So a new Disney store opened up in Garden City, New York today. As the dedicated Disney nerd that I am, I decided to brave whatever lines there may have been for my dear online friends... and also because I realllly wanted some vynlmations... So I asked one of my incredibly polite and gracious neighbors to drive me several towns over on the Long Island Expressway to Roosevelt Field Mall. This neighbor in question has a child of her own, who is VERY into Cars. Little did he know that we were going to Disney Heaven...
After parking and searching through many directories to find the Disney Store's new location, we finally find the store. The red glowing "Disney" on the top of the store, the glass walls, the screen with scrolling event dates, and the wonderfully long line to get in. Well... okay, the line wasn't so wonderful. In fact, it seemed like it could take at least an hour to get to the door!
Well, that wasn't a problem. Turns out that they had Disney security lining the line and a fun Trivia Host giving out keychains, the day's freebee. The second we stepped into line, a security guard bends down and gives my neighbor's child a Mickey Lollypop, just like the ones in the parks... only smaller. And the magic continued to flow. I had a wonderful talk with one of the line patrollers about Vynlmation and Toy Story 3, and the 15 minutes of crying we both had, and when the Trivia Lady appeared I was ready.
So she asks the line what the dog in UP is called, I respond Dug and win a great keychain. She made the experience special and even asked for my name to be announced over the speakers! Later, she began asking some trivia about how Lightining's number corresponds to a significant event in Pixar history. When she begins to explain the answer, she says "The first ever Pixar movie..." she gestures to me, I say "Toy Story", and she gives me another keychain but says "promise to share with someone else on line?" Of course I agree and give my keychain to a little girl on line (if you were wondering, they were all of Minnie kissing Mickey).
Next she asks "What car appears in every Pixar film?" She sees me bursting to answer and goes "I'm going to ignore my friend here and see if someone on the other side knows..." Then she starts talking about Vynlmation and goes "Well, I don't know too much about it, so maybe my friend can tell us about it! The floor is yours" As I begin to explain what Vynlmation is, her jaw drops and she hands me the whole bag full of treats! Of course I give it back, but she exclaims that I could easily get a job at the store, and she has everyone in line clap for me! What a wonderful surprise!
As for the store, you can see the extensive coverage of the Montebello store done on Laughing Place for the full story, but I'll tell you a few little details that I didn't expect in the store:
For starters, just as you walk in there's a spinning pixie dust light shining down upon you when you enter. Thought that was a cute little effect.
There are several hotspots on the wall that sometimes have a kite fly by, the Disney hot air ballon shaped like Mickey, or even WALL-E and EVE fly by in blue silhouette!
The trees are precious. They really are so nice and they add so much to the store.
All the employees are so helpful, and they each helped the child in tow have a truly magical experience. The crouching down, the excited tone of voice, everything!
One of the employees went over to me and the child and said "The villains are trying to take over the store again. Can you help by clapping real hard when they come?" I did not know the store had this feature, so I decided to bring the kid over to the magic movie gazebo-thing and suddenly, lightning struck. The lights on the roof turned blue and the villains appeared on screen and also on the trees! We had to clap really hard, and then finally the trees were dusted with pixie dust and the villains were defeated, Fantasmic clip-style, on screen. The roof began to flash in multicolor and a "happy ending" clip reel began to play. Finally the trees exploded in fireworks and the walls were doused in light. Then the store went on as usual. Pretty cool!
They also had similar events happen in the store when Birthdays were announced.
The plush shelf was themed to a dry water fountain... It was pretty funny to see, literally, a fountain of plush in the middle of the store!
This store didn't have the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse play structure.
I bought 2 "Have a Laugh!" Vynls, if you were wondering, and I got the "Winter Storage" one with Chip 'n' Dale and the "Mickey's Garden" one with Mickey covered in pumpkin.
The next major event is the "Grand Opening Celebration", featuring Mickey, Minnie, Radio Disney, and prizes! After that, there are several mini-events, including Storytime with Belle and another Meet 'n' Greet with Mickey and Minnie. The major event that I'm looking forward to the most, though, is the PERRY THE PLATYPUS inaction figure event. There's even a showing of the inaction figure episode right after you make your own Perry! I'll try to snag pics of the Grand Opening and the Perry event for all you guys, but the
BOTTOM LINE IS: I was entranced. Not only was the experience easy in, easy out, but the wonderful attention to detail, the selection of goods, and the overall magic the store creates is fantastic. I will be visiting again "real soon"!!