Magic Masters, one of the nation’s largest chains of retail magic emporiums, has materialized its largest store in the Downtown Disney area at the Walt Disney World Resort.
It’s no illusion: The personal library of legendary magician Harry Houdini inspired the shop’s elegant interior, which features a fireplace, bookshelves stuffed with memorabilia and magic tomes, vintage posters of famous traveling illusionists from the early 20th century, and a mahogany credenza where amazing sleight-of-hand is demonstrated continuously during store hours.
Brave volunteers are selected nightly to step into a re-creation of Houdini’s famous water torture cell for a spine-tingling illusion in which they magically vanish, an effect found only at the Magic Masters store in Downtown Disney West Side. How is it done? Don’t ask us: We’ve been sworn to an Oath of Secrecy!
"We believe in the art of magic," said Ken Fletcher, president and founder of Magic Masters. "Our goal was to create a magic shop that is pure magic -- no novelties, no jokes, no gags."
The shop’s hocus-pocus focus is on easy-to-master items aimed at beginners -- everything from deceptively simple coin and card tricks to astonishing illusions like a spinning sphere that appears to float effortlessly through the air. Nearby, a secret door concealed in a bookcase leads to a private, wood-paneled sanctum where everything purchased at Magic Masters can be explained and taught by an experienced magician.
Outside, the store is literally topped off by a 10-foot-tall magician’s top hat and wand; below, display windows feature photos and posters from magic’s heyday nearly a century ago.
Based in Georgia, Magic Masters opened its first store in 1978 and now can be found in upscale retail centers such as Underground Atlanta, Riverwalk Marketplace in New Orleans, Navy Pier in Chicago and the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Downtown Disney is a high-energy showplace of hip nightclubs, spectacular theaters, lavishly themed restaurants and shopping adventures incorporating the Marketplace, Pleasure Island and the West Side.
Downtown Disney West Side is a 66-acre area featuring Cirque du Soleil®, House of Blues, Virgin Megastore, Wolfgang Puck Café, Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s Bongos Cuban Café, and the AMC 24 Theatres complex.