Disneyland Resort today announced that Ghirardelli will open a new location inside Disney California Adventure park in late spring 2012. The soda fountain and chocolate shop will add yet another layer of traditional San Francisco flair to the Pacific Wharf area of the park.
“The addition of a world-renowned brand like Ghirardelli highlights our focus on providing quality, immersive experiences that transport our guests to a different place – in this case to San Francisco,” said Mary Niven, vice president of Disney California Adventure park. “With the culmination of our expansion only a few months away, it is an exciting time at Disney California Adventure and we look forward to partnering with Ghirardelli in bringing this delicious chocolate experience to our guests.”
The new location will feature Ghirardelli’s world-famous hot fudge sundaes and decadent chocolate products. Each guest will be able to enjoy a complimentary sample of the signature Ghirardelli Squares® chocolate. The Disney California Adventure store follows the 13-year success of a similar location at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World.
“We are very excited to expand our successful relationship with Disney, particularly as we prepare to celebrate our 160th anniversary next year,” stated Martin Thompson, Ghirardelli president and CEO. “Our rich heritage, which began in California, combined with our premium brand of high-quality chocolate is a perfect fit with the quality experience Disney offers their guests.”
Ghirardelli joins Disney California Adventure as it completes an expansion that began in 2007. New attractions include the nighttime spectacular “World of Color” and a classic dark ride, The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. The project’s culmination is the 12-acre Cars Land, which opens in summer 2012 along with the newly designed Buena Vista Street entrance to the park, the iconic Carthay Circle Theatre and the Red Car Trolley. The expansion builds upon the transformation of Disneyland Resort into the premier multi-day Southern California vacation destination.
Building on its more than 25 years of success in bringing Mexican cuisine to Walt Disney World guests, San Angel Inn, LLC will open a new 400-seat waterside restaurant and quick-service food location specializing in the freshly baked culinary flavors of Mexico. The Cantina de San Angel Restaurant, located directly in front of the Mexico pavilion in the World Showcase, is currently closed until fall 2010 for a significant refurbishment and expansion.
The new indoor and outdoor restaurant will be nearly four times larger than the previous 3,500 sq. ft. Cantina. The Cantina will serve as the first flex- service restaurant at Walt Disney World Resort. Disney research has shown that guests prefer a quick lunch while spending a day at the parks and enjoy a nice tableside restaurant experience in the evening hours. As a result, the new restaurant will serve quick service meals during the day where guests can enjoy an indoor, air-conditioned dining, or outdoor dining experience. Then, in the evening hours the restaurant is converted into a tableside restaurant where reservations are recommended.
At the Italy pavilion, the Patina Restaurant Group will expand its Italian culinary options by opening a new 300-seat pizzeria that will feature traditional Italian dishes straight from wood-burning ovens representing Italy’s infamous volcanoes. Guests will be immersed in the dining experience as they take in the sights, sounds, and aromas of the Italian delicacies, Florentine architecture, vaulted-ceilings, and indoor and outdoor dining.
Based on its success at Naples 45 in New York, the Patina Restaurant Group will import water from a source where the composition most resembles water used in Naples, Italy, to make the authentic Italian dough.
“Together with the addition of the pizzeria and the extensive refurbishment of the Cantina, we’re expanding the table service restaurant seats in World Showcase by approximately 20 percent,” said Dan Cockerell, vice president of Epcot. “We’re excited about this significant expansion, which will certainly enhance the guest experience and the architectural landscape of World Showcase. The timing couldn’t be better since we will be celebrating our 15th annual Epcot Food & Wine Festival.”
Walt Disney World has officially announced that the Downtown Disney area in Walt Disney World will soon be receiving a couple of shops that have already recently made the Disneyland Resort their home.
Vinylmation will find its east coast home in D Street, an urban art-inspired shop that has already proven itself successful since opening in Anaheim just a few months ago.
DTD will also receive a RIDEMAKERZ, a place for guests to custom design and build their own radio controlled vehicles.
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.
The location was a holdover from when the city was virtually covered by Disney Stores. When Disney began closing the stores, all of the New York City stores fell victim, but Disney kept and held on to the Fifth Avenue store (which was the flagship Disney Store at the time) and eventually transferred it over to Disney Parks and Resorts, re-opening it as the World of Disney in October of 2004 as the license to operate the regular Disney Store chain was famously transferred to The Children’s Place.
Believe it or not, since Disney closed all the Disney Stores in NYC, there have been no Disney Stores to pop up in Manhattan. It would be a while before New York City would even see its first Disney Store in the outer boros. Perhaps The Childrens Place couldn’t open one in Manhattan by the terms of the agreement, but as there was no real overlap between the two in terms of merchandise, there was a giant pothole in the hearts of those longing for a local Disney Store.
