The Magic Kingdom’s Big Chief Seegar

On Main Street USA with Big Chief Seegar.

On Main Street USA with ‘Big Chief Seegar’ (green cape).  He’s only 5 feet tall!

Both Walt Disney World and Disneyland once featured tobacco shops on their respective Main Streets.

Walt Disney World’s tobacco shop closed in the mid-1980s. The Cigar Store Indian, Big Chief Seegar (say his name out loud!) remains as a tribute. Today, he can be found in front on the Crystal Arts shop, on the northeast corner of Main and Center Street at the Magic Kingdom.

That’s him above in the green cape.

But, there’s another one at Disneyland too!

Big Chief Pipum at Frontierland

Big Chief Pipum at Frontierland.  He wears a red cape!

Most guests don’t know that you can find the twin to the Disney World Main Street Cigar Store Indian in Disneyland’s Frontierland, Big Chief Pipum.  He has a red cape.

That one can be found on the porch in front of Prairie Outpost & Supply.  At one time, this location also sold tobacco products, but not for thirty years now.

When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, the park featured a shop called “The Tobacconist”.  That shop was located on the west side of the street, between the House of Magic and the Refreshment Corner (now Casey’s corner).  The shop sold tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, hand carved pipes, and loose leaf tobacco.  In the early-1980s, the shop was closed, but tobacco products could still be purchased across the street at the Market House for a few more years.  The Cigar Store Indian Big Chief Seegar was moved down the street to its present location to reflect the change.

disneyland indian

The Chief looking serious.

Since 2000, tobacco products are no longer sold in any of the Disney parks, but the Cigar Store Indian remains at most of the Disney parks, providing an ever vigilant watch over Main Street, USA and providing a glimpse of Disney World’s past.

indian

Caroline is as tall as he is!

Traditionally known as a “Cigar Store Indian” or “Wooden Indian”, statues such as these were used as an advertising figure made to represent tobacconists, much like barber poles advertise barber shops or three gold balls advertise pawn shops.

These figures were three-dimensional sculptures several feet tall up to life-sized.  But, how did an Indian come to represent tobacco products?  American Indians were associated with tobacco since they had introduced the product to Europeans in the 1600s.  The Indian statue served as a visual magnet, drawing the attention of passersbys to the store. 

Throwback Thursday photo with the Chief.

1996:  #TBT Photo – Throwback Thursday photo with the Chief and my sister.

On our first visit to the Magic Kingdom, 1993.  Seeing the Chief for the 1st time!

1993:  #TBT Photo – On my first visit to the Magic Kingdom – Seeing the Chief for the 1st time with my mom!

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Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

Lions and Tigers and Strollers, Oh My!

This is not Caroline’s first time in the Disney College Program. Along with her sister, she was previously accepted into the program a few years earlier.  Back in Colorado, Caroline was wishing for a little more pixie dust to brighten up her life.  On a whim, she decides to apply to the exclusive Disney Alumni Summer Program.

Now that she’s back, things get wild.

Wild, as in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Caroline is assigned to work in Stroller Rental.  While not the most glamorous position in the park, it’s often ground zero for humanity at its best and at its worst.

While Caroline makes many “Magical Moments” for deserving guests whose pixie dust has gone temporarily sideways, she also receives magical moments of her own through the friendships she makes, going to Disney cast member exclusive events, and all the spectacular dining opportunities at Disney World.

Caroline tells all – from the ins and outs of Disney’s secret training class called Traditions; to learning how to be a happy cast member during on-the-job training; to what it’s like to interact with fellow cast members and the guests who are ready to explore the most magical place on earth.

Join Caroline as she takes you on a wild ride through her adventures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But be careful, it’s a jungle out there!

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

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DAK costume

Adventure is out there!

About the Author:

Caroline’s love for all things Disney, and desire to grow up to be a Disney princess, is the reason she always wanted to work for Disney.  Her dream came true working as a cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Caroline is the co-author of the book, Two Girls and a Mouse Tale, about her adventures working at Disney World with her sister.

She is currently a 7th grade middle school Social Studies teacher in Colorado.

Daily blog link:  https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

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DAK-Entrance

Welcome to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

2 thoughts on “The Magic Kingdom’s Big Chief Seegar

  1. timwarp says:

    I’ve got a picture of me standing next to Big Chief Seegar (never knew his name!) when my mom and I visited in 1972. It’s good to know some things never change!

    Like

  2. Faustino Heiken says:

    You’re so cool! I don’t suppose I’ve read something like this before.
    Thanks for bringing something new to the internet!

    Like

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