A Magical Look Through the Windows of The Emporium
I have vividly specific memories of decorated windows. Every year at Christmastime, my parents would drive into Manhattan to do the New York City Christmas crawl. That looked a little something like this: see the Rockettes at Radio City, look at the tree for as long as our fingers had feeling, and look at the windows on 5th Ave.
Seeing the decorated and automated windows at Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s were a Christmas tradition that practiced both patience with people and patience with cold- two annoying aspects that were not present at my new favorite place to peer at scenic windows: The Main Street Emporium! When innovation, art, and beloved characters meet on the most famous street in the world, the result is pure, unadulterated magic!
You know The Main Street Emporium as the shopping hub for all of Magic Kingdom Park, but recently I’ve discovered a new way to spend time at Walt Disney World’s most iconic shopping destination- without dropping a dime!
It’s true that magical merchandise awaits beyond the doors, but the wonder begins well before you enter! Famous characters line the Emporium’s windows, inviting Disney fans from all walks of life to re-live scenes from their classic tales right on Main Street USA!
In this woodsy scene, Pocahontas takes Meeko aboard her hand-carved canoe for a journey just around the river bend. Pocahontas must choose between the smooth and steady course and the wild unknown, and watching the motion of her canoe through the window on Main Street makes this princess’ tale pop to life!
Genie’s sheer size is far from the only marvel in this scene! I love the miniature version of Agrabah that serves as Jasmine and Aladdin’s picture-perfect backdrop…and I love how the magic carpet really moves!
As if standing in the foreground of her castle wasn’t enough to tug at your heartstrings, watching Cinderella and Prince Charming buoyantly float across the ballroom oblivious to everyone else at the ball is the scene that is the catalyst for their romantic journey.
Celebrating the moment the two locked eyes and took that fateful spin across the ballroom floor, no detail- not even the tiny tassels on Prince Charming’s jacket- were overlooked!
Heigh Ho! If you can’t stand the thought of waiting 4+ hours to ride Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, I’ve got a secret for you.
You can watch the final scene from the ride without ever having to board a mine train! I could have watched Snow White and the dwarfs dance through the windows all night long…if I didn’t have more to discover!
The Little Mermaid
Another example of a scene directly from an attraction is personified in The Little Mermaid window. The colorfully whimsical scene is a direct celebration of the “Under the Sea” scene from the attraction in Fantasyland. Next time you’re at Magic Kingdom, pay extra attention to just how identical the window display is to the scene in the attraction- they really nailed it!
Beauty and the Beast
Forced perspective is one of Disney’s age-old tricks that Imagineers still utilize to make structures appear much larger than they actually are. Cinderella castle is the finest example in building-form, but the technique is utilized on smaller scales nearly everywhere you look!
The famous ballroom scene from Beauty and the Beast is not only gorgeously depicted in the windows, but an example of miniaturized forced perspective is perfectly captured here! Which of the windows is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
Ready to take your favorite Disney content wherever you go? Check out The Making Magic Podcast, covering all things Disney, hosted by myself and Greg Antonelle by clicking here, or over on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/making-magic/id1449862561?mt=2&i=1000427864780
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