The meticulous planning—and affection for a more innocent time—that was a fundamental element of Walt’s vision for Walt Disney World  is immediately apparent when you enter the park.
The various hassles of parking, taking a tram, taking a monorail or boat, waiting in line, getting a ticket scanned, and passing through a turnstile all evaporate as soon as you make your way onto Main Street, U.S.A., a sort of trapped-in-amber re-creation of late-18th-century and early-19th-century Americana.
It’s no accident that this is the very first thing a guest sees on entering the Magic Kingdom , as the friendliness, cleanliness, and innocence of Main Street are every bit as fantasy-derived as Tinker Bell or Dumbo the flying elephant.
Vintage fire engines, “horseless carriages,” and even an omnibus roam Main Street, and guests can hop aboard a trolley here to be ferried along the street to Cinderella Castle. Guests can also board the Walt Disney World Railroad, which circumnavigates the park with stops at Mickey’s Toontown Fair  and Frontierland .
The primary purpose of this part of the park is mood-setting, and there’s very little to do other than shop, which you could say is an appropriate mood-setter in and of itself. A couple of outlets, like an ice cream parlor and the enormous Emporium (at 17,000 square feet it’s the largest gift shop in the Magic Kingdom), get the most attention, but there are a few truly unique places, like The Chapeau (monogrammed hats), Engine Co. 71 (firefighter-themed gifts), and Harmony Barber Shop, where you can get an old-school shave-and-a-haircut as a for-real barbershop quartet sings along.
For the most part, though, guests just ooh and aah at the detailed buildings and the corny costumes and then weave their way through the crowds and the balloon-sellers to get to the rides and attractions in the rest of the park.