Welcome Back! I am super excited to share with you my favorite part of Magic Kingdom – Main Street, USA. Before I get into what Main Street has to offer, I want to share with you some pretty cool facts about old time USA.
Walt, when he first decided on making Disneyland (yes, the original in Anaheim) he knew he wanted a main street to follow all the way down to the castle. But he had to decide, design wise, where he wanted to go with the buildings. It was already decided that he would use these buildings as shops, shows, and character pit stops, but he didn’t know exactly what style he wanted to go for.
Any avid Walt fan will remember that Walt did most of his growing up, childhood wise, in Marceline, Missouri. He loved this all-American small town. And that is exactly what he decided to create for Main Street. The shops and names are all similar to placement as well as names and build to what Walt remembered from his childhood days. And, if you go in the tiny nook between the Crystal Arts and the end of the Confectionery, and look up at the blue wall on the Crystal Arts side, you’ll notice that the window is open. This is Walt’s nod to the singing lessons that would go on around his town. If you’re really quiet and listen close, you just may hear someone singing.
Main Street may just be my favorite place in all of Disney. Why? Because I think, out of any place in Magic Kingdom, you truly are transported to another world. The smells, the music, the chatter…it’s as if you really are in the early 1900’s USA. I have always been one for the past, and this one small street really does it for me. Probably because it has the most to do with Walt himself, someone I have dearly looked up to for years. Plus, it goes unnoted that this is also the first sights of Disney World, or Land, that you see. It’s that first sight that you’ve arrived back home.
Alright. Enough Sentiment – On to the Specifics!
DINING ON MAINSTREET
Crystal Palace – The Crystal Palace is probably the fanciest buffet you will ever experience. It’s located on the left side of Main Street (Emporium Side) next to Casey’s Corner. The Palace is an ornately decorated area that offers a lot of light and ambiance to generally more family oriented sit down dinners. It’s also known as the “Buffet With Character”. That’s not just because of the decor and Cast Member costumes. The Crystal Palace is the only place on Main Street that offers Character Dining. Here you can have a willy, nilly, silly good time with Pooh and his 100 Acre Woods pals. $$-$$$ (15-60per adult)
Tony’s Town Sq. Restaurant – This has to be one of my favorite restaurants on Main Street. There is so much character and sense of story in this small Italian Bistro. I went here in November of 2015 with my boyfriend as our big date dinner when he came to visit me during my college program. Like I mentioned before, Tony’s is an Italian Fare with some American options for those who aren’t too into exotic tastes. The service is amazing and super quick, with a grand supply of options when it comes to drinks, appetizers, and entrees. If you aren’t familiar with the name Tony’s, just a step inside of the Town Square Theater (where the Matre Di is located), and you’ll find out right away what story is about to be told here. (Just a little spoiler – its Lady and the Tramp. $$ (15-35 per adult)
The Plaza Restaurant – Adjacent to The Crystal Palace lies the Plaza Restaurant. It’s easy to miss if you aren’t specifically looking for it. It’s nestled right in between the Ice Cream Parlor and Tomorrowland Terrace. It’s still a table service dining experience, just less expensive than Crystal Palace, and less themed than Tony’s. But that doesn’t make it worse by any means! They serve American cuisine, delectible and professionally made. The theming is centered around Victorian architecture and the allure of light. $$ (15-35 per adult)
Quick Service Options
- Casey’s Corner (traditional American – Hot Dogs)
- Main Street Bakery (Starbucks)
- Plaza Ice Cream Parlor (gourmet ice cream options)
There is a lot to see and do on Main Street besides eating and shopping! Here, I’m going to give you a few not-to-miss entertainment opportunities for you to experience as you take your first steps into the Magic Kingdom.
Dapper Dans – The Dapper Dans are almost as famous as Princess Elsa or Ariel in these parts of town. They are a group of four men (all named Dan) who sing some of your favorite classic Disney Tunes, or tunes of old in four part harmony. In other words, they are a barbershop quartet! They are hilarious, sweet, and so SO good! If you see them walking about, or standing to sing for a group of people, take your time and join in the fun to listen. You definitely won’t regret
Trolly Show (Seasonal) – The earliest parade for you to experience – and only on main street – is the Trolly Show. The themes revolve around the seasons, and there’s always a catchy tune to follow along. The characters are lively and sneakily funny, something for you and the kids to enjoy if you got to the park early.
Citizens of Main Street – Also only available on Main Street in the morning are characters with a BIG CHARACTER. Some of these are my favorite interactions to have. These would be with the citizens of Main Street. They just hopped off the trolly and decided to take a stroll with one another. They visit inside the shops to look for gifts and will always be up for pictures. Memorable moments to the max!
Main Street Philharmonic – This is one of my favorite little things that Disney has incorporated into its parks since day one. The Philharmonic is a bugle and drum corp that plays your favorite Disney Tunes in a swingy way that makes it always easy to dance to. The corps is made up of elderly fellows that are always up for some fun. Don’t miss this. Bring your kids and others of your party, and take a moment to just dance and revel in the fact that you made it – to where dreams come true.
