Monday, May 31, 2010

Disney's Main Street USA

As you’re running to your favorite attraction in the Magic Kingdom, have you ever stopped to wonder what magic Main Street USA holds? Is it an attraction like Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Space Mountain?
Technically, no. Main Street USA doesn’t move and thus, typically becomes an afterthought in tourist’s vacation plans. Yet, those that have experienced it best know that Main Street USA can hold some wonderful Disney surprises as well.
For instance, the entire street is actually only 4 buildings. Each one is designed to look like a separate structure, but it is actually only those four. As a result, tourists can stroll in between stores without ever having to go outside. And there are plenty of stores here to satisfy a shopper’s desire to find the perfect souvenir or gift. The best place to shop is on Main Street’s front corner at the Emporium. This is a HUGE place, so be sure NOT to separate inside the store. This shop is certain to have the souvenir you seek; if not, they can order it. If you have something particular in mind, when you first enter the store, ask a cast member to direct you. This shop will have everything from toys to costumes, t-shirts to caps, snow globes to mugs, pencils, autograph books, get the picture. Another favorite store of mine is the Crystal Arts. The glass figurines feature your favorite Disney characters and a variety of other designs. The store also has glass blowers doing demonstrations during certain times of the day.

And Main Street can be more than just shopping for souvenirs; it can also be about finding the perfect sweet treat. Main Street has an ice cream parlor, which features a Mickey Mouse cone with chocolate ears. With a variety of desserts, cookies, and sweets, the Main Street Bakery is the perfect place to satisfy a shopper’s sweet tooth. Here, you'll find both freshly baked goodies, as well as packaged candies and treats.
So like most of Disney World, you want to experience Main Street USA with fewer crowds and less waits to check-out, right? The majority of people head here as they are leaving the parks at the end of the day or waiting for the fireworks to begin. At closing time, the shops extend their hours to maximize the time that guests spend shopping there. Instead, I always recommend building a break into a day of touring the Magic Kingdom. Taking some time off in the afternoon, to swim at the resort pool or rest in your room, can rejuvenate your family for more activities at night. When you return in the evening and re-enter the theme park, spend some time exploring Main Street USA. The afternoon parade crowds will have departed and the nighttime fireworks crowds won’t have gathered yet.
The stores will be somewhat quieter for you to explore and locate the best souvenir, gift, or sweet treat. As a result, on your next trip to the Magic Kingdom, remember that while Main Street may not move as fast as Space Mountain, it does hold its own unique charm to discover. It can be a shopper’s paradise where you can indulge in the perfect sweet or discover the perfect memory.

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