Guest Author: Barbara Campbell
Brief History: The first Disney Store in a mall was in 1987 in Glendale, California and into the 90s other stores were opened up throughout the United States and into several other countries. In 2004, Disney sold most of their Disney stores in the U.S. and Canada to Hoop Retail Stores. Several years later, in March 2008, Hoop Retail declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States and sought to sell off the Disney Store locations. Disney bought back 220 of the Disney stores and closed down the last 115 of them.
In 2009, Disney announced that the Disney Stores would be redesigned and relaunched. Cincinnati, Ohio had one of the first of these new Disney Stores and was the first of the newly designed stores to reopen in Ohio.
Disney Store Reopening: My family and I attended the reopening where Mickey Mouse Ears were given out to the first folks in line until they were gone. Unfortunately, there were several hundred folks in front of us in line, and we were just shy of getting one of those coveted Mickey Mouse Ears. However, We did receive a cool Disney Magnet and got to play Disney trivia while standing in line waiting for our turn to enter the new store. My daughter successfully answered the question, “what were the names of the Disney fairies from the Tinkerbell movie?” She got a $5 gift card for the store!
We met some very nice people while in line. Due to fire codes we had to wait about an hour until we finally got inside to see the new store.
It was a totally amazing experience getting to be on of the first people inside the newly opened store. Here are some pictures from the opening day!
We have been back many times since the grand reopening of the Cincinnati store. One of the fantastic things about the Disney Store is that not only are you going to a store but you get to experience a small slice of Disney despite being far away from any of the parks. Since we can’t often go on vacation to WDW, we sometimes go to the Disney Store to bring some of the Disney magic back into our lives. What is a little different about the Disney Store versus other stores is that there are special panels around the top of the store on both sides. Every now and again a little Disney magic happens. There is sometimes an announcement that Tinker Bell has arrived and she appears in several places on those top wall panels. The pictures on the panels in our Disney Store portray several famous Cincinnati landmarks such as Museum Center and Fountain Square along with some special Disney characters. Off and on you can see different Disney characters appear floating in the space around the landmarks on the panels. Here are a few special moments I captured on film at a recent visit to the store. You can see a Mickey balloon floating in one, and Doug from Up in another. I spied Tigger and the silhouette of Peter Pan among other characters.
If you ever are in Cincinnati, I highly recommend spending time at one or both of these stores!
The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by “Magical Mouse Plans Travel“