05 April 2010

The World of Yesterday

The World of Yesterday
Tony Caggiano

While digging through the crates, as I so often do, I happened to stumble upon some vacation photos from long, long ago. These photos, dated 1975, were all taken along everyone’s favorite thoroughfare, our beloved Main Street USA. I am lucky enough to have a lot of photos from my Walt Disney World visits of the past. However, the thing that caught my attention in these particular pics is that even though Main Street U.S.A. has been there since 1971, there have been a few changes made and a few favorites lost.In our first photo, we are being treated to a performance of the Walt Disney World marching band. While the costumes have changes a bit over the years, the real extinct attraction that caught my eye was the Hallmark Card Shop in the background. The shop was closed in 1985, to make room for the Disney Clothiers. The photograph also has a view of West Center Street, which became a victim of progress when it was built over in the 2001 Emporium expansion.In our second photo, we are treated to the big cheese himself, Mickey Mouse, visiting with parade watchers as he strolls down Main Street during the afternoon parade. While it is always fun to see vintage Mickey roaming the park, a look toward the far sidewalk shows us a long lost view of the sign for the Tobacconist shop as well as Casey’s Corner, then know as Refreshment Corner. While I would have to agree that the Tobacconist shop had worn out its welcome, I am a happy that the Refreshment Corner has had a second life as Casey’s Corner, a Magic Kingdom landmark!The final picture is far and away my favorite. This long lost view is one that nearly brings a tear to my eye every time I walk down Main Street USA. As a little boy, and continuing up through my early twenties, The House of Magic was always a personal favorite of mine. I can remember as though it were yesterday, walking into the shop, admiring the masks on the wall behind the counter and sifting through the many silly tricks and treats the store had to offer. This was always a treat for boys and girls of all ages.

If you look closely, you can see the face of a little three and a half year old boy, the same age my own son is now, gazing skyward at a glorious and magical collection of original Mickey shaped balloons. That is, of course, yours truly, as I was setting off down the path to Disney World geekdom, a path which I travel to this day. Unfortunately, my own little guys will never have the pleasure of visiting the House of Magic, but with every loss we gain something new. That means it is my job to make sure that years from now, they look upon the photos of their own Walt Disney World vacations of the past with the same longing and nostalgia that I do when I look upon these pictures.

1 comment:

Tim Weston said...

Great photos and article, Tony!

I never had a chance to browse the Hallmark Card Shop, but I do very much miss West Center Street and The House of Magic.

I know it may sound kind of silly to miss these kinds of things, but I much prefer those unique aspects of Main Street, U.S.A. to the giant Emporium along the west side of the street. At least the east side of the street still has some unique offerings.