Monday, March 06, 2017

Main Street Displays

Here is another selection of snapshots that were graciously given to me by GDB reader Irene; these photos were taken by her brother, probably all in the 1990's. Today we're going to be enjoying some of the wonderful and very popular displays seen on Main Street; ordinarily I would call them "Emporium Windows", but I believe that at least two of these displays are from windows at the Bank of America building. B of A had a bank at the park from opening day until July, 1993.

First up is this nice Christmas-themed scene from "Beauty and the Beast", the smash hit animated feature from 1991. Belle and the Beast are dancing (Belle is really kicking up her heels!), while Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumière, Cogsworth, and other characters watch from the nearby spinet. 

Here's a delightful scene from "The Jungle Book", with Mowgli and Balloo singing about "The Bare Necessities". Forget about your worries and your strife! This one appears to have been in a window in the former location of the "Wonderland Music Company" - what's there now? 

You can see City Hall reflected in the glass.

We're back at the bank building, and this time we have a nice diorama featuring a scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I can only guess what the date was; Snow White was rereleased in theaters in 1993, but it also was released on home video in 1994, so it could be from either one of those years, I suppose.


Nanook said...


These 'tableaus' were always a nice touch in the Park, and done with such precision and creativity. And to that point, even the "proscenium" framing of the Snow White scene features a comedy/tragedy "frieze" of Mickey adorning the top of the 'stage'.

Thanks to Irene & The Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Irene and Major, these are wonderful!!! I took very few pics of the movie displays in the Emporium Windows over the years and I regret it! What I would like to know is if anyone remembers what the last movie was, to get a multiple window treatment in the Emporium? I know Ratatouille got just one window back in 2007. There were "combinations" of former movie displays in the windows from 2005 (debuting for the 50th) through 2016. And now, there are individual window displays for several non-current movie releases. But when was the last time Disney devoted multiple windows to just one movie? As a kid, one of the highlights of arriving at the park and walking up Main Street, was always getting to see the current Disney release or re-release being told through the moving miniature displays.

Chuck said...

Major, based on the angle and size of City Hall's reflection in the glass, I think that the Jungle Book diorama was actually in one of the Emporium windows facing Town Square rather than the Wonderland Music Store across the square.

TM!, I had the same experience as a kid. The first displays I can remember were for The Island at the Top of the World on my January 1975 visit. While they grabbed my imagination, it would be another 30 years before I finally saw the film.

Thanks again, Irene and Major!

Irene said...

I believe that one of the reasons my brother took these photos of the display windows is because he was big on building his own displays! He collected lots (and lots) of Disney figures (along with others, such as Harry Potter) and then built several dioramas to display in his apartment. The one of Beauty and the Beast reminds me very much of one he did. Unfortunately over time they became quite dusty and neglected. But he did enjoy the process of building them.

I remember for the longest time before this last upgrade to the windows on Main Street the displays that were there stayed for way too long. I do like the new updates.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I sure loved to look at these windows when I was a kid - I hate to use the word “magical”, but it felt that way at the time.

TokyoMagic!, I sure wish I knew the answer to your question. I have some other photos of different windows (from Irene and her brother) featuring pictures from “The Lion King” (I believe that they are from the Emporium)… beyond that I really don’t know if they did windows for Pocahontas, Hunchback, Hercules, or Mulan.

Chuck, that’s what I originally thought too, but the architecture doesn’t seem to match the Emporium, as far as I can tell. The old Wonderland Music shop is awfully far north, but the windows had those small panes of glass above the main window - however, upon a second look, it doesn’t really match either.

Irene, it sounds like your brother just have been very creative! I used to want to build a detailed model of Tomorrowland, but just didn’t have the room/time/talent! Thank you again for sharing these wonderful photos.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, they did have multiple window displays for Pocahontas, Hunchback, Hercules and Mulan. Mulan is the last one that I have any pictures of. I'm assuming they did one for Tarzan because during DL's 50th anniversary, they had a Tarzan and Jane figure in one of the windows that were supposed to have been used were all the figures that were brought back for that 50th display. And I agree with Irene, those 50th displays stayed there WAY too long! When in the past would they have ever left the same Emporium window displays for 11 years? Sad! I'm assuming the current displays will stay there just as long, if not longer.

I sure wish I could remember what was in those windows right before the 50th displays went up in 2005. I think I remember a display for Atlantis, but not 100 percent sure. And were there displays for The Emperor's New Groove, Lilo & Stich or Treasure Planet? Brother Bear?

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I did some looking, and there were windows for "Lilo and Stitch"... photos were shared on the "Laughing Place" website. LINK

And I found one photo of a "Treasure Planet" window on "Deviant Art"... the person who posted it said there were several other windows from that movie as well. LINK

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, thank you for those links! That is very interesting! So now we know that they were still doing windows for the current animated releases, at least up until Treasure Planet. Now I just need to find out if they did one for Brother Bear or Home On The Range.

I have been wanting to do a post about the Emporium windows, but I've been dragging my feet. I only have a few pics of the displays for The Little Mermaid, Mulan and Hercules, and some very bad video footage of some of the windows for Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas and Hunchback of Notre Dame. I also have a couple Disney News articles that were written about the windows over the years. I guess I'll eventually put them all together into one post.

Thanks again, for doing that research and providing those links!