Main Street USA is the perfect place to start the day when you are at the Magic Kingdom. It’s where the Magic truly begins.
Looking down Main Street USA will take your breath away – Photo by Laurie Sapp
Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom what Walt Disney imagined the perfect small town would look like. There is just so much to see and do here. You can get a hair cut, shop for just about anything, watch the parade, the fireworks or just watch the people walk down the street.
One of Dad’s favorite things to do is to stand on the street and watch people’s reaction to the best theme park icon anywhere, Cinderella Castle. From knee buckling to tears streaming down faces. (Dad’s done both.) Looking down Main Street and seeing the Castle for the first time … it’s hard to explain.
Take a ride on the bus – Photo by Cliff Wang
This is not a place for a lot of attractions. It’s a lobby. Even the attractions here are mainly just to help tell the story.
- Walt Disney World Railroad – Uncle Walt loved trains. This is where the railroad starts it’s journey around the park.
- Main Street Vehicles – these fun shuttles run back and forth all day long. There are trolleys, horse-drawn carriages, and much more.
- Town Square Exposition Hall – you can see the beginnings of Mickey Mouse and some of Uncle Walt’s early works.
Of course, the main attraction on Main Street is Cinderella Castle. Probably the most perfect, most photographed, most dreamed of icon in the whole world.
Shop till you drop. It’s truly amazing what you can buy in the Magic Kingdom. Most of the best shopping is concentrated right here on Main Street.
The Art of Disney is where you can buy Disney animation art, and much more. The Chapeau is the hat capitol of Disney World. Mouse Ears and hats and badges are available and you can get them personalized right in the shop.
Disney Clothiers is has a wide variety of Disney themed clothing. (Duh) Grab a sweatshirt for me. The Emporium is the Magic Kingdom’s largest gift shop. It is full of all kinds of Disney stuff.
Crystal Arts is one of the places where you can watch craftsmen at work. You can watch as glass is blown into amazing shapes. The Harmony Barber Shop real barbers cut hair and occasionally you find a barbershop quartet regaling audiences with great music.
At the Shadow Box artists cut up black paper into silhouettes of children’s likenesses. At Upton Jewelers, jewelry artisans from around the world create new pieces of jewelry. It’s almost magic.
There are a couple of unique gift shops here. The Firehouse Gift Station has authentic firefighter paraphernalia. The Athletic Club has sports related merchandise and gifts.
Also on Main Street there is a package pickup area where you can have your packages held while you enjoy time in the park and pick them up on your way out. The Newsstand is an interesting place, it doesn’t have any newspapers (they create messes), but it does have souvenirs.
The Town Square Theater has a camera stand where you can buy your PhotoPass pictures, grab a photo album, get your camera worked on, and even take pictures with cardboard Disney characters.
Fine Dining is hard to find at the Magic Kingdom. The restaurants around the park are more geared to volume service. Saying there are 2 sit down restaurants on Main Steet and lots of places to grab a bite.
There are lots of good tasting treats available all up and down the street.
- The Bake Shop has pastries and sandwiches available. It’s a great place to grab a snack while waiting for Wishes or one of the parades.
- The Ice Cream Parlor serves full four course meals (not really, just trying to see if anyone’s paying attention), or ice cream cones and shakes. Sounds good either way.
- The Confectionery, taffy is pulled all day long. You can also find a wide array of candies and goodies but no gum. Uncle Walt hated having gum on shoes so he banned it’s sales at the parks.
- Casey’s Corner has hot dogs and french fries. Not much more but they are some of the best hot dogs on the planet.
- Plaza Restaurant serves sandwiches and desserts.
- Crystal Palace has a character meal that is hosted by Winnie the Pooh and friends. It features carved meats and even a serving station for kids.
- Tony’s Town Square has Italian food including spaghetti for lovers (like in Lady and the Tramp) for lunch and dinner.
Walt Disney World excels at extra shows, parades and fireworks. This is the place to see all of these. Check out the daily schedule to see what’s going on when your there.
The Dapper Dan’s are a barbershop quartet the performs at the barber shop. They perform some great music and skits. Every day ends with a Flag Retreat. A patriotic ceremony complete with veterans and a brass band taking down the flag. During the week, there are random bands, quartets and more.
No day at the Magic Kingdom would be complete without a parade or two. There are afternoon and evening parades every day.
- Festival of Fantasy is the afternoon parade. It’s has floats from several classic and current Disney movies and Disney characters that walk the parade route and interact with guests.
- Main Street Electrical Parade is the current evening parade. It’s making a return engagement after years abroad.
When Disneyland opened one thing Uncle Walt noticed was late in the afternoon the park emptied. Walt needed something to keep guests in the park after dark. What’s better after dark than fireworks? So Uncle Walt went out and designed a great fireworks show to end each day.
Every day ends with a cool fireworks show – Photo by Judd Helms
Today, the best daily fireworks show in the world happens nightly at the Magic Kingdom. Wishes invites you to make a wish and your dreams will come true. (It doesn’t quite work like that but it’s a really cool show.) Main Street USA is the best place in the Magic Kingdom to watch Wishes.
The Rental Place
Just outside the gate of Main Street you can rent wheelchairs and Electronic Convenience Vehicles (ECV’s). You also rent strollers just outside the gates.
Every part of the Magic Kingdom tells a story. Main Street USA is the introduction to one of the best stories ever told. You enter under the train track, you enter the lobby of the park. This is where you can go to get your camera fixed, go to the ATM, get a locker, a stroller, or anything else you would need for a Perfect day at the Magic Kingdom.
Next you come to the lobby. In the lobby, there are flags, statues to Uncle Walt and Roy, and a perfect gathering place. As you walk down the street make sure to look up at the names on the windows of the upper floors. You’ll see lots of names. These are the people that helped build the Magic Kingdom. It’s an amazing roll of the greats of the past.
Dad’s Bottom Line
You could spend hours just looking at all the shops on Main Street USA. It’s a shoppers dream. It’s also one of the most beautiful areas of the park especially as the sun goes down and the lights come on.
The first look at Cinderella Castle is magical.