Adventureland from Main St. I didn’t see them here and wondered what happened to them.

  7. The imagination that goes into the details for each land here are astounding. I love how some are ornate (like the lampposts around Cinderella Castle) and some are fiercely rustic (like in Frontierland). Thanks for your detailed captures here!

  8. I thought I had a noticed a lot of these through the years, but I had never seen the one at Ariel’s Grotto. Thanks so much for such a detailed report.

  9. Love reading your blogs Jack. Who knew benches and lamps were so interesting? The ToT blog actually gave me the same creepy feel the ride does! As always every picture makes me long for Main St and a bit of magic:)

    Anyway, thought I would share some “lamppost trivia” I discovered via HGTV Christmas Special. The giant Christmas bulbs used on Disney’s very large trees are painted lamppost globes.

    Just another creative imagineer trick:)

  10. Hi Jack….
    I have been really enjoying the tour thru The World thus far and was anticipating the Magic Kingdom with much excitement!
    I knew I would enjoy the lampposts over at MGM and Epcot…and I did…but what makes the Magic Kingdom extra special for me is how ya can go from being immersed in a land from the way past and then two minutes later be in “The World of Tomorrow.”

    My most magical moments at the M.K. are when I leave one land and enter another – and taking notice of the differences in the lampposts and architecture are mostly what make it possible for the magic to happen.

    Thanks again for an outstanding job!

  11. First off, Jack: Great Blog entries! I really enjoyed them.

    Not picking nits here, just pointing something out to you,as I know how fastidious you are and how important it is to you to get everything right. In the entry about the lights around Aladdn’s magic carpets you said they were mainly for “decretive” purposes. I think you meant “decorative”.

    I hope that doesn’t come across as being petty – I really enjoyed the articles.

    Keep up the good work

  12. Jack, I so love reading your posts. Thank you for all the time you put into them. My family will be visiting the world in 13 days. It’s a special trip for us because it’s the first visit for our new son. He is 5 months old but spent the first 3 1/2 months in the NICU at our childrens hospital. He’s recently been given a clean bill of health and our now family of 5 is heading out for out annual Disney trip. We’re very excited to share with him the favorite place of mine, my husband’s and my two older children.

    I have really enjoyed these posts on the details. I’ll definitely be looking more closely. One detail I had previously noticed and even took pictures of was the tiles in the bathrooms. I can only speak for the ladies room of course, but each one has tiles themed to where it’s located. Some are really beautiful. These little details really are what sets Disney parks apart from other parks and makes every visit special.

    Thanks again and maybe we’ll see you down there in a few weeks!

  13. Thank you, Jack for another great blog. I appreciate the time you take to send them to us! Having a background in interior design, I too notice many of the same details you have mentioned. You’ll find me taking pictures of the tiles at the Tiki Room exit, fences, and upholstered furniture! I agree completely that the style of the lamp posts add greatly to the feeling of “the land”. But, recently, WDW has changed the light bulbs to the energy efficient variety in many areas. While I do understand this change, the “feel” of the lighting has changed dramatically. The change has taken away much of the ambiance. Specifically, around the Pirates and Adventureland. I don’t even want to talk about the new fixtures and the difference in Tomorrowland by Space Mt! I used to love wallking around those areas at night, but now the lighting is so harsh, its like walking around the local Shell station.

  14. Jack: Here’s an interesting, yet challenging photo blog idea for you: The restrooms throughout the parks use many different themed signs to signal the mens’ vs. ladies rooms. One example that jumps to mind is at Tony’s Town Square, where Lady and Tramp grace the appropriate doors. The challenge is dealing with the puzzled looks and comments of folks who see you hanging outside restrooms with a camera, so I understand if you’ll pass on my idea!

  15. What a great eye for detail you have! Doesn’t it seem as though any way you turn, you can frame a gorgeous photo? Your pictures of Toontown got me thinking about the Fantasyland expansion. Do you think you’ll do any type of blog memorializing the parts of Fantasyland that will be leaving us? Or, maybe you can find out for the curious among us what will become of the items that are removed from Fantasyland. Thanks so much for all of your blogs!

    Jack’s Comment:

    In reality, nothing is being removed from Fantasyland. Only Mickey’s Toontown Fair is being razed — and not even all of that. Goofy’s roller coaster is staying, but being given a different theme. Dumbo will be moved, but will still exist. Most of the land being used for the expansion is from the old 20,000 Leagues attraction.

    I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a farewell to Toontown blog, but haven’t decided yet. We’ll see.

  16. You make reading about lightposts so much fun! I know on my next visit I will be paying more attention to the benches and the lamps! haha Thanks again for sharing!! Great work!!

  17. I loved looking at the pictures of the benches and the lamps. I see that there are many different types of fences in all of the different areas. Do you think that would be a good blog entry?

  18. hey jack
    thanks for another great blog on the lightposts. Magic Kingdom is my favorite park of the four and I certinally will pay more attention next time i visit this august. can’t wait for the final blog and keep up the great work.