Frontierland Station is now Main St. Insider

A Tobacco Shop At Disneyland?

When Disneyland opened in 1955, many of the stores on Main Street, U.S.A. were quite different than we know them today. Honestly, you would probably be a bit shocked by a couple of them, but more on that next week. Given Disney’s 2007 decision to ban smoking in their films and even digitally remove smoking from a few older cartoons, I was surprised to learn Main Street used to be home to a tobacco shop.

Located between the Illusion Shop and the Main Street Cinema, the Tobacconist was the place to go for all of your tobacco needs. It opened in 1955 and was one of the original stores on the street. Handcrafted pipes, tobacco, and other smoking supplies from around the world were available for purchase in this store. The Tobacconist also sold many different brands of cigarettes; however, these were hidden under the counter. They also offered complimentary Tobacconist matchbooks.

Today, with the exception of designated smoking areas, Disneyland is a smoke free park. But in the 1950s, guests were free to smoke wherever they liked, excluding attractions, throughout the park. It was not uncommon to smell cigarettes or cigars as you walked around Disneyland. They also had ash trays located at the entrance to each attraction.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the Indian figure still found today on Main Street. This figure is left over from the days of the Tobacconist shop. A very long time ago, tobacco stores would often place an Indian figure outside of their store. To the many people who did not know how to read, this Indian would let them know the store sold tobacco. This was very similar to how a barber shop might use a picture of scissors to convey which service they offered. The tobacco stores used Indians as a symbol for their products because Indians first introduced the Europeans to tobacco.

In the late 19th century, tobacco stores stopped using Indian figures in front of their stores. Many cities passed new ordinances which prohibited these figures from blocking sidewalks. When the tobacco shop was removed from Main Street, the Indian stayed as a reminder of the past. To this day, he can still be found on Main Street, U.S.A.


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Amy Zellers
Guest

Great piece of history Kimberly! I’ve passed this beautiful Indian statue but never gave a thought as to why he was there. You’re absolutely correct that I didn’t expect to read their was a tobacco shop on Main Street USA! Thanks for letting me link up to your great hop.

Kimberly
Guest

I know, definitely not what you’d expect to find at Dinseyland! Just wait until you find out about the store I’m going to write about it next week’s blog hop…this has nothing on it! Thanks for linking up this week!

Sean @DisneyDayByDay
Guest

I love the history of Main Street and how it actually had “real” stores. This one and the underwear shop were definitely the highlights 🙂 Thanks for sharing and hosting us!

Kimberly
Guest

Yes they were! That’s the one I’ll be sharing about next week. 🙂

elaine
Guest

I think this is really interesting. I love the history of all things Disney. I would never have thought tobacco shop in Disneyland,but it was a different time I know.

Kimberly
Guest

It seems wierd to me that smoking was allowed practically anywhere in the park, but like you said, I guess that was just normal back then.

elaine
Guest

I love when people write about the history of the parks. Look forward to you post next week.

Kimberly
Guest

Glad you enjoyed my post!

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