Disney Store opens new prototype

New York City Disney Store on Tuesday debuted its long-awaited new prototype, at The Shops at Montebello, in Montebello, Calif. Interactive technology plays a key role in the new design, whose features include a child-sized Disney Princess Castle, complete with a "magic mirror" in which a Disney Princess appears to tell a story. The Montebello store marks the first of 20 newly designed Disney Store locations that will open across major markets in the United States and Europe in 2010.

“Disney is setting a new standard for the specialty retail category by integrating robust technology and creative store planning to make each visit customizable and that much more memorable," Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide, said in a statement. “This is truly an immersive, one-of-a-kind retail experience for children and families that only Disney could deliver.”

Each store will have a Disney Store Theater that will show animated and other short-form features. Customers can pick from a selection of pre-loaded content that will be updated regularly and can view classic and new Disney entertainment, sneak-peek previews, music videos and more. The theater will also serve for special in-store events such as reading time, scavenger hunts and more.

Additional features include the Disney•Pixar “Cars”-branded Ridemakerz attraction, an immersive car building and customizing experience. Launching with three favorite “Cars” characters from Disney’s animated “Cars” movie, fans use tools to assemble their car, which can be customized with a wide selection of rims, side pipes, hoods scoops, blown engines, spoilers and many more accessories

The prototype also features an interactive kiosk with touch screen, which gives users the ability to navigate a 3-D view of all Disney Store and DisneyStore.com products and discover the latest Disney Store news via video clips, articles, and social media feeds. The application allows the Disney Store to share its news to customers, who can then share information and in-store events via email, Twitter and Facebook.

The newly designed Disney Store is scheduled to open this year in The Shops at Mission Viejo in Mission Viejo, Calif.; North State Street in Chicago (Block 37 Complex); Freehold Raceway Mall in Freehold, N.J.; and NorthPark Center in Dallas.

Other locations to feature the new Disney Store design opening this year include: Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, N.Y.; Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica, Calif.; International Plaza in Tampa, Fla.; Fashion Valley in San Diego; Disney Store in Union Square in San Francisco;  and a two-story Disney Store in Times Square in November.

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