World of Disney is a chain of specialty retail stores owned and operated by the Parks and Resorts division of The Walt Disney Company.
Currently there are three locations. The first opened on October 2, 1996 in the Marketplace area of Downtown Disney at Florida's Walt Disney World Resort. At approximately 51,000 square feet of retail space, it is said to offer the largest selection of Disney character merchandise in the world, according to the company. A 2006 renovation added a small princess-themed salon called Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, plus a new children's merchandise area inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean and Stitch. A second, slightly smaller version opened in 2001 in the Downtown Disney district of the Disneyland Resort in California.
On October 5, 2004, a third site opened within a three-story New York City space formerly occupied by a traditional Disney Store in Manhattan on the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 55th Street (the physical address is 711 Fifth Avenue). Prior to the Disney changeover, the store was the flagship location for Warner Brothers’ retail outlets, the Warner Bros. Studio Store, which folded in 2001 in the USA, and then internationally over the next seven years. What makes the New York store different from the others is that there are character appearences every day except Tuesday and Wednesday and events each weekend on the third floor “Friendship Room” which once served as the home of a 3-D movie while the location was under Warner Brothers ownership.
Goods sold at World of Disney include backpacks, books, boxers, children’s apparel, clocks, collectibles, costumes, dolls, figurines, gifts, hats, jewelry, luggage, photo albums, plush toys, sleepwear, slippers, socks, souvenirs, stationery, sunglasses, sweatshirts, T-shirts, ties, videos, watches and other items branded with Disney characters and theme park icons, plus candy and natural snacks from the “Goofy’s Candy Company” and “Chip N’ Dale” brands.
In 2008, a World of Disney store will open at Disneyland Resort Paris. Plans for a outlet to open during the Happiest Celebration on Earth fell through as the resort’s operators, Euro Disney SCA, decided to keep the expansion of the resort inside the theme parks and on attractions, but they have commissioned a new store as part of the refurbishment of Disney Village.
The North American Disney Store chain launched in 1987 by Disney Consumer Products was sold in 2004 to The Children’s Place, but was repurchased by Disney in May of 2008, closing almost one-third of the stores that were underperforming.
- World of Disney NYC
- World of Disney at the Disneyland Resort
- World of Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort
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