My friends know I have a fascination with Disney development. In reality, it was the mental resolution of my engineering background with what has been called Disney's "Architecture of Reassurance" that connected a lot of concepts for me in my path as a CGI Planner and Strong Towns advocate. While I often have members of the public tell me they do not want their towns "to be Disneyland", I believe what they are opposed to is an approach that exudes obsessive attention to detail - something not typically conducive to the regulatory approach of a small town.

In reality, the design principles of Disney development are simple and powerful. They create places that are not only economically viable but comfortable, reassuring and memorable. Contrast this to the design principles of your average Wal-Mart, which are harsh, sterile and uninspiring in about every way possible, and it is not hard to understand why someone like me is compelled to take a pilgrimage to Mickey's house at least once a year. My sanity requires it.

Anyone who has enjoyed even the poorest of small towns in Western Europe know what I am talking about here. It is not difficult to create a sense-of-place, but the art is lost in nearly all of America.

Disneyland was, in part, Walt Disney's attempt to demonstrate a new, old-style of development. Main Street USA, the fictional street everyone walks down when they enter the park, is designed to recapture that lost sense-of-place. The fascination with all modes of transportation points to Disney's belief that development of auto-based sprawl was destined to leave a lot of America's greatness on the table. He was right, of course.

All of this is my long way of sharing a video I ran across telling the story of a day of transportation at the Magic Kingdom at Florida's Disneyworld. It's okay to smile.