Our first trip to a Disney park was rotten before we even reached the Disney grounds. From long waits in hot garages to an unplanned trip to the pediatric hospital, L.A. had left us not feeling the happy of the “happiest place on Earth” when we first pulled into the Disneyland Resort. After checking into our hotel room that was not adequate for our family size we decided to salvage what was left of the day by avoiding the parks and just remaining in the Downtown Disney area.
I was never a huge Disney fan, nor was I a Disney hater, let’s just say I suffered from Disney-apathy all my early adult life. But when I was immersed amongst the giant figurines hanging overhead in the World of Disney store I felt pulled into the most beloved scenes of my childhood. All the anger, hurt, frustration, and sadness faded from the day as my toddler daughter who never spoke screamed out the names of the characters, and my stepson who never smiled found himself leaping with glee. That was the moment I believed in magic and turned instantly into a Disney fanatic.
Fast forward a few years to a quite difficult (to me) move to Orlando and World of Disney became my happy place. The crowd didn’t bother me, I wandered through that store, drinking in its whimsy with a side of Macchiato. Though it wasn’t the same, it was more chaotic in merchandising. Walls lined in Disney Villains enclosed a room of D&B Minnie Mouse handbags alongside Alex and Annie charms that read inspiring words like “Dream”. Signs that read Men’s Accessories were now blended with Children’s Mickey Ears and caps.
In a way the writing was on the walls, and as my two year old begged to go basque in the greatness of a giant Pocahontas canoeing overhead, the perfectionist in me was never quite satisfied enough with the frame in my lense to just snap a picture for my memories before the inevitable change was to come.
It happened so quickly, somehow I had missed the announcement and just one day everyone’s favorite 51,000 sq ft Disney souvenir shop…err megastore was boarded up, reduced to a 1/3 of its size, and I never got that shot.
There is very little information on the renovations that are taking place. All we basically have to provide you with is a single fragment sentence of hint as to what is to come from the official Disney page, and a whole slew of rumors.
“a dynamic and distinctly Disney retail environment.”
One thing that does seem to be a common theme in conversation, from those that are most consistently accurate in predicting Disney, is that the larger than life characters have got to go. The new renovation is to rid the store of any permanence in the merchandising. As a shopgirl I say ‘great move’, but as a fangirl I just died a little on the inside. A more functional decorum will give the cast members the freedom to reimagine the store over and over again with each passing season and each awesome feature presentation.
I would say Disney has never let me down, but to be honest as a Shopgirl who ordains herself quite the mall virtuoso I felt totally uninspired by the Disney Springs revamp. I go to Disney to be inspired by Disney, and this mall renovation looks like any outdoor mall USA. But this is supposed to be retail positivity, so we will hold out hope that there is still magic in that giant mecca of magnets, t-shirts, and Mickey Ears.
And if you made it this far into this jumbled mess of words, I thank you for your patience for my sloppy emotions. ❤
Until Next Time Fanboys and Girls:
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