Main Street, U.S.A. Shop Windows
When you visit Walt Disney World, your first experience to the park is Main Street, U.S.A. Many movie-making techniques were used to create the theme parks. Thes designers used the concept of forced perspective to make the buildings appear taller than they actually were; the first story of every building is normal size, but as you go up, each story gets progressively smaller to create the illusion that the buildings are larger. To further create the illusion that Main Street, U.S.A is a thriving town in the early 1900s, they created a cast of characters to populate it. You may recognize some of them strolling about town such as Mayor Weaver, Scoop Sanderson, and The Dapper Dans!
But it doesn’t stop there.
A small, often unappreciated touch to Main Street was the shop windows. The subject of windows is the reason why we’re discussing Main Street today! While the movies have the benefit of opening and closing credits, the park did not. Fortunately, they managed to sneak in some tributes to the people who helped build the dream in places that guests may not notice.
Let’s have a look at some of these windows up close:
Walter E. Disney
The first window is located in the train station, right before you walk into the park. Walt is named as the Chief Engineer. Walt is known for his love of railroads in general. He even had a 1/8th scale working model steam engine railroad in his backyard in California. Having his window on the train station is more than fitting.
Roy E. Disney
Roy E. Disney is the son of Walt’s brother, Roy O. Disney. He was the Vice Chairman of the Walt Disney Company for many years, and he currently serves as a consultant for them. Roy’s window refers to his love of competitive sailing.
This window, which used to be above the Emporium but is now located farther down Main Street, honors Walt’s father, Elias, who worked a number of odd jobs over the years, including farmhand, railroad machine shop worker, and professional fiddler. The window refers to a failed contracting business that Elias started in Chicago in 1895.
Walter E. Disney
The last window brings us back full circle. Walt’s window overlooking the castle and the park’s main hub not only honors the man himself but also all the Imagineers who were instrumental in bringing Walt Disney World to life. Richard Irvine, John Hench, Edward Brummitt, Marvin Davis, Fred Hope, Vic Greene, Bill Martin, and Chuck Myall all worked for WED Enterprises and helped design the architectural and show elements that went into the Magic Kingdom.
So next time you are strolling down Main Street, U.S.A at the Magic Kingdom, stop and take a look up. The parks are filled with surprises for all ages if we would only slow down and take it all in like we are there for the very first time.