In 2010, that pothole will finally be filled as Disney announced plans to open a Disney Store in Manhattan, at the tragic cost of losing the World of Disney store. One saving grace, however, is just like most anything in New York City, the new Disney Store will no doubt be a hotbed of activity flaunting the latest and greatest in technological advances and the Disney difference, offering an experience you won’t find anywhere else.
The location of the Disney Store, scheduled to open in fall of 2010, will be located at 1540 Broadway, in the heart of Times Square, between 45th and 46th Street. Now you may not know that address by name (MTV has its home at 1515 Broadway), but you may know the former occupant of that space, Virgin Megastore (as seen in the background of many movies, most recently 2012). At the time, the 3 floor, 60,000 square foot retail location (which included its own multiplex movie theater), was the largest Virgin Megastore in the world. There’s no mention of how much space Disney will be taking over, but the location is beyond ideal, located next to the world’s largest toy store, Toys R Us, which itself features a two-story tall ferris wheel.
The new Disney Store will incorporate technologically advanced displays including an interactive Disney Princess castle to serve as one of many magical centerpieces at the new Times Square location. An all-new children’s theater will feature the latest Disney entertainment, classic animation, and continue Disney’s rich tradition of storytelling.
“Bringing Disney Store to the center of Times Square is a monumental achievement, and we have created a retail experience that complements the energy and innovation that Times Square inspires,” said Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide. “We’re focused on reinvigorating retail and providing a unique shopping destination to millions of families from all over the world who travel to New York for a magical experience.”
“Disney’s bold move to restore 42nd Street’s greatest landmark theater in the 1990s was THE turning point in Times Square’s recent history. We are thrilled that Disney is bringing its creative energies yet again to Times Square with this new Disney Store. An iconic brand is coming again to America’s most iconic place,” said Tim Tompkins, president of Times Square Alliance.
Renovations will begin soon at the Times Square location, designed to showcase a wide assortment of products inspired by iconic Disney characters and key entertainment properties. The newly-designed Disney Store will facilitate interactive play and imagination, host children’s activities, special events, and celebrity appearances. Over the next five years Disney Store plans to strategically balance its retail portfolio, enter new markets, and transform more than 300 locations across the US and Europe to feature the new design.
Update: 1/5/10 - Although Disney is not yet ready to discuss how much of the space will be used, sources have indicated it will be approximately 25,000 square feet, or nearly half of the existing space. By comparison, it’s estimated that the former World of Disney location consumed about 36,000 square feet.
Update: 10/6/10 – We hear the tentative opening date for the store is November 6. We’ve replaced the original photo with a current image of the store.
Disneyland Resort is excited to announce an agreement with Kitson Kids for a new retail store in Downtown Disney. Slated to open in July 2009, it will be the first location in Orange County and the first Kitson Kids outside Los Angeles. Kitson Kids will be located near the entrance to Downtown Disney, adjacent to AMC theaters.
“We are thrilled to welcome Kitson Kids to Downtown Disney,” said Tony Bruno, vice president Disneyland Resort hotels and Downtown Disney. “Kitson Kids offers a hip blend of merchandise that Orange County shoppers will only find here. Kitson Kids is a great fit with Downtown Disney’s eclectic blend of shops, restaurants and entertainment.”
Kitson first opened its doors in 2000 in Los Angeles and shortly after launched Kitson Kids, which quickly became a favorite shopping destination among celebrities, trendsetters and their children. The shop sells designer duds, shoes, toys and books for tots to tweens.
“Kitson is among the most publicized apparel boutiques in the world and a partnership with Disney, one of the greatest companies in the world, is truly incredible,” said Dean Khial, Kitson’svice president of marketing. “If there is one thing that Kitson knows best, it’s the cool California lifestyle and we plan to continue that in our new Kitson Kids boutique at Downtown Disney.”
Mark Perrotta, director of Product Development and Design for Walt Disney World, gives a tour of Downtown Disney’s newest shopping experience — Tren-D. Tren-D is a stylish boutique with designer flair for those fashion-conscious shoppers seeking trendy apparel and fun accessories. Designers such as Kidada Jones, Tarina Tarantino and Judith Jack showcase their artistry – blending it with Disney-inspired creations.
A stylish boutique with designer flair and eclectic offerings becomes a premier shopping spot at Downtown Disney Marketplace with the March opening of Tren-D. The urban-inspired Walt Disney World specialty store is a one-of-a-kind, hip destination for fashion-conscious shoppers seeking trendy apparel and novel accessories.
“This unique environment, filled with textured fabrics, new silhouettes, and whimsical art and design allows us the opportunity to push the creative envelope as it relates to fashion and our characters,” said Mark Perrotta, director of Product Development and Design. “Our guests continue to respond to trend merchandise and novel products that they can’t purchase at home. Tren-D speaks to what is happening today with a blend of vintage and hip with stylized Disney influences.”
Catch a glimpse here of what will be available when the store opens later this week.
More information on Tren-D can be found on WDW’s website here.