This is Your Ultimate Guide to Disney Main Street USA
When you arrive at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, you are already enchanted. Heck, your transportation to the parks gets you in the mood with its funny cartoons, catchy tunes, and character voices that just speak to your heart. Your adventure is about to begin. After you scan your magic band and head into the park, you are in one of the six lands making up the park; you walked inside one of my favourites in fact – Main Street USA. There are so many fun facts, stories, attractions, and things to do right at this starting point to your Magic Kingdom adventure. Here is our lowdown of this very poignant area on Walt Disney World Resort and 25 things not to miss detailed in our ultimate guide to Disney Main Street USA.
Fun Facts – Ultimate Guide to Disney Main Street USA
Take a closer look at the Windows
So first of all the buildings in Main Street USA were architecturally imagineered to mirror those located in old world USA and in particular, Walt Disney’s childhood home in Marceline Missouri. As many simply walk through the street to head to the rides and other attractions, perhaps just once stop and look a little closer at the windows above the store fronts. These have such stories to tell.
This window here is a tribute to Walt Disney’s Brother Roy O. Disney. The mastermind financier behind the entire empire. He had to have a tribute somewhere as thanks to his expertise, upon park opening, the Disney company was in zero debt. Far out!
Check out these windows. They are located on the first right corner nook off Main Street USA near Uptown Jewelers. This quieter area of the street has some lovely shops and if you look closely at the windows across from the jewelers you will see music lesson signs. Listen hard. The sound of pianos and trumpets will fill the air for an authentic feel as if lessons were actually taking place!
Above the Uptown Jewelers, you will see a window that says Roy Davis. Have any idea who he was? Well, he was actually Roy O. Disney! Why the different name? Well, while doing real estate agreements and deals, he used this alias to sign documents.
As you continue your leisurely stroll through the street studying the windows (now that I have brought them to your attention!) You will come across another really cool window that reads:
Do you have any idea who that was or what it means? Well, it is a play on words and if you say it out loud, it represented exactly that – an Empty Lot! There are so many hidden jokes, tributes, and Mickeys that the average guest does not notice or pay attention to. It became one of the reasons this land of the parks became a fast favourite.
Ultimate Guide to Disney’s Main Street USA – What to Do
So you may wonder if there really is much to do in Main Street USA other than shopping. Shopping is a big thing here which I will include with my favourite finds that you should consider too, but seriously people. Main Street USA is a TREASURE TROVE of other things. Disney was no slouch and planned his parks perfectly. Here are some of the highlights that make Main Street USA an absolute must for any trip. And I mean more than just a brisk walk-through on your way elsewhere.
Take a Round-Trip of the Walt Disney World Railroad
Walt Disney had a fascination for steam trains. It was a passion that he kept throughout his life and wanted to have one in his parks. The Walt Disney Railroad is a great way to start your day. There is usually a very short wait as there is tons of seating and it takes you to three stations around the park. Do a round trip to hear the entire commentary, see the extra displays from the train’s point of view, and live part of Disney’s legacy and adoration for trains. This ride was one of the original attraction to open with the park in 1971.
Take Photos of the Old Movie Posters
So beneath the Railroad station is a vintage style station with old movie posters! Check out some depicting even the rarer movies that you don’t see too often represented in the parks as well as rides. Some that are on display include Splash Mountain and Sword in the Stone.
Send Yourself a Postcard
Not sure if you noticed, but there are green USPS mailboxes on Main Street USA! These are working mailboxes with mail pick-ups every other day. If you want to send yourself a letter or postcard, what makes it really cool coming from Walt Disney World is that you can add a special stamp! We tested the system and our postcard arrived roughly a week after we got home! You can purchase the postcards at any of the shops at the entrance or further down at the Emporium. Then head to the Chamber of Commerce to the left of Guest Relations to purchase postage. Once you do this, you can write out your cards and request the special Disney Main Street USA stamp on your mail!
