Report: Disney Store Times Square (NYC) Soft Opening and Merchandise; D23 Event with Jodi Benson

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DISNEY STORE TIMES SQUARE HAS NOW OPENED! CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS FROM THE GRAND OPENING AND LEARN HOW TO WIN A FREE DISNEYSTORE SINGING ARIEL DOLL SIGNED BY JODI BENSON!

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.

Disney Store President Jim Fielding

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.

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Disney Store Times Square to Make Soft Opening Debut Thursday

DISNEY STORE TIMES SQUARE HAS NOW OPENED! CLICK HERE TO READ THE LATEST UPDATES, VIEW PHOTOS AND SEE THE LATEST NEWS ON ITS GRAND OPENING TAKING PLACE NOVEMBER 9, 2010!

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.

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Video: Disney Store Unveils State-of-the-Art Marquee in Heart of Times Square

Through their official Facebook page, Disney Store has released the following video which features Mickey Mouse taking center stage in the heart of Times Square as the new state-of-the-art marquee is turned on. In addition to a large video screen which shows upcoming promotions related to the store and company, the Disney logo itself as well as the facade of the building have video elements.

Making its official grand opening on November 9, the Disney Store Times Square will be the largest of its kind in North America, featuring a two-story Princess castle, the Imagination Park experience and an entire floor dedicated to merchandise that can only be found at the location.

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Disney Online Offering Chance for One Family to Win Opportunity to Open Disney Store Times Square

Disney announces an online contest on Family.com to win a trip to the grand opening celebration of Disney Store’s Times Square, New York City location on November 9 and a starring role during the star-studded opening ceremony. The crown jewel of Disney Store’s slate of store openings around the world this year, the Times Square location will be celebrated with magical festivities including celebrity appearances, live musical performances, a parade of Disney’s most beloved characters and interactive experiences storewide. Beginning October 19, Disney fans will have just one week to register online for the chance to join the fun in-person, win a $250 shopping spree, and have the distinction of their child taking the stage to turn the key to imagination and officially unlock the all-new Disney Store in Times Square. The lucky family will also meet award winning singer Jordin Sparks during a private VIP reception after she performs Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” theme song, which she rerecorded to celebrate the 2010 release of the Blu-Ray and DVD.

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ABC to Host ‘No Ordinary Family’ Family Event in Times Square, NYC on Sept. 28

In celebration of the premiere of “No Ordinary Family,” ABC will create a family friendly, highly visual and interactive experience in New York’s Times Square on Tuesday, September 28, from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., ET. “No Ordinary Family” premieres Tuesday, September 28 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Just as the Powell family on the new television series have discovered their own unique and distinct super powers, other families will have the chance to demonstrate their own strength by seeing if they can lift a car off the ground or can run at the speed of lightning.

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ABC’s ‘Detroit 1-8-7′ to Open New York Television Festival; Michael Imperioli to Offer Q&A Session

The New York Television Festival (NYTVF) today announced the Primetime lineup for its sixth annual Festival, offering audiences a sneak peek at the networks’ most highly anticipated fall premieres on ABC, BBC America, FOX, IFC and NBC. This year’s Festival is highlighted by the red carpet premieres of ABC’s “Detroit 1-8-7” with Michael Imperioli, IFC’s “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” with David Cross, and “Running Wilde” with Will Arnett. The Primetime line up also features special screenings of NBC’s “Short Cuts” hosted by Greg Giraldo and BBC America’s US premiere of the mini-series “Luther.”

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J. David Davis Named President and General Manager of WABC-TV New York

J. David (Dave) Davis, executive vice president, ABC News, has been named president and general manager of WABC-TV in New York, the ABC Television Stations Group’s flagship station in the nation’s largest television market, it was announced today by Rebecca S. Campbell, president of the ABC Television Stations Group. The appointment of Mr. Davis, an executive with 30 years experience in the station business, is effective immediately, and marks a return to the number one station that he successfully managed from 2003-07.

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July 6 Designated ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice Day’ in New York City; Free Concert at Bryant Park

It’s not often that Walt Disney Studios holds a world premiere in New York City, but having filmed just about all of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice throughout the city, we were thrilled to learn that the Big Apple will be playing host to one of the greatest summer blockbusters from Walt Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer.

In addition to a formal ceremony dedicating the day to the film and Fantasia segment, rock bands OneRepublic and Alpha Rev will be holding a free concert in honor of the film that evening at Bryant Park. The concert, open to the public, will take place shortly after the world premiere at the New Amsterdam Theatre, home to Disney Theatrical’s Mary Poppins.

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ESPNNewYork.com Sets Launch Date for April 2

Preview of ESPNNewYork.com courtesy of ESPNESPN is in a New York state of mind with ESPNNewYork.com, the latest edition of ESPN’s network of local sites and newest destination for New York sports news and information.  The site features exclusive, original content from local contributors, locally relevant content created from ESPN’s multiple platforms and branded programming.

“We are committed to offering a truly local experience with these sites, and thus with the launch of ESPNNewYork.com, we are dedicated to finding contributors and authentic voices that have a passion for all things New York, an expertise on the hometown teams and a real, meaningful connection with fans in the NY area,” said Jim Pastor, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Local.  “Our mission is to serve sports fans, and in just one year, we’ve managed to establish a deeper relationship on a local level with fans in Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles.  They are each among the top local sports destinations for fans in their respective markets, and we have high hopes for New York as we build our presence from the solid foundation we’ve established through the success and reach of our owned and operated station, ESPN Radio 1050 AM.”

The site launches under the day-to-day editorial leadership of new executive editor Leon Carter, a news veteran with over 24 years of experience with the NY sports media world, most recently as sports editor for the New York Daily News and previously with Newsday.  He is an award-winning editor who has covered the NY area sports scene since 1984.

In 2009, Carter was honored with the Legacy Award from the National Association of Black Journalists for his efforts promoting diversity in the newsroom and guiding the careers of more than 250 minority journalists over the past 16 years.  He co-founded and continues to instruct at the Sports Journalism Institute, an intensive nine-week training and internship program for aspiring minority journalists held every summer since 1993.

“New York is one of the world’s greatest sports cities, home to one of most passionate fan bases and some of the most storied franchises in sports,” said Rob King, vice president and editor-in-chief, ESPN.com.  “Leon is a veteran of the NY media world who truly understands the NY area sports landscape.  His leadership will drive the editorial direction of ESPNNewYork.com and build a sports site for true NY sports fans.”

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Legendary Location of New York City Disney Store Revealed; Store to Open Early November

DISNEY STORE TIMES SQUARE HAS NOW OPENED! CLICK HERE TO READ THE LATEST UPDATES, VIEW PHOTOS AND SEE THE LATEST NEWS ON ITS GRAND OPENING TAKING PLACE NOVEMBER 9, 2010!

Disney Store Manhattan, New York City © Stitch Kingdom. All Rights Reserved.The closing of 2009 saw the end of an era for New York City in that the World of Disney, located in the world-famous Fifth Avenue shopping area, shuttered its doors forever. A taste of the Disney Parks, the World of Disney store was a sister store to its Downtown Disney counterparts, offering NYC residents and tourists the opportunity to purchase theme park merchandise, Disney on Broadway merchandise and — of course — NYC branded merchandise, some of which eventually became available at Youse Guys Moichendise in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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