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June 24, 2013

Main Street Train Station Bulletin Board

Jack Spence is on a leave of absence until 2014. This is a reprint of a blog he wrote several years ago. This blog originally ran in 2008 and was accurate at the time of publication.


There is an "Arrival and Departure" bulletin board on the ground floor of the Main Street Train Station.


Main Street Train Station Magic Kingdom


The locations depicted are not just random names, but have meaning.

Here they are:


Main Street Train Station Magic Kingdom


Grizzle Bear Flats:

The Grizzly Flats Railroad was the name of Ward Kimball's backyard railroad.

Kimball Canyon:

Animator Ward Kimball was one of the "Nine Old Men" and worked on such classics as "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and the "Three Caballeros."

Hickory:

Hickory is the town depicted in the Disney movie, "Follow Me Boys" released in theaters on December 1, 1966.

Siddons City:

Lemuel Siddons was the character played by Fred MacMurray in the movie "Follow Me Boys."

Medfield:

Medfield College was the setting for a number of Disney movies including "The Absent Minded Professor," "Son of Flubber," and "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes."

Rutledge:

Rutledge College was the rival school of Medfield College.

Harrington Hills:

Harrington was the town depicted in the Disney movie "Pollyanna," released in theaters on May 19, 1960.

Pendergast Plains:

Adolphe Menjou played the villain, Mr. Pendergast in the movie "Pollyanna."

Bullwhip:

From the Disney movie, "The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin" starring Bryan Russell, Roddy McDowall, Suzanne Pleshette, and Karl Malden. It was released on March 3, 1967.

Griffin Gulch:

See above.

I was able to figure out most of these entries on my own, but Harrington Hills and Pendergast Plains had me stumped.

October 22, 2012

The Emporium - Magic Kingdom

Jack Spence Masthead


In ancient Greece, the term "emporion" (plural "emporia") represented a portion of land set up by one nation, within the borders of another, to sell and trade their goods. The Greeks established numerous emporia in Egypt and other North African locales.

In medieval Europe, the term "emporium" (plural "emporia") referred to trading settlements usually found on the shores of North-Western European seas and the Atlantic Ocean. These settlements lacked any real infrastructure or government. This marketplace arrangement lasted until about the year 1000 when structured towns and cities took their place.

In both cases, a large variety of goods and merchandise were traded at the emporia. The word "emporium" survived over the centuries and had a resurgence during the Victorian era. The term was used to describe a large retail store that offered a vast selection of commodities and goods.

On Main Street U.S.A., Osium "Osh" Popham built one of the first structures along this thoroughfare and opened his Arcade in 1863. The store wasn't particularly large, but it exuded elegance and charm. He also believed that the recently installed tracks and horse-drawn trolley would bring customers directly to his doorsteps.


Osium

Horse-drawn Trolley


Osh was correct and both country and townsfolk soon found their way to his establishment. Entering the store, his patrons encountered an octagonal room. Stained glass and elaborate molding lined the ceiling. A gas chandelier hung above the center of the room.


Gas Chandelier


Although Osh insisted that his workers call him by his nickname, he still ran a tight ship and required that his employees offer first-class service. To drive this point home, each morning, Osh asked his workers to line Main Street and greet shoppers with a friendly wave and hello.


Emporium Employees Waving


This attitude was not lost on his customers. In the years that followed, Osh's store grew and expanded on both sides of the original building. Eventually, his Emporium took up an entire city block


The Emporium Grows

The Emporium Grows

The Emporium Grows

The Emporium Grows

The Emporium Grows


Osh Popham's name can be seen near the main entrance of the store painted in gold leaf at the bottom of the two display windows. He also commissioned a beautiful medallion to greet customers as they entered a side door.


Emporium Main Entrance

Gold Leaf Osh Popham

Emporium Medallion


With this expanded space, Osh could now offer a wide variety of goods to his customers. He also insisted that only quality merchandise be offered.


Emporium Sign

Emporium Floor Space

Emporium Sign


Always being one to keep up with the times, Osh had his later buildings wired for electricity. However, this new power source was unreliable and he couldn't afford to have his store shrouded in darkness should the lights go out. So he had his chandeliers hand crafted in Italy to support both this newfangled energy and the reliable gas. On this combination fixture, the electric lamps point downwards and the gas fixtures up.


Gas-Electric Chandeliers


Osh never got around to updating his original shop and the gas-only lamp still hangs there today.

