By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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A Friday Visit with Jim Korkis: The Main Street Confectionery Shop

By Dave Shute

Welcome back to Fridays with Jim Korkis! Jim, the dean of Disney historians and author of Jim’s Gems in The easy Guide, writes about Walt Disney World history every Friday on


By Jim Korkis

The candy shop on Main Street is more than just a location to enjoy such treats as candy apples, Rice Krispie treats, cookies, different flavors of fudge, cotton candy, peanut brittle, and of course, chocolate.


In 1998, Imagineer Kevin Neary (who has authored several Disney related books) came up with an interesting concept for the redesign of the location that was developed and finished by Imagineering Show Writer Shawn Slater. They combined two details from Disney history.

The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 (also known as the Columbian Exposition) was meant to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus and his arrival in the New World. Walt’s father, Elias moved from Florida to Chicago in 1890 and found work as a carpenter for a dollar a day, seven days a week building pavilions for the fair.

He loved working on the fair and years later shared stories about it with an impressionable Walt, who was fascinated and obviously inspired to some day build a similarly impressive family friendly venue.

The Confectionery Shop on Main Street references that fair with a poster, announcing the Columbian Exposition, near the counter selling fudge and with all the mechanical devices throughout the store supposedly inspired by the fair’s Hall of Machinery.

When a young Walt Disney was in a desperate situation in November 1922 and close to losing his first animation studio, Laugh-O-grams, a local dentist, Dr. Thomas McCrum came to his rescue. He agreed to pay Walt $500 to make a short live action film about how bad things would happen to young people if they didn’t take good care of their teeth.

Tommy Tucker’s Tooth (1922) was not only Walt’s first educational film but provided money to pay off mounting debts and finance the production of the short Alice’s Wonderland.

The following is the back story of the shop:

“Thomas and Kitty McCrum had run a candy store on Main Street for as long as anyone could remember. In fact, they became famous for their sweet creations. But Thomas McCrum was never one for resting on his laurels. He was always looking for new and exciting ways to improve his candy making and increase his business.

“On a fateful trip to Chicago, for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, McCrum found inspiration. He and his wife entered the Expo’s storied Machinery Hall and were mesmerized by the mechanical machinations on display.

“Upon returning home, McCrum set out to duplicate some of what he’d seen, applying the wondrous new innovations to the creation of chocolate and other such delicacies.

“He moved quickly from prototypes and test recipes to full-blown production. In no time, the McCrum’s little candy store had expanded, pushing into nearby storefronts and taking over an entire corner on the Town Square.

“Now, at the turn of the 20th century, the McCrum’s Main St. Confectionery is poised and ready to take advantage of a new era of technological advancement: the electric age!

“Kitty McCrum, of course, has had to hire additional help, especially to get through the busy season, when streams of tourists pour forth from the railroad station at the edge of town. But it’s all worth it to see the smiles on their faces.

Now if she and Thomas could only stop sampling their own creations.”

Besides utilizing elements of Disney history, the gag about the shop is that it is a dentist who is operating the store and, in a way, generating more business for his primary profession by selling cavity causing treats.

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Thanks, Jim! Come back next Friday for even more from Jim Korkis!

In the meantime, check out his books, including Secret Stories of Walt Disney World: Things You Never You Never Knew, which reprints much material first written for this site, and The Vault of Walt: Volume 4, and his contributions to The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit, all published by Theme Park Press.
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