Main Street, U.S.A.

Main Street, U.S.A. is a turn-of-the-century portal into the park. As such it’s easy to dismiss it as a pass through point one motions toward in order to get to the attractions and experiences offered throughout the other lands of the park. At best, some will even think of it as the place to go shopping, grab a snack, or see the parade and fireworks.

Stepping into Town Square for the first time is a wow experience. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Main Street, U.S.A. is all that and so much more. First of all, compared to Disneyland’s original version, this is on a scale so grand that it is in and of itself breathtaking. Those “wows” begin when one sees the ornate and elaborate train station at the front of the park. Four trains of the Walt Disney World Railroad check in at this station and they in and of themselves are engineering feats of the 19th century. They’re real trains that were rehabbed from the Yucatan peninsula, and re-vitalized with Disney magic. You’ll want to utilize these forms of transportation, because it can be rather daunting trying to get from one end of the park to another. That’s where these locomotives come in handy, as it conveys guests from the entrance of the park to locations in Frontierland and Fantasyland’s Storybook Circus.

Train Station in front of Magic Kingdom. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Town Square also delivers grand magic. Here Mickey Mouse makes his home at the Town Square Theater. It’s a great place to get a photo with the one who started it all.

Entrance to the Town Square Theater. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Tinkerbell also greets guests at Magic Kingdom as well. You’ll also find other characters in the heart of Town Square and elsewhere.

Tinkerbell offers one of the most immersive settings for a meet ‘n’ greet. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

On the other side of Town Square you find City Hall, a great place to take care of problems you need resolved in the park. But know that another Guest Relations location is available adjacent to the Hall of President, and that location can be easier to get in and out of.

The architecture of City Hall is impressive. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The Harmony Barbershop is a unique place to go and get your haircut. It’s a must-visit place for your baby’s first haircut. Get there first thing–there’s often a line.

Harmony Barber Shop awaits guests. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Sandwiched between those two locations is the Fire House. Here is headquarters when signing up for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, a game utilizing magical cards that support Merlin the magician in defeating Disney villains. The game is played out throughout the entire park, with the exception of Tomorrowland, and the cards, which are free, are quite the collectible.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom comes alive. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Main Street itself is like an elaborate frame providing a portrait of Cinderella Castle. Turning the corner and seeing it for the first time is a wow. The architectural gingerbread, the detail, the color is only made better at night when all of it is light up by thousands of tiny bulbs.

Entertainment is found throughout the day in the form the Dapper Dans, the Main Street Philharmonic or Casey’s Corner Pianist.

Piano music to enjoy your hot dog and fries by. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Don’t rush too quickly down the street. You want to make sure you carve time in your day to stop and admire all of these turn-of-the-century charms. One of these is the Main Street Trolley Show.

Find the Main Street Trolley Show most mornings. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Speaking of Trolleys, there are several vehicles that run around early in the morning in the Magic Kingdom, but none are like the horse drawn trolley. Here’s a great story about how our family has been blessed by the entire team running the trolley, but especially by our friend and Cast Member, Sue. You can read more here.

Then there’s the parade coming down Main Street, U.S.A. each day. Festival of Fantasy parade is a dazzler, with lots of Disney characters to include a fire breathing dragon. It culminates with everyone’s favorite, Mickey and Minnie in a hot air balloon.

Disney characters on parade in Festival of Fantasy. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Hungry? You can find a range of choices here, from fine spreads to favored snacks. The smell of popcorn hits you the moment you enter the park, just like you were entering the movie theater. Starbucks not only greets massive crowds for morning coffee, it offers a range of drinks and treats throughout the day.

The line up at Starbucks. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

On the corners of Main Street you find several fare. Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is perfect for a hot, humid day. Casey’s offers hot dogs and fries. The whimsy of The Confectionary underscores the amazing sugared concoctions therein

Casey’s Corner. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Tony’s Town Square Restaurant celebrates New York Italian dining in the context of Lady and the Tramp. Another sit down restaurant is the Plaza Restaurant, a quiet, intimate location for getting out of the heat and enjoying a shake and burger. Then there’s the Crystal Palace. This ornate restaurant is a gem of Main Street, and offers a big, bountiful buffet, with characters from the Hundred Acre Wood coming by your table.

The majestic Crystal Palace. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The day ends with an amazing Happily Ever After fireworks show, perhaps the best one offered in any Disney park anywhere. If you haven’t done your souvenir shopping by this time, you won’t be alone. More business is done at The Emporium and at other shops on Main Street the last two hours before closing than all of the other hours of the day combined. You will find it all–from t-shirts and toys to fine jewelry, purses and keepsakes. Or just enjoy a balloon. It’s all good.

A busy Emporium at night. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

As you leave, take a final moment to turn around and take it all in again. Maybe grab a last snack and enjoy the moment. This is the magic of the Magic Kingdom. The beauty of it will stay in your heart and mind forever.

The park becomes a fairyland at dusk. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.