Market House reopened September 25 on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park, welcoming guests to gather once again around the potbellied stove, play a friendly game of checkers — and enjoy Starbucks drinks and house-made Disney treats.
The store, originally sponsored by Swift’s, was designed to reflect a general store of the 1890s. Imagineer Kim Irvine oversaw the refurbishment and expansion of the Main Street icon to ensure that it would maintain its original charm while allowing it to serve more Disneyland park guests. Below, Kim shares some of her thoughts from the project.
Why was it important to keep some of the time-honored items that guests loved so much at Market House, like the potbellied stove and party-line phones?
Kim: Anyone who has ever entered the Disneyland Market House completely understands when we talk about the wonderfully warm, nostalgic charm it emoted — a replication of a day when a trip to the market meant leisurely shopping, a chat with neighbors by the stove and perhaps a hot cup of good coffee. We didn’t want any of that to go away!
What were some of the inspirations behind the refurbishment?
Kim: We were inspired by the original space, of course! With the criteria we had to work with – having a queue that could accommodate many guests, yet still maintain the original charm and story – we had to rely on many tricks of the trade: color, textures, unique props and fixtures, and lots of ingenuity!
What was your favorite piece to work on?
Kim: I enjoyed every part of it, but my favorite space is the newly created Bookrest shop. We did not want the entire storefront to be the Market House, so we created a little shop off to the side that resembles a used-book shop run by “Mr. Peavidy,” with dark oak shelving, story-related artifacts tucked between volumes, a glowing potbellied stove and small oak tables.
Check out past Imagineer Q&As below: