Ok, nothing real fancy, artsy, or creative here - just a plain old quick, snapshot of Main Street, USA, taken immediately after park opening on Feb 25th. It kind of reminds me of the start of the New York City Marathon with the way people are pushing and shoving and jockeying for position. Everyone wants to be the first sap on Space Mountain or something like that I guess. I just walked right up to the second floor of the Main Street Station as soon as I made it through the tunnel, just to take this photo depicting the very first guests going charging down the street and into the park like a stampeding herd of wildebeast.
"Mufasa! Stampede - in the gorge... Simba's down there!" That's exactly what comes to mind when I watch this scene at park opening. It's especially fitting with the themeing at Animal Kingdom's rope drop ceremony - except that all the wildebeast are headed towards Everest or the Safaris.
This picture provides a perfect example of why I feel MSUSA is THE most under-appreciated area of the park, and therefore one of my favorites. Look at all those crazy people literally running right by some of the best theming and detailing they will likely see anywhere. I had time to take this picture, talk to a train conductor, walk down Main Street, stop to take two or three more pictures, then proceed down to the hub, take two more pics, double back, head on down to that side street and check out the dance studio (from which piano music and tap dancing used to be heard drifting out the windows. I wonder why it wasn't playing that morning... ), take a picture of the newly refurbed dead end there that had been blocked off on my last few visits, double back again, and then notice the newly reopened Market House, take a few more pictures of it, talk with a CM for a moment, and then step inside. And even with all that time I spent wandering around Main Street, taking pictures, and talking to CMs... by the time I had stepped inside there, the I was informed that I was the first guest ever to step foot in that store. Most people just don't appreciate MSUSA as anything other than something they are made to walk through in order to get to the rides and other more popular attractions. It's kind of sad, really.
This is also a perfect example of why, if you are planning to meet up with someone at the park in the morning, YOU DO NOT SAY "OH, LET'S JUST MEET UP AT THE FRONT OF THE PARK"!!! You will probably not find them, and may even wind up injuring yourself trying to stand your ground on Main Street! Choose something off the beaten path, such as inside Exposition Hall - where not only are you out of the way of the stampede in the gorge, but you might actually find something interesting to look at while you wait.