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  1. #1

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    Thumbs down The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    Ok. Don't get me wrong. It's still the Disney Store and it has some nice things about it. BUT, it also doesn't feel the same since it is NO LONGER OWNED by the Walt Disney Company. I have been working at my local Disney Store for the past 3 months and have had an overall fun time working there. But everytime I go into the store, I get so sad, because it looks absolutely nothing like it was when I was a kid. I remember walking into the store seeing semi animatronics all over the store, the huge plush doll mountain and the giant tv screen playing the latest Disney movie. The Disney Collectibles and Pins all over the store. Just everything about it was so magical, as though it was a store on Main Street. But in the past 2 years it has changed into a normal mall store. No decorations, crappy merchandise, and the whole attitude of it has changed. I am still proud to work there, because I am still representing all things Disney, but I just feel saddened that I am not really a Walt Disney Company Cast Member. I don't even get all of the cool benefits the Disney Store CMs used to get. I also feel that a lot of my fellow CMs don't really give a rat's @$$ about Disney. I could go on and on and on. My question is, WHY did the Disney Company sell the Disney Store? It was so magical before and now it lacks magic. Will Disney every buy it back? What are your thoughts????
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  2. #2

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    I have to agree with you on that one. We had 2 Disney stores here in Calgary, and when the Children's Place took over they closed my favorite one! We always made a weekly trip to share in a little magic.
    Now the one remaining store is always empty and looks like it is going out of bussiness. It is sad and depressing to visit now and I have not been in almost a year!
    I want my Disney store back!
    Last edited by samsma; 08-29-2007 at 07:09 AM.

  3. #3

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    I have to agree with you on most of this except for one thing The Disney Store started going downhilll a lot longer than two years ago. They began going down hill while Disney still owned them (around 2001) and when it got to be too much of a hassel they unloaded them by putting the stores up for sale. Some of the store redesigns in the last few years while Disney still owned them are some of the worst ones around, nearby we have two of them and they look so cheap and poorly constructed, one is the Millenium store and the other is one of the Princess or Castle stores. In our area we also have a store that was remodeled after The Children's Place took over, a Mickey Concept store, and it is better but still not as nice as the first two store designs. As far as the merchadise and selection goes, believe it or not but it has improved over the last year or two. But it is still no where near what it was in Disney Store's hay day but still better then when Disney drove them into the ground.

  4. #4

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    Luckily *knocking on wood* two of my local Dinsey stores have been updated yet and still have the old statues and animatronics (although they're not being kept up to par. One manager told me that they can't run the Daisy coming out of the window after the sleeping Donald anymore because it starts to smoke and has almost caught on fire!). From what the managers have told me tho all of the stores are slated to go to the generic design, but they don't know when.

    I will vouch that the merchandise has picked up in the last year or so. Especially with the studio collections. I was shocked to find that they carried canvas wall prints! And hopefully with the disneystore.com up they'll start carrying better stuff as well. I'd love to see them bring back the figures and other collectibles to. Only time will tell I guess.
    With great pride: Disney Store Cast Member August 2011-Present

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  5. #5

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    The Disney Store near me began declining before Children's Place but it probably has declined further since they now own it. I know what you mean about it feeling so magical. I still love walking in there and seeing the stuffed animal mountain and the Disney characters everywhere but with the exception of maybe one or two in the front window, none of the animatronics work and nothing is ever playing on the movie screen. I still like going in there but it's just not the same.

  6. #6

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    Totally agreed. We just got back from Lancaster, PA, and I was totally excited to see a Disney Store on the local mall's map.

    I ran up and, well, I should have heeded the warnings from all of you.

    It's a huge kiddie store without a lick of magic. I was hoping for something 'state-specific' like the Lion King dressed as a Nittany Lion or something. No such luck.

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  7. #7

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    I do have to say I was greatly amused last summer when I found a Disney Store in Rome! Unfortunately, the guys I was with didn't let me stay long, but I did get a picture of Goofy as a caryatid.

  8. #8

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    I honestly think you're being too harsh here. (And I know this is MC and I shouldn't get bent out of shape about things, but hear me out)

    I've worked at the D store for about 3 yrs now. Yes, I hate the designs of the new stores, but that aside, there is still a certain magic to the place. As as CM, you have to create it though (just like any CM at Disneyland or WDW does). I mean, I walked around the store all last weekend w/ Tinkerbell wings on... I basically played w/ kids the whole time (meanwhile getting their parents to buy costumes and what-not).

    Children's Place struggled for a while there, trying to work out the kinks and get the place going again (after the sad state Disney had left them in) and I think they've finally hit their stride. I personally love the merchandise we've been getting lately. The Studio Collection for instance is stellar, IMHO. I can't walk into Disneyland anymore w/out seeing at least a few SC shirts. Prices are lower than before but the quality is just as good if not better.

    Yeah, the disney store has it's problems, just like any other place, but I like I said, I think you're being harsh.


  9. #9

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    When I started going to the Disney Store, it was so excellent. Watches, ties, collectibles, books, etc. Just tons of cool stuff to buy. Soon, the selection of the cool stuff was diminishing while the number of cheap toys and junk started to expand. Soon, I'd go to the Disney Store, and I couldn't buy anything, even if I wanted to.

