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  1. #1

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    Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    I was lucky enough to get a ticket from the waiting list, after all of the issues I had, I was very glad when it came through. Even though we were fighting the NYC marathon, LIRR track work, the cold and wind, and a very early leave time, DH and I knew there was no way we were going to miss this!

    Our train actually got in early, and our first stop was Starbucks, of course. First peppermint latte of the season, and it was soooo delicious!!!

    Not long after, we got our first view of the NEW Disney Store!








    So pretty!!!!
    Even though we were not supposed to line up early, there was already a line inside the first set of doors, and that line quickly became a mob as more people came in to get out of the cold. Everyone was well behaved, though. It didn't matter in the end, as we were set free right away to go shopping (no surprise there Disney!) but only on the first floor. As we entered the store, there were three lines with CMs checking our info, then one more handing us wristbands. I thought that part was very well organized. BTW there were MAYBE 100 people - and room for more. They also were passing out ear hats that say Disney store on them.

    My first thought of the new store was WOW! The first big display is of a few NYC buildings, with a merry go round of kids and plush.


    (looking out toward the main entrance)







    This and a display next to it have the I (mickey) NY and NYC specific merchandise on them.

    A little further back was the Vinylmation display.



    And behind that is some children's clothes and CHRISTMAS merch.


    There was also plenty of toys and plush. BTW they had a lot of more rare characters in plush - Fantasia hippos and alligators, large sized Dutchess and Thomas O'Malley, along with the three kittens in a smaller plush, Lumiere and Cogsworth... more that I can't remember. It was good to see people buying them too!



    All of that is along one narrow stretch of store. To the left is the escalators, tucked under them are the registers, and next to those is more NY exclusive merch (Disney Broadway items), a great selection of Nightmare stuff and the trendy stuff.





    And all around up on the walls are pictures of various Disney characters (as you might have noticed)







    These pictures were $125, limited edition - there was also Princess Tiana and one more I think. The Ariel one was special because Jodi Benson was going to be there to sign them!!11!!



    After awhile of browsing and buying, the second floor was opened up, and everyone made their way up there...
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  2. #2

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    Of course, the wall by the escalators is themed to flying characters... there is pixie dust projected on the wall too.







    View from the very long and high escalator:





    The second floor is very big, and reflects the new Disney store concept. It is much more kiddie oriented. Each show/movie/character section is called a neighborhood. They had a bunch of Tangled items right at the top of the stairs. There was the Ridemakerz station and the Disney Store theater, where you can choose what clips to watch.




    (not sure what that is....)


    Ridmakerz to the left, theater to the right. Projections on the tree change.


    Random kite...

    It is also the first Disney Store to have a Marvel neighborhood... Spiderman looked way outta place IMO.

    The characters on the wall theme continues here, along with Disney quotes





    Here comes Dumbo...


    OH NO! that's not a landing zone Dumbo!


    My fave merch... there was more trendy Tink stuff too. Too bad its only in kid sized!



    We had a continental breakfast, water, juice, coffee. A nice spread.

    Then the talking started.

    I forget this guy's name, he was in charge of the event.



    He introduced Jim Fielding, the president of the Disney Stores. He seemed like a really nice. He talked about the recent history and the future of the Disney Store. He talked about remodeling this one (it used to be a Virgin Megastore). It is the biggest DS in the United States and has the most sales of any in the world (in close competition with the one in Paris). There are 250 cast members at this store alone. They started this process in 2008, and it took them a year to even get a lease. They took out the second floor, which is why the escalator is so long. They also portioned off some of the the third floor into offices and stockrooms. They are open until midnight, but in the first 2 days it was open, there were so many people that they had to stay open until 1 a.m. We actually overheard a CM saying that the NYC specific Vinylmations were selling so well that they had to pull some off the shelves just to have some for the D23 event. They are planning to open 30 to 40 more new concept stores next year - but I'm not sure if those are NEW stores or just remodels. Eventually all stores will be this new concept.








    Then he took questions!


    Someone asked about adult Phineas and Ferb shirts, and Jim said that they had some, but they flew off the shelves quickly.

