Boardwalk Candy Palace is a candy store in the Main Street USA section of Disneyland Park. The store is an example of the park’s culture of caricature, a result of the park’s filtering of information. Disneyland Resort Paris (1) filters out information incompatible with the resort’s family-friendly image, (2) heightens information in line with the narrative it is presenting and (3) tints the information to make it palatable (or more palatable) to a European audience. You see all of this in Boardwalk Candy Palace—which is essentially just a candy store in a pedestrian mall. 1, incompatibility: The store is decidedly upper-middle class (poor people are very un-Disney, unless they become rich through grit and determination) and the candy presents no health risks. 2, heightening: The neo-Victorian styling is over-the-top, but not out of place in a Disney theme park; the staff wear exaggerated versions of early-20th-century American garb. And 3, tinting:
American flags in stained glass, wall-sized Atlantic City murals: The store is a testimony to the enduring power of American capitalism (or something). It’s not clear what the store’s message is, just that it is unquestionably American—because America sells. Boardwalk Candy Palace is also an example of the complicated, overlapping influences felt throughout the park: It is a French store (Disneyland Resort Paris) sponsored by a Swiss company (Nestle), selling an American product (Disney candy) to an international audience. Pico Iyer would have a field day.
The entire resort is this weird blend of Europe and America: Ornately and fastidiously detailed (to counter prevailing European concerns that the park would be merely cheap Americana) but selling hyper-Americanism (because cheap Americana sells, and sells well.) It’s a fascinating mish-mash of cultural and aesthetic concerns, manifested as they so often are in architecture.