AROUND WDW: PART 2 - Town Square Fire Station
(Photo Cred: Allears.net)
Welcome back as we continue our tour of Magic Kingdom! Last time we took some time to explore the very first building you encounter upon arriving at MK, The Train Station. (If you didn’t get a chance to take a look at that stop you can find it HERE). Today, we’ll be talking a little about the next stop our family usually visits after entering MK, the Fire Station!
After you walk through the entrances through the train station, if you stick to the left you’ll find the Magic Kingdom’s City Hall and just past that on the corner is where you’ll be able to visit the Town Square Firehouse. While this area of Main St. has many different options for you to stop in (which we’ll talk about in later entries) before heading toward the castle, our family usually heads for a quick stop to the FD. Krystle’s dad was a firefighter so we always enjoy stopping in as a way of paying homage to those who serve in their local FDs across the country and Lincoln absolutely loves firetrucks. For a while, this was also the starting point for the now extinct Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game, so we always stopped in to grab a free pack of cards and start our adventure in the parks too, but even with this game gone, we highly suggest still taking a few moments to just explore this area before heading off to the rest of the park.
The exterior of the Firehouse, fits in perfectly with the overall aesthetic of the era of Main St. and the look of early 19th century, small-town America. I personally wish todays buildings (and yes even FDs) continued this nostalgic look, and every time we happen by one that does, we immediately think “this would fit in great on Main St.” Like the rest of Main St. USA, Disney expertly uses the concept of forced perspective to make the station look bigger than it really is. If you’ve never noticed before (and if you haven’t that’s ok…it’s kinda the point) all of the second stories of buildings on Main St. are actually slightly shorter than the first making them seem taller than they really are. And while you’re looking up at the exterior of the FD, notice the engine number of the company…yup, that 71 is in honor of the year that WDW opened!
Inside, Disney continues this theme with various details and items of fire departments from this time period. As History teachers, we love taking this “trip back in time” and it’s a great opportunity to show your little ones a little bit about our nation’s past in a very “real” environment. You’ll see objects like the harnesses FDs used when their tanks were still being pulled by horses and various tools like the famous fireman’s axe hanging on the wall. While, Disney takes great strives to keep the FD as time appropriate as possible, perhaps the biggest draw of the interior of the building itself is anything but. Hanging on the walls, you will find large display cases showcasing patches from real fire departments from all over the country. Guests used to be able to donate a patch years ago, many of which were included in these display cases…another great way that Disney honors the brave men and women who serve as firefighters!
The Fire Station has one more surprise up its sleeve, although it might not always be available. However, parked inside (or sometimes even outside) you will find Lincoln’s favorite part of this location, Engine No. 71 itself! A working replica of an early fire engine that you not only can usually grab a cool picture with, but at certain times (if you’re lucky enough) might be invited to take a quick ride on up and down Main St. USA as well! (Lincoln has taken a number of pictures with his favorite fire truck, but is still waiting on that ride lol).
(Photo Cred: AllEars.net)
Finally, if you were super lucky you might have gotten the opportunity to meet one of the most joyous personalities in WDW…Fire Chief Smokey Miller! Smokey could always be found hanging out around the front of the fire station or wandering Main St. USA (and especially during various holiday celebrations). The Chief was easy to spot in his bright red shirt, suspenders, fireman’s helmet, and carrying his trusty axe, and snagging a pic with him was always fun. However, as of now, Chief Smokey (as well as the rest of the “citizens of Main St”) have been let go. We’re not entirely sure if this was just in response to the COVID pandemic and that perhaps they will be returning as the parks continue to open up more and more, or if this is just a new direction the park is heading in, but we personally hope to see them return one day soon!
(photo cred: Disney)
Thanks everyone for joining us for another stop on our WDW tour! We’d love to hear from YOU about your experiences at the Town Square Fire Station so be sure to head over to the FB group to share your stories and better yet your pictures! If you haven’t had the chance yet to visit, hopefully this might encourage you to take a quick 5 minute stop to check it out! Thanks for reading and See Ya Real Soon!