Okay, I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit biased, having previously been a Main Street USA Cast Member, but the first of the six lands is really a magical place and has a lot more to offer than just amazing views of the castle. Take some time on your next Disney trip to explore all that the turn of the century has to offer.
1. Shopping: Main Street is the mecca for shopping at the Magic Kingdom. There is the Emporium, which is the largest shop in the Magic Kingdom and has everything that you could ever want from pins to Princess Attire. Across the street from the Emporium is my favorite, Uptown Jewelers. Here, you can find Dooney and Bourke Disney bags, Chamilia Beads, diamond and gold jewelry, and artist figurines such as Lenox and Jim Shore. Next store to Uptown Jewelers is Arribas Bros. which is a Disney staple on any trip. Stop in to marvel at the amazing glass creations, have a beautiful glass or goblet personalized with your name, or watch a free, live glass blowing demonstration.
2. Food and Sweets: If you are a total foodie like me, or just enjoy a crazy good ice cream sundae from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, then Main Street has you covered! My absolute must do on any Disney vacation is to spend a considerable amount of time at the Confectionery drooling over the display case and sampling all the delectable options. Cotton candy is made fresh each day, and if you are lucky enough to be in the shop while a batch is being spun, hang out by the candy maker and they may just offer you a sample! Ready for lunch? Head to Casey’s Corner; a baseball themed quick service restaurant that serves some amazing hot dogs, and is one of my favorite quick service locations in the Magic Kingdom. Next time you are visiting, stop in and grab some grub before you watch one of the parades that march down Main Street. Speaking of parades, that brings me to….
3. Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!: This fun, mini parade only takes place on Main Street USA. The parade starts at the Fire Station and travels to the castle courtyard. The soundtrack is infectious and will have you dancing in the streets with your favorite characters from the Incredibles, Chip and Dale, and of course, Mickey and Minnie wouldn’t miss out on a great street party.
4. Main Street Trolley Show: Another can’t miss entertainment opportunity is the Main Street Trolley Show. The trolley travels all the way down Main Street for turn of the century characters to dance and sing their way through the street. The songs and costumes of this show change with the seasons, so there is always a fresh take to the classic performance.
5. Main Street Celebrities: Of course, Mickey Mouse himself can often be found at the Town Square Theatre, but you may be lucky enough to spot some of Main Street’s own celebrities wandering around. You may have the chance to meet the Mayor of Main Street USA, the Mayor’s Wife, reporter Scoop Sanderson, or check out the Dapper Dan’s performing outside one of the shops. While these folks do not have a meet and greet line, they are usually able to stop for a quick chat and photo!
6. The History: Main Street USA was Walt’s vision of a simpler time. A time when families could spend time together and take a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood. Modeled after the town Walt grew up in, at the turn of the century, you will take a journey through time as you walk toward the castle. Pay attention and you will notice that the streetlamps transition from gas to electric as you make your way down the street. As you walk down Main Street, take a look at the windows of the shops, they are cleverly covered with the names of the imagineers who helped to make Magic Kingdom come to life.
7. The Photo Opportunities: Anytime time of year Disney photos are stunning, but especially so during the Holidays. The park gets decked out for both Halloween and Christmas, and the most extravagant of these decorations are on Main Street USA. Take a couple minutes while waiting for the 3 o’clock parade to take some creative shots of the displays and try incorporating these into your own holiday decorations. What a great way to remember the festivities from year to year! For that iconic shot of your family with Cinderella Castle, there are PhotoPass photographers stationed all along Main Street and they are happy to take a photo with your own camera if you are not using Memory Maker, or do not wish to purchase photographs.
Do you love the sights and sounds of Main Street as much as I do or is Fantasyland more your cup of tea? Let me know what you think in the comments!
**Featured Image of Confectionery Sign by Jennifer Klump Photography. Used with permission.