Monday, November 22, 2010

Disney Store NYC Part 1

Hey all! I keep hemming and hawing on this blog post about the new Disney store in NYC. I have to ask myself why. I can usually write up a post in a matter of hours but for some reason this one has taken me weeks. Well I think it has to do with me wanting to write a beautifully well written piece framing the store in a glorious light and telling you all how perfect it is. Well as you know from my notes I do not think the store is perfect. And even though I do love it there is so much I would change. I even wrote a blog post about the President of Disney stores who I think is lovely.  But as I sit in front of this computer thinking about the write up I want to do I am stumped. Let's get started with the blog post I was pretending to write and go from there shall we?

Wait this was in the last blog post!
 The Disney store in New York City is a grand store and a lovely addition to Times Square. It's large digital screen on the outside of the building ushers people in with hopes of experiencing Disney magic. When you walk in you are greeted by a cast member holding a stuffed toy and wishing you fun on your shopping journey.

Ok let me stop right here and say at the D23 event this is where you were ushered in a large group and asked to have you credentials ready as people with clip boards wrote down your information while cast members handed you Mickey ears and tried to sell you stuff... I loved the excitement of it all! :-) I have to admit though the crowd for a "private" even was quite large. But it's Disney so I guess that comes with the territory. I was also surprised at how much time there was between entering the store and the actual event started. I guess they needed time to register us but then they let us shop for almost an hour before anything got started. Weird.

Continuing on with the store itself. Murals covered the walls. Silhouettes of your favorite Disney characters. And if you looked right above you there was a carousel spinning child-sized mannequins and stuffed Disney icons around and around.

Now I would like to use this as an a way to segway into what I think is a missed Disney store opportunity. To be able to fit a working carousel into the store Disney had to turn two floors into one. Thus creating very high ceilings and a beautiful open space. That is all well and good but it feels like wasted space.

I would have loved for Disney to use all 4 floors of the
original space and have game areas and maybe even places to have birthday parties. How cool would it be to be a little kid and say "I had my birthday at the Disney store"? Also the store talked about interactive areas. Well you wouldn't know there could be interaction if you looked at the first floor. In fact the majority of the first floor was NYC based merchandise. (I will discuss the NYC merch in a second blog post.) When people asked me about the store they asked if there were rides and such for children to play on. I hated telling them no because I knew that there was a ride for toys. I am sure people thought the store was going to be Disney world miniature. That is actually what I hoped it would be. Not that I was expecting the store to have Space Mountain in the back or Tower of Terror elevators built int. But a small ride for kids would be a great drawing point.

Let me take a step back for a moment and say that I have lived 3 hours from New York City ever since I was about 12. I am very used to everything in NYC being bigger and better than everywhere else. So when I heard a Disney store was opening in NYC I expected it to be huge and a giant play ground. What I got was a two story Disney store, which in all honesty is all that Disney promised me. Nothing more. Nothing less. I realize that in this and the next blog post I write I am going to sound like a bit of a cynic. But trust me when I say all of this come out of love for Disney and not any animosity.

Now back to my blog post already in progress...

The Disney store was beautiful as I have said. I love the art work on the walls. The murals, the pop art. The little touches and attention to detail that make the store truly Disney. This alone makes the Disney store NYC a worthwhile tourist destination (trap?) and someplace I am proud to check into on gowalla (foursquare). In my next post I will talk about the second floor and the rest of the D23 event. And then I think I'll have one blog post completely dedicated to merch!

4 comments:

  1. I love that you are giving a candid view! That is the best kind! I am not an overall fan of The Disney Store as a whole because I think the merch they sell there is a different quality then the park merch and that is kind of a kick in the ass to Disney Fans who cant make it to the parks. The Tiara and Scepter Sets for Girls are TOTALLY different then the ones you can buy on property! NOT as nice at all.... it makes me kind of sad!

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  2. Originally by Natalie: This article makes me want to come back to visit NYC. I have not been there since I worked there the year after the September 11. I was there for a year after just getting married. Needless to say, I got burnt out on one of my favorite places... But maybe, I could love it again?

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  3. Great post on the Disney Store NYC!

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