Yesterday we were proudly one of the first to report that free tickets for the 2010 Disney Parks Christmas Day parade had become available for the Walt Disney World portion taping on December 3 and 4. Within several hours, registration for the event had closed.
The magic returned to New York City this morning as Disney Store marked its triumphant return to the Big Apple in the heart of Times Square. In front of the store, located at 1540 Broadway, a large stage was constructed in order to celebrate the grand opening of the highly anticipated Disney Store Times Square.
Registration is now open to participate as a spectator for the taping of the Magic Kingdom portion 2010 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. Tickets are free and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration is the same as last year and one registration form allows you to sign up for both (or either) Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4. Typically, staged events are taped on Friday while the parade portion itself is taped on Saturday.
Note that registration for the site is NOT required, you may elect to ‘order’ the free tickets as a guest. Also, an email indicating that you have successfully registered does NOT guarantee you access to the parade, you must receive additional confirmation at a later date.
Radio Disney AM 1300 kicks off the holiday season in Chicago with a day of fun for kids and families on Saturday, November 20, at the 19th annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival presented by Harris. The day of special events will bring fans face to face with some of their favorite stars, including Allstar Weekend and the “Phineas and Ferb” walk-around characters.
Early yesterday morning, a small group of Disney D23 members were invited to visit the all new Disney Store Times Square before it opened its doors to the public for a private shopping experience and in-store continental breakfast. With the store operating in soft mode since last Thursday, Disney Store President Jim Fielding was on-hand to celebrate with the Disney D23 members as was Jodi Benson, the voice of The Little Mermaid’s Ariel and Toy Story 3‘s Barbie.
With check-in for the event commencing at 7:30 am sharp, guests were ushered into the lower level of the store which features a combination of New York City-themed merchandise, exclusive to the Disney Store Times Square location, as well as seasonal Disney Store merchandise and that aimed towards an older demographic, but more on that later. At the event’s official start time of 8 am, guests were invited to journey upstairs to the more ‘traditional’ ‘Imagination Park’ concept store which is where Fielding addressed the crowd from the store’s gazebo which serves as the 350 square foot Disney Store Theater.
Fielding talked about the store’s genesis in August of 2008 and how when he first saw the location at 1540 Broadway, former home to the world’s largest Virgin Megastore, he knew he had to have the space. According to Fielding, it took nearly a year for Disney Store to obtain the lease for the store because the space was in such high demand. He spoke of the nearly 250 cast members, some of which had returned to the company, it took to conduct interviews, hire and train new staff for the store which maintains 24 hour shifts to keep the store in tip-top shape. Although the store is open until Midnight most days, Fielding noted that they have had to keep running the store to 1 am due to large groups of guests still remaining inside. He mentioned that by year-end, they will have opened 19 of the new concept stores with an expected 30 – 40 in 2011, including two in Canada (but declined to identify where specifically). Surprisingly, the most profitable store worldwide is the Paris on the Champs-Élysées store according to Fielding, but he joked that the Times Square store calls Paris daily to make sure they’re beating them.
Of course Fielding spoke to the store itself, which consists of two floors, although the Virgin Megastore it partially replaced was four. He explained that the mezzanine from the former store was removed, resulting in a longer escalator ride and that half of the fourth floor, which houses the store’s internal offices, was also removed, allowing the store to have its high ceilings. About 80% of the merchandise found on the lower floor, according to Fielding, is unique to Disney Store Times Square while the upstairs is what he referred to as ‘”Imagination Park” on steroids.’ The ‘Imagination Park’ portion at Disney Store Times Square is roughly twice the size of the norm so far, all told easily making it the largest Disney Store in North America. The store is so large in fact that its Disney Princess castle is 20 feet tall and features not one, but two of the magic mirrors.
After tackling a brief Q&A session in which Fielding responded to questions along the lines of the current location of the Mickey and Minnie Mouse figures that once hung over the entrance to the former World of Disney store (they’re in storage at Walt Disney Imagineeering as the World of Disney was operated by Disney Parks and Resorts, not Disney Consumer Products as Disney Store is), he introduced Jodi Benson to the attending crowd.
On December 3, D23 members and their guests will be able to join TRON: Legacy writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis for a panel hosted by D23 celeb Jeffrey Epstein at the TRON: Legacy Pop-Up Shop in Culver City, CA.
Horowitz and Kitsis will also hold a signing for The Art of TRON: Legacy which will be available for purchase at the event. As a special bonus that night, D23 members will receive a free limited-edition Premiere Film Cell from TRON: Legacy (no minimum purchase required).
Although all the pomp and circumstance that comes with a grand opening will take place the morning of Tuesday, November 9 (doors will open at 1 pm), Disney Store President Jim Fielding made it known via his twitter that the store, the largest of its kind in North America, will commence a soft opening on Thursday, November 4 at 9 am.
The store is located at 1540 Broadway in Manhattan, between 45th and 46th Streets.
Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream, one of the longest ships in the world and the largest ship to be built in Germany to date, left the shipyard yesterday evening with the aid of a tugboat. The ship will remain in the Meyer Werft shipyard’s harbor where she will first undergo a series of several technical tests as internal construction is completed.
She is expected to be conveyed down the river Ems at an as-of-yet specified date in mid-November at which point she’ll begin crossing the Atlantic for her anticipated January 4 arrival at Port Canaveral.
Photos courtesy Walt Disney World Resort.
Goldline International, Inc. announced today that the company is the official sponsor of an exclusive, limited quantity Disney commemorative coin in celebration of the release of Disney’s 50th full-length animated film “Tangled” at Hollywood’s historic El Capitan Theatre.
“The El Capitan is thrilled to honor this historic event by offering each of our guests a special commemorative coin sponsored by Goldline celebrating ‘Tangled’ as Disney’s 50th Animated Movie”
“We’re honored to celebrate this exciting Disney milestone by making this exclusive coin available to Disney fans of all ages,” said Mark Albarian, President and CEO of Goldline. Albarian noted that it is Goldline’s 50th anniversary in the rare coins and precious metals industry.
On Saturday, December 18, join Disney Design Group Artist Costa Alavezos and Disney Ink and Paint Artists: James Bonserio, Erin Magill, Theodora M. DeLaney, David Rippberger, Lynn Rippberger and Sharon K. Vincent as they celebrate the premiere of the Bone-Appetit entry into the Ink and Paint Cel series. Goofy’s on safari and might have bitten off more than he can chew when he runs into Scar and the Hyenas from Disney’s The Lion King. Bone-Appetit is also the first entry in the Ink & Paint Cel Series to feature the Tree of Life from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.