Main Street USA
Main Street USA is a land inside the Magic Kingdom.
|Main Street USA|
|The Train Station at the entrance to Main Street USA|
|Opening date||October 1, 1971|
|Number of Attractions||Two|
Main Street USA is themed to be a turn of the century, small American town. The land took much of its inspiration from Walt's boyhood hometown of Marceline, Missouri. Main Street opened along with the rest of the Magic Kingdom in 1971, with the opening day attractions of: the Walt Disney World Railroad, the Main Street Vehicles (the Jitney, Fire Engine, Horseless Carriage, Horse Cars and Omnibus), the Penny Arcade, the Main Street Cinema, and the Harmony Barber Shop. The Walt Disney Railroad took guests around the park in a real steam engine stopping in Frontierland.
In 1973 Main Street USA got two major additions, the Swan Boats and the Walt Disney Story. The Swan Boats were located at the hub of the Magic Kingdom and allowed guests to peddle around both the hub and the Swiss Family Treehouse. The Walt Disney Story on the other hand was a biographical movie about Walt himself which was located in Located in the Gulf Hospitality House.
The first major closure in Main Street USA happened in 1983 when the Swan Boats closed. The boats (which had originally numbered eleven) had been cut down to five before being closed, with the explanation given that they were too expensive to keep running. In 1992 Main Street lost another attraction when the Walt Disney Story closed due to the fact that the film was becoming too deteriorated to keep showing. At this time, a gift shop and information center known as the Exposition Hall replaced the Hospitality House and thus The Walt Disney Story.
In 1995 the Penny Arcade, which had been an opening day attraction also closed its doors. It was replaced (along with the Main Street Bookstore and the House of Magic) by the new Main Street Athletic Club (a shop). Another opening day attraction would soon follow in the Penny Arcade's footsteps, when in 1998 the Main Street Cinema was redone. Instead of being a classic movie theater like it had always been, the Cinema was rethemed to become an Art of Disney gift shop. During the refurbishment, the facade on the outside of the cinema was changed to read “Now Showing: The Art of Disney”. Perhaps in homage to the old cinema, guests can still see old Disney shorts being played on a screen in the back of the current shop. In 2001 the next major change happened when the Harmony Barbershop was moved from West Center Street to Town Square. The move was made so that the Emporium could expand into what had previously been the barbershop.
In February of 2014 Disney announced that the "hub" section of Main Street USA would be redeveloped. As part of this redevelopment the Rose Garden and the former landing of the Swan Boats were removed. In their place, new lush courtyards were added, as well as mew walkways which were designed to ease crowed congestion. Furthermore, the seating areas outside of Casey’s Corner and The Plaza restaurant were expanded. In February of 2015 the Main Street Plaza Gardens West and the Main Street Plaza Gardens East opened to guests. Besides featuring new foliage and water features, these gardens also house special FastPass + Wishes viewing areas.
The Main Street Windows
Besides just being an idealized small town, Main Street USA also has special meaning symbolically. This starts when guests enter the park and go under the Walt Disney World Railroad (the opening curtain). As guests continue onto Main Street they will notice that the ground is red (which symbolizes the red carpet), as around them the “credits” begin. The credits are located on the upper level of the Main Street, as they come in the form of the shop windows, which have the names of important people in the Disney Company’s history. These names are usually attached to a fictional business in order to tie it in with the rest of the land. Walt Disney's Window is the last one people see when entering the park and the first one the see when leaving it. His window states, "Walter E. Disney Graduate School of Design & Master Planning".
Main Street USA is also home to two of the most famous statues in Walt Disney World, the “Partners” statue and the “Sharing the Magic” statue. The “Partners” Statue was added in 1995 and shows Walt Disney pointing forward while holding Mickey Mouse's hand. The plaque on the statue says, “We believe in our idea: a family park where parents and children could have fun – together.” The statue is placed at the central hub of the park, in front of Cinderella Castle.
The “Sharing the Magic” statue is located in Town Square and was built in 1998 in honor of Walt's brother Roy O. Disney. The statue shows Roy and Minnie Mouse sitting together on an ornate bench. The plaque below the bench is engraved with the dedication speech Roy gave at the grand opening of Walt Disney World.
Main Street Vehicles- The Main Street Vehicles allow guests to ride four different antique vehicles- an omnibus, horseless carriage, fire engine, or a horse drawn trolley- from Town Square to Cinderella Castle or vice versa.
Main Street Cinema- The Main Street Cinema allowed guests to watch classic films and cartoons.
Penny Arcade- The Penny Arcade allowed guests to play antique, turn of the century games. It also included more modern video games.
