Main Street, USA Getting a New Look
A Brand New Look for Good Ol' Fashioned Main Street?
Actually, considering its turn of the century, early 1900s theming, this is actually more of a new, old look. But either way, it's little secret that the storefronts and window displays all along Main Street, USA in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park have definitely been on the change lately.
A few weeks back, I had reported that the window displays of the Watch Shop had changed for the first time in as far back as I could remember, trading in the somewhat busy and almost cartoonish look of cogs, gears, and watch components, to a simpler, cleaner, almost classy appearance. And although I didn't report it at the time, a large green wall had also just recently appeared just North of that location, blocking off the Market House and its neighboring crystal shop which shared a building with the bakery next to that. The Market House has always been a favorite little store of mine, situated right there on the corner, featuring Disney-done housewares, a neat-o vinatage telephone (complete with a gabby neighbor hogging the party line), and a little-known place to duck inside, sit down in the air conditioning and out of the mid-day Florida sun, and play a good old game of checkers and ditch the crowds and standing in line for a bit.
But walking down Main Street, USA shortly after park opening on Sunday morning, February 25th, the normally pleasant smell of the Main Street bakery seemed somwhat tainted by the smell of something different. It smelled kind of like... a fresh coat of paint. Looking around, the first thing I observed was that many of the Main Street windows had recieved a makeover similar to the one the Watch Shop had undergone. But even more drastic a change than this, was the items on display in the window of the Market House.
"Smells like a fresh coat of paint," I said to a pair of important looking Cast Members standing outside the door. Instead of the typical Main Street costuming, these two wore a more traditional business attire, with button down collared shirts and ties. I assumed them to be in management or something other than just merchandise.
"It is," one of them replied. I believe his Cast Member name badge identified him as Axel, or something similar to that anyway. "We just reopened today, first day," he informed me.
"So does that make me the first guest in the store?" I asked him, as I consciously stepped into the doorway, wanting oh so very much to be able to say I was the first guest to ever step foot inside this newly reopened store.
"Yes it does," he replied.
"Cool.... Do I win anything?" I asked jokingly.
"You can be the first to buy something if you like," he played back.
So, perhaps there was no free gift for being the first guest in the new store, but I wasn't really too terribly bummed by it either. I was too busy taking in the changes. The new Market House, while still being called that (although I would not be surpised to see the name officially change within the next month or so), no longer housed such things as Mickey Mouse place settings, coffee mugs, checker games or vintage telephones. It now housed much of what used to be on display in the crystal shop next door, complete with the glass booth in the center of the store where guests could watch as glass artists and the blinding heat of a torch sculpted fantastic glass and crystal Disney creations before your very eyes. The doorway formerly offering indoor passage between the Market House and the old crystal shop has also been walled up and given a coat of paint.
The crystal shop on Main Street has a new home in the former Market House next door.
Not having quite enough Disney Dollars to spend on the fantastic glass slipper I had been eyeballing (Ha!!!), I instead turned to Axel again and we had a bit of a chat. Well, it was a sort of chat, with me asking a fair number of questions, and him doing his best to give me answers. We discussed primarily the ongoing changes, as well as the potential projects we may very well see happening on Main Street in the near future. Apparently, the Main Street Bakery will be expanding into the former location of the crystal shop, nearly doubling its previous size and allowing for a greater guest capacity and additional seating. Once this change is complete (I belive Axel said this was expected to be done by mid March???), the new wall between the bakery and Market House will once again be pulled down and opened up into a connecting doorway.
But an expanded bakery is not the only change that you should expect to see on Main Street in the near future. It appears that the King's Gallery, the small store located inside on the first floor of Cinderella Castle, selling primarily Disney art and collectibles, will be departing its regal surroundings and divvying up its loot among other Main Street locales. Expect to see the King's collection of crystal make its way into the new crystal shop in the Market House, which will possibly expand backwards toward the backstage area behind Main Street's east side in order to accomodate this additional merchandise. The rest of the King's Gallery goodies will likely head up the street to other locations, such as the Exposition Hall in Town Square. You can probably expect the castle vacancy to be filled shortly thereafter by what many expect will be something along the lines of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, which now resides at the World of Disney store at Downtown Disney.
So change is certainly in the air amidst the busy and bustling downtown setting of Main Street, USA, and so far, the new "old" look seems to be promising well. The new window displays look great, the Main Street Bakery will certainly have much more room to accomodate and treat the early morning breakfast and post-Wishes snack rushes, and a royal harido and makeover inside Cinderella Castle will certainly be enough to make any of your little princesses grin like the Cheshire Cat. But just don't go strolling on into the Market House expecting to be able to sit down to a game of checkers anymore. You wont find it there.
However... you can purchase an impressive looking glass chess set if you like. :yes:
More news from Main Street...
I just got back last night (or was it this morning?) from my spring break trip to WDW, and I'd like to throw in another little update on the Main Street refurbing. I was at MK on Tuesday (03/20/3007), and by that point the temporary construction wall in the bakery was still up and looked just as it did a few weeks ago. However, I returned to MK yesterday to see that not only was work completed in the bakery and the temporary construction wall had been removed, but the doorway between the newly expanded bakery seating area and the Market House was once again openened back up, meaning traffic can once more move between the two shops without having to step back outside. It looks good too!