Walking down Main Street USA is one of the highlights of a day at the Magic Kingdom! It sets the mood and brings you into the time and place that you’re required to transport through before stepping into the other six lands that make up the most visited theme park in the world.
When you’re strolling through the streets, why not look up?
MOVIE MAKING 101
Think of Main Street like a movie. From the smell of popcorn to the forced perspective of the buildings, which in turn makes the castle look grander and more impressive to the story that’s being told in the shops. The details actually go deeper than you’d think.
A movie finishes with a title card that says “The End”, but then something else happens. You’re shown a credit roll for all the folks who actually made the film possible. This is what you’re looking at on the buildings.
ARE THEY REAL?
Each building’s window has a fictional business associated with it. From the Main Street Gazette to the Partners Portrait Gallery, there are dozens of brilliantly designed works of art that folks don’t notice because the details are discovered and not in plain sight.
Although the companies are fake, each name that’s included in the design is responsible for what we’ve come to know is Walt Disney World and The Walt Disney Company.
There are three requirements, as stated by Marty Sklar, former Walt Disney Imagineering Legend.
- The window is to be presented upon retirement
- This is the highest level of service/respect/achievement in the company
- There’s a agreement between the top individual park management and Walt Disney Imagineering, as they are tasked with designing and creating the concept.
On top of this, there’s an unspoken list of folks who are destined for windows upon their retirement due to their contributions to the direction of the company. These may include Imagineers, Designers and everyone in between.
IS THERE A LIST?
Absolutely! There’s nothing better than a good ol’ fashioned wikipedia list!
The most recognizable names in Walt Disney World are:
- Walt Disney
- Main Street Cinema
- Above the Plaza Restaurant
- Above the Railroad Station
- Mary Blair
- Centre Street
- Tony Baxter
- X. Atencio
- Above the Confectionary
- Lee Cockerell
- Elias Disney
- Roy O Disney
- Roy E Disney
- Yale Gracey
- Above the Confectionary
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WINDOWS
When you’re thinking about adding a new book to your collection, make sure to check out “Main Street Windows: A Complete Guide to Disney’s Whimsical Tributes” by Jeff Heimbuch!
Lots of amazing windows, so next time you’re at The Magic Kingdom wandering down Main Street USA, look up above the buildings and enjoy the history!