Take a walk down Main Street U.S.A! It doesn’t get any better than starting off a beautiful morning with a stroll down this iconic path, waving to the Cast Members, and anticipating the fun that lies ahead. Main Street is open before the rest of the park, allowing guests to enjoy the charm of the storefronts and get coffee and a pastry before the day begins. In the afternoon, find a good spot on the sidewalk or curb for one of the Magic Kingdom’s amazing parades. Stick around for the Flag Retreat Ceremony every day at 5 p.m. and witness patriotism at its finest. At the end of the night, watch the dazzling Happily Ever After fireworks display from Main Street is the perfect way to say goodnight to the Magic Kingdom and remember the excitement from the day.The majestic Cinderella Castle beckons guests as the main destination, but it’s worth taking your time and experiencing all that Main Street has to offer. Paying homage to the nostalgic yesteryear of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Main Street conveys small town Americana charm and is truly a sensory delight.
1. Setting the Scene
Lively music fills the street as guests pass under the train station and enter the Town Square. The music is historically accurate and is specifically designed to put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step. Every morning guests can sing along with the Main Street Trolley Show as the energetic performers dance and sing for guests lining the street. Main Street is also the place to catch the Dapper Dans, a colorful barbershop quartet that performs catchy melodies on a regular schedule.
2. Commemorative Windows
While easy to miss as guests pass through, the windows of Main Street are definitely worth a long look. Not just a fancy plate of glass with a shopkeeper’s name, the windows are really homages to the brilliant men and women that created the vision for and built the Magic Kingdom. Like opening credits for a movie, the names line the windows all the way down Main Street, leading guests to the main attractions. Names are only added after a person has retired and have achieved a significant level of service or achievement. You could spend several hours discovering the famous names that are honored in this way. Walt Disney’s name graces the Train Station window as Chief Engineer. Fittingly, the last window on Main Street, above the Plaza Restaurant, also belongs to Walt, with the moniker of Graduate School of Design and Master Planning.
3. Delicious Scents
Once you arrive on Main Street, your nose immediately starts to pick up the savory scents wafting by. If the buttery smell of popcorn doesn’t stop you, then the sugary scent of cotton candy from the Confectionary will surely make your sweet tooth wake up. Take a few more steps, and the fragrance of cookies from the Main Street Bakery greets you. Meander over towards Casey’s Corner, and flavorful smells of hot dogs and fries are guaranteed to make you want to stop in immediately for lunch.
4. Meeting Mickey
Meeting Mickey Mouse is a must-do on every Walt Disney World trip, and one of the best places to say Hello is the Town Square Theater on Main Street U.S.A. Mickey is waiting backstage with fun props from his magic act in a small room, so the meet-and-greet is a more private experience. Giving Mickey a hug and getting a great picture is a fantastic experience, so take advantage of FastPass for this so you won’t have to deal with a long wait. While you’re there, stick around for a magical photo with Tinkerbell who is greeting guests next door.
5. Shop ‘til You Drop
Take a break from the attractions and enjoy shopping in the delightful air-conditioned shops that line both sides of Main Street U.S.A. The Emporium stretches the length of one side of the street, although it gives the appearance of separate storefronts from the outside. Step through a door and step back in time to a turn-of the-century store with period light fixtures and decorations. The Emporium is very popular at the end of the day as guests leave the park, so it’s advisable to stop here in the afternoon for a more leisurely shopping experience. Guests can easily find apparel, jewelry, toys, housewares, and souvenirs for everyone. Pop across the street and discover Uptown Jewelers, a quaint shop offering watches, Pandora jewelry, and handbags. The Main Street Confectionary tempts your sweet tooth with cotton candy and freshly-dipped caramel apples, and other chocolate concoctions that you can watch being made and decorated. It’s virtually impossible to not wander in here and soak up the wonderful scents. The Chapeau Hat Shoppe is the place for new headgear, from a new pair of Mickey ears to a baseball cap and every kind of hat in between. It’s also the place to be to get your name embroidered on your new “ears”. Finally, stop by Main Street Cinema for that special piece of artwork or collectible that will make a perfect souvenir.
6. The Famous Picture
Every guest loves to get the perfect Castle shot, and Main Street is the ideal spot for it. Disney Photopass photographers are present at various intervals on Main Street to capture that perfect picture. Early in the morning in the best time of day to get a picture without crowds, but a night shot with the Castle aglow is beautiful as well.
7. Favorite Gems
Check out some of the amazing details on Main Street that are often overlooked. The window displays of the Emporium contain miniature scenes from Disney’s animated films, and during the holidays, they feature scenes from Mickey’s Christmas Carol. The four-foot posts that line the sidewalk edges are actually hitching posts for horses that would be common during this era. If you’re looking for a unique memento of your trip, find the cart parked in the nook next to Uptown Jewelers for an inexpensive and beautiful silhouette cut out of paper. Wander back into the small nook and listen closely; you might hear a music lesson taking place from an upstairs window! I’ve been down Main Street many times, but I love searching for these gems that make this area of the Magic Kingdom so special.
8. The Plaza
Stop by the Plaza Restaurant for a tasty meal in a picturesque location. With a bright and airy atmosphere and large windows that give a lovely view of bustling Main Street, the Plaza is a great choice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! The menu offers more inexpensive choices than other table-service locations in the Magic Kingdom, but you can’t go wrong with any of the comfort food dishes that are offered. Guests love the strawberry chicken salad and the grilled Reuben sandwich, and don’t forget to save room for a classic Plaza sundae to satisfy your sweet tooth.