In an effort to offer his customers the finest shopping experience available, Osh decorated his store with all the elegance and charm that Victorian architecture would allow. Stained glass signs, wood carvings, ornate ceilings and cornices all added to the effect. Even the tile flooring was carefully crafted to dazzle his customers.


Stained Glass

Stained Glass

Ceiling and Light Fixture

Porch Overhang

Cornices

Wood Carving

Tile Floor


Osh also expected his employees arrive each day on time, pressed and dressed in proper attire.


Emporium Employees


With his new-found wealth, Osh decided to travel and booked passage to Europe. While there, his horizons were broadened and he became acquainted with the new Edwardian style of design that was becoming in vogue. Upon his return, he found that business had been brisk during his absence. Once again, he decided to expand his shop; however, there was no place else to grow as he had already purchased and built on all of the available land. Not to be deterred, he made arrangements with the city and bought a portion of Center Street to enlarge is beloved Emporium. His latest expansion debuted in 1901 and was called the Emporium Gallery.


Emporium Gallery

Emporium Gallery

Emporium Gallery


With this new floor space, Osh was able to offer even more goods to his eager customers. As the gold lettering on a window announces, the following items were now available to better people's lives.

Electric Lamps
Gramophone Talking Machines.
Edison Kinetoscopes
Imported Glassware
Ladies' Wearing Apparel
Finest House Furnishings
Children's Toys and Novelties


Emporium Gallery Window


Inside the Emporium Gallery, the Edwardian design is obvious. Lighter woods and a pastel color scheme replaced the heavier and darker Victorian tones found in his adjacent shop. The feeling was bright and airy.

When arriving through the Gallery entrance, customers found themselves beneath a massive dome of intricate design. Perched high on a display table, two stately mannequins stand guard. Beyond, a stained-glass ceiling and four massive chandeliers light the floor space.


Emporium Gallery Dome

Mannequins

Emporium Gallery Stained Glass Ceiling

Emporium Gallery Chandelier


Tucked away at ceiling level on the two side walls are display niches, showcasing the latest fashions and goods from home and abroad.


Niche with Products and Goods

Niche with Products and Goods

Niche with Products and Goods


On the back wall, a large mural displays Osh's happy customers and employees enjoying their shopping experience at the Emporium Gallery. In the background, a rendering of his new addition can be seen. The following words are printed on the flowing ribbon of the mural: Shopping in the Grand Style - Personal Luxuries - Finest Fashions.


Emporium Gallery Mural


Osh Popham is no longer with us, but his store continues to delight and entertain. The Emporium greets literally millions of people each year and takes in millions of dollars each month. So now it's time to pull back the curtain and take a look at the realities of this fixture that anchors Main Street.


Emporium Main Entrance


Let's start with the question, "Who is Osh Popham?" He was a character in the 1963 Disney movie "Summer Magic." Played by Burl Ives, Osh Popham was the local postman who also ran the general store in the town of Beulah, Maine. Although Disney has created other "citizens" of Main Street to mix and mingle with the guests, Osh Popham has never been one of them. I guess he's too busy running his store and doesn't have time to lollygag with the street people.


Summer Magic Movie Poster

Burl Ives


Two of the songs from the movie were "Summer Magic" and "Flitterin'." Both of these can be heard in the background music loop played up and down Main Street.

A tradition that started years ago at Disneyland's Emporium was carried on at the Magic Kingdom Emporium for a time. With the opening of each new animated movie, a number of 3D tableaus were created, depicting scenes from the story and displayed in the store windows. With each new movie came new tableaus. Guests would delight at these simple, but oh so intriguing displays and looked forward to new characters on subsequent trips. It was a great way to advertise Disney's latest films.

Unfortunately, this tradition is no longer observed in the Magic Kingdom. Instead, six classic movies are on permanent display. Each movie receives one window. Beneath the tableau is a brief description of the story. Viewing them from left to right we have "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Cinderella," "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," and "Pocahontas."


Tableau Window

Story Plaque

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Cinderella

The Little Mermaid

Beauty and the Beast

Aladdin

Pocahontas


Even though these scenes do not change from year to year, they are still worth your attention. I realize that when you arrive at the Magic Kingdom, your intent is to race down Main Street to your favorite attraction. But later in the day, when you need a breather, be sure to venture back to the Emporium and check them out. You and your kids will get a kick out of them.

