by: guide4wdw – Collin
Next time you’re visiting the Magic Kingdom, take a moment on your journey down Main Street to experience one of the many hidden gems of the experience, the Emporium’s proprietor. For years, I toured the parks and likely walked past this reference hundreds of times without ever appreciating it’s intricate backstory.
As you approach the front corner entrance to the Emporium, look in the window to your right and at the bottom you’ll find the description, “‘Osh Popham’ – Proprietor.” At the surface, it simply seems like a fun name Disney came up with to give a backstory to a retail establishment. However, as with anything the Disney company does, this reference to a proprietor or rather a creator has quite the backstory.
A few of you may recognize the name Osh Popham if you take a brief moment to think back through Disney film history. If not, you’ve likely heard of a film called Summer Magic at some point. The film itself debuted in 1963 as the ideas of Walt Disney World were really starting to develop for it’s official unveiling in 1971. During the film a leading character, Osh Popham, owns a hardware store that is a piece of the story in the film.
Considering the timing, Disney used this reference to tie a familiar name to the Emporium’s backstory. Of course, today many guests hardly even remember Summer Magic, but many of you will certainly appreciate the name behind the character, Burl Ives. Ives was best known for his roles in Frosty the Snowman and as Sam the Snowman in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964). For many, these appearances became instant classics among his numerous roles across many years of entertainment.
So, as usual, Disney went above and beyond in creating a story that goes much deeper that simply a name in a window. Next time you’re in the park, gather your friends and head over to the window and blow their minds with this Disney backstory! (While you’re there, don’t forget to grab a postcard for another hidden gem of the Main Street Experience)
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