On October 1 this year, Walt Disney World celebrated its 50th anniversary and began an 18-month celebration; and while the four parks take part in the festivities, the 50-year milestone belongs only to some places in the most magical place on earth.
In 1971, Walt Disney World opened with two resorts and a park: the Magic Kingdom. Inspired by the original Disneyland park in Anaheim, California, the Magic Kingdom debuted with its own version of Main Street, USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland and Tomorrowland, along with its own unique land: Liberty Square.
In previous posts, I’ve dealt with Then and Now: 50 Years of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, Adventureland, Liberty Square, Frontierland, and Fantasyland. However, for today I continue my virtual walk through the park with a stop at the “heartbeat of the holidays” – Main Street, USA
So what is Main Street, USA?
Essentially, Main Street, USA, is the main gateway to the Magic Kingdom that transports guests to the world of yesterday and leads them to Cinderella Castle. Like a theater, guests enter under the train station passing by posters previewing the park’s “shows” and are immediately greeted by the smell of popcorn and red pavement like their red carpet.
The famous windows of the main street buildings give credit to the Imagineers and those who helped bring the park to life, just like the old movies that showed the credits before the movie started.
Now, unlike most lands in the Magic Kingdom, Main Street, USA, he mainly does shopping and eating; but it does offer Walt Disney World (still closed) and Main Street railroad vehicles.
Facts about Main Street, USA:
Fet núm. 1: In 1971, the main street of the Magic Kingdom looked more like the Disneyland version than it does today. For example, the Magic Kingdom had a Main Street Cinema that actually showed clips and cartoons, as well as a Penny Arcade in operation.
Fet núm. 2: Also like the main street of Disneyland, the Magical Kingdom technically had a street that crossed called Center Street. Towards the middle of the road, a small corridor opened in the left and right hand of the street, breaking the architecture and simulating the feeling of a real city.
Center Street on both coasts housed flower markets in its early years; but today, the left side of Disneyland’s Center Street is occupied by the outdoor seating of Carnation Cafe, while Disney World’s was replaced by an extension of the Emporium.
Fortunately, the right side of Magic Kingdom’s Center Street remains a side street where guests can get away from the hustle and bustle.
Fact # 3: In 1971, the center that connected Main Street (USA) with the rest of the park looked very different from what it does today. In addition to many more trees, in 1973, Main Street gained an attraction: the Plaza Swan Boats, which transported guests from the center to the castle moat and around the Swiss Family Treehouse in Adventureland. However, this small boat cruise closed in 1983.
Fet núm. 4: Although Casey’s Corner is now considered a staple of the main street, it had a different name in 1971. According to Disneyland inspiration, Casey’s Corner was originally called Refreshment Corner.
Data on Main Street, USA now:
Fet núm. 1: Walt Disney is the only person who has two windows on Main Street, USA. One window is conveniently located at the train station and overlooks guests entering the park and the other is above the Plaza Inn, which overlooks Cinderella Castle.
Fet núm. 2: Main Street, USA, offers a working barber shop where guests can hang out in the park. (This experience is still paused after the post-COVID reopening).
Fact # 3: Main Street Bakery, which serves as the park’s Starbucks, is one of the most valued restaurants on Main Street in the United States, according to readers and TouringPlans Park.
Fact # 4: Today, Main Street, USA, is the most important country in terms of live entertainment. In addition to the character parades, Main Street offers distant character meetings at the train station, the legendary Dapper Dans, the pianist from Casey’s Corner, and more.
Fact # 5: Every day at 5pm, Main Street holds a flag removal ceremony in the town square and pays tribute to the veterans for their service.
Fet núm. 6: Of all the lands of the Magic Kingdom, Main Street, USA is the only one that is completely decorated for Christmas. Each year, Main Street receives a huge Christmas tree, a holiday soundtrack, festive wreaths, and winter showcases; and in the past, Main Street has been known for snow showers during the holiday season.
Have you ever experienced Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, USA, in its early days? Is this land one of your favorites?