Thursday, July 30, 2009

Harmony Barber Shop

From L to R, the author, his sister-in-law Yvonne, mother-in-law
Becky, nephew Nathan and nephew Elijah in front of the
Harmony Barber Shop after haircuts and treatments.
All the boys (including me) got haircuts.
Everyone got colored hair gel and "pixie dust."
(See picture at the end.)

My first R 'n' R post is about one of my favorite "hidden treasures" at WDW and one of my favorite things to do every trip for a number of years: the Harmony Barber Shop at the Magic Kingdom.

Located on what I would call the border of Town Square and Main Street, U.S.A., Harmony Barber Shop is an experience within an experience. The shop is tucked into the Northeast corner of Town Square between the Car Barn and the Emporium, its official address is 43 Main Street. There is a sign above the door that reads “Barber Shop” and a large, traditional candy-stripe barber pole outside, yet many people miss it. What’s so great about it? It’s a real, old-fashioned, working barber shop! “No way!” says you. “Way!” says I.

My first visit to the shop was probably about seven or eight years ago, but they have been in operation since 1975, originally on West Center Street before moving to their current location during the expansion of the Emporium. My first haircut was done by one of the most popular cast member stylists, Michal Marach. Little did I know at the time that people actually come and wait specifically for Michal and that if he’s off that day, they will come back when he is scheduled to be on again. After that first haircut, which was quite good, I went back a few months later and believe it or not, Michal remembered me. He didn’t remember my name, but he remembered my face, and he remembered things we talked about…and it’s been that way ever since. He epitomizes the WDW cast member. When I go for a haircut, I wait for Michal…and I typically try to time it so I need a haircut during the trip. When the shop is slow and there’s no line outside, it looks like nothing more than a Main Street façade. I always get a good laugh sitting in the chair when someone pokes their head in and realizes that we’re not Audio-Animatronics.

The Barber Shop is not large, in fact it only has two stations and a few chairs inside to sit and wait. Guests are taken on a first-come, first-served basis only. The wait can range from ten minutes to over one hour, depending on when you arrive and how busy the park is, there may be a line outside. The inside décor is well-themed and old-timey, like you would expect. Hair tonics and talcum powders line dark burgundy shelves, there is an old “potbelly” stove, and all sorts of little touches to make you feel like you stepped back in time. They even have an old-time cash register dating from 1912. In fact, until recently the theming was so complete, they only used that cash register for all transactions, cash only. About two years ago they started accepting credit cards.

For even more nostalgia and that famous Disney showmanship, you might even be treated to a visit by the Dapper Dan’s, Main Street, U.S.A.’s very own barber shop quartet. When they make an appearance, this talented group of guys fills this small space with beautiful old-time melodies and a few corny jokes for good measure. When they visit, it’s easy to think that you’ve been magically transported to the early 20th century.

Naturally, the shops specialty is “First Haircuts.” Young guests who receive their first haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop are treated to stickers, bubbles, pixie dust and a good time (most of the time). They also receive an extra-special “My 1st Haircut” certificate and set of “mouse ears.” I generally get a standard haircut and the colored hair gel and pixie dust treatment. Yeah! Why let the kids have all the fun?

Last I checked, children’s haircuts (12 & under) are $14, adults are $17. If you just want the colored hair gel and pixie dust treatment, that’s $5. There are a number of places on property to get your hair cut and styled, but the Harmony Barber Shop will do it with style. And that's why it's one of my picks for a great way to get some R 'n' R @ WDW.

I look forward to your thoughts on this topic and other topics. If you have a question, suggestion or just want to chat, please drop me a line or leave a comment.


  1. Hi Tim. I just got done listening to AATM and decided to come over and check out your blog. I'm really hoping to get over to the Harmony Barbershop on my upcoming trip in a couple weeks. I did the same thing you've done and got my hair cut a couple weeks ago, so I should time it well for my trip.

    P.S. I've got an idea for a people watching spot...the Boardwalk Inn.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Heath! I will use your suggestion very soon.