Continuing with our #KeepDisneyWeird series, today we visit The Wizard of Bras. Yes, it is just what it sounds like, an actual lingerie store that once resided in Disneyland Park. But there was so much more to it than that, like a robot that educated guests on the kind of lingerie they were looking at. No, we are not joking about this. Although, we wish we were!
When most people think of Disneyland–or even The Walt Disney Company in general–they probably think of wholesome, family friendly shows, movies, and attractions. However, if you had visited Disneyland park in the year 1955, which was when the park debuted, you might be a bit shocked. There were several places to buy REAL guns and tobacco in Disneyland. Smoking is not allowed at all on property anymore but Walt Disney himself actually had a strong smoking habit. Back in the early years of Disneyland park, smoking was allowed pretty much anywhere and everywhere! Can you imagine that? And to top it all off, a shop on Main Street U.S.A. sold “intimate, adult apparel.”
Today, you cannot even step inside the old shop because the door is completely locked. But it is technically still there. We are not exactly sure if there are any elements of the old store still inside at this point. But we do not think it is very likely. If you are looking for it, look for a blue building with white curtains, a white door, and rocking chairs sitting outside on Main Street U.S.A. You have likely walked right by it without noticing! This was the old Intimate Apparel Shop of Disneyland–sometimes called “The Wizard of Bras.” Although, “The Wizard of Bras” was not the official name of the shop, but rather something else that we will talk about later.
The Wizard of Bras–Intimate Apparel Shop
Once guests walked inside the store, they saw signs and posters all around educating them on the history of brassieres (now just called “bras”), corsets, bloomers, and other underwear-type materials. Guests who were really curious could look inside 3D boxes that would allow them to see women dressed in dresses from the Victorian era. As you watched through the peepholes (pun intended, and we are not even sorry), the dresses would literally disappear off of the women to reveal only their…um…intimate apparel. No, we promise we are not messing with you. This was a REAL thing that happened at a DISNEY PARK while WALT DISNEY WAS STILL ALIVE! We cannot imagine the backlash that the Walt Disney Company would get if this opened today.
Now you may be asking, “what was the Wizard of Bras, if it was not the name of the shop?” Good question, reader! The Wizard of Bras was the name of the robot narrator and tour guide. He would rotate on a platform while giving a scripted, pre-recorded presentation all about women’s underwear through the decades. Yep. Seriously. What do you think author of The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, would think of this play on words used from his original masterpiece? We will never know, since he died over 35 years before the opening of Disneyland.
And of course, the Intimate Apparel Shop literally sold bras and underwear for women. It is already uncomfortable buying those things from Victoria’s Secret at the mall. But at Disneyland?! You have got to be kidding! (No, we are not kidding).
The Intimate Apparel Shop on Main Street was open for only less than a year. It was replaced with a store that sold fine China. Yeah, big difference, even though both sets of products would still be considered “delicate” (okay, we apologize for that one).
Why did The Wizard of Bras close?
Honestly, there is not much we could find on the real reason behind the closure of the Intimate Apparel Shop. Yes, we can probably assume that having a place like that at a Disney Park seemed odd and inappropriate. Still, we have not found any evidence that says there was any negative feedback or backlash at the time for the Intimate Apparel Shop specifically. It seems more like the store just was not popular enough to keep it around. Maybe guests just did not go to Disneyland park solely for their underwear needs. Or maybe parents and other guests were indeed horrified by the shop, but never spoke out as loudly as we are used to seeing these days. Regardless of the reason why, the Wizard of Bras has not given a tour of the history and science of women’s underwear in over 60 years. Disneyland has not sold women’s underwear (as far as we know at least) since 1955–even any were ever sold back then either.
What are your thoughts on an Intimate Apparel Shop at Disneyland?