First Look: Inside Disney Store’s Very First ‘Imagination Park’

With a wave of a wand, a Disney princess magically appears in the mirror. Photo courtesy Disney Consumer Products.At D23 Expo in 2009, Disney Store President Jim Fielding regaled an eager audience with his tale of the Disney Store. From its humble beginnings to the next chapter in the Disney retail experience. Dubbed ‘Imagination Park,’ Fielding briefly touched upon what he defined as being ‘the best thirty minutes of a child’s day.’

Today, Disney Store turned to the first page of the new chapter as they unveiled ‘Imagination Park’ to the world via its Montebello, CA location, just outside Los Angeles and it’s every bit of wow that one had come to expect from the hype. Eventually all the Disney Stores are expected to adopt the new look and philosophy of Imagination Park, but — for now — 20 locations are expected to receive the update this year, including new stores in New York’s Times Square and San Francisco’s Union Square, amongst others.

With a new store design comes a new costume for Disney Store cast members and Imagination Park is no exception. The new Disney Store cast member costume is a gingham blue checkerboard shirt with khakis. Cast member name badges have also been modified, this time to include the individual cast member’s favorite Disney character.

We had already known about the castle which features a special mirror: when children hold special Disney Princess merchandise with an embedded RFID chip in the packaging, they are instantly greeted by Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White or Tiana who appears in the mirror right before their very eyes — as if by magic.

But if you’re thinking Imagination Park is neglecting the boys, think again! Because right here in Imagination Park is a small RIDEMAKERZ station. The very same custom-R/C car store that has already set up shop at Downtown Disney at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts has found a home in Imagination Park. But what sets this particular RIDEMAKERZ apart is that it offers vehicles and accessories based on Disney/Pixar’s CARS, which are exclusive to the Montebello store.

Virtually everything Fielding has talked about in Imagination Park can be found here. A large custom screen housed inside a gazebo allows children to pick and choose the multimedia presented to them and provides other exciting opportunities to take advantage of the new technology.

Another Imagination Park element talked about is the ability to add a little scent to the air, such as pine trees if A Christmas Carol was playing in the store. Although it’s not quite there yet, the ability to scent the air is there and it does just that about every 20 minutes or so with the single scent currently available. And what’s a park without trees? Or more precisely, what’s an Imagination Park without magical trees? These treescan interact with guests and provide special experiences you’ll have to see to believe such as creating displays of virtual fireworks to celebrate special occasions.

One thing that’s missing that had been discussed is something called ‘mobile checkout’ — the ability for Cast Members on the floor to check out guests on the spot without having to wait on line at registers. Although it’s not available at the present time, we hear it may not be far behind.

And the magic doesn’t stop at just the experiences, we also encountered some additional surprises in way of inventory. For example, while they’re not even available in the parks as of yet, the Montebello Disney Store is selling Toy Story and Have a Laugh Vinylmations.

The Disney Store at the Shops at Montebello opened today as part of a soft opening with a grand opening planned for June 29. Today, the first 500 guests received a special gift (Mickey ears) while on June 29, there will be a formal grand opening of the store with Disney execs and characters appearing throughout the day in addition to the other festivities.

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Disney Announces TRON-Inspired Fashions from Adidas, Burton, Hurley and Oakley

908796572_wqcn3-x3 Disney Consumer Products is collaborating with adidas, Burton, Oakley and Hurley to launch a new performance fashion line for men inspired by the high-tech 3D adventure, TRON: Legacy. Designed for the active male, the new TRON: Legacy product line features dark finishes, holographic treatments and stylish color blocking that complement the film’s cyber aesthetic. From surfing, running, hitting the beach to snowboarding, the active male will be covered through these special collaborations. The line marks DCP’s first broad fashion line for men in the performance category. The line marks DCP’s first broad fashion line for men in the performance category.

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New Hot Topic Sales on Disney Products for June 22, 2010 (3 Items)

New Hot Topic sales for June 22, 2010

Below is a list of items now on sale at Hot Topic. Clicking on a product’s image or description will launch the product’s page on Hot Topic in another window.