You might also want to do some shopping during this time of day. One thing to keep in mind, the worst time to shop at the Emporium is right after a parade and at closing. Everyone puts off this activity until they're ready to leave as they don't want to carry bags. Remember, if you're staying at a Disney resort, they will deliver your purchases to your hotel. And if you're staying off property, there are lockers located at the entrance to the park.

As we know, theming is everything to Disney. But sometimes modern inventions can ruin the atmosphere. Such is the case with today's electronic cash registers. As quaint as the old fashioned hand-cranked machines were, they would never do in 2012. So Disney has had to cleverly mix the old with the new. In order to make these modern wonders less conspicuous, the Imagineers have built partitions around the machines to hide them from the public's view.


Hidden Cash Registers


Disney has also incorporated another modern shopping technique into the Emporium that I'm sure Osh would have approved of. They have created a "single line" for multiple registers. If you're like me, you always pick the "wrong" line and are stuck behind the individual with a hundred questions and the inability to make up their mind. The single line eliminates this problem. However, beware! The Disney team is genius at marketing. They have placed numerous impulse items along the line to seduce you into one more purchase. Maybe you will be able to resist the temptation, but your children will bug you until you give in.


Single Line

Single Line


While talking with a cast member about this new line arrangement I was told that the new system isn't foolproof. Many guests do not realize there is a single line and will walk up to a register ahead of those waiting. If this happens to you, politely inform the naΓ―ve shopper that you were ahead of them.

For the most part, this article is not about the merchandise sold at the Emporium. However, I do want to make you aware of some items not out on display. "Behind the counter" merchandise includes aspirin (and other pain relievers), Pepto Bismol, sun screen, bug repellant, feminine products, deodorant, Band-Aids, and more. If you need something special, don't assume it's not available. You'd be surprised at all the specialty items Disney stocks to take care of their guests. Always ask. The counter where these items are sold is located just to the left of the main entrance off of Town Square. Note, tobacco products are not sold anywhere within the Magic Kingdom.


Special Merchandise Counter


The Emporium Gallery was a controversial addition to Main Street. Although I recounted the romantic, Disney version above, many were not happy with this change. Disney claimed they were answering guest needs by adding more shopping opportunities, but most saw this expansion as another way to make a buck. It was argued that the same merchandise was already available in store after store and many saw no reason to destroy Center Street just to add additional merchandising floor space.

Personally, I miss the flower carts that were once located on West Center Street. And at Christmas time, Donald's Tree Farm was a wonderful holiday treat. Yes, I know, Disney has moved Donald's Tree Farm to other areas since then, but it's just not the same. This dead-end street offered a simple, uncomplicated spot that added realism to the area.


West Center Street


Controversy aside, The Emporium Gallery still offers some interesting details. Let's start with the date this addition was established, 1901. It's no accident that this is also the year Walt Disney was born (December 5). But there is more to it than just that. This is also the year Queen Victoria of England died (January 22).

With her death, the Victorian Era ended and the Edwardian Era (in honor of King Edward VII) began. Most of the buildings on Main Street reflect the decorating styles of this earlier time whereas the Disney Gallery sports the less ornate style of the Edwardian Era.

The Emporium Gallery mural I mentioned earlier actually depicts a number of Imagineers, not happy customers and employees. These Imagineers were responsible for the design, story, and execution of this addition. Although I could list their names, the information would be tedious and soon forgotten. However, there is one portrait here that demands your attention, Joyce Carlton. Her likeness can be found in the lower left corner of the painting.

Joyce is credited with creating the attraction "it's a small world" for the 1964 New York World's Fair. She also worked on the animated movies "Cinderella," "Peter Pan," "Sleeping Beauty," and "Lady and the Tramp." In 1982, Joyce moved to Central Florida where she could concentrate her efforts on Disney World as a Senior Show Production Designer. She is also the first female Disney cast member to reach the 50 and 55 years of employment milestone.

Joyce officially retired in 2000, but continued working part-time through 2006/7. Most of these "retirement" years were spent mentoring other Imagineers. She was honored as a Disney Legend in 2000. She also has a window on Main Street that reads: "Dolls by Miss Joyce, Dollmaker for the World"


Emporium Gallery Mural

Painting of Joyce Carlton

Photograph of Joyce Carlton


Is it the Emporium or not?

