|The Emporium on Main Street USA. Photo by Josh Hallet.|
|Land||Main Street USA|
|Opening date||October 1, 1971|
|Expanded||1984, 1986, 2001|
The Emporium originally opened on the corner of Town Square and West Street on Main Street USA with the rest of the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971 . Based on the Disneyland shop of the same name, the Emporium originally sold a wide variety of merchandise including: mementos, character merchandise, personal/decorative gifts, books, records, film and sundries. Themed as a turn of the century high end store, with its Victorian ornamentation and small town appeal, the Emporium became the flagship store of the Magic Kingdom.
The first major expansion to the Emporium came in 1984, when it was expanded into the location that had housed The Greenhouse shop, which was found next door . Two years later, in 1986, the Emporium incorporated what had formally been the New Century Clock Shop .
The biggest change to the Emporium came in 2001, when the store took over what had previously been West Center Street. To facilitate this change, the Harmony Barber Shop was relocated to Town Square. Following the expansion through Center Street, the Emporium essentially annexed Disney Clothiers, Main Street Fashion & Apparel, and Hall of Champions, as these stores ceased being listed individually on the map and they were now connected to the Emporium in one large humongous shop (although their individual facades remained) . Since the 2001 expansion, the Emporium has remained essentially unchanged, although the interior layout has been altered over the years, most recently in 2010 .
Osium "Osh" Popham built the beginnings of what would eventually be the Emporium when he opened his Arcade in 1863. The elegance and friendliness that Osh wanted his store to stand for, proved to be popular with customers and in the subsequent years, his store expanded on both sides. Eventually Osh's Emporium would take up an entire block on Main Street USA. In order to keep up with the changing times, Osh had his expansions wired for electricity. Due to the newness of the technology however, Osh also had the custom chandeliers he had hand crafted in Italy designed to support gas lights also. His success also allowed him to decorate the store with Victorian ornamentations. After returning from a trip to Europe, Osh found that business was still booming. After reaching an agreement with city to purchase a part of Center Street, Osh expand his Emporium once again. Opening in 1901, this new expansion was dubbed the Emporium Gallery and advertised the newest Innoventions including- Electric Lamps, Gramophone Talking Machines, Edison Kinetoscopes, Imported Glassware, Ladies Wearing Apparel, the Finest House Furnishings and Children's Toys and Novelties.
Inside the expanded portion of the Magic Kingdom's Emporium, guests can see a large mural of Main Street's residents "Shopping in the Grand Style". The citizens in the mural were based on Imagineers who worked on the Emporium Expansion. Hover over the image below to see the Imagineers depicted:
Agnes David-Hoffman (Art Director)
Joyce Carlson (Disney Legend)
Jim Heffron (Senior Concept Architect)
Cicero Greathouse (Artistic Director)
Katie Roser (Props and Displays)
Kevin Thomas (Graphic Designer)
Steve Grant (Program Architect)
Fun Facts and Trivia
- Osh Popham's name can be seen near the Emporium's main entrance, at the bottom of two display windows painted in gold leaf .
- Osh Popham was a character in the 1963 Disney movie Summer Magic. In the film he was portrayed by Burl Ives.
- The Emporium features six tableaus depicting scenes from classic Disney films. Included in the windows are: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Pocahontas.
- Originally, the windows displayed scenes from Disney's newest film. This practice has since ceased.
- Imagineer Joe Warren painted the large mural found in the Emporium .