Main Street USA

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Main Street USA is a land inside the Magic Kingdom.

Main Street USA
MSTrainStation.jpg
The Train Station at the entrance to Main Street USA
Magic Kingdom
Theme Americana
Opening date October 1, 1971
Number of Attractions Two

Contents

History

Main Street is themed to be a turn of the century, small American town, taking its inspiration from Walt's boyhood hometown of Marceline, Missouri. The land opened along with the rest of the Magic Kingdom in 1971, with the opening day attractions being: theWalt 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. The Main Street Vehicles allow guests to travel in the ways of the past, taking a trip from the front end of Main Street, to Cinderella Castle and back. The Penny Arcade meanwhile, featured old style games and Moving Picture Machines, which would allow guests to view old movie serials for just 25 cents. The Main Street Cinema allowed guests to see full silent movies as well as old Disney shorts.


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. Located in the Gulf Hospitality House, The Walt Disney Story was a biographical movie about Walt himself and played simultaneously in Walt Disney World and Disneyland.


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 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. 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. 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 re-themed into an Art of Disney gift shop. The facade on the outside was changed to read “Now Showing: The Art of Disney”. Perhaps in homage to the old cinema, you can still see old Disney shorts being played on a screen in the back of the current shop. In 2001 the last major attraction 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.

The Main Street Windows

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, and 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".

The Statues

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 whereparents and children could have fun – together.” The statue is placed at the central hub of the park in front of Cinderella's Castles.

The Partners Statue with Cinderella's Castle in the background.

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.

Attractions

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 Towns Square to Cinderella Castle or vice versa.

Walt Disney World Railroad- The Walt Disney World Railroad lets guests take a steam powered train around Walt Disney World with stops at Main Street USA, Frontierland, and Fantasyland.

Former Attractions

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.

Shopping History

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 re-themed or moved. In the table below, the basic information of each store is given including 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 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 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 Unknown Town Square Firemen related merchandise as well as Disney souvenirs.

Restaurants

Crystal Palace- Located on West Street near the bridge to Adventureland, The Crystal Palace serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. All meals are character meals with prices ranging from $12-$20 per entree.

Plaza Restaurant-Located at the end of East Street near Tomorrowland, the Plaza Restaurant Serves lunch and dinner, and specializes in sandwiches and Reuben. Entrees all under $12.

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 Daper Dans Quartet regularly sings on Main Street, especially outside the barbershop.
  • The Firehouse 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 flag 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, enclosed in 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.

References

http://wdwradio.com/

http://www.burnsland.com/tgd/main_street.html

http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/guides/magickingdom/mkmain.htm

http://www.florida-project.com/magic-kingdom-guidebooks-guidemaps

http://www.omniluxe.net/wyw/mkindex.htm

http://www.yesterland.com/reminders.html

http://allears.net/tp/mk/wds.htm

http://www.omniluxe.net/wyw/msusa.htm

http://www.hiddenmickeys.org/WDW/MagicKingdom/Secrets/MS/MainStreet.html

http://www.adventurevacationcruiselineblog.com/2011/06/19/partners-statue-walt-disney-world-16th-anniversary/

http://www.allears.net/ae/issue604.htm

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