Silhouettes on Main Street...A Cut Above the Rest!

It is easy to bolt down Main Street with eyes firmly focused on the castle, rushing to the hub in front and then jockeying for position to exit off onto your "spoke" of choice. I must admit to being very guilty of commando touring in the morning and Main Street USA is, at that point, just an obstacle keeping me from Dumbo and my first Fast Pass of the morning. As I exit the park for my afternoon break, or more likely as I re-enter the park for the evening, it occurs to me to take a moment and appreciate the quaint little "town" that Walt created to greet his guests. As you may know, Main Street USA was modeled after Walt's home town of Marceline, Missouri at the turn of the century.

It is worth taking the time to admire the perfect little town, with the quaint shops, ice cream parlors and restaurants. The true Disney historian knows that each window on Main Street tells a story itself. Each name is a nod to an Imagineer who made a significant contribution to realizing Walt's vision. There are some wonderful books on the topic that you can find if you want to learn more.

On my family's most recent trip to Disney World, I made a mental note to find a silhouette artist and have my daughters' silhouettes cut. In case you have not visited the home of someone over eighty recently, a silhouette is a classic art form in which someone's profile is cut out of a special black paper. This paper is mounted on white card stock and framed. The end result is beautiful and timeless.

My girls are four and seven, so I figured that that would be a great age to attempt the feat of a sitting...old enough not to wiggle too much, but young enough to still look like children. We had about 30 minutes before our dining reservation at Crystal Palace, so I figured we would head over to and see what we could find. As usual, there was a silhouette artist tucked into the little alcove on Main Street about half way down on the right. There was a family in front of us, but we only had to wait a few minutes for our turn.

I had been dying to get my girls' silhouettes cut, and I knew my mother-in-law would have a fit over them (in a good way!). So I had already prepared my husband that I was going to pay whatever it took for both her and I to have a separate profile cut of each child. I tried to have them cut at a local children's boutique last spring, but they ran out of appointments before I got one. They were charging $25 each plus and extra $10 to have a double cut. I was prepared my husband that what would cost us $70 at home would certainly be done for a premium at Disney. He rolled his eyes, but realized that this was not a battle he was going to win. He told me to "handle it" as he went in search of a restroom.

While we were waiting I walked over to check out the price list. To say I was shocked was an understatement. To have a portrait cut for me and an extra for my mother-in-law was going to cost LESS THAN TEN DOLLARS FOR EACH CHILD!!!! No kidding for less than $20 walked away with a beautiful silhouette of each of my princesses and an extra set for grandma. I consider silhouette cutting an art form, and to walk away with an original piece of art containing the beautiful profiles of my babies for less than $20...well it was just amazing. (And my husband even admitted “Good call!”)

The whole thing took less than a minute for each profile. My oldest was fascinated watching Jan, the artist work. She had a lot of questions that Jan answered with kindness. She also offered her a pointer, "Start with things that don't move." While I appreciate her kindness to my budding artist, I do not appreciate the ten thousand "snips" of paper that I have subsequently picked up off of my floor!

There are a few decisions for you to make during the process. You can have each person cut as a separate work, or you can have multiple people layered together. There are different prices for each option. You can also choose to have your profile mounted on plain card stock or on cardstock with a pre-printed border. And finally, you can even purchase frames at the same time. I opted for separate works, no border, and no frames. I have kicked myself repeatedly for not getting frames while I was there. (We were flying and I was worried about running out of space.) I have not be able to find the classic black oval frames since I returned home. I am sure I can find some online somewhere, I just have not taken the time to look.

I absolutely encourage you to take a moment to not only enjoy Main Street, but take time to seek out all that it has to offer...most especially the silhouette artists. Not only to I treasure the memory of my daughters' excitement during the whole process, but I have a forever keepsake.  If you happen to recognize Jan while you are there, please stop by and atleast watch her magic.  She truly was wonderful, as was the experience as a whole.  Just be sure to make a deal before you hand the scissors over to your own artist..."Pick up your own scraps...or else!"


  1. I totally want to do this one day!! I think my son will be 2 at our next trip, so still a little too young.. I can't believe it's so inexpensive! Hope that doesn't change!

  2. You can probably do it at 2! The artists are so FAST that you only need him to be still for a few seconds...certainly worth a try. And how cute would it be to frame a series of profiles as he gets older!