Tag Archives: Main Street USA
A new daytime parade, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, will march into Magic Kingdom in spring 2014. The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will bring the magical stories of New Fantasyland to Main Street, U.S.A., through fantastic and innovative new parade floats, vibrant costumes, and an original soundtrack that will feature beloved songs from favorite Disney films, plus a new parade theme song.
More Pictures below.
Have you ever talked with someone who is still fresh with the “post Disney glow” only to realize that they missed out on some pretty amazing Disney Stuff? I’m always shocked when they didn’t even realize such a thing existed! I have a couple of spots that I always hit, no matter what and it is really hard for me to understand how anyone could pass them up! These personal favorites may not seem like much to everyone, but these are my top picks for overlooked and underestimated, Magic Kingdom edition.
Main Street USA Train Station
I have a 3 year-old nephew who is crazy for trains. I’ll take that back, he’s crazy for anything that moves- engines, wheels, tracks, steering wheels, axles he does them all! So, you can bet that we do our fair share of time on the Walt Disney World Railroad. For our family, the train is a must. Sadly, I will say that I often find myself hurrying through the Main Street USA Train Station in an attempt to board for a scenic tour around the Magic Kingdom. There are some really neat things in that station, including functioning mutoscopes (moving picture show), historical sights, a wonderful resting spot/parade viewing spot, and of course a beautiful shot of Cinderella Castle and Main Street USA. Take a little time and enjoy what the Main Street USA train station has to offer.
Swiss Family Robinson Tree House
Okay, so I’m sure some of you are thinking like I think…how could you miss the Swiss Family Tree House? I’m right there with you! I always stop by when I hear that infectious Swisskapolka tune! As impossible as it may seem, I actually think that this beloved tree can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Perhaps it’s the distraction created by the lure of Dole Whips at Aloha Isle? Maybe guests are zooming straight for the more popular attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean? Maybe it’s the camouflaged effect of the tree’s craftsmanship? Maybe it’s because typically this is a walk on type of attraction with little to no wait? No matter what the source might be, this attraction is often neglected. I love the charm of the story and the feel of the attraction. As a little girl, I was always intrigued by the ingenuity of this shipwrecked family (who are we kidding, I am still mesmerized by this fictional tale)! I simply can’t skip taking the grand tour and you shouldn’t either!
When you first enter the park the ground is red brick. Walt wanted you to feel like you were entering on a red carpet, being treated like royalty. Also he added the tunnels to walk through so that once you came through them, onto Main Street USA, you would feel you were entering a completely new world. I’d say he hit it right with the tunnels. Thankfully he was talked out of walking through curtains… Imagine the disarray that would have caused.
This one may be well known… When you are standing at the end of Main Street, USA and looking towards the castle, Disney Imagineers used “Forced Perspective” to make the castle appear larger than it is. Essentially it’s a trick where the buildings get smaller the further down the street you go… Forcing the Castle to appear larger. Disney has used this same “trick” in every theme park they’ve created.
Speaking of Main Street, USA, did you know the names on the windows above the shops are real people? Most of them are Imagineers who were essential to fulfilling Walt’s Disneyland Dreams. You’ll see UB Iwerks up there as well. UB was the first one to join Walt Disney at his new animation studio after he left Universal… UB Iwerks is also the co-creator of Mortimer Mouse… Now affectionately known as Mickey! Many many more Imagineers and other key Disney people are immortalized on these window panes as their own proprietors of which ever shop they now “own”. UB Iwerks shop is above the Main Street Bakery and he has a Stereoscopic Camera Shop.
Those Imagineers and Walt sure did come up with some amazing tricks to get us visitors to do the right thing. For instance the only place in the park that has a black street is Main Street… Why? Black gets hotter than any other color which in turn makes you want to move towards the castle and not create a bottleneck along Main Street…
Have you noticed that if you stand on the sidewalks of Main Street the trees block your view of the castle? And vice versa if you’re on the street? Here’s why! It was decided if you were on the sidewalk the best way to get you into the stores was to block the view of the castle and surrounding park… Just as if you’re standing in the street, the trees block the stores and will not distract you from moving along towards the castle. No wonder they are called IMAGINEERS!
Here’s one most people don’t consider but will have a “D’uh!” moment when you read this. You never hear the sounds of Anaheim which is right outside the gates. Guess what else you don’t get from Anaheim…??? The smell. Yup Disneyland has what are called Smellitzer’s around the park. They shoot a plume of scent some 200 feet in the air at just the right second and then fans suck it back out so as to not take away from the next smell. You never knew it happened, but you also aren’t smelling car exhaust or any other city smells. Most people know the instance of the citrus smell on Soarin Over California. That’s one you could hardly miss, but many more exist through out the park to give all your senses access to the magic! How bout some fresh baked cookies on Main Street, USA? Yeah you probably thought they were being baked right then…
One last tidbit about Main Street USA for you. The Gas Lamps along the street were 150 years old when purchased in 1955 and mostly come from Baltimore, MD. They were being sold for scrap at the time and were purchased for $1 per pound. Disneyland used to have a cast member dress up as a 19th Century lamplighter and light the lamps at dusk everyday… Now they stay lit day and night.
Keep checking back for more secrets! There’s lots more to share…
I hope you find this information fun, new and worthwhile.
Daniel is a self-proclaimed Disney Geek, Disney Vacation Planner and a Disneyland Specialist. When he’s not adding to the plethora of Disney Trivia in his head, you can find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter…
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Many people like to relax, take it easy, and sleep in on vacation. I am all for relaxation, but when I am vacationing at Walt Disney World, I personally prefer to get up early and make the most of my days at the Parks. My favorite Park by far is the Magic Kingdom, and I think in part because it’s a very accommodating Park for those of us who like to get an early start to our day!
So why should you wake up early for the Magic Kingdom? Well, here are the top 5 reasons:
Rope Drop – Every morning before the Park opens, guests are greeted by the Mayor and citizens of Main Street, and even some characters too – including Mickey himself! It’s a nice little presentation that is entertaining and a magical way to start your day at WDW
Photo ops – This is one of the BEST times to get unobstructed photos of Cinderella’s Castle and other Main Street photos too! Utilizing the Photopass at this early time is easy – no wait and great group photos (without other people’s heads in them!). Other spots like the Walt and Mickey and Roy and Minnie statues are usually pretty vacant at this time, so get your photos in of these iconic statues at this time too. Photos are one of the best trip souvenirs, and any chance to get good ones is worth taking!
How do you do your Mickey Ears? Do you bring the same pair every visit? Buy new ears every time? I have a confession. One that may get me kicked off this site. I don’t own a pair of Mickey Ears. My first trip to Disney was in my late 20′s and I was too cool for Mickey Ears. After that all my trips have been with my family, so we concentrated on ears for the kids. Now that Disney is firmly implanted in my blood, I may have to break down and get a pair.
There are several headgear options at Disney World. I’ve seen “traditional” hats with every theme imaginable, including Goofy Ears and Chip and Dale heads. There are Mickey Ear hats for weddings, birthdays, holidays and more. Lately the big trend has been headband type Mickey Ears. I suppose this is to convince people like me that its OK to act like a kid in Disney World! The headbands still have the Mickey Ears, but are adorned with different themes. Some are have wedding veils, some light up. The list goes on, and if I know Disney they are coming up with new ears every 5 minutes.