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Train Station renovation results in special souvenir for Disneyana fan

Train Station renovation results in special souvenir for Disneyana fan

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This is the train station at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Photo by Jeff Lange

For the past few months, this Main Street U.S.A. icon has been undergoing an extensive renovation. As Disney World's construction staff paints & repairs this 34-year-old structure and generally give this Magic Kingdom icon some much needed TLC.

Anyway ... As this building entered the last phase of its renovation, rumors began swirling around that  -- what with the planned relocation of the Magic Kingdom's stroller rental facility to the ground floor portion of the Main Street Train Station -- that much of the great theming & detailing that used to be in this area of the building would then be lost.

Well, given that I'm a real fan of all the historic photographs and train memorabilia that's used to decorate this part of the train station, I made a point of documenting all of this stuff when I initially arrived at WDW back on November 10th.

Photo by Jeff Lange

And -- sure enough -- less than a week later, all of those great photographs of Walt & his backyard train set had been stripped off the walls ...

Photo by Jeff Lange

... As the construction crew got ready to relocate to move the Magic Kingdom's stroller rental facility over to this part of the theme park.

Now I'm not one of these hardcore Disneyana fans who screams bloody murder every time the Imagineers change something at one of the theme parks. But -- that said -- it still made me sad to see all of those great pictures of Walt & his trains removed from the Main Street Train Station. I wondered what would become of those photographs. Whether I'd ever see them again

Well, less than a week later, I did!

This past Monday afternoon, I was literally on my way home. Driving up the Beeline to Orlando International Airport for my flight back to Hartford when I thought: "Let's make one last stop at Mouse Surplus."

Mouse Surplus -- for those of you who don't know -- is this great little shop on Spruce Avenue. A must-see for all serious Disneyana fans.

"Why is it a 'must-see'?," you ask. Because Mouse Surplus has become a clearinghouse for all this great stuff that used to be used in Disney's theme parks. And we're talking about items that are as big as old ride vehicles ...

Photo by Jeff Lange

... or as small as the Christmas wreaths and ornaments that are used to decorate Epcot as part of that theme park's annual holiday celebration.

Photo by Jeff Lange

I hadn't really intended on buying anything during this stop to Mouse Surplus. To be honest, I was just showing the place off to some pals of mine, Heather & Robert Bish. Who -- since they've recently moved to the Orlando area -- are going to need some help decorating their new home.

Hmmn ... It looks like their daughter, Sidney, has already picked out something that she wants for her new bedroom ...

Photo by Jeff Lange

Anywho ... As the Bishs and I were wandering around Mouse Surplus, I got talking with Brian Ramsey, the store's owner.  And I started moaning about the fact that Disney had just redone the Main Street Train Station at the Magic Kingdom. And that -- as a result of that renovation -- all of those great pictures of Walt & his trains had disappeared off the walls. Probably never to be seen again.

As I said this, Brian got this sly grin on his face. He the disappeared into Mouse Surplus' back room. And -- when he re-emerged a moment later  -- what does Mr. Ramsey have in his hands ...

Photo by Jeff Lange

... But those very same photographs from the walls of the Main Street Train Station! Which had just arrived at his shop earlier that same morning.

So -- of course -- you don't just let a great piece of Disney theme park history like this slip through your fingers. Mind you, I didn't want to be greedy. Which is why I quickly decided that I'd only buy one picture.

After quickly going through the pile, I finally selected my favorite photograph. Which shows a casually dressed Walt posing with a stuffed Mickey Mouse by the cowcatcher on one of Disneyland's steam trains.

After paying Brian for that photo, I hightailed it to the airport. Where I then hand-carried my new treasure through all of OIA's security checkpoints. And -- on the flight home -- that picture never left my side.

So from the wall of the Main Street Train Station to my office right here at home in less than two weeks ...

Photo by Jeff Lange

... That's a pretty fast trip for a photo of a train to take, don't you think?

If you'd like to check out some of the swell souvenirs that can be found at Mouse Surplus, I suggest that you visit Brian Ramsey's shop the next time you're in the Orlando area. His store is located at 1217 Spruce Avenue, which is just off the Bee Line & S. Orange Avenue.
For further information about Mouse Surplus, its constantly changing inventory as well as the store's operating hours, I suggest that you call 407-854-5391 and/or click on this link to visit the MouseSurplus.com website.


Jeff Lange is the staff photographer / archivist here at JHM. He recently launched his own series of unofficial Disney theme park DVDs. Which now includes "Jeff Lange's Holiday Treat." Which offers full coverage of last year's "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party" at WDW's Magic Kingdom. If you'd like to learn more about this or any other of the entertaining recordings that Mr. Lange has produced, we suggest that you follow this link.

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