Old news, you think? True, the Disney Princess franchise is several years old and found on every corner, but now it has returned again to Walt Disney Studios Store on Front Lot -- crucially, displacing the shop's namesake himself.,
It’s the kind of thing that makes the blood of long-time Disney fans boil. When any classic, nostalgic Walt Disney-spirited corner of a park is given over to new merchandise, franchises and especially… Princesses. And now, they’ve just been handed their prime example on a plate.
Remember how Walt Disney Studios Store looked when it opened?
Now, in August 2009, not only has the merchandise changed — the decorations have, too:
The largest picture of Walt Disney, hands-on with a movie camera, has been unceremoniously covered over by a modern Disney Princess mural, to help along sales of the associated merchandise which has now filled the entire middle of this newly “opened-up” boutique. Walt Disney, we presume, just wasn’t making the tills ring loud enough.
Of course, it’s not the first time the Princesses have found an unlikely home in what should be a studio administration building. Just last year, the red carpet canopy outside was redecorated with 2D designs of royal curtains and a small placard of the damsels themselves…
The shop has suffered a bit of an identity crisis right since the opening of the park — the original plan of having two large, Emporium-style stores at the entrance to the Studios, selling almost exactly the same items, seemingly wasn’t thought through. Next to the very well-themed Legends of Hollywood inside Disney Studio 1, this rather bland store was always going to see guests simply walking past.
But consider Main Street… There’s a reason why we love browsing and shopping there: variety. If this store were on that street, it would comprise at least three different units — Boardwalk Candy Palace, Disney Clothiers and Harrington’s, for example. Giving this building the same — just three clear sections with three different names outside — would generate more footfall and more sales than yet another Princess display, wouldn’t it?
Pictures: © Disney, Photos Magiques, DLRP Today.