main street usa

Main Street U.S.A. Music Lesson

Disney theme park historian and analyst Foxxy Hooves of the excellent Passport to Dreams blog is known for her long and very detailed articles on the esoterica of Disney’s theme park design. I always learn something, even on a subject matter I consider myself very… Read More »Main Street U.S.A. Music Lesson

Christmas returns to Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom

The new look gives you a clear shot of Cinderella Castle from anywhere on Main Street

It’s that most wonderful time of the year again. Christmas has returned to the Magic Kingdom and with it, miles of beautiful holiday decorations, including something new this year.

2014 brought Festival of Fantasy, a new parade, to the Magic Kingdom, with new fantastic floats. A few floats are just too tall to fit underneath the old garland arches that use to drape Main Street every holiday season. So Disney devised a decorative wall-mounted arm as a new look for Main Street USA. It’s still very festive and it has the added bonus of providing a clear view of Cinderella Castle. If you look close you can even spot a hidden mickey.

More photos below the jump:

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Construction Fire at Magic Kingdom Plaza Improvement Project

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I had a few free moments this afternoon and my son and I decided to visit the Magic Kingdom to sneak in a few rides and see Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with all the walls finally removed. More on that later this weekend. As we were headed out of Tomorrowland toward the hub, just about 3pm, we saw a small puff of smoke and then fire quickly growing around a generator / water pump near the edge of the Magic Kingdom Plaza Improvement project construction zone (read my recent update of that construction).

In a few moments, it had burnt through most of the fencing directly adjacent to it and looked to be threatening the fern bushes between it and Tomorrowland Terrace. Guests were dining just a few feet away in the restaurant, but quickly took notice of the flames, some moving away, some coming over for a closer look.

I felt that on the Tomorrowland Bridge, I was a safe distance away. I took out my camera and my mobile phone to get some video. It’s hard to film both at the same time and upload to Instagram, so I handed the camera off to a poorly trained monkey nearby. The first part of the video is the footage I could save from his unfocused attempts at documenting the incident.

From when we arrived to when the fire was extinguished took almost exactly 5 minutes.

As it turns out, there was one worker in the construction zone. After standing a few paces away and thinking about the best course of action, he left the scene, traveled under the bridge to the other side of main street, then returned with a bucket full of water. Which did almost nothing to put out the flames. Luckily there was a closer source of water, so he took a few steps down the bank and refilled the bucket then dumped it on the flames again, still with little impact on the fire itself. But I think he did prevent it from spreading any further.Read More »Construction Fire at Magic Kingdom Plaza Improvement Project

Magic Kingdom Central Plaza Construction Update – March 2014

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The Central Plaza / Hub area of the Magic Kingdom is scheduled to receive a major improvement to the walk-ability and flow from a guest perspective. We covered that story previously. But here’s a basic recap: a second ring of walkways will be added to the hub, new gardens will replace part of the moat and can be used as fireworks viewing party locations, the food vending and castle show out buildings will get makeovers, and lastly (but not least) Casey’s Corner and the Ice Cream Parlor will get expanded seating areas.

Now we’re back with the first of many updates tracking the progress of this major upgrade. Disney plans to take their time and make changes in small chunks so as not to disturb too much of the park’s central plaza at once, but some stuff just can’t be avoided. We’ll try and highlight how that might affect future visits as we go along.

As a starting point, here’s a short video with a look at how the hub looks as construction gets under way:

The end result will be something new for the Magic Kingdom style parks, but I think it will work. See our gallery of additional images below the jump:
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MyMagic+ Commercial Gets Bad Photoshop Award

The commercial MyMagic+ I posted last week has been set to private, but Disney has released this new MyMagic+ commercial complete with singing Lumiere to promote the new service. Keep an eye out around the 0:09 second mark for some really bad photoshoppery of Main… Read More »MyMagic+ Commercial Gets Bad Photoshop Award

Main Street Sweets Delight

Do you self a favor next time you visit the Magic Kingdom, stop in at the Main Street Confectionery to watch cast members as they assemble some of the scrumptious sweets available for purchase just a few feet away. With everything arriving pre-packaged at the… Read More »Main Street Sweets Delight

Main Street Trolley Show Gets Summer Update

Part of what makes a trip to the Magic Kingdom so, well, magical is all the little detail that goes into making it a transporting experience. Sure, there were never roaming horse drawn trolleys of signing and dancing folk back in the early 1900s, but… Read More »Main Street Trolley Show Gets Summer Update

Starbucks Sponsored Main Street Bakery Opens at Magic Kingdom

Huge interior of new Starbucks.

Huge interior of new Starbucks.

The Starbucks sponsored Main Street Bakery has opened at the Magic Kingdom. For some it’s a blessing to have ‘real’ coffee available in the parks, for others, its an intrusion of the outside world into the magic. The final execution is a very high capacity, smoothly run Starbucks with a few Disney touches added to make it just magical enough.

There is not as much merchandise as at a regular Starbucks, indeed hardly any beyond bags of coffee, but you’ll find all the coffee, tea, and other drinks you’ve come to love at your local Starbucks. Although we were led to believe that much of the old menu would transfer to the new location, the baked goods are mostly what you would find in a regular Starbucks. The egg and cheese croissant and super large cinnamon roll are both absent to name a few. Disney is apparently looking for new homes for the cinnamon roll, but in the meantime you can find it in Gaston’s in New Fantasyland.

The use of the Starbucks logo is tasteful – not overpowering, but not absent either. Disney has created a backstory complete with ‘grand opening’ photos and a collection of coffee paraphernalia from the owner’s trip around the world collecting photographs and unique items from different societies and their coffee habits. That backstory also includes the use of Starbucks original two-finned mermaid figure (modified slightly for Disney audiences) and there’s even a couple hidden mermaids scattered around the store.Read More »Starbucks Sponsored Main Street Bakery Opens at Magic Kingdom