Places: The DISNEY STORE Lives… Sort of!

Ever since The Disney Store left North America as a stand-alone retail space, we’ve all been in withdrawal! With only online purchasing possible besides an expensive trip to a Disney Theme Park, we hoped for a brick-and-mortar alternative that would be a little closer to our homes for our Disney merchandise fix.

Enter the Target retail chain. But only in the United States! Within select locations you can find what ends up being a basic extension to Target’s existing toy sections. Or are these small areas actually a Pop-Up store within the Target footprint?

Let’s have a look:

Is it just a Pop-Up?

It wouldn’t qualify as a Pop-Up in that these retail spaces are intended to stay as permanent fixtures. As we look at two locations, one in Brighton and the other in Flint, MI., it is evident that these stores-within-a-store are there to stay:

How do these mini oases of Disney merchandise compare to the original locations? The focus seems to be on toys for kids and not so much emphasis on adult collector pieces. There were some unique items but still only for children, leaving adults largely out in the aisles. And those wonderful Disney Cast Members are gone! But in all fairness, the Target employees I encountered were both friendly and helpful.

The display stands were generic with only round signs stating the IP being featured written in the Disney font.

One lone throwback to the fun that was found in The Disney Stores of old was the interactive Castle found in the middle of the space. It sat idle until you approached when it would come to life. There was advertising as well as simple games that you could play. Disney-themed sound effects could be heard.

To remind you that you were elsewhere within the Target store were ‘Hangers’ positioned above the space. Various Disney IPs were featured:

And of course, if these wonderful cut-outs didn’t transport you to another time and place in the history of Disney merchandising, then maybe this giant ‘Hanger’ would:

I was happy to visit two Disney Store locations in one day (about 40 minutes apart) but won’t be rushing to return. I did find some interesting items that I will be featuring on the Blog soon, but the old magic of The Disney Store experience just isn’t there. As an adult collector of Disney nostalgia, there just isn’t enough items to appeal to my inner child with the adult sensibilities!

However, if you have small children and don’t want the hassle of online shopping with the obligatory shipping fees, these not-Pop-Up locations should appeal to you. It should be noted that not all Target locations have The Disney Store in them, so be sure to check Target’s official website for locations that do.

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