Monday, June 21, 2010

Interactive Disney Store coming to Chicagoland

I remember shopping at the Disney Store as a tween. My Aunt and I would make an hour drive to the closest location in order to feel a little piece of the magic in between vacations. I delighted in it, we would shop and giggle like we were on vacation, we’d always begin to plan our next trip. Over the years the Disney Stores have lost their original magic. What was once a fully themed location for young and old with everything from a Disney specialist travel desk to the iconic mountain of plush like the Emporium on Main Street, with Disneyana and cheerful, helpful, cast members; has and become a boring, cookie cutter, mass marketed place to shop for junk.

I received word today from Jim Fielding, the President of The Disney Store that indeed Chicagoland would be getting one of the twenty fabulous new Disney Stores being redesigned and launched beginning this year. Slated for an opening in October 2010, the store won’t be located a the glamorous Michigan Avenue address of the current Chicago Disney Store, but instead will hold 4,464 square feet of the 37 block of State Street along with Anthropologie, Sephora, several other retailers and eateries. “Cook County Circuit Judge Margaret Brennan said the court will approve Disney's lease.” in order to help renew this embattled retail area that had a court appointed receiver take control last January. “She asked for several minor adjustments to the agreement, but said it was important not to jeopardize the deal with Disney, which she described as a "desirable tenant" for the shopping center in Chicago's Loop” (Wong).

With the new eyes of Apple’s Steve Jobs assisting in the designs the new stores are said to be designed from a children’s perspective with interactive features to keep kids enchanted and their parents shopping. Using iconic Disney characters and imaginative interactive features such as light up trees that crackle with fireworks, and a section rumored to be titled “What Would Tink Do” (Barnes). The Montebello, California Store opens to the public in less than 24 hours with it's new design, and an ace team of cast members that are dedicated to making it a magical experience for everyone. Six more of the new stores are currently under construction and soon the Disney Spirit will spread across the country beckoning us back home.

I hope to make it to the Grand Opening of the new Chicago store. I’m excited to see the new retail outlets with a revitalized face. I hope that this brings the breath of fresh life to the Disney Store and makes them once again a great destination for us fans to get a quick fix of pixie dust. Most of all I hope that they haven’t forgotten the adults in the design. I hope that they have remembered those of us who grew up a Disney kid and now spend the money for the next generation. It’s all fair and good to entertain my children, but please, make me want to shop there too. Give me that in between vacation escape that will keep returning (to spite an hour and a half drive) over and over again.


Barnes, Brooks. (October 12, 2009) Disney’s Retail Plan Is a Theme Park in It’s Stores. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/business/media/13disney.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

Fielding, Jim. (June 21, 2010) Retrieved from http://twitter.com/DisneyStorePrez/

Wong, Wailin. (May19,2010). Disney store to appear at Block 37. Chicago Tribune.
Retrieved from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-05-19/business/ct-biz-0520-block-37-20100519_1_disney-store-prototype-store-disney-princess

1 comment:

  1. Even our smallish Disney Store was interesting for adults, but it became a store of cheap plastic toys, 2fers in stuffed animals, and princess costumes, not much more. We tried to buy our passes for our last trip there and they had no idea how to ring it up. Makes me want to go to Chicago just to shop at a decent store.