    A guy asked about Muppets merch, and Jim said that more would be on the way the closer to when the movie comes out (Cute that he said he couldn't tell us when the movie comes out but we already know it's at the end of 2011)

    Someone asked about Parks merchandise, and of course, since the store is no longer owned by Disney parks, that means no more park merch at all That is the biggest (and pretty much only, to me) disappointment - no pins, no park vinyls, no kitchen stuff, no fun park merch shirts and toys... What he sad makes sense... keeping that as part of the park experience and you can also buy some stuff online.

    Pin question... he said that there might be trading and pin events in the future, but none are scheduled now. I think it has to do with them not actually selling pins (other than some NYC ones).

    Someone asked about where the Mickey and Pluto statues from the old store were and Jim said they were in storage.

    There were probably a few more questions but that's all I remember

    Then Jodi Benson was introduced. They unveiled the Ariel drawing, and she really liked it. She said a few words about the Disney Store and quickly got to signing.









    Since we didn't buy the print, we decided to do some more looking around... and I FINALLY found a movie accurate Ken from Toy Story 3 YAY!

    This is at the top of the escalator...


    And this is as you come down them:


    One of DH's co-workers was there, and he took out picture in front of it...

    aww!

    After we did a few more NY things, but that TR will be posted in the correct section

    The event (my first D23 one) wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but I think it was a pretty good event. Hopefully they'll have more NY area events in the future!

    The store officially opens tomorrow, Nov 9
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  3. #3

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    Ugh... I swore I wasn't gonna look at any pictures until I saw it myself, this Wednesday. DARN YOU!
    -Hale (wumbology)

    a.k.a. h2mc, omnimover.mousetalgia, omnimover, wumbology, hogbackmtn, hhmcsharry, Hale M., h2m, h2mc

    (I've never visited Disneyland Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Resort Paris, nor Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, so don't be fooled when I pretend to know what I'm talking about. [But I'm pretty good with the information, if I do say so myself. And you can hit me all you want with Walt Disney World.])



  4. #4

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    Hee hee sorry It looks a lot better in person! and there's a lot I don't have pics of
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  5. #5

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    That was rad! I'll see it for myself in a few days!


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  6. #6

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    I was there Saturday (and again Tuesday) and it looks great. It's so good to have somewhere local to go where I can get my Disney fix again!

    I'm not at all surprised that the store is mostly stocked with toys and clothes since that's what most people on vacation would want to take home. I am a little disappointed though that there are so few collectibles since that is what the old World of Disney store on 5th Avenue specialized in.

    When they first announced that Disney was moving into the old Virgin Megastore, I was hoping it would take over the whole thing because it was HUGE. They had 3 floors of merchandise and then a doule sub- basement with movie theaters. They could have build an actual attraction down there! If they had built Pirates or Soarin' or something new, I totaly would have paid to go on it every week. Oh well, I'll just have to enjoy what we got-which is still a lot of fun (and free.)

  7. #7

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    I went on Tuesday and was tremendously disappointed. I of course couldn't help but compare this store to the former 5th Avenue World of Disney location. The new store is MUCH smaller both in terms of store size and variety of offerings. Unlike the old store, Time Square has no art or high end collectibles, no music section, and no jewelry. I think we found maybe three books, and the only DVD I saw was what I thought was three copies of Toy Story 3, though my girlfriend assured me that it was actually one copy of each Toy Story Film. At that point, I think I was so shocked by my own disappointment to care.

    I had fully intended to be snapping tons of pictures to show everyone the sweet new store, but after seeing it thought, "what's the point?" The walls and giant Disney character cutouts on the first floor are colored in a bland fake wood grain that made me feel like I was inside a cardboard box. I thought that maybe this was some joke or strange artistic effect that they were going for to be juxtaposed with a larger and more grandiose design on the second floor. I was wrong.