Disney really tries to confuse guests when it comes to the Emporium. Technically, the Emporium ends with the Emporium Gallery. However, with this latest addition, it is now possible to walk from Town Square all the way to Casey's Corner through a maze of merchandise without ever venturing outdoors. In reality, the west side of Main Street is one humongous shop. Throughout the "stores" are a number of signs entitled "Emporium Store Guide." Included on this guide are Disney Clothiers, Main Street Fashion & Apparel, and Hall of Champions. Nevertheless, these stores are not listed by name on the map and fall under the general term of "Emporium." Yet outside, their names beckon proudly to the passing throngs. So are these, or are these not, a part of the Emporium?


Emporium Map

Disney Clothiers

Main Street Fashion & Apparel

Hall of Champions


I asked a supervisor about this incongruity and I was told that the west side of Main Street is known as the Emporium "complex." I guess ol' Osh purchased a few more stores when nobody was looking.

Since I personally don't consider anything past the Emporium Gallery to be part of the Emporium, I won't be covering these other shops at this time. Besides, if I did, I would start lamenting the passing of the Penny Arcade and the House of Magic. So it's better I stop here. We don't want to get me started on this hot topic. LOL.

If you're in search of a Disney souvenir, either useful or impractical, the Emporium is a good place to start. Good ol' Osh Popham would be proud of the current proprietors and how much merchandise they've offered for sale here. For a diehard shopper, the Emporium is paradise. For the adamant non-shopper, the Emporium can still be a great place to visit if you slow down and smell the roses. Try looking at the details rather than the Mickey Mouse plush.



October 9, 2008

Main Street Train Station Bulletin Board


There is an "Arrival and Departure" bulletin board on the ground floor of the Main Street Train Station.


Main Street Train Station Magic Kingdom


The locations depicted are not just random names, but have meaning.

Here they are:


Main Street Train Station Magic Kingdom


Grizzle Bear Flats:

The Grizzly Flats Railroad was the name of Ward Kimball's backyard railroad.

Kimball Canyon:

Animator Ward Kimball was one of the "Nine Old Men" and worked on such classics as "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and the "Three Caballeros."

Hickory:

Hickory is the town depicted in the Disney movie, "Follow Me Boys" released in theaters on December 1, 1966.

Siddons City:

Lemuel Siddons was the character played by Fred MacMurray in the movie "Follow Me Boys."

Medfield:

Medfield College was the setting for a number of Disney movies including "The Absent Minded Professor," "Son of Flubber," and "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes."

Rutledge:

Rutledge College was the rival school of Medfield College.

Harrington Hills:

Harrington was the town depicted in the Disney movie "Pollyanna," released in theaters on May 19, 1960.

Pendergast Plains:

Adolphe Menjou played the villain, Mr. Pendergast in the movie "Pollyanna."

Bullwhip:

From the Disney movie, "The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin" starring Bryan Russell, Roddy McDowall, Suzanne Pleshette, and Karl Malden. It was released on March 3, 1967.

Griffin Gulch:

See above.

I was able to figure out most of these entries on my own, but Harrington Hills and Pendergast Plains had me stumped. While researching these names, I came across the following web-site:

http://www.2719hyperion.com/2006/11/deciphering-train-bulletin.html

I found that someone had already beaten me to the punch on this blog, but I felt it could be recycled.


April 17, 2008

Harper's Mill, Old Time Telephone, and Kingdom Tower - Walt Disney World

I recently wrote a blog about the bird's nest hidden in Harper's Mill on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom. One of my readers, Chris, wrote to tell me that if you listen carefully, the creaking gears inside the mill play "Down By The Old Mill Stream." I checked it out today and sure enough, if you know what you're listening for, there's no mistaking this tune. Thanks Chris.

Harpers Mill Tom Sawyer Island

In another blog I wrote that when Arribas Brothers took over the Market House on Main Street, the old-time telephone was removed. Another reader, Shorty, wrote to tell me that the old telephone now has a new home in the Chapeau Shop on Town Square. Yea! Thanks Shorty.

Chapeau Shop Main Street USA

Telephone in Chapeau Shop

Telephone in Chapeau Shop


As I keep saying, it's these little details that make Disney special. Now, if I could just convince Disney to bring back Jennifer, the ticket seller that used to sit in the entrance area of the Main Street Cinema"¦

While riding the monorail to the Magic Kingdom today, I snapped a couple of pictures of the "Kingdom Tower" (the yet to be announced DVC) under construction. As you can see by the pictures, the structure is coming right along and it appears they're currently working on the twelfth floor. Also, new construction has commenced on the walkway that will connect the new resort with the fourth floor of the Contemporary.

