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Disney or Grand Canyon? A comparison

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This might be a fun game. Is the above shot from the actual Grand Canyon or is it a scene in the Grand Canyon diorama that the steam train passes through at Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif.?

Answer: This is the actual Grand Canyon, as seen from a visitor shuttle stop along the South Rim. The Colorado River is flowing in the valley and you may be able to spot some of the rapids in the narrow section of the river.


Disney, or actual Grand Canyon?

Answer: Actual Grand Canyon.


Disney, or actual Grand Canyon?

Answer: Disney! However, compare the following deer seen in the actual Canyon with those seen in the diorama.



One of the most-admired and loved details of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is the fireplace themed to the layers of the Grand Canyon.


Can you match the top-most layers of the fireplace with the top-most layers of the Canyon seen here?


Let’s start at the top of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.


Moving down, near the top of the fireplace is a change between two types of sedimentary rock.


Here is the same change in sedimentary rock, as seen in the Canyon. For scale, those are trees and the zig-zag on the slope at left is one of the Canyon’s hiking trails.


This view matches to the middle areas of the fireplace. Below the frost line, the Canyon is currently rich with vegetation. However, some of the green tone is from a type of shale. You can see the green shale represented in the fireplace layers.


Above and below are actual brick-like layering in the Canyon.


This view shows most of the bottom-most layers of the Canyon, which are volcanic rock. For scale, the tan layer at top right foreground is 350 feet thick. Imagine two Contemporary hotels stacked on each other, and that is 368 feet. Note the zig-zag of the hiking trail.


Rock layers in this area are folded in many directions.


This view of the North Rim may contain all but a few of the bottom layers seen in the fireplace.


In this view, the distance to the river is approximately the same distance as from Spaceship Earth at Epcot to Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, as illustrated with equal length arrows on these same-scale views in Google Maps.

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