    It almost seemed like Eisner needed to always have the numbers look good, even if they really weren't. Put products that cost 1c to make in there, sell them for $20, and you'd have a huge profit, right? It basically left the Disney Store in such a shambles, that they unloaded it for almost nothing.

    To give Children's Place credit, they have been getting much better products in over the last year or two. At least when I go in there now, I can actually find one or two things that I actually wouldn't mind buying. I don't think it'll ever be as cool as it was, but at least it isn't the huge pile of suckage it was 5 years ago.

  10. #10

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    As a kid I wasn't allowed in the Disney Store. I'd go in and want everything. I'd only be allowed in if I kinda' fooled my aunt or uncle (they didn't know the rule). And even then I fell asleep in the stuff animals.

    Now... I want a mug from there. I like mugs. I just need to be un-cheap.

  11. #11

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    Quote Originally Posted by princedalton View Post
    Ok. Don't get me wrong. It's still the Disney Store and it has some nice things about it. BUT, it also doesn't feel the same since it is NO LONGER OWNED by the Walt Disney Company. I have been working at my local Disney Store for the past 3 months and have had an overall fun time working there. But everytime I go into the store, I get so sad, because it looks absolutely nothing like it was when I was a kid. I remember walking into the store seeing semi animatronics all over the store, the huge plush doll mountain and the giant tv screen playing the latest Disney movie. The Disney Collectibles and Pins all over the store. Just everything about it was so magical, as though it was a store on Main Street. But in the past 2 years it has changed into a normal mall store. No decorations, crappy merchandise, and the whole attitude of it has changed. I am still proud to work there, because I am still representing all things Disney, but I just feel saddened that I am not really a Walt Disney Company Cast Member. I don't even get all of the cool benefits the Disney Store CMs used to get. I also feel that a lot of my fellow CMs don't really give a rat's @$$ about Disney. I could go on and on and on. My question is, WHY did the Disney Company sell the Disney Store? It was so magical before and now it lacks magic. Will Disney every buy it back? What are your thoughts????
    As a TDS CM you should be well aware of the following things:
    • Your store is in a local mall and isn't a destination like the theme parks or other large markets might be. It took Disney a while to figure this out too. Their first few stores were very well received because of this, but as they quickly grew they couldn't remain successful when they were everywhere.
    • Collectibles don't sell. Yes, of course they do. But everyone has their own idea of what they want. They want this character or another. Or a different style of what is available. That's why DISNEY took them out of the stores about 7 years ago. They take up about a quarte of sale space in a large (or layered) store and don't sell nearly that much, even when they are on sale.
    As far as the overall look of the stores, the "Mickey Store" will be phased out soon enough too. TDS has learned what worked and what hasn't from that look. Also, the animation will be returning back into the stores as they are remodeled.

    Disney sold the stores because they weren't successful for them. They expanded too quickly with 5+ stores in metro areas and in locations that maybe Disney should not of been in to begin with. They were selling merchandise at prices similar to the theme parks, which didn't allow them to be competitive with the other stores in the mall. This is now why you will find the Every Day Value prices (2fers or 3fers, if you will) in TDS. The idea is to make a unique Disney experience for all guests, many of which will never make it to a Disney park.

    I doubt that Disney will purchase the stores back anytime soon. TCP has learned a lot about the brand and worked hard to improve them. TDS currently has more adult clothing in the store for the past 5 months than they did five years ago when Disney still owned the stores. That is only continuing to grow. They are working on making fun things for guests of all ages with a number of characters, which is a part of what the Studio collection is. Of course the merchandise that Disney had back in the day was great - but it didn't sell. Of if it did sell, it only really sold on clearance. That's the reality. No store can survive with product and merchandise in that sort.

    I am sorry that you feel that way about your Disney Store. I invite you to visit us at the Disney Store at Mall of America. Here in Minnesota we really take pride in what we do. Although we aren't exactly working for Disney, it is important to realize that most guests don't know that or fully realize what that entails. With that go ahead and continue to make the magic happen the best you can. If I can do it up in Minnesota, I hope you can do it as well.

  12. #12

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    I remember when I was a kid, going to the Disney Store was like............well a mini Disneyland. All the decorations...I used to just stand there staring up at them. I remember begging my parents for a Dick Tracy watch. And all the stuff they had when that movie came out. Now...........I want to avoid it. Not cause I know my kids will beg me for stuff....because........well its just sad.
    "I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. "Groucho Marx

  13. #13

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    Quote Originally Posted by knittingknerd View Post
    "As a kid I wasn't allowed in the Disney Store."
    That makes your parents blasphemous heretics and non-believers in the Disney Magic.

  14. #14

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    Quote Originally Posted by mouseinphilly View Post
    That makes your parents blasphemous heretics and non-believers in the Disney Magic.
    Or afraid their 8 year old daughter would go in say "I want this!" And point to everything, then cause a temper tantrum, while their 6 year old son with ADD ran around, and then causing the 4 year old to have a temper tantrum. In the mayhem... their 8 year old daughter who would "accidentally break" the thing she really wants thus making her parents buy it and winning!

    I was evil as a kid. Especially when Disney was involved.

  15. #15

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    Re: The Sad and Pathetic Disney Store

    Went into my local Disney Store today. Oh how things have changed!

    What really bugged me was that once I got past all of the POTC and HSM merchandise, there was bugger all left!
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