So much of Disneyland takes place in fictional worlds: enchanted kingdoms, an all-encompassing jungle, an outer planet. But Main Street USA brings you right back home to classic Americana. Main Street boasts quaint popcorn carts, horse-drawn trolley cars, and in the 1950s, a magnificent bandstand.
Originally, Walt and his team envisioned the bandstand standing proudly in the middle of town square, in front of the train station. But a tall structure in the square would have blocked guests’ line of sight to the castle, so the bandstand needed a new home. They chose an open patch next to the castle, drawing in guests from Main Street’s central hub.
The small bandstand left a lot of wasted space in the area, and Disney wanted to create a larger performance area that would include room for dancing. They didn’t want to lose the classic bandstand, however, so the structure moved into Adventureland in 1956. With the addition of the bandstand, this space became Magnolia Park, thus creating the Magnolia Park Bandstand.
If you’re thinking, “that doesn’t really make sense”, you’re right. A classic bandstand didn’t fit in Adventureland, and it definitely confused the theme in the area. The Magnolia Park Bandstand finally closed in 1962, to make room for a Jungle Cruise expansion. But once again, Disney wanted to preserve the structure, so it was donated to the city of Anaheim.
Today, the Magnolia Park Bandstand survives, hiding in plain sight at the Rogers Gardens in Corona del Mar. If you visit, you’ll see the Victorian detailing stemming from its original home on Main Street. It’s extremely rare for a former Disneyland structure to remain intact, but somehow, the bandstand survived 3 moves and found a new home in Orange County!