On January 8, 2017 the last of the Train Station Rope Drop ceremony’s took place at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. This was a long running tradition for early park goers to watch as the Mayor of Main Street, in his unique and energetic way, and accompanied by some fantastic old style song and dance, would welcome Mickey, Minnie and a host of character friends as they steamed in on the Walt Disney World Railroad!!! Then everyone would count down to officially open the park for the day as a quick flash of fireworks sprang out from behind the Main Street Train Station.
The show was replaced by the current opening ceremony (Let the Magic Begin) that takes place in front of the castle. Although the new show has its advantages by allowing more guests to make their way along Main Street before the park officially opens, and it allows for the crowds to spread out more, nothing quite compares to the energy and fun of watching those old song and dance routines, watching the Mayor welcoming and waving to everyone, and seeing all those Disney characters rolling in on the Walt Disney World Railroad!!!
And as much as this article is about the old Rope Drop ceremony, I would be remiss in not bidding a fond farewell to our friend, the Mayor. Christopher George Weaver, a Legacy Award winner, beloved Citizen of Main Street, U.S.A. and a big part of the Magic in the Magic Kingdom, passed away on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017, less than a year after the last of his rope drop ceremonies. The park will not be the same without his positive energy, his constant smiling face, and his infectious glee. One of his favorite lines was, “I have a special something just for you. Here, take my business card. It’s a very special card, you see. Show this to any Cast Member and it will get you to the very back of any line.” His humor and interactions with Guests and other Cast Members brightened the days of millions over the years. I can only imagine what a positive ripple effect this had on people, passing along the good cheer they received from the Mayor. And although he has left this world, we can continue to pass along some of the magic he brought to Main Street for so many years, by smiling, being kind and passing along some Disney Magic to future Guests and Cast Members. The Mayor will live on in the memories of those who were fortunate enough to be a part of his legacy.