Tuesday June 29 marked the official opening of the first Disney Store to feature a new and improved look. The first rebranded and better themed Disney Store has opened at The Shops at Montebello in Montebello, CA. This re-imagined Disney Store takes note of the success of Apple stores by creating an interactive experience for children to enjoy and delight their parents. The high-tech remodel comes just over 2 years since The Walt Disney Company bought back the Disney Store retail chain in North America from The Children’s Place. Approximately 100 chains have closed or been sold to liquidators in the buy out process but has now brought Disney Store locations to a small more easily manageable size.
The newly rebranded Disney Store begins with a sparkling Pixie-Dust trail that can take you around the store to discover new experiences along with plenty of merchandise. The most noticeable new attraction is a small princess castle featuring a grand entrance for a tiny one. As the little princesses enter they are welcomed by a magic mirror, which comes to life with scenes from their favorite Disney animated films with a wave a wand.
The opposite side of the store features the first Disney/Pixar CARS-branded RIDEMAKERZ “car garage”. Here young boys can put together their very own favorite car from the hit movie with a selection of rims, pipes, hoods scoops, engines, spoilers and many more! Montebello is the first location to feature vehicles from CARS and will later be expanded to other RIDEMAKERZ retailers. No doubt I would expect to see these at the new location in Downtown Disney, Anaheim shortly.
Also new to the store along with a splash of color are “Magical Trees” with Disney animation projected onto them that come to life during special random moments. These magical moments start with the lights dimming as the skylines on the wall come to life with Disney characters and an array of colors set to Disney classic themes. It creates a very special magical moment Disney is known to create in their theme parks.
There is even a small theatre with updated daily videos that guests can choose from at an interactive kiosk. These videos include classic Disney clips, music videos, trailers and more. It’s a little something that can keep children entertained as their parents shop or for a little added experience to excite kids.
There are 20 stores set to re-open with the new branding and theming by the end of the year including the two-story store in Time Square. Hopefully this re-imaged style of Disney Store’s will eventually make its way toward The World of Disney store’s at the theme parks, which already feature fantastically themed sections but lack the interactive element these new locations will have. It’s a step in the right direction for Disney and Disney Consumer Products. This is by no means anything too ground breaking, but if you are in the area of one of the newly themed stores, they are definitely worth a visit.