The Disney Store in Chicago in 2020

My lucky rear end got the chance to visit the Disney Store in Chicago this past August. As many of you know, I have lived near Disney World for the last 9 years. I have a unique pespective, being a FL local as long as I have now, on what you can find of the Disney brand in the Parks VS the Disney Stores. They both have a different look, and both different merch, and I have been blessed to have worked at a Disney store when they were in their hay day (still have my name tag!). But it is always fascinating to me the cool things they sell at the Disney Store vs the Parks. Sometimes it’s Christmas ornaments, kitchen stuff, Jerseys, and even Loungeflys. It goes along the same line as Box Lunch and Hot Topic- some of THE coolest Disney merch can be found at both, so its always worth a look to see what’s on the menu.

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The Chicago Disney Store is located on 717 N. Michigan Avenue, on the right side if you’re walking away from the Riverwalk area. Now, a word of caution. I was there in August and they some rioting in that area so they boarded up the front of the Store, and then I was just there this past weekend in November and the entire Street was boarded up now. So, they ARE open, but if you are concerned, call ahead. Enjoy the pics from the Store, it’s worth checking out!

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Thoughts on the “No Smoking” Ban and Stroller Restrictions starting Tomorrow

rsz_1img_0715When Disney announced a couple of weeks ago that they would be banning all smoking from it’s Parks and restricting it to the outside of the Park entrances only, I was THRILLED.   I am one of many that gets sick from the smell, and yes, I try to avoid the Cancer corners as much as possible. Going into effect tomorrow, this should be interesting since I have yet to meet a smoker who was happy to be asked to move or smoke elsewhere.  No, really. I have seen them, like all of you have, randomly lighting up anywhere in the Parks. Now I understand that many of our friends are from other Countries where they may be permitted to smoke anywhere they want. But that being said, I have never understood why someone’s bad habit needs to be in my lungs and affect my health. Not ok.  I bite my nails on occasion, it’s my bad habit, it doesn’t affect you. Now if I ran up and started to bite YOUR nails, you may not be to happy either.  Besides with all of the children around, we can do better and give them a healthier environment.  (Cue everything else unhealthy in the Parks comments now).

Speaking of kids…the strollers. This one I know is touchy with many tourists and I GET IT. I had babies brought to Disney World, helped friends with theirs, I KNOW that the stroller is LIFE in those Parks in which everything you need lives in.  BUT as the other side of that coin, the traveler who is by herself and is minding her own business, I have watched the strollers get bigger and bigger and bigger.  I can’t even begin to tell you what my brain tries to process when I see these large wagons getting onto a packed monorail…I actually feel bad for the parents.  They are trying to contain their little humans in an occupied and comfortable space, but when they practically take up the floor space of one Monorail cab…me thinks it may be time to downsize the limo.  I think the one that actually took me off guard was the mini Cinderella Coach model in MK one night.  All I kept thinking was “HOW IN THE WORLD DID THEY TRANSPORT THIS BACK AND FORTH TO THE HOTEL??” I know that these companies move some of them, but I am sure that Disney has wrestled with this gator for awhile.  I hear all the time “Disney was made for families” – well yes and no. It’s made for everyone, family or not.  And I know that EVERYONE should be able to enjoy it, but I feel like at the end of the day it’s more work for those parents to be pushing or pulling a larger model.  I guess we are going to find out.

I feel that I can predict a lot of “I smoked here yesterday” or “I did last trip here” conversations or even possibly angry shouting. I mean are they seriously going to make them walk from let’s say from near Norway to the front or the back entrance of Epcot? Who are these BRAVE Cast Members? Can we give them a hug or medal tomorrow? I can’t even imagine Guest Relations tomorrow…it’s going to be like the “Upside-Down” in “Stranger Things.”

Strollers? I am curious how they are going to police this one. Maybe at Security? Someone has a measuring tape? That won’t hold up the lines AT ALL…… Maybe they will get smart and have a large strollers line so that they can check them, kind of like luggage at the airport.  Resorts would be smart to stop them there first, save the parents the “What do we do now” when they are denied the stroller they brought with them.  I could see them comping people with a nice hard plastic Disney stroller- complimentary love bugs included. (Yep, they’re heeeeeeeere). Between the Studios Anniversary tomorrow and all these rules starting, should make for some interesting daytime fireworks.

Stay tuned and let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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After that First “Wow” is Gone

When you are on vacation here, everything has the “wow” factor. From the moment you step off the plane and onto Magical Express, you are taken into the land of dreams where you are nothing but entertained for the week.  But when you live here, that “wow” is oh so different. My “wows” usually are “Wow, that’s how much a soda is now?” or “Wow, are the Parks ever going to not be crowded anymore” kind of thing.

I remember hanging out with a large group of friends at Studios around my first week here…and I was just in awe. Everything felt good, I just absorbed every little drop of magic, but the rest of them were bored. I was perplexed- how could this be? Had they not moved here as well for the opportunities the magic brought? It wasn’t until we had lunch at Backlot Express that they asked me why I kept smiling. I said “Look where I am. I am getting to play, I am getting to enjoy Disney, and I can do it any time I want.”  And I will never forget my friend Shane looking at me with the most glummest of faces and saying “Just wait, it’ll wear off. It will get old, it will get boring. You are just new to it right now.” Of course the Amy of 2011 took great offense to this, HOW could he just let the air right of my happy bubble??? But now all I can do is nod at that and I hate that he was right.

Once that “wow” wears off, or whatever you want to call it, reality begins to knock at your door. The butterflies tended to flit a bit less in my tummy on Main Street and I just assumed it’s a part of living here. Friends on vacation who would invite me out for drinks, dinner, or to hang out, were in that “mode” where I had just been dealing with school problems or an hour’s worth of traffic.  Life merging with my magic was just annoying. You can spend so much time building up the fantasy in your head of how it will be when you move to Florida, that you can actually forget the “life” part. Kind of like putting all thought and energy into the wedding but not looking past that day into the life you will now have with the other person.

My advice to the new kids coming here is to take it all in small bites- don’t do everything at once. Think of it as your favorite buffet and you want to try everything at a slow and decent pace so that the overindulgence literally doesn’t get you sick.  My problem is that when I stop doing so much at any given time, I feel like I am missing out or that the quiet is to much. Trust me, I am a work in process on that. The good news is that there were many “wow’s” we have had, and I hope that we still have more to come. Time will tell.

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Quiet Spots in Mexico

During “Food & Wine” you can find seating around the entrance to Mexico, to the left at the top of the stairs.  Most of the year there are no tables are chairs around this area, but at “F&W- Food and Wine Festival” they are a wonderful spot to sit out of the crowd and enjoy your delicacy. (They change spots year to year)

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Exit for Photo Fun on Spaceship Earth

After you exit riding “Spaceship Earth” you can see yourself on the big screens above by filling in your pictures and info on the computers provided.  Get your camera ready, it’s a great photo opportunity!

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Where an Adult Can Eat like a Kid

Not very hungry? Purchase a kid’s meal! I buy the kids meal at Cosmic Ray’s then add the shredded lettuce and tomatoes from the toppings bar as a small side salad. I top my entrees with the sautéed mushrooms and onions from the same bar, and voila, a delicious meal with drink, fries, and cookie included.

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00

 

Parades Equal Short Lines

Like short waits? Mickey, Minnie, and the Princesses have a shorter wait during the daily parade and towards the end of the day as well. Meet them in the Town Hall in the front of the Magic Kingdom. and the Princess Hall by the Carousel in Fantasyland.

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00