Kingdom Tower

Kingdom Tower

March 10, 2008

Main Street USA City Hall Steeple

When I was in the Magic Kingdom over the weekend, I did a double-take when I looked at City Hall which is currently undergoing rehab. It's missing its steeple. And not only is the steeple missing, but so is the printed upper canvas designed to lessen the impact of the rehab is gone.

City%20Hall.jpg

January 17, 2008

Main Street's City Hall Gets a Face Lift!

In order to keep Walt Disney World looking as good as it looks, attractions and buildings must be occasionally closed for refurbishment.

In years past, plywood panels would be erected around the building so workmen could clean, repair, and paint the building out of sight of the guests.

But a couple of years ago, Disney came up with a great idea. They decided to print a picture of the building being rehabbed on a large canvas and position it in front of the structure. This was far and away more attractive than plywood panels and the intrusion on the guest was minimal.

Currently, City Hall in the Magic Kingdom is undergoing rehab. These pictures show how well this new technique works.

City Hall on Main Street

City Hall Rehab

November 30, 2007

Exposition Hall in the Magic Kingdom

Where do you go at the Magic Kingdom when you're hot and tired and want to escape the unmanageable crowds and cool down? Try Exposition Hall located on the Plaza at the beginning of Main Street.

The front half of this building houses a shop and Photo Pickup.

But if you wander to the rear of the building, you'll find a delightful spot that very few people ever go. This area was once the home of the "Walt Disney Story," a 23 minute film that ran from 1973 to 1992. Now, only a small portion of the original theater remains, but what's left is a delight. Approximately thirty seats face a small screen that continually plays vintage Mickey Mouse cartoons. This is a wonderful place to relax, chat, and forget the throngs of people outside.

Exposition%20Hall%201.jpg


Also in this back area are several picture opportunities. Four two-dimensional vignettes featuring Steamboat Willie, 101 Dalmatians, Snow White, and Buzz Lightyear are available to pose one or several of your party in. Note, these are not the "real" characters you see out in the parks, but simply cut-outs that allow guests to place their face or body into a scene. Since this area is never crowded, you'll have plenty of time to compose your picture and the finished product can be quite cute.


Exposition%20Hall%202.jpg

Exposition%20Hall%203.jpg


Exposition%20Hall%204.jpg

Exposition%20Hall%205.jpg


November 28, 2007

Art of Disney store in Magic Kingdom

The Art of Disney, or as I like to call it, the "good" store, has opened in the Main Street Cinema building in the Magic Kingdom.

Exterior of the Art of Disney Store in Magic Kingdom


This store sells upscale merchandise. Lenox, Armani, the Disney Classic Collection, and original and limited edition paintings by featured artist can be found here.

Compared to its sister stores in Epcot, Downtown Disney, and the Disney/MGM Studios, this store is small. So small in fact that some of its merchandise spills over into the adjoining store, the Uptown Jewelers.

The redesign is nice and I'm glad Disney has found a new home for this store as it seems to have bounced around from one location to the next over the past several years.

One sad note"¦ For many years, a ticket booth sat just inside the entrance of the Main Street Cinema - back when old Mickey Mouse cartoons were actually shown here. Inside the ticket booth was a mannequin of a young lady, the ticket seller. She wore a Disney name tag and if memory serves, her name was Jennifer from Marceline (Walt's home town). A couple of years ago the ticket booth disappeared. I asked a cast member what had happened to it and I was told that it was being refurbished and would return soon. Alas, it never did.

I realize that in the scheme of things, the disappearance of Jennifer is insignificant. But her demise scares me. Every time the powers-that-be removes one of the little details that make Disney parks so special, I have to ask myself "Where will it end?" For that matter, I miss the "old" Main Street Cinema (when it showed movies), the Magic Shop, and the Penny Arcade. These were special locations. Now these spots sell the same merchandise you can find everywhere else on property. Sigh.

Art of Disney Store in Magic Kingdom

Art of Disney Store in Magic Kingdom

Art of Disney Store in Magic Kingdom

Art of Disney Store in Magic Kingdom

Art of Disney Store in Magic Kingdom

Art of Disney Store in Magic Kingdom

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About Main Street USA

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The β€œWorld” According to Jack in the Main Street USA category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Liberty Square is the previous category.

Tomorrowland is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.