Note that this list is generated and posted automatically. Stitch Kingdom should not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, misinformation or item availability.

Disney Alice In Wonderland Drink Me Tee Disney Alice In Wonderland Drink Me Tee – $12.98

This fitted grey tee says “Drink Me” and features a mysterious bottle. But you shouldn’t drink out of mysterious bottles, should you? Oh, why not?! No harm in taking a little sip. Tie feature on bottom left.

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New DisneyStore.com Arrivals for June 22, 2010 (1 Items)

New DisneyStore.com arrivals for June 22, 2010

Below is a list of new items now available for purchase at DisneyStore.com. Clicking on a product’s image or description will launch the product’s page on DisneyStore.com in another window.

Note that this list is generated and posted automatically. Stitch Kingdom should not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, misinformation or item availability.

Disney Princess Bike for Girls by Huffy -- 16 Wheels Disney Princess Bike for Girls by Huffy — 16” Wheels – $79.95

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Disney Unveils Cutting Edge TRON-Inspired Toys and Electronics Line

908714963_6bz2w-x3 Disney Consumer Products (DCP) today unveiled a first look at its unprecedented fall line-up of TRON: Legacy inspired electronics and toys (#TronMerch), including the first-ever action figures to feature impulse light projection technology. Also unveiled were high-end lifestyle headphones and advanced computer peripherals for gaming enthusiasts, illuminated iPod® docks, high-quality ear buds and iPhone® cases; and break-through zero-gravity vehicles that travel up and down walls. Walt Disney Picture’s TRON: Legacy, starring Academy® Award winning actor Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde, will take audiences on a thrilling action-packed adventure in a unique virtual world when it hits theaters Dec. 17, 2010 in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D.

Featuring dark finishes, neon lighting and a cyber aesthetic, DCP’s new TRON: Legacy line will immerse kids and adults alike into the amazing, illuminated cyber world of TRON. Developed in collaboration with leading industry innovators including Spinmaster, Monster, Performance Designed Products (PDP) and Razer, TRON products will be available at retail beginning this October and will be showcased at the San Diego Comic Con International Convention next month giving fans an exclusive first look.

TRON: Legacy is a cutting-edge film with a unique futuristic feel, and we wanted to create products with new technology and high-end design that live up to what you will see on screen,” said Chris Heatherly, VP of toys and electronics, Disney Consumer Products. “This is not a typical movie line. We’re working exclusively with trailblazers who normally do not do movie merchandise, but they believed so passionately in TRON that they jumped at the chance to help us make great products.”

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New Disney and Marvel Hot Topic Arrivals for June 21, 2010 (2 Items)

New Hot Topic arrivals for June 21, 2010

Below is a list of new items now available for purchase at Hot Topic. Clicking on a product’s image or description will launch the product’s page on Hot Topic in another window.

Note that this list is generated and posted automatically. Stitch Kingdom should not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, misinformation or item availability.

Disney Tinker Bell Grey Tee Disney Tinker Bell Grey Tee – $10.98

This grey tee features a grey screen of Tinker Bell floating in the air and blowing a kiss.

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New DisneyStore.com Arrivals for June 21, 2010 (12 Items)

New DisneyStore.com arrivals for June 21, 2010

Below is a list of new items now available for purchase at DisneyStore.com. Clicking on a product’s image or description will launch the product’s page on DisneyStore.com in another window.

Note that this list is generated and posted automatically. Stitch Kingdom should not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, misinformation or item availability.

