Things To Do In Orlando

Main Street USA

If it’s happening at the Magic Kingdom, chances are it’s happening on Main Street USA. Clearly the most recognizable of the seven Magic Kingdom “lands” at Walt Disney World, Main Street USA is the spot where visitors pause in the middle of the road to have their picture taken with the Cinderella Castle in the background—unless a parade is moving through at the time.

Main Street USA – Overview:

The theme of Main Street USA is a small American town at the turn of the 20th century. Guests strolling down Main Street USA will find cast members (Walt Disney World employees) in period costume and perhaps a barbershop quartet harmonizing a few tunes. In the meticulously landscaped town square, there is usually a character greeting going on—with a long line of children in front of it.

After Magic Kingdom visitors have disembarked from the monorail or ferry boat, the next stop is the ticket turnstiles and the entryway to Main Street USA, which is just under the main train station for the Walt Disney World Railroad. All of the main guest services can be found at Main Street USA, including maps and daily parade schedules, an ATM; baby care station; first aid station; restrooms (one of many), a camera shop, stroller and electric convenience vehicle (ECV) rentals, lockers and plenty of gift shops.

By day, vendor carts sell brightly colored Mickey Mouse balloons; by night, the carts are decked out with glow-in-the-dark necklaces and hand held spinning toys. Main Street USA is undoubtedly the most popular spot for spectators of the Magic Kingdom parades, from the daytime Celebrate a Dream Come True parade to the nighttime SpectroMagic parade topped off by the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks display.

As the gateway to the Magic Kingdom, Main Street USA is best known for its spectacular vista of the Cinderella Castle and the souvenir shops that will help guests commemorate their visit to Walt Disney World. Main Street USA is not big on thrill rides, but there are also plenty of opportunities to meet Disney characters, which can be a big thrill for some of the littlest visitors.

As you walk down Main Street USA in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, here are a few things to see and do:

    • Shopping: Out of all the Walt Disney World theme parks, The Emporium in Main Street USA boasts the largest selection of Disney clothing, toys, games, collector’s pins and other accessories. Facing the Cinderella Castle in Main Street USA, The Emporium is just to the left of the main entryway, and since the store takes up an entire city block, there are multiple entrances.

      Located directly to the right (once again, facing the Cinderella Castle) is the Town Square Exposition Hall. This is where guests can purchase disposable cameras at the beginning of the day, as well as turn in their Disney Photo Pass cards. If the lines for photos are too long at the end of the day—which they frequently are—the photos can be ordered online.

      Other stores in Main Street USA include unique boutiques such as the Main Street Confectionery, the Chapeau Hat Shop, Engine Co. 71 Firehouse Gifts, Main Street Gallery, Uptown Jewelers, and the Newsstand. Also of note is the Harmony Barber Shop, which accepts customers on a first come, first served basis. Children who come in for their first haircut can get a special “My 1st Haircut” set of Mouse Ears and certificate. Haircuts for children age 12 and under are priced at just $14.00.

    • Dining: From quick bites to a sit-down meal, Main Street USA has a variety of eateries to choose from. The most popular restaurant in Main Street USA—and arguably in all of Magic Kingdom—is the Crystal Palace, which features Disney character dining. The little ones will be delighted with the opportunity to meet and march with Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore; and parents will appreciate the high quality and variety of the buffet food. Even the fussiest eaters find something they enjoy at the Crystal Palace. Call 407-WDW-DINE for reservations up to 180 days in advance.

      Another restaurant in Main Street USA that accepts WDW-DINE reservations is Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, which serves Italian cuisine that includes pizza, paninis, pastas, and salads, plus classic meat and fish dishes. Tony’s Town Square restaurant is inspired by the romantic Italian trattoria where Lady and the Tramp share spaghetti and a kiss. The Plaza Restaurant (with an adjacent ice cream parlor) captures the charm of Victorian Era America with grilled deli-style sandwiches, burgers, hearty salads and hand-dipped ice cream fountain favorites.

    • Attractions: The Walt Disney World Railroad is the only ride attraction in Main Street USA, unless you hitch a ride on one of the historic “horseless carriage” vehicles. The Walt Disney World Railroad takes visitors around Magic Kingdom with stops at Frontierland and Mickey’s Toontown Fair. The four locomotives used at Magic Kingdom were originally built between 1916 and 1928, and bear the names of key company figures: Engine #1 Walter E. Disney; Engine #2: Lilly Belle (Walt Disney’s wife); Engine #3: Roger E. Broggie, the Disney Imagineer who helped bring these historic locomotives from Mexico to Walt Disney World; and Engine #4: Roy O. Disney, Walt’s older brother and business partner.

There’s no need for Disney’s Fast Pass in Main Street USA, although they come in handy with attractions in other areas of the park. Disney World vacation packages and discount Disney World tickets also make it possible for visitors to enjoy the best that Magic Kingdom has to offer at affordable prices. In many ways, Main Street USA is the symbol of all things Disney: a clean, family-friendly atmosphere, with a little bit of magic around every corner.