Today, Disney Store celebrated its worldwide high-tech makeover with an over-the-top grand opening of its premier Times Square location. Crowds of fans, proudly wearing Mickey ears, cheered on while a colorful parade of Disney’s most beloved characters, from Mickey and Minnie Mouse to Cinderella and Buzz Lightyear, arrived to join Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Walt Disney Co. President and CEO, Robert Iger, celebrities including Melissa Joan Hart of ABC Family’s “Melissa & Joey;” Anika Noni Rose, voice of Princess Tiana from Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog;” ESPN’s Jesse Palmer, award winning actress Brooke Sheilds, Broadway stars and top Disney executives as they unveiled the largest Disney Store in North America. Disney Store Times Square, the crown jewel of store openings this year, culminates the first phase of a worldwide transformation that solidifies the retailer’s global leadership in children’s retail and aims to deliver “the best 30 minutes of a child’s day.”
Fans were wowed by Disney Store’s digital billboard soaring 68 feet above Times Square. Weighing over 1,000 pounds, stretching 2,250 square feet and featuring 2.3 million diodes, the bright beacon showcases new and exclusive Disney content 365 days a year. Disney Store’s digital billboard played an integral role in the celebration as exclusive clips from upcoming highly anticipated Disney holiday films “Tangled” and “TRON: Legacy” were shown to thousands of fans in Times Square during the grand opening “pre-show.”
Robin Roberts from ABC’s Good Morning America hosted the opening ceremony, offering commentary as Disney characters magically arrived by horse-drawn carriages, classic cars and along trails of Pixie dust. The excitement built up as Roberts enlisted help from Mickey and Minnie Mouse to open the store. Cheers from the crowd rose as Mickey then called for reinforcements, triggering a dramatic entrance from Tinker Bell as she swooped in across Times Square’s iconic digital billboards followed by Buzz Lightyear jumping in to the rescue. Dazzling fireworks lit the sky as they applied the perfect blend of magic, innovation and technology to help Disney’s Family.com sweepstakes winners 9-year-old Aden Schwartz and his 5-year-old brother Trevor Schwartz from Boston, Massachusetts to “unlock magic” and turn the oversized key to officially open the store.
“The opening of the Disney Store in Times Square will help make the crossroads of the world an even more vibrant place to visit,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “New York City’s relationship with Disney dates all the way back to 1928 when Mickey Mouse made his debut in Steamboat Willie at the Colony theater. From the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens where the ‘It’s A Small World’ attraction was first seen to Disney’s more recent investments in one of the City’s oldest and greatest theatrical landmarks, the New Amsterdam Theatre, Disney continues to bring magic to the millions of residents and visitors of New York City and jobs and activity to our economy.”
Guests flooded the store when doors opened at 1 p.m. to be among the first to experience the two-level, 20,000+ square foot store and its key attractions including:
- Two-story, 20-foot high Disney Princess Castle complete with its “talking” Magic Mirror
- Colorful Lucite trees springing up throughout the store, showcasing custom Disney content
- Disney·Pixar CARS-branded Ridemakerz custom car building experience
- Expansive 12-foot screen nestled in the 350-square foot Disney Store Theatre that allows guests to personalize their experience by selecting favorite Disney film clips, videos, classic animation and more
- Breath-taking skyline surrounding the store featuring New York signature landmarks
- Exclusive New York City inspired Disney merchandise found nowhere else in the world
Each feature brings to life the stories of Disney’s most popular characters for local New York residents as well as the estimated 26 million tourists that visit Times Square each year. To extend the magic to as many guests as possible each year, the Disney Store Times Square will be open 105 hours per week, 9 a.m. to midnight every day.
As one of the newly designed Disney Stores, a unique opening ceremony will take place every morning at the Times Square Disney Store: one lucky child will be chosen each day to take part in the opening ceremony and officially “unlock magic” at Disney Store with an oversized lock and key. The child also receives their very own replica key to take home as a keepsake to remind them of that special day. This opening ceremony is a Disney Store ritual which creates magic every morning.
Vornado Realty Trust is a proud sponsor of the Disney Store Times Square grand opening event. Vornado is one of the largest owners and managers of commercial real estate in the United States with a portfolio totaling over 100 million square feet, primarily located in the New York and Washington, DC metropolitan areas.
To find a Disney Store, guests can visit www.DisneyStore.com/storelocator or call (866) 902-2798. Guests can also sign up for email alerts at www.DisneyStore.com/Updates, become a fan on www.facebook.com/DisneyStore or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/DisneyStore to stay connected to your favorite destination.