Summer Time Series Donald Duck with Chip an Dale Pin Summer Time Series Donald Duck with Chip an’ Dale Pin – $14.95
Summer Time Series Bruce Pin Summer Time Series Bruce Pin – $14.95
Summer Time Series Minnie Mouse Pin Summer Time Series Minnie Mouse Pin – $14.95
D23 Membership Exclusive Fab 5 Shield Series Mickey Mouse Pin D23 Membership Exclusive Fab 5 Shield Series Mickey Mouse Pin – $19.95
D23 Membership Exclusive Fab 5 Shield Series Minnie Mouse Pin D23 Membership Exclusive Fab 5 Shield Series Minnie Mouse Pin – $19.95
D23 Membership Exclusive Fab 5 Shield Series Goofy Pin D23 Membership Exclusive Fab 5 Shield Series Goofy Pin – $19.95
Americana Pin Set -- 6-Pc. Americana Pin Set — 6-Pc. – $149.95
D23 Membership Exclusive Fab 5 Shield Series Donald Duck Pin D23 Membership Exclusive Fab 5 Shield Series Donald Duck Pin – $19.95
Summer Time Series Ariel & Flounder Pin Summer Time Series Ariel & Flounder Pin – $14.95
Summer Time Series Stitch Pin Summer Time Series Stitch Pin – $14.95
Summer Time Series Tinker Bell Pin Summer Time Series Tinker Bell Pin – $14.95
D23 Membership Exclusive Fab 5 Shield Series Pluto Pin D23 Membership Exclusive Fab 5 Shield Series Pluto Pin – $19.95

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Stitch Kingdom Debuts New DisneyStore.com Deals Alert System

With all due respect to Jack Donaghy, we too like to do a little innoventing from time to time and in the past few days, we’ve been doing exactly that.

Many of our readers know that for a while now, we have been reporting on new items as they become available on DisneyStore.com, items which include specials such as limited edition items, Vinylmation collectibles, D23 member exclusives and more, long before other outlets take note of them.

While that service to our readers has already proven to be very successful, we knew it could do more — we needed to find a way to plus the unique service we already provided. For example, we were limiting on what we were reporting simply because of the time and energy required. We also could only tell you what was new, not what had just gone on sale, nor could we provide direct links most of the time because the item was too new to be available in the DisneyStore.com affiliate database.

All this has now changed. Many of you have already witnessed the fruits of the technology we’ve been implementing over the past few days and over the next couple of weeks, we hope to expand this to bigger and better shopping opportunities for the thousands of Disney fans who visit us daily. We are thrilled to introducing to you our unrivaled DisneyStore.com Deals Alert System and give you an insider’s look into how it works and how you can make it work for you.

Each morning, while most of us are still sleeping (or going to sleep), DisneyStore.com updates its inventory. Our automated system then rummages through the DisneyStore.com inventory database and finds all the new items and new deals. Unfortunately we can’t provide more information on how this works, but trust us, it works — very well.

Around 7 am EST, the alert system itself kicks in and currently does this in a couple of ways. First, a news item is automatically generated and (currently) submitted for manual review before its published. This news item contains only new items available at DisneyStore.com. This is primarily because when DisneyStore.com initiates a sale (like the recent twice a year sale), it can mark down dozens of items, if not hundreds and that would be one heck of a news item to sort through.

But if it is deals you’re after, there’s another way to find them right now and that’s on Twitter. By following @SK_TDSAlerts on Twitter, you’ll learn not only about all the new items, but also about all the items whose prices have been marked down that day. With sales routinely running between 25%-70% or more, you really don’t want to pass up these opportunities that you’ll be the first to learn about. And just in case DisneyStore.com does introduce a huge sale one day, the @SK_TDSAlerts account is capped at sending no more than 5 tweets per half hour, so you won’t be flooded by alerts for amazing deals.

In the future, we hope to expand on what the service offers in addition to possibly adding other shopping service alerts such as Amazon.com if it proves to be successful. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions and hope you enjoy the new service.

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New DisneyStore.com Arrivals for June 19, 2010 (3 Items)

New DisneyStore.com arrivals for June 19, 2010

Below is a list of new items now available for purchase on DisneyStore.com. Clicking on a product’s image or description will launch the product’s page on DisneyStore.com in another window.

Note that this list is generated and posted automatically. Stitch Kingdom should not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, misinformation or item availability.

Minnies Dream Wedding Figurine by Lenox Minnie’s Dream Wedding Figurine by Lenox – $94.95
Prince of Persia Aluminum Water Bottle Prince of Persia Aluminum Water Bottle – $10.50
Mickey Mouse Napkin Holder Mickey Mouse Napkin Holder – $24.95

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