Elmhurst Disney Store adds interactive retail space

By Tammy Scileppi

Disney is one of the most unique retail destinations in the world, and Queens families can look forward to an extra magical shopping experience in early September.

The popular and busy Disney Store at the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst was chosen to be the first in the borough to bring the magic to a whole new, interactive level.

In addition, the Elmhurst location is considered one of the company’s 20 best-performing stores in the country.

Disney’s highly immersive new design aesthetic, unveiled in 2010, is set to deliver “the best 30 minutes of a child’s day,” and the revamping of the 4,500-square-foot Elmhurst store, starting this spring, was announced at the National Retail Federation’s 101st annual show, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan Jan. 17.

“We are very excited Disney has chosen Queens Center as a premier location for their interactive retail model,” said Jeff Owen, senior manager of property management at Queens Center Mall.

When the store shows off its fun, high-tech makeover, visitors will be welcomed by Disney’s signature sparkling blue Pixie Dust Trail as they enter an enchanting world of make-believe, replete with mini neighborhoods. The Princess nabe will feature the iconic pink Princess Castle, with a new magic storytelling mirror, and the “Cars” ’hood will showcase different cars from the Disney-Pixar movie.

Guests can watch as beloved Disney characters appear on magical trees that change color every season. And your child can enjoy a special birthday experience here, highlighted by an amazing new feature: a theater with a large screen displaying his or her name. Inside, kids can watch movies from a collection of 50 clips, and families will be able to participate in workshops and other activities.

Briarwood resident Jenny Gonzales often visits this store with her three kids.

“I come here on weekends when they’re bored and restless, and with the new stuff and workshops coming, it sounds like it’ll really keep them busy,” she said.

Her 7-year-old daughter Melanie said, “I can’t wait to tell my friends — I’m so excited!”

One lucky child is chosen each day to take part in the opening ceremony at new Disney Stores to officially “unlock imagination” with an oversized lock and key, receiving a replica key to take home as a keepsake.

The entire experience is sure to bring out the inner princess — and prince — in everyone.

“We have laid a solid foundation and set a new standard for specialty retailers, since launching our new store design in 2010,” said Paul Gainer, senior vice president of Disney Stores North America. “Our momentum continues to grow, and with the partnerships we have built with our landlords we have our best store opening slate to date, opening in premiere locations across the U.S. and Canada.”

Disney Elmhurst’s renovation follows in the footsteps of the mega two-level, state-of-the-art Times Square store — the largest Disney Store in North America — that opened in November 2010, at 1540 Broadway. Roosevelt Field Mall, in Garden City, L.I., is home to the first redesigned Disney Store to open on the East Coast.

Later this year, Disney will host an opening ceremony to mark the Elmhurst store’s grand reopening, as it did with the Times Square store in 2010.

“We take great pride in bringing the magic of Disney to families around the world through Disney Store experiences,” said Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide. “As we reflect on 25 years of accomplishments, we also look forward to all of the new and exciting places Disney Store will go in the future.”

Disney Store has more than 220 locations in North America, 100 locations in Europe and 40 locations in Japan, complemented by disneystore.com. Recently, Disney Baby announced expanded collections of essential products for nursery, apparel, mealtime and bathtime.

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