Happy Tuesday and happy release day to Jeff Heimbuch and his new book — Main Street Windows: A Complete Guide to Disney’s Whimsical Tributes! Hooray! You might remember Jeff and I chatted in January about his partnership with former Imagineer Rolly Crump, which brought you It’s Kind of a Cute Story and the audiobook counterparts. Well, he sure didn’t make us wait to long for more Disney history.
Here’s a sneak peek from Jeff himself: There are literally hundreds of names on almost 400 Windows at every Magic Kingdom-style Park around the world. These people helped make the theme parks we know and love a reality, and I really think others should know who they are and what they have done to make all of our dreams come true. This is my own way of honoring them, and bringing their names into the spotlight a little more.
I’m so psyched to have him back on the blog discussing this project and answering some hard-hitting questions about the lovely windows of Main Street.
Why did you make this your next book project after It’s Kind of a Cute Story?
I have always loved looking up at the Windows while walking down Main Street. As a kid, I wondered if they had some sort of significance and it wasn’t until I was older that I realized what they meant, and what a huge honor it was to receive one.
On Communicore Weekly, we do a segment every so often called Window of the Week, where we showcase one of the Windows. When I was researching these segments, I realized that a complete list of the Windows from stateside and international parks had never been made (there was as 2009 book called Windows on Main Street but it only included a handful of Disneyland and WDW Windows). I was looking for another project after It’s Kind Of A Cute Story, and since *I* was curious who all these Windows honored, I was sure other people were as well, so I decided to find out. And thus, the book took form over a year and a half.
Most memorable discovery while writing the book: It was actually a bit of information I learned about 6 years ago, before the book was even a thought in my mind. I was touring the Magic Kingdom with a former Show Quality Monitor, and he pointed out that one of the Windows, which formerly had 6 names, now only had 5. The 6th name was there for years, until it was discovered that a painter in the sign shop, while touching up the Window, didn’t like how unbalanced the 5 names looked, so he added his own to even it out! It was there for almost 10 years before the discovery was made, and I always thought that was kind of hilarious.
The window you most want to visit and why: I’ve seen practically all of the Windows at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom at this point. But if I could, I would visit the Window tributes to American icons at Disneyland Paris like Nellie Bly, M. Brady, and Norworth & Von Tilzer. Though they were not Disney Cast Members, it’s interesting to see how these icons lend some American culture to Disneyland Paris.
Funniest window: By far, Dick Nunis’ at Disneyland with the subtitle: “Wave Machines A Specialty.” I just love the story of how Nunis wanted wave machines installed at Walt Disney World Resort so surfing could be a thing on the Seven Seas Lagoon…mostly so he could surf it himself. It cracks me up, and I loved how they included it as part of his Window.
Most spot-on window: Without a doubt, Walt Disney’s. Located above the train station at the Magic Kingdom. His role of “Chief Engineer” and “Keeping Dreams on Track” suit him perfectly. Even though he never saw Walt Disney World completed, his vision and dedication was what made it a reality.
I challenge you to write your own window: My own Window would probably be something sarcastic and funny, because for those who know me, know that’s my personality! Maybe something like “One Little Snark Incorporated” as the company and “Keeper of the Laughs” for my title. I’ll even accept “Communicore Commander” as well!
Congrats to Jeff + yippee for all of us who get to add a new Disney reference book to our collection!
MAIN STREET WINDOWS can be purchased as a hardcover, paperback, or eBook officially today — October 14, 2014.