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End of a Mouse Ear-a: "Where the Magic Begins" to close

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End of a Mouse Ear-a: "Where the Magic Begins" to close

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Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved 

CINDERELLA: Why, it's like a dream. A wonderful dream come true.

FAIRY GODMOTHER: Yes, my child. But like all dreams ... Well, I'm afraid that this can't last forever.

How often do you see a car that co-ordinates with a
store's exterior? Photo by Roger Colton

For Disneyana fans, "Where the Magic Begins" really was something of a dream. Back in 2003, as the Walt Disney Company was actively getting out of the retail business, Cindy Russell & her husband, Rick took a nondescript storefront in Livermore, CA and ... Well ... turned it into what the Disney Stores & the Disney Galleries used to be. An attractive, fun place to shop. Where friendly staffers who actually had some knowledge of Disney's films & characters could then help collectors find just the pieces that they were looking for.

"Where the Magic Begins" 's Fine Art Gallery features lots of hard-to-find prints
and cels. Photo by Roger Colton

And for almost five years now, "Where the Magic Begins" has been a haven for Mouse House fans. A place where they could go and find those really rare collectibles and/or meet with their favorite Disney authors & artists.

Story Artist Jeff Pidgeon meets with Pixar fans at a recent "Where the Magic
Begins" artist signing event. Photo by Roger Colton

Sadly, the time has come for "Where the Magic Begins" to close its doors. Why For? Well, the illness that originally spurred Ms. Russell to open her very own Disneyana shop has recurred. And now that Cindy has to concentrate all of her time & effort on staying healthy ... She's made the very difficult decision to shutter the Livermore store.

Cindy Russell (Who's lifted the spirits of so many Disneyana
collectors over the past 5 years) is pictured here with
the plush version of Mister "B' from Pixar's 2007
short, "Lifted." Photo by Roger Colton

Mind you, "Where the Magic Begins" will live on as an online shop. But that means no more special events. No more appearances by voice actors like Wayne Allwine & Russi Taylor (AKA the official voices of Mickey & Minnie Mouse).

(L TO R) Russi Taylor, Cindy Russell and Wayne Allwine. Photo by Roger Colton

Which is why -- rather than quietly just fade away -- Cindy & Rick has decided to have one last event. Give their friends & loyal customers an excuse to drop by the shop and say "Goodbye."

Disneyana fans everywhere are sure to shed a tear when "When the Magic
Begins" closes its doors next month. Photo by Roger Colton

So if you happen to be up in the Bay Area this coming Monday between 1 & 5 p.m., why not make a point of swinging by 2177 Las Positas Court? Where you can then have the joy of experiencing "Where the Magic Begins" before it all comes to an end.

Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

FAIRY GODMOTHER: Now, now, now. Just a minute. You must understand, my dear. On the stroke of twelve, the spell will be broken. And everything will be as it was before.

CINDERELLA: Oh, I understand. But ... It's more than I ever hoped for.

FAIRY GODMOTHER: Bless you, my child.

Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

"Where the Magic Begins" is located at 2177 Las Positas Court, Suite A in Livermore, CA. For further information on the store's operating hours, please call 925-960-1497.

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  • This is sad news ... Cindy's store was really special and you knew that she kept the magic alive through her own love and passion for Disney.

    She's held many special and memorable events at the store -- and it's always great to visit with Wayne, Russi, Bill Farmer, Leslie Iwerks and others and hear their stories.

    The store was also great for its selection of Disney items -- from inexpensive charms and pins to limited edition and one-of-a-kind art; from WDCC to Olszewski and Jim Shore designed pieces; from Master Replicas and Disney Big Figs to scrapbooking supplies.

    Here's hoping that her tail is like Tigger's and she bounces back from this latest health crisis and that she has the energy, drive and passion to finish her book on Big Figs.

  • Thanks for posting this, Jim. I wasn't aware of "Where The Magic Begins", and it certainly sounds like a wonderful little shop. I'm sorry to hear it's closing down after making so many Disney fans happy. Cindy sounds like a lovely woman and I hope she's back to good health again real soon.

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