Main Street Windows by Jeff Heimbuch, a review
Main Street Windows : A complete guide to Disney’s whimsical tributes, Jeff Heimbuch’s latest book, is a must have for Disney fans and Disney history enthusiasts. I’m amazed at the amount of time and effort that Heimbuch went through in order to put this entire project together. The book spans all five Magic Kingdom-style parks, including: Disneyland; Walt Disney World; Tokyo Disneyland; Disneyland Paris; and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Yeah, I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
As everyone knows, Jeff is my partner on Communicore Weekly (the Greatest Online Show™) but I haven’t let that influence my review. Keeping my integrity and your trust as a reviewer is paramount. That being said, the Main Street Windows is going to quickly become an indispensable tool for researchers and theme park fans.
If you’ve ever visited a Disney park, then you know that Imagineering spends a lot of time getting the details just right. As you traverse Main Street, you’ll notice that the windows on the upper levels of the businesses have names and illustrations. Most everyone knows that the names are tributes to the men and women who played a significant role in creating the parks, but they often question the businesses associated with the names.
Heimbuch has tracked down windows, including the fictional ones, and offers detailed biographical and historical information about each person. And yes, some of the windows are completely fictional and are there just for atmosphere. There have been other books on the topic (Chuck Snyder’s excellent Windows On Main Street comes to mind) but to the best of my knowledge, there is has never been a book remotely as comprehensive as this Main Street Windows.
The layout makes perfect sense for Main Street Windows and features one to two windows per page on a double-page layout. On the left side, you’ll find the text from the window as well as a biography or explanation for the tribute. On the right side you have an actual photograph of the window from the park. In some cases what Heimbuch presents is the only documented evidence from the parks. I know I’ve struggled to make out what it says on some of the windows as I’ve made my way to the hub, so it’s fantastic to have the full text written out. In many cases, Hemibuch’s transcriptions are the only ones I’ve ever seen. The largest sections are for Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, in which every window is photographed. For the foreign parks, every window is mentioned but not every one has a photograph.
You’ll notice from looking at the fore edge of the book, that the pages are different colors. This was a great design choice to signify the different parks and makes it easier to flip to a specific section.
Orchard Hill Press clearly put a lot of effort and care into this book. The quality of the design is equal to or better than many of the books published by major publishing houses. Make sure to check out the incredible Disneylanders by Kate Abbott, which was released by the same publisher.
Do you have a favorite window at one of the parks? What do you think about Main Street Windows by Jeff Heimbuch?