The Emporium, located on Main Street, USA at Walt Disney World is the largest gift and souvenir shop in the Magic Kingdom Park. Walking into this beautifully decorated shop is like stepping back in time to the early 1800’s. The cast members are dressed in turn of the century clothing, and the counters and furnishings are typical of a general store of that era. Filled with every kind of Disney related merchandise, the Emporium faces Town Square, and is the first shop on the left as you head down Main Street. It is also the last shop on your way out of the Magic Kingdom, and as such, is the busiest shop every evening after the final fireworks show and parade. Here are six reasons why I love this shop.
1. Location: Just as you exit the tunnel onto Main Street, USA, and into Town Square, you are immediately transported back to the early 19th century. The architecture of the buildings, the horse drawn trolley, double decker bus, the clanging of the bell on the old-fashioned fire truck, and the train whistle, add to the atmosphere and ambiance of a town where Walt Disney himself grew up. This is the first shop you see as you enter the Magic Kingdom and the last one you pass by on your way out.
2. Interior Design: This huge general merchandise shop is laid out so that even wheelchairs and strollers can easily navigate around the counters and display tables. There are several checkout counters with three or four cashiers available most of the day, with a queque that assures the next person in line will be waited on first. Merchandise is arranged in a way that is convenient, easy to find, with a price tag or price list that is clear and understandable. Another unique feature of the Emporium is the attention to detail in the light fixtures, decorative tile floors, wooden shelves and countertops; all adding to the look and feel of a turn of the century general store.
3. Exterior Design: One of my favorite things about the Emporium are the window displays. Starting with the window closest to the fire station, each window comes to life with a scene from a popular Disney film. The story is told from beginning to end with each window showing a clip from the movie using animated characters, music, and voices to highlight each scene. Just walk from one window to the next until the full story is set before you in these artistically created window displays. Also, another great advantage of the Emporium is the multiple entrance/exit doors. There is the main entrance, with several side entrances along Main Street, which creates easy access to every section of the Emporium.
4. The Layout: The Emporium runs the length of one side of Main Street, on the left as you are entering, and on the right as you are exiting. There are different departments that can be accessed from the inside or the outside. As you enter the Emporium from Main Street you can walk through the different departments without ever leaving the building, or you can exit just as easily because there is a door leading into or out of each one. The departments are marked by a signs above stating what merchandise is availalbe, such as Boys’ Apparel & Toys, Girls’ Apparel, Men’s Apparel, etc. Each section is decorated with items and Disney characters highlighting apparel or gifts and toys available in a particular depatment. They definitely aim to please, and here the customer is always right.
5. Cast Members: The cast members who work at the Emporium are some of the nicest and most helpful people that I have ever met at the Magic Kingdom. If there is a special gift or souvenir that you can’t find or a clothing item in a size you can’t find, they will do their best to find that item or the correct size you need. I have never had any cast member at the Emporium tell me they don’t know or are not sure if a particular item or article of clothing is in stock or available in another size. They usually will find someone who knows for sure about an item or go and check in the stock room themselves. At least, that has been my experience. Cast members who work the shops have more customer interaction than on the rides, so they generally have excellent customer service skills.
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6. Variety of Gifts and Souvenirs: If you saw something you really liked while touring the Magic Kingdom but neglected to purchase it, you will most likely find it here at the Emporium. This special shop is filled with authentic Disney theme park merchandise, such as; apparel and accessories, camera & media accessories, gifts & housewares, Mickey ears, MagicBands, trading pins, Vinylmation, toys and plush galore, and so much more. The Emporium is the busiest at closing time, so do your shopping early. The lockers are close to the entrance, so you can place your purchases in a locker for the day, or if you are staying in a Disney Resort, you can have your purchases sent to your Resort.
The Walt Disney World Main Street Emporium is a place where you can relive the innocence and peacefulness of the past, while shopping for gifts and souvenirs of the present, with glimpses of future shopping possibilities. The design, cast members, and variety of merchandise makes shopping here a fun and magical experience for the whole family. Every time we visit WDW, we always walk through the Emporium either on our way in or out of the Magic Kingdom, or sometimes, both in and out. Our trip would not be complete without purchasing at least one item from our favorite WDW shop.
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