Disney Store Celebrates Grand Opening Of New Store Design

Today we attended the grand opening event of the newly designed Disney Store at The Shops at Montebello just outside of Los Angeles.

The high-tech makeover of the Disney Store included many new attractions that will appeal to children and adults and create a fun immersive shopping experience.

Disney Store executives, Maria Canals-Barrera, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle and Chloe Bridges from the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam” plus Woody and Jessie from Disney●Pixar’s blockbuster film franchise Toy Story joined the festivities and greeted hundreds of Disney fans who waited excitedly for the opportunity to experience the innovative new store.

The Montebello location is strategically located near Disney Store’s Pasadena headquarters, allowing executives and the design team to witness first-hand how kids and families respond to the magical shopping destination.  This is the first of 20 newly designed Disney Store locations that will open across major markets in the United States and Europe in 2010. The 4,800-plus square foot store’s floor-to-ceiling remodel now features multimedia technology, interactive storytelling and Disney Store exclusive merchandise that bring Disney’s most beloved characters to life for families in the local community.

“As part of Disney, we’re committed to the value of entertainment and exclusive experiences,” said Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide. “Disney is setting a new standard for the specialty retail category by integrating robust technology and creative store planning to make each visit customizable and that much more memorable. This is truly an immersive, one-of-a-kind retail experience for children and families that only Disney could deliver.”

Technology is integrated throughout the new store to create magical moments for guests. The newly designed Disney Store is merchandised by franchise neighborhoods so guests can easily shop by character or theme and is anchored by several “hero fixtures” including:

The Disney●Pixar CARS-branded RIDEMAKERZ attraction is a one-of-a-kind immersive car building and customizing experience.   Launching with three favorite CARS characters– Lightning McQueen, Mater and Sally– fans use tools to assemble their car, and their imagination to customize it with a wide selection of rims, side pipes, hoods scoops, blown engines, spoilers and many more accessories.  Disney●Pixar CARS-branded RIDEMAKERZ toy vehicles will only be available within the new Disney Store design and, later this year, at RIDEMAKERZ retail locations.

The Disney Princess Magical Mirror – A child-sized princess castle anchors the Disney Princess neighborhood and inspires kids to make believe. As they walk under the iconic castle they encounter a magical mirror and with the wave of a wand, they watch in delight as their favorite Disney Princess character appears.

A customizable shopping experience – The new store concept also includes the launch of an all new in-store application where guests can customize their shopping experience. Accessed via an interactive kiosk with touch screen, this animated experience gives users the ability to navigate a 3-D view of all Disney Store and DisneyStore.com products and discover the latest Disney Store news via video clips, articles, and social media feeds.  This application allows the Disney Store to share its news to customers, who can then share information and in-store events via email, Twitter and Facebook.

The Disney Store Theatre – The newly designed stores will also feature a theater as part of its marquee attractions.  Guests can pick from a selection of pre-loaded content that will be updated regularly and can view classic and new Disney entertainment, sneak-peek previews, music videos and more. The theater will also serve for special in-store events such as reading time, scavenger hunts and more.

The “Pixie Dust Trail” and “Magical Trees”: With is glistening blue glitter, the Pixie Dust Trail leads guests through the store and to major interactive elements as they enjoy a Disney-themed skyline and surrounding magical trees which are programmable with changing colors, images, and music set to an array of Disney themes.

The newly-designed Disney Store is scheduled to open in the United States this year at the following locations:

– The Shops at Mission Viejo in Mission Viejo, CA, is anchored by luxury retailers and offers an extensive merchandise mix in a sophisticated atmosphere.  Disney Store will be located on the second level in a 5100 square feet space.

– Disney Store on North State Street in Chicago, IL, (Block 37 Complex) will anchor the southeast corner of the center in 4,464 square feet on level one of the mall.  The complex features an eclectic mix of shopping, dining and entertainment within a five-story atrium, located in the heart of Chicago’s Loop between Washington and Randolph on State Street.

– Freehold Raceway Mall in Freehold, NJ, offers a complete mix of department stores, specialty stores, restaurants and entertainment making the property an ideal location for the new Disney Store.

– NorthPark Center in Dallas, TX, offers shoppers the best in every retail category, and the newly-designed Disney Store opening this fall will represent its premier children’s retail store.

Other locations to feature the new Disney Store design opening this year include: Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, NY; Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica, CA;  International Plaza in Tampa, FL; Fashion Valley in San Diego, CA;  Disney Store in Union Square in San Francisco, CA; and a two-story Disney Store in Times Square in November.

As we exited the special event, members of the press were presented a Disney tote bag, a plush Mickey Mouse wearing the new Disney Store uniform, a keepsake book and informational ticket.

The first 500 guests (some lined up at 4:30 am) received a limited edition Disney Store set of Mouse Ears.

Disney’s goal is to create a world-class shopping experience by transforming the store into a magical destination. Their new tagline for their shops is “the best 30 minutes of a child’s day”.  Based on what I saw today, the retailer’s refresh will do just that!

Published by Larry Fire

I write an eclectic pop culture blog called THE FIRE WIRE that features articles about books, comics, music, movies, television, gadgets, posters, toys & more!

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