Please give a warm MiceChat welcome to Frank Fiorinelli, our newest columnist. His new biweekly column, X Marks The Spot, is inspired by theme park maps. He’ll use his vast collection of Disney park maps as the jumping off point to lots of amazing adventures!
For many Disney enthusiasts, pin trading and vinylmations are the ultimate affordable items when it comes to collecting Disneyana from the parks. There are avid collectors, whom we all know, that manage to put together books, lanyards, and vests full of pins. To me, those are great “Disney Hobbies”, but since I first stepped foot into the Magic Kingdom in 1992 at the ripe age of two, my own “Disney Hobby” was born . . . Park Map and Brochure Collecting. The same passion that many of us have for new vinylmations or limited edition pins is the same feelings I have when it comes to the park maps. My collection spans over 23 years and includes maps and brochures from all four Walt Disney World theme parks, as well as other area attractions.
For today’s article, we will take a look at a little known area within the Magic Kingdom, The Exposition Hall. This area of Magic Kingdom was located at the front of Main St. USA by Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (more or less where the Opera House would be at Disneyland). Recently, this area has been transformed into the Town Square Theatre, a location for Mickey and Princess Meet and Greets.
To a Park map Collector, a map of this location would be considered rare. The area, which was sponsored by Kodak, included many displays of camera memorabilia and even a timeline of Disney History. Today, the area still contains a photo purchase area, under the Photopass umbrella of products. During the days of the Exposition Hall, guests would be able to have their photo taken with Mickey and friends in Mickey’s Toontown Fair and pick it up for purchase within the exposition hall.
Looking at this rare map brochure you can see the main draw here was the photo pick-up area. One of the bigger sections was “The Hall of Moving Pictures.” Here, they would play old Disney classic shorts and cartoons within a movie theatre type setting. To the left was the “Hall Still Images,” depicting the history of the camera. To the right is its counterpart, the “Hall of Digital Technologies.”
When it came time for the closing of Mickey’s Toontown fair to make room for Storybook Circus and New Fantasyland, Mickey and the Princesses were moved to The Exposition Hall under the new name “Town Square Theatre”.
Do you have memories of this often overlooked part of Main Street? Better yet, do you have the map?
Next time, we will take a look at Brochure Material for Disney’s Water Parks. It’s sure to make a splash. Stay Tuned, there are hundreds of Maps and Brochures to Share.