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Disney Store modestly renews focus to Christmas and characters – for how long?

Thursday, 2nd August 2012 at 16:28

Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]

Ah, the Disney Store. Not the one in your nearby shopping mall, but the generically titled store that used to be the largest in Disney Village. Now effectively replaced and superseded in both size, style and location by World of Disney, you might well think this rather tired location will be at a loss to find a raison d’être. But, reopening after a short closure on 14th July, it now sees a renewed focus to character groups and a new dedicated Christmas section — the first outside the parks.

Little else has been renewed, however. All the old 1990s props and decoration — including the large spaceship mobile hanging in the centre of the store — remain intact. The ugly dayglo-coloured flat signage outside is still in place, still carrying the generic “Disney Store” name.

Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]
Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]

Some effort has been made to tie the interior together better, with a smart new mural or “fresque” installed above the displays around the edge of the store, signifying areas for franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars and Cars or even individual characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse. This is slightly different at least to the displays at World of Disney, which largely group items by categories such as homewares and favour resort merchandise over franchise ranges.

Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]
Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]
Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]

Meanwhile the small lower area of Disney Store, historically the original La Poste postal office, is now a dedicated Christmas space. Since the 15th Anniversary it has featured the current season’s merchandise, most recently changing to 20th Anniversary displays for a few months before this recent change. The modest decoration of lights, tinsel, trimmings and props isn’t bad at all, but only stuck-on snow in the window announces this as a Christmas shop from outside.

Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]
Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]Disney Store in Disney Village [(C) Maarten]

Presumably all of these changes are merely a stop-gap measure before it’s decided what to do with this space in the longer term. Perhaps split it into several smaller, well-branded boutiques? Or a large (and much-needed) new restaurant? Or why not demolish this whole oppressive, monolithic block and start again, using some of the empty backstage space to create more space out front? We can dream.

In the short term, the restricted opening hours, nondescript name (still curiously overlapping with the actual Disney Store brand) and dated interior almost give the feel of a cut-price outlet store. The store now only opens from 4pm onwards each day, an obvious sign that it’s living on borrowed time.

With rumours of a LEGO store to replace the similarly-inflicted Hollywood Pictures shop further along, let’s hope Disney Village’s true retail revolution is still to come.

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  • Your description of the new “Disney Store” seem very close to the function of the other Disney stores in Disney Village area… Seems like the smaller stores could be removed in few months to be renovated meanwhile the Disney Store offer their contents then the Disney Store will be remove and replaced by other space, like the often mentionned restaurants.

  • I’d LOVE there to be a permenant Christmas shop in Disney village! Is the only other one inside the park the one in the castle? It is absolutely beautiful, but so small I’ll feel nervous walking around it on our next visit with two children in tow, for fear of something getting broken! A larger Christmas store would be ace! (Maybe have one corner dedicated to seasonal celebrations ie Easter or Halloween)?

  • I think its a great idea for a LEGO store. But how about retaining a dedicated Christmas shop on the present site? It would free up space in the new Disney Store so it wouldnt have to accomodate as much Christmas merchandise. Im not sure a new restaurant is needed… maybe counter service along the lines of McDonalds and Earl of Sandwich?? Tho i think a revamp of all the menus in all the restaurants on the Disney Village site is well over due. This would particularly attact the muliple visitor to spend more time in the Village itself and revisit the restaurants they may have avoided for a while.

  • I think that pharmacy in DLRP will have have pretty good numbers.
    Regarding the lego there isn’t reason why they they should not sell lego with star wars theme in Star tour express shop, with XBOX KINECT game star wars, and disney land adventures. Disney should buy them for 7E piece and sell them for 29.9E.
    There isn’t tshits i i buy to my son he don’t like t-shirts with mickey mouse :o(, only t-shirt he want to buy was “I survived Holywood tower of terror” but they had only adult sizes :(.

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