Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Disney Stores Get Major Reboot

When you can’t make it to the Disney theme parks to buy your favorite character merchandise, we’re sure you’ve relied on The Disney Store for your Disney shopping. It’s always great to be able to head to your local mall and experience a bit of the Disney magic even if you aren’t in the Orlando theme parks area or staying at the Walt Disney World Resort. Well, just like Fantasyland is getting an update and Star Tours is getting a “sequel,” The Disney Store is getting a complete makeover partly thanks to Apple’s head honcho Steve Jobs.

The Walt Disney Company has about 340 stores around the world and plans to overhaul each of them for $1 million. A new flagship store will also be built in New York. The retail spots will no longer be called The Disney Store. These brand new stores, which will be completely remodeled into an interactive shopping experience, will be called Imagination Park.

A recent article in the New York Times mentioned, in detail, what Disney fans could expect from these great new stores. This was one of the snippets: “Theaters will allow children to watch film clips of their own selection, participate in karaoke contests or chat live with Disney Channel stars via satellite. Computer chips embedded in packaging will activate hidden features. Walk by a “magic mirror” while holding a Princess tiara, for instance, and Cinderella might appear and say something to you,” stated the article. Along with the interactive princess section, there is a WWTD: “What Would Tinkerbell Do?” section in Imagination Park. Scent will also play a part of the new stores. Let’s say you walk by a Christmas tree and A Christmas Carol is playing—the entire store will suddenly be filled with the scent of pine. Just like in the Apple store, store staff will walk around with a mini-receipt printer to keep an interactive feel through the entire building.

The Imagination Park process will take five years to complete, but rumor has it there is already a prototype store in Glendale, California that is supposed to be completely mind-blowing. We can’t wait to see what the new Disney stores will look like.


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