Monday, December 12, 2011

Then & Now: Merlin's

This photo from August 1965 shows the sign for Merlin's Magic Shop in Fantasyland, located near The Sleeping Beauty Castle. This particular shop is famous for being the store where Steve Martin marked as a young lad, selling fake vomit and performing magic tricks.

Flash forward to today, and parts of the sign are still there, even if the fake vomit isn't; interesting to note that the light fixture seems to be the same after all these years. Apparently, Imagineers prefer their light fixtures to run parallel to the beam, not turned at a 45 degree angle.

Here's an interior shot of the Heraldry Shoppe, where guests can look up their last name and purchase family crests with historical background. I wonder if the fake vomit wouldn't be a bigger seller?

See more Merlin's Magic/Heraldry Shop photos on my Merlin's Magic/Heraldry Shop web page.


stu29573 said...

I vote vomit.
You know, there used to be a lot of magic shops around, and now there are pretty much none. I suspect it is because manual dexterity (except with a game controller) has diminished in the youth of today. No kids build models anymore, do card tricks, juggle chainsaws...well you get the idea...

Major Pepperidge said...

The Heraldry Shoppe is always deserted when I've bothered to go in. Wouldn't a magic shop be more attractive to guests?

Douglas McEwan said...

According to Steve Martin's memoir Born Standing Up (from page 40, the same page the picture you posted of Steve in the Magic Shop comes from), Steve worked in both the Merlin Magic Shop in Fantasyland and the one on Main Street (The days when the park could support two magic shops are long gone), depending on which one needed him.

And while my magic purchases have been few (though my brother once bought a crystal ball at a Dsneyland magic shop, maybe from Martin himself. It was 1961.), I did buy a coat of arms from the Heraldry shop, where I also saw my own family tartan for the first time, and learned my family's motto ("Reviersco." It means "I flourish again.") and was able to look up some of my family's history. I love Heraldry shops far more than magic shops myself.

TokyoMagic! said...

I loved Merlin's Magic Shop....especially the rubber spiders that would drop down from the ceiling! I continued to go into the shop when it became the Christmas store and also when it was the Villains store. I never go in it now. Do they really make enough to cover the cost of keeping it open? I say, bring back Merlin!

Connie Moreno said...

Well, I vote for the Villains Shop!

JG said...

This area has changed a lot, I remember Merlin's Shop with warm feelings, having bought a little trick vase there once. I stepped in on my last trip and was completely confused, everything looked familiar, but all turned around.

There was a heraldry shop though somewhere. I think it must have been where the wheelchair viewing area for the Sleeping Beauty Dioramas are now, I remember stepping in immediately to the right of the portcullis after crossing the drawbridge, and that door is now closed. I bought my Dad a little figure there when in high school....all gone now.

There was a magic shop here in my home downtown a few blocks from my office. Closed just a couple of months ago, they are remodeling the interior into something else.

Magic is on the wane.