If you have lived in the Orlando area or just visited here over the past 35+ years, you remember how the shopping village at Lake Buena Vista has changed and grown. It has been called the Walt Disney Marketplace, Walt Disney World Shopping Village, Walt Disney World Village and the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village. There are still lots of great events at LBVSV, but I’m only going to talk about things that are no longer there.
Do you remember the plant shop, the candle making shop, and the pottery shop? I used to love going to the LBVSV and watching the artisans making pottery, carving candles, and checking out the great plants for sale at the plant shop (down near the market/candy shop).
Do you remember the Halloween celebrations and contest with outrageously complex costumes? Do you remember the Disney employees dressed up in costumes scaring guests. I remember one year a ghoulish fellow had a Gummi mouse which he began to eat! We loved to attend this event each year with the kids. Even if you did not dress up (and why on earth wouldn’t you?) you got to enjoy a great night out with lots of treats and plenty of tricks in a safe environment. Our family competed in the costume contest one year as Snow White, the Prince and the Wicked Witch. We were finalists, but did not win. What fun!
The most fantastic event ever held in all of Disney history was a free production each year at Christmas. It was called “The Glory and Pageantry of Christmas” and was located on a small stage at Disney Shopping Village. So many people came to see the performance that you had to stand in line for hours.
It was the most dramatic beautiful production and presentation of the Christmas Story that I have ever witnessed – told simply by a narrator (Kevin Miles – a baritone in EPCOT’s Voices of Liberty) in a deep booming yet gentle voice, interspersed with Christmas songs. Mary and Joseph appear and as they approach the manger, she reveals a child wrapped in swaddling clothes. The humble shepherds approach, one stumbling, and angels appear, rising up from behind the manger as if on the breeze. The narrator continues telling of how gifts are brought by the shopkeepers of the village: cheese from the dairyman, breads from the baker, flowers from the flower girl. Then he pauses and tells of the little orphan child who had no gift to bring the Christ child and strains of the Little Drummer Boy are heard as a small child of about seven years walks up to the manger sad that he is unable to give a gift to the Babe. Mary comforts him and encourages him to play. He does so and kneels down beside her and the manger, her hand resting on his shoulder.
Disney management said they had to cancel the event because it was so popular it was getting out of hand. Insiders said it was because so many people came to the Shopping Village JUST to see the performances and not to shop, that it was hurting business. Since they couldn’t figure out how to charge people admission, they just stopped the show.
Click on the links for IMAGES below.