For many, Main Street, U.S.A. is simply the entrance into the Magic Kingdom and a walk way towards Cinderella Castle and the rides and attractions on the other side. Main Street, U.S.A. is much more than that, though – it’s a walkway through time.
Unlike Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom represents more than Walt’s home town of Marceline, Missouri – it represents Saratoga Springs, NY, to New Orleans, to New England all in one seamless street. From the beginning of Main Street, coming from the Main Street Train Station and heading towards the castle, you literally walk through time – celebrating the 4th of July (notice the flags?) over a couple of decades. As Walt had wanted, Main Street represents 1890-1910, when the street lamps turned from gas to electric bulbs, the horse-drawn street cars were used less as the “horse-less” carriage” became more popular. Main Street represents the changing and optimism of early 20th century America.
Walking down Main Street, you feel as though you are surrounded by huge buildings, while in reality, what Imagineers call “forced perspective” is used to represent the tall buildings that, upon further inspection, are clearly not 3 stories tall. The windows above the multitude of stores and restaurants honor and represent those who made Walt Disney World happen. There are windows for Walter E. Disney “Chief Engineer” at the Main Street Train Station, and also for the Walter E. Disney Graduate School of Design and Master Planning.
Walt’s older brother, Roy O. Disney is represented on a park bench in Town Square, sitting next to Minnie Mouse, because without Roy, WDW may have never happened after Walt’s death.
Aside from the historical references and tributes, Main Street U.S.A. is filled with shopping of all kinds – jewelry, apparel, food, treats, anything you could imagine can be found in those stores. The Main Street Bakery is filled with delicious treats, such as the famous Mickey Mouse rice cereal treats and cinnamon buns. Near the end, closer to Cinderella Castle are Casey’s Corner, The Crystal Palace Restaurant, and The Plaza restaurant – literally food for anyone and everyone.
Main Street U.S.A. is also home to some of the best Streetmosphere in all of Walt Disney World. You can find the Dapper Dans, a barbershop quartet, serenading the crowd, or find the Mayor and his friends mingling with the towns people. On our last trip, we met the Mayor, some lovely town ladies, and watched a saxophone ensemble perform, as they all broke out into song in the middle of the street. If you’re at Casey’s Corner for a hot dog, you may be lucky enough to see Casey’s Corner Piano Man sit down for some extra entertainment.
Next time you’re in a hurry to ride Space Mountain before the crowds gather, slow down and look up. Maybe you’ll see a window that will inspire you to continue your research. And we’ll try to help you discover more, here at Chip and Company!