Let’s continue our journey down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom to discover the stories behind the 2nd story windows. Before we proceed, let’s get a clear view into why these windows even exist.
The tradition of putting names on the Main Street windows began with Walt Disney in Disneyland in 1955. When Walt was alive, he wanted to honor some key people that were instrumental in the creation of Disneyland including Imagineers, managers, animators, etc. To honor them publically, he decided that their names would be painted on an upstairs storefront window on Main Street USA. Walt personally selected the names that would be revealed on the windows on Opening Day, July 17, 1955. When Walt Died in 1966, Dick Irvine, the head of WED Enterprises, sent word that all names on the windows moving forward were to be fictitious. Walt’s brother, Roy O. Disney, quickly nixed that idea. He wanted to continue with the windows exactly the way Walt did to honor those that made the park possible.
Above the Emporium is the Project Detective Agency Private Investigations featuring Ed Bullard, Investigator with the caption ‘We Never Sleep.’ Little is known about Bullard except that he was the head of Walt Disney World Security. Perhaps we need more ‘investigation’ into him.
Look above the Confectionery and you’ll find this window. Construction Company, General Contractor Pete Markham, Engineer. Pete was a general contractor for Walt Disney World and the former Vice President of Project Management for WDW Imagineering. He worked on rides such as Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and Jungle Cruise as well as Cinderella’s Castle.
This window has quite an interesting story. Frank G. Wells was Disney’s President and Chief Operating Officer from 1984-1994. He was an avid mountain climber and had a goal of the Seven Summits, which is climbing the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. These are Kilimanjaro in Africa, Denali (Mount McKinley) in North America, Aconcagua in South America, Elbrus in Europe, Mount Everest in Asia, Mount Koscuiszko in Australia, and Vinson in Antarctica. This explains the Seven Summits Expeditions title of his window as well as the “For those who want to do it all” caption. He completed six of the seven challenges, failing to conquer of Mount Everest when his hike was cancelled due to bad weather 3000 ft. from the summit. In 1994, Wells died in a helicopter crash. Not only does he have a window, there is a dedication to him on the downhill descent of Disneyland’s Matterhorn Bobsleds and the movie The Lion King, which came out the summer after his death, is also dedicated to him. His window is located above Crystal Arts.
Thank you for continuing to stroll with us down Main Street. Stay tuned for the next edition of Windows of Main Street USA!