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 WDW too!
Most guests don’t know that you can find the twin to the Main Street Cigar Store Indian in 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.
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.
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.
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale
by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???
We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.
We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.
Book link on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale