Thursday, May 26, 2011
Disney has unveiled its new Disney Store in Oxford Street, London, and it will be the biggest in Europe when it opens today! The 8,200 square-foot store is twice as large as the previous Oxford Street store and has taken two years to plan and construct. The centrepiece of the store is a 28 foot high castle which sits in the middle of the store and is the first thing to be seen when walking in.
But the new Disney Store is more than that at it is in fact part of the new generation of Disney Store designed by WDI Imagineers and which includes interactivity elements for guests! This is the tenth shop in Europe to be built on the new Disney Store concept, with the new design set for a worldwide roll-out.
The store uses the latest state-of-the-art fully-customisable technology including animated trees, and cartoons on the walls and music which are adjusted by an iPod Touch handheld device controlled by a member of staff. The store will begin each day with an opening ceremony in which one child will be chosen to use a giant key to open the rope barrier, with Tinker Bell appearing and spreading pixie dust on the showpiece castle.
Jonathan Storey, Disney's marketing and guest experiences director, said: "We really wanted to make this store more than just a place to buy merchandise. The castle really does signify what Disney is all about. This really is our showcase centrepiece.
"Being the Walt Disney company, we're primarily an entertainment company. While it's important to have great products we wanted to entertain out guests at the same time. We thought, 'How could we entertain children and families?' The idea was to create the best 30 minutes of a child's day."
Other interactive experiences for children include the Disney Princess Magic Mirror. By waving a wand in front of the mirror, youngsters can watch short stories appear before them from princesses Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Tiana.
At the "Disney Theatre" guests can choose from 50 clips and trailer in an electric atmosphere and let's not forget the "Imagination Explosion" where Tinker Bell magically appears and children have to help her banish the villains hiding in the store. It involves lot's of bell ringing so children will love this one. Finally, the store is scented with the brand new Disney fragrance called (you guessed it): Imagination!
It looks great doesn't it, and my hope is they will build a Disney Store like this in France very soon, although i wouldn't be surprised if we found some of these interactive elements in the huge Disney Store opening next year near the entrance of the Disney Village at Disneyland Paris.
A first video showing the castle at the entrance of the store is already available on Youtube and here it is below. You'll see on it the pixie dust and projection effects on the castle, probably the same effects that guests will see each day during the store opening ceremony.
More videos showing this new Disney Store will probably be available very soon on Youtube and you can count on me to post them as soon as available.
This next video is showing a young girl moving in the store while she experience the "magic mirror".
Picture: copyright Disney