Main Street USA has always been known as one of the best places to shop in Walt Disney World. Although some of the opening day shops are still around, many have closed, been rethemed, or moved. In the table below, the basic information of each store is given including: the store name, location, merchandise sold and the opening and closing dates.
|Name||Opening||Closing||Replaced By||Location||Merchandise Sold|
|New Century Clock Shop||1971||April, 1986||Emporium expansion||West Street||Elgin watches and clocks|
|Greenhouse||1971||1985||Emporium expansion||West Central Street||Flowers and other plants.|
|Disney Clothiers||1985||Became part of the Emporium in 2001||Emporium expansion||West Central Street||Contemporary Disney Clothing|
|Hallmark Card Shop||1971||1985||Main Street Stationers||West Central Street||Hallmark cards, stationary, party items, gift wrapping.|
|Tobacconist||1971||1985||Main Street Stationers||West Street||Tobacco products.|
|Main Street Stationers||1985||1989||Main Street Book Store||West Street||Cards for all occasions, stationary and accessories.|
|Main Street Bookstore||1989||1995||Main Street Athletic Club||West Street||Greeting cards, stationary and writing accessories.|
|House of Magic||1971||March 19, 1995||Main Street Athletic Club||West Street||Magic tricks, masks, puzzles, books and gags.|
|Main Street Athletic Club||1995||Became part of Emporium in 2001||Emporium expansion||West Street||Sports and Disney themed merchandise.|
|Emporium||1971||Present||N/A||West Street||All sorts of Disney merchandise.|
|Cup N' Saucer||1971||1986||Uptown Jewelers||East Street||Fine China gifts.|
|Wonderland of Wax||1971||1981||Holiday Corner||East Street||Candles|
|Holiday Corner||1981||1986||Uptown Jewelers||East Street||Christmas decorations all year round.|
|Uptown Jewelers||1973||Present||N/A||East Street/East Central Street||Fine jewelry.|
|Hospitality Home||1973||1992||Exposition Hall||Town Square||N/A (Housed the Walt Disney Story attraction.)|
|Disneyana Collectibles||1989||1998||Exposition Hall||Town Square||General Disney merchandise|
|Exposition Hall||1992||2011||Town Square Theater||Town Square||Film and other photo merchandise|
|Town Square Theater||2011||Present||N/A||Town Square||N/A(Mickey Mouse meet and greet)|
|Main Street Confectionery||1971||Present||N/A (Renovated in 1998)||East Street||Chocolates, nuts and peanut bridle.|
|Camera Center (Kodak, GAF, Polaroid)||1971||Incorporated into the Confectionery||Main Street Confectionery expansion (1998)||East Street||Film, cameras and other camera accessories.|
|Market House||1971||2007||Crystal Arts (moved from former building)||East Central Street||Jams, jellies, old fashioned candies and cigars.|
|Crystal Arts||1973||Present||N/A (Original location was replaced by Main Street Bakery expansion.)||East Street/East Central Street||Glass cutting, blowing and engraving.|
|Chapeau||1973||Present||N/A<||East Street||Hats of all sorts, including personally engraved hats.|
|Disney & Co||1973||2007-2009||N/A||East Center Street||Favorite Disney merchandise.|
|Newsstand||1973||Present||N/A||Entrance to Main Street||General merchandise, film and other travel necessities.|
|Main Street Gallery||1998||Present||N/A (Included VMK Central 2005-2008)||East Street||Disney art|
|The Main Street Fire Station||1993||2011||Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom headquarters||Town Square||Firemen related merchandise as well as Disney souvenirs.|
Crystal Palace- Located on West Street near the bridge to Adventureland, the Crystal Palace serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. All meals are character.
Plaza Restaurant-Located at the end of East Street near Tomorrowland, the Plaza Restaurant Serves lunch and dinner, and specializes in sandwiches and Reuben.
Tony's Town Square- Located in Town Square, Tony's Town Square serves lunch and dinner. The restaurant specializes in Italian food.
Casey's Corner- Specializes Located on West Street next to the Emporium, Casey's Corner specializes in hot dogs and other food typically found at a baseball game.
Plaza Ice Cream Parlor- Located on East Street next to the Plaza Restaurant, the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor serves various ice cream products.
The Main Street Bakery- Located on East Street, the Main Street Bakery sells pastries, sandwiches and other snacks. In 2013 the Main Street Bakery became the first Starbucks location inside the Magic Kingdom.
Fun Facts and Trivia
- The Dapper Dans Quartet regularly sings on Main Street, especially outside of the barbershop.
- The Firehouse found on Main Street is Engine Co. 1971 in honor of the year the park was founded.
- There is flag ceremony held daily at 5:00pm in which the American flag found on Main Street USA is taken down.
- Main Street USA is loosely based on Marceline Missouri circa 1910.
- In the sidewalk in front of Tony's Town Square Restaurant guests can find Lady and the Tramp's paw prints in the cement. The prints are enclosed in a heart.
- The sound of tap shoes can be heard outside the “Dance Studio” on Main Street.
- The Harmony Barbershop located on Main Street gives haircuts seven days a week.
- The buildings on Main Street (besides the Town Square Theater) are all built to approximately 7/8ths scale.