BACKSTORY (Oct. 1, 1971–PRESENT): Edited from Wikipedia:
Instead of being a replica of a small Midwestern American town, Main Street at Walt Disney World features some stylistic influences from around the country, such as New England and Missouri. This is most noticeable in the "four corners" area in the middle of Main Street where each of the four corner buildings represents a different architectural style. There is also no Opera House as there is at Disneyland; instead there is the Exposition Hall. Main Street is lined with shops selling merchandise and food.
The decor is early-20th-century small-town America, inspired by Walt Disney's childhood and the film Lady and the Tramp. City Hall contains the Guest Relations lobby where cast members provide information and assistance. A real working barber shop gives haircuts for a fee. The Emporium carries a wide variety of Disney souvenirs such as plush toys, collectible pins, and Mickey-ear hats. Tony’s Town Square and the Plaza Restaurant are sit-down restaurants. Casey's Corner is at the end of Main Street and sells traditional American ball park fare including hot dogs & fries. In the distance beyond the end of Main Street stands Cinderella Castle.
Though only 189 feet tall, it benefits from a technique known as forced perspective. The second stories of all the buildings along Main Street are shorter than the first stories, and the third stories are even shorter than the second, and the top windows of the castle are much smaller than they appear. The resulting visual effect is that the buildings appear to be larger and taller than they really are. Main Street is considered the opening credits for the Magic Kingdom. You pass under the train station (the opening curtain), and then you view the opening credits on the upper stories of the main street buildings.
Each window has a business name on it, such as "Seven Summits Expeditions, Frank G. Wells President", each of these people has a connection to Disney. The windows/credits are ordered as they would be for a movie. In addition to the bronze "Partners Statue" of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle, there is also the "Sharing the Magic Statue" of Roy O. Disney sitting with Minnie Mouse near the park's entrance. Surrounding the "Partners Statue" at the central hub, are several iconic Disney characters featured throughout the park. Some of these include; Minnie, Donald, Br'er Rabbit, Goofy, Chip and Dale, etc.