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Times Square Disney Store gives its first floor a magical makeover

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Times Square Disney Store gives its first floor a magical makeover

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The Times They Are A-Changin' --  Bob Dylan

And - by "Times" - I mean the Times Square Disney Store. Which - just this morning - re-opens for business after its first floor sales area received a pretty significant makeover.

For those of you who can't quite recall what the first floor of Disney's flagship used to look like ... Here, let me share a few shots that Nancy took back in November of 2010 just prior to the grand opening of this 20,000 square-foot store.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

You'll note that the ground floor level of the Times Square Disney Store was very beige. More importantly, that the Disney characters (as they were presented in this part of the store) were fairly understated.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

"Which wasn't really what people were looking for when they visited the Times Square Disney Store," admitted Jon Endicott, Director of Global Store Design for Disney Store. "Which is why we decided to evolve the look of this store. Bring more of the magic that people were finding in our upstairs area downstairs."

Photo by Nancy Stadler

And to provide stronger connective tissue between the two floors of the Times Square Disney Store, Jon and his team took that understated Disney character mural which used to be next to the store's escalator and - borrowing a page from the Magical Disney NYC nighttime skyline that wraps around the second floor's "Imagination Park" retail area ...

Photo by Nancy Stadler

... and created an animated escalator ride. Where - if you keep an eye on that two dimensional space just above the escalator - you'll sometimes see Tigger bouncing through Central Park or Pooh clutching  a balloon as he floats above the skyscrapers.

Thanks to Disney animators, the sky above Central Park is filled with the floating lanterns
from "Tangled." Photo by Gary He. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

"We worked very closely with our feature animation team to bring about this particular change at the Times Square Disney Store. Our ultimate goal here was to give our Guests a far richer experience as they rode the escalator upstairs. Surround them with characters and color," Endicott explained.

Of course, in order to complete this makeover on time and under budget, Jon and his design team made an effort (wherever they could) to recycle elements from the previous version of the Times Square Disney Store wherever they could. Take - for example - the quartet of mannequins that used to dance around the upstairs "Cars" display.

Photo by Nancy Stadler

If you'll look closely at the photo below, you'll notice that three of those four mannequins are now being used as decorative elements on top of the "Cars 2" merchandise display that's been set up next to the escalator.

Photo by Gary He. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

"We also brought the Disney magic skyline - which is obviously New York City here in our Times Square store - downstairs to create more connective tissue between the first floor and the second floor," Jon continued. "We also moved our cash wrap area from the middle of the store ...

Photo by Nancy Stadler

... to the very back of the first floor. These changes - along with that new revolving door which we just installed in our entrance area - will make it far easier for our Guests to enter and then explore the first floor of the Times Square Disney Store."

Photo by Gary He. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Mind you, the first floor of the Times Square Disney Store is still where you'll find all of the NYC-specific merchandise. Not to mention the store's ever-changing selection of seasonal items as well as collectables like Vinylmation, Kidada for Disney and Bloc28. But when you factor in the new pixie trail design elements that have been added to the first floor's floor covering as well as the magical trees that have sprouted among the display cases ...

Photo by Gary He. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

... the end result is that the Times Square Disney Store now feels far more unified. Both floors of the flagship store are now telling the exact same story, which clearly pleased Endicott.

"We sometimes have 10,000 people come through this store in a single day. And it's just nice that the revamped version of the Times Square Disney Store will now give these Guests a far more seamless experience," Jon concluded. "And the lessons that we learned here, we'll definitely be applying to our Champs-Elysées store when we remodel that one next year."

Photo by Gary He. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

So if you'd to get a sense of what shoppers at the Disney Store Paris will be experiencing in 2012, be sure to swing by the Times Square Disney Store. Which unveils the magical makeover of its first floor area this morning at 10 a.m. ET.

Your thoughts?

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  • The Times Square store is a huge letdown.  Other than that it is 2 stories, the store is no different than the store at my mall.  Except I think the store at the mall is larger.

    Disney should be embarrassed to call this their flagship store, especially considering some of the fantastic stores that have opened up there recently.   Even the video screen is of low caliber.  I walk through Times Square twice a day to and from work and it is the only video screen that can't be seen decently from an angle.   Compare it to the other store that was made out of the Virgin space, Forever 21.  Their video screen with the amazing public interaction is the type of thing that Disney should have done.

    I feel that Disney thinks that if they put their name on something, everybody comes running.  Yet, their merchandise is of the lowest quality, especially toys and tshirts.  We much rather buy a disney T-shirt that comes from a line that liceneses the characters (e.g. Justice) than Disney itself.

  • They took away The World of Disney and left a regular mall Disney store in it's place. It is very unfortunate and someplace I do not need to visit again. Makeover or not. Unless they bring back WOD.

  • I was in New Yorl City las week and the Disney Store was close for that makeover.  It was unfortunate for us to be there at that exact time.  Altought it seemms that we haven't mist a lot, but since there is no Dinsey Store in teh province of Quebec, any store with Disney name fit us.  It is a shame that Disney has not put a much better store for Times Square after all it is Times Square.  look at all the stores around that place and there is no mall store around.  Juste think of:  M & M's, Toys Ur Us, Nike Store, etc...

  • When I visited the TS store in April 2011 I was quite disappointed. I remember the WOD store on 5th ave. That store is what I need as a Disney fix when I can't get to Orlando. The TS store just doesn't live up to the hype.

    The Disney name means magical and grand. I traveled a long way to get to TS and what I got was a mall Disney store with NYC merch.  

    We visited Toys R Us  Times Square later. They have a ferris wheel. They have a candy store. They have character interactions.  Why isn't Disney offering these special experiences?

  • The Times Square Disney Store is still cold and sterile despite the redesign to unify the two floors.  Part of the problem with the store is there's no warmth to it, nothing reassuring to bring you in.  Actually, now that the skyline motif is on both floors they've managed to make the store look even colder than it did before.  

    Whenever I've been in the store I've been underwhelmed not only by the design (what's up with that plasticine princess castle?) but by a lack of variety of merchandise for a wide variety of Disney consumer.  The store caters strictly to children, which is great if you're looking for Disney toys, especially of the plush variety, and candy.  There's very little here for the adult collector or Disney fan to enjoy and purchase.

  • Disney store in Times Square is awesome! The kids love it and it felt so magical. There were classic Disney movies playing, even adults were watching them! And there is a place for kids to color and just relax. So amazing...well done Disney!

  • I made the trip into the city with a friend from Virginia specifically to visit this new store, remembering how great the one on 5th Ave was.  This newer store is much smaller then the one that was located on 5th Ave. The pictures look nice with no people in them but once you add people it's very crowded & hard to maneuver. Forget about bringing a little one in a stroller. It is impossible to get around. It's only 2 floors, the old store had 4. The old store also had the cast members wear landyards for pin trading. I didn't find anyone wearing pins for trading when I was in the new store. Seems that they're more focused on getting people in to buy merchandise & get them out to make room for more people. The only difference between this store & the Disney Store at your mall is the NYC Disney merchandise. I wasn't impressed, I was very dissapointed.

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