Head to Guest Relations
Guest Relations are there to help! They can answer questions, help you book reservations, assist with issues like lost magic bands, and my favourite, for pin trading! If you are into the fun hobby that has captured the hearts of millions around the world, than you need to head to this hot spot on Main Street USA and have a peek at their book of pins for trading. Keep in mind you can only trade two maximum! Thinking about Pin Trading but not sure what to do or the etiquette, check out our ultimate guide here.
Pose with Roy O. Disney
So Walt Disney’s statue is right in front of the Magic Kingdom and is perfectly placed for all to pose with the man behind all the magic. But, what about his amazing financier of a brother who looked after all the boring stuff like budgets, investments, and debts? Roy O. Disney was a remarkable business man who also deserved recognition for the successful creation of the Walt Disney enterprise. And the imagineers thought so too. Between Guest Relations and the Fire hall pose with the sitting statue of him and Minnie Mouse. It is a beautifully sculpted tribute worthy of a few selfies I would say.
Become a Sorcerer!
This is a really cool interactive game that you can start for FREE at the parks. Head to the Fire Station located beside Guest Relations. It is the Sorcerer Headquarters to learn about the game and get your first package of spell cards. Every day you can go to the fire station and each person in your party can receive a new pack of spell cards. Head to the portal and listen to Merlin explain the rules of the game! The game will take you around the Magic Kingdom on a series of quests to locate the portals and defeat Disney villains. It really is fun and is FREE unless you decide on purchasing card holders and special edition cards. Got duplicates? No sweat! You can trade your doubles at the Fire Station for cards that you don’t have. Review on the game and process coming soon!
Get Your Hair Cut!
So when I told people my husband was getting his hair cut on Disney World Main Street USA, they looked at me baffled as they had no idea that Disney offered this! So I booked him an appointment and off we went. Prices are very reasonable (no higher than those swanky salons!) and you get that little extra pixie dust. What is so adorable too is that you can get their baby’s first haircut package! Bring your baby in and for $25 +tax they give you a lock of hair, a certificate, and Mickey Mouse ears that cost the same alone without the hair cut! Plus you get photos and everything. We had a blast and because it was my birthday, she put pixie dust in my hair to match my husband’s pirate confetti. The Barber Shop is located in the far right corner of Disney Main Street USA near the Fire Station.
Take In the Dapper Dans
These guys entertain guests as they enter the park! They look just like Vaudevillians and play an array of old world USA tunes. Stop and have a listen to appreciate this morning entertainment! They are easily identifiable not only by their gorgeous acapella voices in pure unison, but also in their colourful pin stripe suits and straw hats.
Grab the Horse Trolley
Few actually know about this one although it is there every day. The horse trolley is out only in the mornings and transports guests on a leisurely ride from the main gates to Cinderella’s castle. It is truly a magical experience as the horse is as healthy and happy as ever as it takes you on a ride mimicking the times of old world USA.
Buy Mickey Ears (You know you have to!)
I already had a set of sparkly ears, but since our last trip was my birthday, my husband felt I needed to tell the Disney world of my coming of a year older. And I didn’t complain as the birthday Mickey ears were just so darn cute! I added my own terms to this purchase too – he had to get ears too….So we went to the Chapeau on Main Street USA just to the left Tony’s Restaurant and got ourselves embroidered sets of ears. They are approximately $20 ish per set depending on the style and font of embroidery.
Meet Tinkerbell and Mickey at the Town Theatre
Before you head out down Main Street USA, stop in and meet Tinkerbell and Mickey! Mickey in particular you should make time to see as this is the only spot where he talks! And, rumour has it, that he may not be able to talk to guests much longer! Both characters have fast passes that are attainable so do yourself a favour and book early passes as you arrive so that you can get a visit in while you explore all the charm of Main Street USA.
Walk all the way down Main Street through the Emporium!
On the left side of Main Street USA you will see the Emporium Shop! But did you notice that it spans all the way to the end of the street? This was done on purpose! This was done on purpose as a convenience to guests! An efficient way to get from one end to another and with Florida’s unpredictable summer weather, it rains a lot! So, it serves as shelter from the rain and as a shopping Mecca at the same time!
