When Disneyland opened in 1955, many of the stores on Main Street, U.S.A. were leased to outside companies to help fund the park. Last week, I shared about the Tobacconist store on Main Street; if that wasn’t unusual enough for you, the store we’re discussing today, definitely will be. Located in what is now part of the China Closet was an intimate apparel store. Yes, you read that right – there was a lingerie store in Disneyland.
The store, which proudly displayed a large sign reading “Intimate Apparel, Brassieres, Torsolettes,” opened with the park in July of 1955 and was run by Hollywood-Maxwell Brassiere Company of Los Angeles. The store’s Victorian decor included a 1860’s Singer Sewing Machine, as well as, display boxes showcasing intimate apparel of the Victorian era. There were also mannequins who’s out wear would disappear, revealing corsets and pantaloons, as you turned your head.
If you wanted a history lesson on underwear of the past, the Intimate Apparel store was the place to be. The Wizard of Bras, who was the mascot for Hollywood-Maxwell, would take guests on a tour through the history of lingerie. This mechanical wizard stood on a revolving stage where he showed guests both the lingerie fashions of the 1890’s, as well as, the modern lingerie fashions of the 1950’s.
Disneyland’s Intimate Apparel Shop closed in January of 1956. But it wasn’t the last lingerie store to be found on Disney property. In 1990, Jessica’s opened at Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island. This lingerie store, while it did last longer than the one at Disneyland, was also short-lived. It closed after just three years.
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