Anticipation Builds For Mickey Mouse’s Big Apple Return

| October 29, 2010 | 2 Replies

Excitement grows for the opening of the new Disney Store in New York City’s Times Square.  The re-imagined stores have opened across the U.S. and in Europe since June 29th when the first “next generation” store premiered in Montebello, CA.  The grand opening of the 2-story Manhattan store – billed as the largest in North America – is set for Tuesday, November 9th, preceded by sneak peeks for Official Disney Fan Club D23 members and the media.  Continue after the break for more details about the store including a video of Mickey Mouse revealing the glitzy, shimmering Times Square digital marquee.

Update November 4, 2010: Disney Store President Jim Fielding posted via twitter yesterday the store will open “quietly” today (Thursday, Nov 4th) at 9:00am. Additional information about the official Grand Opening ceremony on Tuesday, November 9th has also been added after the break.

Update November 16, 2010: Disney’s video highlights of the Grand Opening celebration added.

In the video below provided by Disney, Mickey Mouse reveals the new store’s digital billboard display that towers 6 stories high above Times Square and will be viewed by an estimated 1.5 million people/day.  The “D” in the word Disney weighs more than 400 pounds, and the 2,000 square foot display is the highest resolution screen of its size in Times Square.

Disney fans have eagerly awaited the return of a Disney Store to New York City since the Manhattan World of Disney closed in 2009.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this discussion thread on the DISboards where fans are already planning their pilgrimages to the site.  The Times Square store will be the flagship of the newly re-designed stores, and its unveiling caps a  year-long celebration of openings.  Disneyland correspondent Nancy Johnson attended the media event in June for the opening of the first new Disney Store in Montebello, CA, and she described many of the unique features found in each of the new stores including:

  • Glittering blue Pixie Dust trail
  • Two-story Disney Princess Castle with “talking” Magic Mirror
  • Colorful Lucite “magical” trees that change color and showcase Disney characters
  • Disney-Pixar CARS-branded Ridemakerz interactive custom car building experience
  • Disney Store Theatre that allows guests to watch their favorite Disney videos.

The celebrity-filled weekend for the Times Square debut includes a private event for D23 members on Sunday, November 7th with an appearance by Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel – The Little Mermaid, and special guest on DIS Unplugged Podcast Cruise 2.0. President of Disney Stores Worldwide, Jim Fielding, will also join the D23 guests for a continental breakfast. Registration for this Disney fan event closed within seconds as D23 members quickly gobbled up tickets. Media members get a tour and interviews on Monday, November 8th, and the official grand opening will take place on Tuesday, November 9th highlighted by a private performance by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks.

Image: Jodi Benson performing at Disney California Adventure, June 2010

To hype the event even more, Disney staged a week-long online contest from October 19-26 where one family could win a trip to New York City for the grand opening celebration. The winning child will turn the “key to imagination” and unlock the store for the first time. This “unlock the imagination” ceremony is a ritual that occurs at all Disney Stores each morning and sets the mood for “creating magic” each day. After the contest winner opens the store, Jordin Sparks will perform a song from the film “Beauty and the Beast” (coincidentally now available on Blu-Ray and DVD) at a special VIP reception, and the family will get to meet the American Idol winner.

Image: Singer Jordin Sparks at the opening of The American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, February 2009 (photo by Kent Phillips)

Update November 4, 2010: Disney announced that the Schwartz Family of Boston, MA are the winners of trip to the Grand Opening of the Times Square Disney Store on Tuesday, November 9th.  Disney received over 10,000 entries for the week-long contest.  The Schwartz children, Aden (age 9) and Trevor (age 5), will both turn the “key to imagination” thus officially unlocking the store for the first time.  The family will also receive $250 to spend in the new store in addition to the private VIP reception with Jordin Sparks.  Disney also announced the Schwartz family will have front-row seats to a parade of Disney characters as part of the festivites to open the new store.  

So start spreading the news.  The Mouse is back in town, and he means business.

Update November 16, 2010: Disney released this video with highlights of the Grand Opening Celebration from Tuesday, November 9th.  Included in the video are Disney CEO Bob Iger and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg welcoming the crowd for the opening of the store.  Once inside, celebrities Melissa Joan Hart of ABC Family’s “Melissa & Joey;” Anika Noni Rose, voice of Princess Tiana from Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog;” ESPN’s Jesse Palmer, actress Brooke Shields; and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks all give their thoughts on the new store.

Are you excited about the Disney Store’s return to New York City?  Will you be heading into town for a Manhattan Disney fix anytime soon?  Log in with your DISboards username and password to leave a comment below.

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Category: Disney World, Disneyland, Editorials, News

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