Check out the Window Displays of the Emporium!
So Christmas isn’t the only time of year to bring mesmerizing windows to our eyes. The Emporium’s windows are carefully crafted to display scenes from favourite Disney films! With the use of animatronics, characters are engaged in various activities while holding particular merchandise. They truly are works of art that you should stop and admire on your way to the other areas of the park.
Stop and Smell the Street
So this is another pinch of pixie dust! Use your five senses on Main Street USA is what I totally recommend. As you mosey down Main Street USA outside, smell the air. Different from the ordinary? It should be! Smells of baking, confectionery and all things sweet should surround you! This was done purposely so that you felt a sense of sweetness while in the parks. Craziest part? The aroma was created from potpourri by the imagineers! The confectionery is worth a stop as well to grab a few treats for later! If you trade pins, head inside here for a closer look at their trading oven mitt!
Listen carefully to the Music
As you head down Main Street USA, have a listen – you will hear familiar songs from soundtracks and favourite films! I particularly loved hearing songs from UP! While there!
Meet Chip ‘n’ Dale and Pluto Near the Flag
When you arrive in the parks, why not start your day off with a character experience!? Chip ‘n’ Dale and Pluto appear daily in the centre near the flag. They also have Memory Maker photographers accompanying them so do line-up and meet them!
Have a Hot Dog at Casey’s Corner
Hungry? Well if you are looking for a classic theme park meal, than Casey’s Corner is for you. The baseball themed eatery became so popular for having the best hot dogs in the entire park, that they had to add extra seating to accommodate the wurst-loving guests.
Indulge in a Kitchen Sink
You read that correctly – a kitchen sink! Mickey’s in particular! At the Plaza ice cream parlour, why not indulge in a sundae to end all sundaes? The Mickey’s Kitchen Sink sundae is 3 scoops of ice cream, choice of topping, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries. Best part? You get to keep the kitchen sink as a souvenir! Just keep in mind that it is HUGE and may require sharing!
Attend the Flag Retreat
This special tradition happens at 5pm every night. A veteran is brought in to bring down the American flag at night and puts it away in a heartfelt ceremony until the following day.
Stop for Photos in front of the Magic Kingdom
The vantage point here is the BEST for getting a great full length picture of the castle! This beautiful 189-foot high castle is incredible no matter when you and where you photograph it, but Memory Maker photographers are ready and waiting for all those wanting an awesome picture.
Watch the Parade from Disney World Main Street USA
This is one of the BEST places on the parade route for a great vantage point! In particular we found right outside Guest Relations to be exceptional as it is the end of the parade route and fewer people congregate here. As well, Memory Maker photographers walk around with celebratory props to take photos of you during the parade. My birthday ears were noticed, so I got a magical photo before the parade started!
Join a Tour
We had the absolute privilege in doing the Keys to the Kingdom tour! A 5-hour behind-the-scenes look at the Magic Kingdom and all that goes on backstage. You meet in the Town Theater right beside Tony’s restaurant (tribute to Lady and the Tramp) and get your special name tag and keepsake. Review of Keys to the Kingdom coming soon!
Tribute to Lady and the Tramp
This classic film has quite a bit of an homage to Marceline- Walt Disney’s boyhood home town. So it does seem fitting to recognize this cute couple on Main Street USA! Head to Tony’s Italian Restaurant which is themed around Lady and the Tramp and look for the heart with the paw prints within it. If you are hungry, why not enjoy a spaghetti meal just like Lady and Tramp while you’re there?
The Long Kiss Goodnight
After the fireworks, Walt Disney World is technically closed. The stores stay open until an hour after the park closing as guests exit. Between a half hour and an hour after the fireworks, be sure to stop and watch the Long Kiss Goodnight! A farewell from everyone at the parks and a special goodbye message from Mickey as the castle does one more illumination in the night. We think this little moment is magical and the perfect goodbye to a special day in the park.
As you can see Main Street USA has soooo much to offer guests at the Magic Kingdom. Take some time to explore it and allow your senses to delve into the magic. You will be happy you did!
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