    Though the second floor was slightly better with its weird enchanted forest half design, it still was nowhere near the intricate level of detailing presented in the old World of Disney store. The projections on the Lucite trees were interesting, but rafters and exposed duct work completely killed any sense of fantasy that the area hoped to create. The Barbie Dream House-esque castle was painted flat to look as bland and fake as the rest of the general decor. That glowing pillar in the marvel neighborhood...
    Quote Originally Posted by NeverNeverland View Post


    (not sure what that is....)
    ...is a screen that shows cartoons for the Marvel area. When I was there it was playing the Captain America origin scene from the new Avengers animated series. It probably played other things, but again, I was too disappointed to care. This area also had the only really interesting merchandise: sculptures of marvel characters. The rest of this floor was the same toys I could have gotten at the Disney Store in the mall (except for the build your own Cars) and lots of clothes for people that can still fit into kids' sizes.

    If you are an adult and expect to find anything in this store for yourself, unless you are really into Vinylmation or The Nightmare before Christmas, (and I am not). Prepare to be extremely disappointed.
    Last edited by Dapper Dan; 11-11-2010 at 03:39 PM.
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

  8. #8

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    I've never been to either store, but just comparing merchandise and looks online... it looks like a big step down?

  9. #9

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    Thanks so much for sharing your views and pictures from the D23 event NNL. I'm glad that you were able to snag a pair of tix to attend as they went FAST!

    I'd been watching the space since it was announced and anticipating a little slice of Disney's return to NYC with little pangs of excitement. The day I saw that the video screen sign and billboard was being tested filled me with a little bit of glee.

    Went to the store on Nov 6, the first weekend it was open. The store was mobbed, which was great in its way, but my excitement quickly faded as I explored the store and saw that it didn't feel very "Disney."

    Perhaps my hopes were too high as I was looking forward to seeing what the designers of Apple Store would do with the Disney Store. The place feels cheap and plastic to me and, as others have posted, I was very disappointed that there is nothing here for the adult vintage Walt Disney fan/collector and no art, higher end items, books, etc.

    The merchandise for sale also seems to be of a lower quality than what was offered at the 5th Avenue World of Disney.

    All in all for me it was a let-down. This place is strictly for kids and their parents' open wallets.

  10. #10

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    The thing is, you CAN'T compare it to the 5th Ave store. That was run by Disney parks. This is run by Disney Stores. You can only compare it to Disney stores. And in THAT case it is better.

    That's why there is no parks merch or collectibles YES it sucks. But it's an authentic Disney store, that that upper level is what they are like now.

    Adding a ride in the basement... that WOULD have been totally wicked!
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  11. #11

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    Actually, I can compare it to the 5th Avenue location. It was originally a flagship Disney Store until the chain was sold to Children's Place; that's when World of Disney took it over.

    The physical space and design changed very little. It was a (somewhat) lush place with a Disney feel. The new Times Square Disney Store feels sterile. It doesn't give me that "Disney" feeling.

    As for the merchandise, Disney provided a broader selection for a diverse range of fans at World of Disney but does not at Disney Store.

    The World of Disney was, in my opinion, a better store so I am disappointed that the only place in New York City to go to or buy Disney is lackluster.

  12. #12

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    Well I went on Wednesday and thought it was... okay. It had some strengths. I agree wholly though that they did not attack our demographic very well... Strange considering D23's growing presence.
    -Hale (wumbology)

    a.k.a. h2mc, omnimover.mousetalgia, omnimover, wumbology, hogbackmtn, hhmcsharry, Hale M., h2m, h2mc

    (I've never visited Disneyland Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Resort Paris, nor Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, so don't be fooled when I pretend to know what I'm talking about. [But I'm pretty good with the information, if I do say so myself. And you can hit me all you want with Walt Disney World.])



  13. #13

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    The thing that really kills it for me is the lack of collectibles and artwork. The rest is comparable (IMO), but the 3rd floor of the World of Disney is what this new Disney Store really needs and its sad they left out that wonderful area in the new store.
    It's a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah...Tip for Today!










  14. #14

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    Thanks for the great TR. Lucky you got tix, any D23 event seems impossible to get into lately!

    I can't wait to see the new DS, I'll probably be in New York in the next few weeks.
    --Jonathan

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    Re: Trip Report: D23 Times Square Disney Store Preview Event

    Quote Originally Posted by Epcot2000 View Post
    I've never been to either store, but just comparing merchandise and looks online... it looks like a big step down?
    Not a step, but a cliff fall. I was not able to buy any Disney DVD or CD there Saturday. Imagine that!

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