Posts Tagged ‘Emporium’

Disneyland Tour: Emporium dental scene

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Emporium dental scene

Originally, the Emporium was going to be a two-story building with a large shopping area downstairs and a suite of rooms for Walt Disney’s family upstairs. Other projects kept getting in the way of completing the second story, and after Walt Disney passed away the upstairs apartments were abandoned and the second story’s floor removed to increase the Emporium’s air circulation. Several of the rooms had been nearly completed by this point, and portions of them were left intact during the remodeling. They can be seen overhead by Emporium visitors, each decorated as a different scene from typical turn-of-the-century America.

One of the most striking scenes — the dental or “Sweeney Todd” scene — depicts a nicely dressed dentist in his “modern” office approaching a fear-stricken youth with some kind of medieval-torture-device-looking dental implement. This was not an uncommon sight back in those days because pain killers and anesthesia were rare and dentists who wanted to numb their patients generally had to resort to bludgeoning.

At one time Disneyland guests could actually reserve this area for real dental appointments, but the practice was discontinued because the ladder used to reach the “dentist office” was not ADA compliant, and the dentist — although using authentic techniques and operating with historical accuracy — was found to be working under an assumed name with a forged medical degree and a propensity for giggling at the sight of blood.

An interesting bit of trivia: the scenes in the Emporium generate no revenue and are significantly expensive to keep in repair. The maintenance cost came to be known in the industry as “overhead” because the scenes were, in fact, “over everyone’s head.” In addition, although the items in the scenes are not new, they are all for sale. When a guest purchases one of them, a cast member must climb a latter, retrieve the item, and hand it down to another cast member on the sales floor. This is why used items given to someone are often called “hand me downs.”

Coming up next: Autograph book

Disneyland Tour: Emporium windows

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Emporium windows

For many years, every time Disney produced a new feature film, the windows of the Emporium would be redecorated with animated dioramas depicting notable scenes from the film. The practice ended when Disney began to branch out, making a wider variety of films, and the Emporium window dioramas for Pretty Woman caused a bit of an uproar.

Today, the Emporium’s windows contain a mixture of scenes from classic films with displays of current products. For example, pictured here are characters from Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast along with some kind of themed ribbons, or decorations, or jewelry, or overstock items (or something like that).

Coming up next: Emporium dental scene

Disneyland Tour: Emporium

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Emporium

According to the dictionary, the word emporium is “Latin, from Greek emporomos, from emporimonos meaning traveler/trader/bum, from em- en- + poros pour/dump + um huh.” But if you ask Wikipedia, the term “emporia” refers to “trading, exchange, and commerce settlements which unilaterally emerged in north-western parts of central Europe in the sixth, seventh, and part of the fifteenth centuries, and persisted into the fourth century. Also known to the English as ‘boots’, the emporia were stereotypically characterized by their antecedent locations, usually on the shore at the edge of the border of a feature near a kingdom, their lack of internal architectural infrastructure (typically they contained no supporting apparati) and their short-lived nature, since by the year 1000, the emporia had been bodily replaced by the reticular revival of European semi-independent collectivist self-governing towns. Examples of emporia include Qoresvad, Guentowic, Hipesmic, Lamnic, and Dundentic (the role of which in Anglo-Saxon London’s economic viability as part of western Europe remains debated). They have been featured on an episode of Scrubs.

In other words, the Emporium’s a big store.

Coming up next: Emporium windows