The Yale and Towne Lock Shop was one of the original stores on Main Street, U.S.A. Located along the southeast block of Main Street near the Cinema, the shop was leased by the Connecticut-based Yale and Towne Co., one of the oldest lock companies in the world. At the shop, you could look at a display of historic locks and keys as well as get a souvenir Disneyland key.
Here’s how Yale described the store in an ad:
“One of the many interesting attractions for an expected 5,000,000 visitors a year is the old-time Yalke and Towne lock shop, in which locks from ancient Egypt to our own day trace the birth and growth of modern lock wizardry as demonstrated throughout Disneyland. When the park is open, Yale door closers tirelessly serve throngs; after hours, an ingenious system of Yale locks keep it safe from harm. While some employees can open only a few locks in this system with one key, Mr. Disney himself, like a magical Merlin, can open them all – many thousands of them – with a single Yale master key!”
On Disneyland’s opening day, guests were given a letter which explained they could pick up a free souvenir at the Yale and Towne Lock Shop. The souvenir was a keepsake key with Sleeping Beauty Castle on one side, and the word Disneyland on the other.
According to some records, the store also offered a unique Disneyland-branded key copy for anyone who had a Yale & Towne lock on their front door. The shop also sold a Disneyland exclusive Travelock set for securing suitcases.
At some point, the store’s name was shorted to the Yale Lock Shop. As Disneyland phased out its leased stores, the shop closed in 1964 and was replaced at the time by a store generically named Main Street Gifts. The Yale locks in doors throughout Disneyland remained for many years.