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« The Haunted Mansion Like You've Never Seen It [Part 2] | Main | Pirate Animatronic Behind-the-Scenes »
Friday
May112012

THEN AND NOW: MK Main Street, U.S.A.

Main Street, U.S.A, Magic Kingdom

Fresh new "Then and Now" comparisons! Main Street has remained largely the same on the outside. The interiors have changed time and time again. You'll notice some color changes and of course those trees keep changin'. 

Bonus

Something we miss: The traditional hand-crank sewing machines that offered FREE names on those classic Mickey ears. I smell a future post all about this 50+ year tradition replaced by newer technology. Fear not... the new-fangled way is not all bad.


Most "then" photos were sent to us via our Photo Hunt. Credits coming soon.

 

Related posts:

THEN AND NOW: MK Tomorrowland [Part 1]
Magic Kingdom Map Found in a Main Street Wall
THEN AND NOWLiberty Square [Part 1]
THEN AND NOWDisneyland [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: MK Fantasyland [Part 1]
THEN AND NOW: MK Adventureland [Part 1]
THEN AND NOWEpcot Future World [Part 1]
ABANDONED DISNEY: River Country


Reader Comments (10)

NIIIIICE. I love these for so many reasons. I love when the major stuff has remained through the years but the little things have changed (paint, vegetations, etc.) That swan boat photo is great. I love the old roof color on the dock.

May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTahitianTimmy

I look forward to your post about the sewing machines. Always loved watching that.

May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRem

I LOVE the three references to SWAN BOATS!! I never got to ride them but always thought the idea was great.

May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlaxander R.

I miss the trees. I was disappointed when they took them out of the hub, but now to realize they aren't in Town Square either and the planter around the flag pole. Too much harsh concrete. And don't get me started about the topiaries.

May 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob Herndon

I love this series - thank you so much for posting! You did a great job of replicating the original camera angles/viewpoints.

It's good to see how much of this area has remained constant. That feeling of first walking into the park has such a warm, "coming home" feeling for me, and I have no doubt that my nostalgia is influenced greatly by the continuity of this area. Other things have changed and I'm okay with (some of) that, but that first walk down Main Street on every visit feels virtually the same, and I really hope that never changes.

May 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRetroCOTfan

Thanks everyone. We too love this series. There's just something about discovering pieces of old architecture that still remains today.

May 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

This is, indeed, a great series of photographs, and Main Street, U.S.A., still has charms aplenty. It anchors us to our own perception of the past, through its nostalgic presentation, as well as to Walt's past and to our own past visits to the park. Funneling guests into the parks through such a venue was an utterly ingenious piece of design work, one of the most intuitively brilliant decisions Disney ever made. My one caveat with the Magic Kingdom's Main Street is the loss of West Center St. and its flower market. It was one of those special touches that you didn't really expect and then suddenly came upon. I remember our first visit in the mid-70s. As we walked down Main Street, my brother's attention and mine were focused on the castle, when my mother exclaimed, "Oh my!" We turned, and there were the beautiful overflowing flower carts tucked into this very unexpected Victorian cul-de-sac. It was the first indication that here was a place utterly devoted to every detail, with layer-upon layer of theming and artistry. The impression that you are not in a typical "amusement park" builds, of course, with every step you take into the parks, but here was absolute confirmation in this surprisingly beautiful spot. And now, of course, there is . . . well, perhaps best not to talk about now.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarceline

As someone who remembers the swan boats--and who remembers riding them--I can say what a true pleasure they were. They gave the impression, along with the Crystal Palace, that the central plaza area (the "hub") was an elegant Victorian park at the end of Main Street, which has many structures and outdoor seating that faces the area. Even as a kid, they were pleasant to ride, a quiet respite from the more hectic exploration of the park's attractions, a little rest. Best of all, they gave you a new and unique vantage point from which to see things. Gliding past the end of Main Street in the swan boats really did intensify the feel that you were visiting a turn-of-the-century town. The castle was amazing and imposing when viewed from the moat below--I don't think it's possible to get that view or that impression today. Best of all was the little surprise, after you glided past the Crystal Palace, that you were going into Adventureland! Though I've heard gripes about the theming incongruity of having the swan boats circle the Swiss Family Island Treehouse, it was a wonderful experience to look up into the treehouse from this vantage point, and you really did get the impression that you were floating past the edge of a deep jungle. There will always be some theming incongruities (after all, you can see the spires of the castle from the treehouse and from many other parts of the park), and this one was more than compensated for by the actual experience. What a shame that this gentle attraction with its special tone (and magnificent views) fell by the wayside.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarceline

Being a cast member on Main Street, this really is amazing. I love the feel of Main Street and the fact that it has almost remained the same since opening day!

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick

People are getting fatter in years, it seems

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlfredo

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