Character Meet and Greets – The Crystal Palace isn’t the only place for you to be able to meet your favorite Disney characters in the Main Street Area. There are specific spots for you to interact with some lovable characters. Right in the center when you walk in, you will see the Magic Kingdom flagpole, there you can meet different fluffy characters, like Pluto or Marie. If you look to the right toward the Town Square Theater, you can join in a line, or grab a FastPass to meet the Big Cheese himself – Mickey Mouse! Or get your fairy on with Tinkerbell. All of these spots will have a Disney PhotoPass Photographer ready to take your picture and add to the Memory Maker, should you choose to invest in it, or will gladly take your phone or camera and take the photos for you on your own devices.
Main Street Emporium – Probably the most famous of shops in Magic Kingdom (and typically the busiest) is the Main Street Emporium. Modeled after Walt’s own shops he knew in Missouri, the Emporium has almost everything you could possibly want in the way of magical ware. One of the coolest things about the Emporium is that it expands the entire length of Main Street. It’s made of multiple ‘stores’ but they all feed into each other. Which gives a great shelter when Florida decides to open its clouds and rain down.
- The first half of the Emporium is home to Magic Bands, houseware, stuffed animals, and boys toys. This will take you to about halfway down mainstreet, and the first half pours into the middle section of the Emporium, also known as the Disney Clothiers
- Disney Clothiers is home to – you guessed it – Clothing! Here as well, you will find seasonal items, ornaments, and various light up ears and accessories. This then pushes us into the next room, the princess section
- The princess section is home to your needs of select costumes and accessories to the princesses, but not just for your own little princesses, but for women as well. Here you can find some jewelry options like Alex and Ani bracelets
- Lastly is the rest of your Walt Disney World needs in clothing. Hats, sweatshirts, socks, jewelry, ect. Walking the length of the emporium is always an experience! And in the mornings, you just may run into some of the citizens of mainstreet.
Main Street Confectionery – If you’re looking for some sweet smells and tasty treats then head on in to the Confectionery. Inside here you’ll find sweets of all kinds, including seasonal finds, and maybe even get to get a fresh Mickey apple! If you continue forward, you can find some more Disney mugs and some of Mickey’s own coffee! Right Mainstreet is very much like the emporium, where one store leads right into the next.
- From the Confectionery, you head into a mid-space which looks like an old theater entrance. To your right, you can head in and find all sorts of unique collectibles and art finds.
- Next you head into the Uptown Jewelers. If you are looking for your biggest selection of Pandora jewelry, then head here. You’ll also be able to purchase Dooney & Bourke bags here, as well as Vera Bradley. Besides Epcot and Disney Springs, this is your only place to buy them!
- From here is a small break, and then you can step into Crystal Jewelers, where you can buy all types of Arribas Bros collectibles, tiaras, and jewelry.
Town Square Theater – One of the biggest mysteries is the fact that there is, in fact, a store inside of the Town Square Theater! Besides the main entrance, where you can set up Fast Pass+, Photopass+, and Magic Band issues – go farther back and you will run into an actual little store which gives you some lesser found objects in the parks, and a quarter of the traffic!
PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES AND PARADES
Taking pictures in Magic Kingdom is one of the most known things to see on Instagram. So why not join in on the fun? There are some great places to get some great photos with your family and friends.
- Middle of Main Street, there are Photopass photographers who are always up for taking pictures for you. If you don’t have the bundle for the Memory Maker, no problem! If you hand them your phone or a camera you brought, they will make sure to grab your smiles on your own devices. If you do have the Memory Maker, the photographers may have you do some poses that may have a magical finishes.
- Hub Grass – if you have never heard of the Hub Grass fad, then you are in for a surprise! The Hub area is newly renovated for people to sit and unwind, but adds a great view of the Castle if you so choose!
- Right in front of the Castle, before Mickey’s Royal Fantasy Fare, some Photopass photographers will be there to take your pic – also in front of the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey (also known as the Partners Statue)
Also, there’s always a great time for photos and videos when you sit down to watch a parade! On Main Street is one of the best places to catch one, and here, I’ll give you my absolute favorites!
- Beyond any of the parades I have ever witnessed, Festival Of Fantasy parade is my absolute favorite! Hands down, DO NOT MISS!
- Move It Shake it – a fun parade only on Main Street that makes sure it involves the audience. A great parade for the little ones
- SEATING! Try and sit around Partners Statue (you’ll have to arrive early), Hub Grass (Fast Pass), Main Street Curb (Early Arrival), and Town Sq Curb and Sidewalk (Early Arrival) – pretty much for fireworks and parades, you’ll have to arrive at least 20-30 minutes early.
That, is all I have for you on Main Street, USA! I love this part of the Magic Kingdom, and I hope that the next time you visit, you love it too!