29 November 2010

Just around the corner

Sometimes, in a morning rush to get to Space Mountain or Dumbo the Flying Elephant, we forget to take pause and admire the opening scene of the Magic Kingdom, Main Street U.S.A. Sure, the street is lined with guests during parades and fireworks, the jack-o’-lantern lined windows and garland festooned lampposts always make the holidays sparkle, and boarding the Walt Disney World Railroad from the Main Street Station is a time-honored tradition. However, on any given day, so much of the enchantment of Main Street U.S.A. is passed by.

Simply because it begins and ends with food, there is a wealth of dining establishments along Main Street U.S.A. From the handcrafted snacks of the Main Street Confectionery to the sweet treat of ice cream in a well fashioned cone, the indulgence allowed by the small bites of the avenue are second to none. For a more substantial bite, there is Tony’s Town Square Restaurant and the classic favorite, Plaza Restaurant. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention the wealth of options, from breakfast through dessert, available at the aromatic, sinfully sweet Main Street Bakery.

There is also a historical and artistic side to Main Street U.S.A. that is seldom explored. Exhibits in Exhibition Hall, displays in the Fire Station, even the d├ęcor itself tells guests volumes about the time and place Main Street U.S.A inhabits. Peering just beyond the first layer of the thoroughfare, guest can find artisans clipping paper silhouettes, mountains of candy carefully being formed in the Confectionery, and glass bubbling to life step by step in Crystal Arts. Each of these stops can be enjoyed for as much time as you are willing to dedicate to them, but each offers a value that is hard to be for edutainment.

There is one final element that makes life on Main Street U.S.A. worth living, and that is the people who inhabit the borough each and every day. While Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the park in the discussion when dealing with streetmosphere characters, Main Street U.S.A. has its own residents, including a fire chief, mayor, journalist for the Main Street Gazette (how have I not yet gotten a picture of myself and Scoop Sanderson?!?!), and many others. A number of musical acts also populate Main Street U.S.A. From the Main Street Philharmonic to the Dapper Dans, music for the ears and soul can always be found here.

When it comes right down to it, Main Street U.S.A. is never going to have a crowd pleaser like Pirates of the Caribbean or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but it does not mean that it isn’t worth the investment of a little time to explore and enjoy all that this opening land has to offer. Starting midmorning and moving through late afternoon, there are a number of activities to occupy guests’ time, especially those who enjoy the simpler things and times in life.

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