It’s a whole new World of Disney! On Saturday, the newly remodeled World of Disney store in Disney Springs held its Grand Reveal celebration. Cast members, merchandise designers, imagineers, and even a few Disney friends were on hand to celebrate the more open and modern floor plan. The new design was thoughtfully crafted to deliver a more efficient and enjoyable shopping experience while still keeping the Disney magic alive!
The larger-than-life characters hanging from the ceiling may be gone, but the characters are still represented with fun touches! The giant Mickey ear hat serves as both a tribute to Mickey Mouse and a merchandise beacon drawing us towards the fabulous new Mickey Mouse Club collection exclusive to World of Disney stores until November. (Spoiler: I want it all!) On the back wall, scenes from vintage Mickey Mouse cartoons are shown while the iconic Mickey Mouse logo is projected on the floor. The floor projection was a big hit with the younger Mouseketeers at the opening and was a popular picture spot for all ages!
The westernmost entrance of the store will host the seasonal merchandise. Right now, it is home to the holiday merchandise, and the decor easily signals that. The holiday castle and oversize ornaments can also be found on several pieces of merchandise. Disney is all about synergy!
Oversize sketches are used in several of the merchandise displays. These are actual sketches from Disney Animation Studios. While of course the merchandise is the star of this show, the decor is pretty amazing too! If you have time, go through the store twice: once to shop and once to just admire all the details (but be prepared to do more shopping as you’ll probably find that you missed a few things the first time around.)
According to Donald Farrow who works in Product Design and Development, improved sight lines and easy navigation were key to designing the new floor plan. Products such as tees and ears can be found quickly thanks to the section beacons along the walls. The illuminated words have an industrial, elegant, or comic feel, depending on the section they identify. This makes it super easy to run in and grab tees, ears, or plushies if you’re in a rush. If you prefer putting an entire look together over shopping for a specific item, World of Disney also has inspiration tables. These displays are found throughout the store and showcase coordinating pieces. In the two pictures above, the Millenial Pink trend and the Mickey and Minnie Home collection are arranged to perfection! I tend to go overboard when I really like something, so I love the idea of having it all together when I’m shopping; I’m not sure my wallet is going to be so appreciative though.
The heart of Disney is based on storytelling, and they even brought that element into the shopping experience. I had the privilege of hearing the “World of Disney story” from an imagineer who helped bring the magical touches to life. Mark says that once upon a time, the building now housing World of Disney was used as a Farmer’s Market. As shopping practices changed, the building was left abandoned. It eventually became the Disney Animators’ Workshop until the animators were later moved to Hollywood Studios. They didn’t quite get everything packed up, however, and several mementos of their animation and magic were left in the building. This is most evident in the checkout area which is designed to look like a vintage animation studio. The register counters are recreations of original animators’ desks. Apparently, the animators would often draw on their desks and these counters have replicas of those drawings. The wall behind the registers holds the ink and paint jars left behind by the animators. There is extra magic in these–periodically, pixie dust escapes from the jars and brings the portraits on the side to life! Sometimes, the pixie dust gets really out of hand, flies through the entire shop, and flings color all around as seen on the blue brick above.
The Disney corporation is committed to improving the environment. World of Disney is in the process of phasing out plastic bags. At the Grand Reveal World of Disney introduced the Reusable shopping bags, that are now being sold. The larger ones are big enough to hold all your daily purchases, and it’s a lot more convenient than carrying around several small bags from different shops.
The redesign of World of Disney is absolutely lovely! It is so easy to navigate, and it has an open, modern feel. And it still has plenty of magical touches! Take a moment on your next trip to explore, appreciate, and of course, SHOP–because old or new design, World of Disney is still the place to go for magical merchandise!
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