If you thought you saw Woody, Buzz and Jessie at the mall on Saturday, you weren’t dreaming.
The “Toy Story” characters were in the neighborhood to celebrate the ribbon cutting at the newest Disney Store, which moved from inside the mall out to the Patios at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.
“We call it The Imagination Park store, it’s about 4,500 square feet and took us three months to remodel,” said Kelly Partlow, District Manager for the Los Angeles Valley stores. “The idea behind this store is that it’s very interactive for kids and anyone that’s about 3 feet tall. We have a theater that has a table and chairs and it’s interactive with games, movies and dances that the kids can sit in and play in.
“Along the wall, we have a skyline that is city-specific to Valencia that shows certain landmarks that are prominent in Valencia. We also have a Magic Mirror that little princesses can come and pull up their favorite princesses if they wave a magic wand in front of it.”
Along with giving Disney more elbow room for merchandise and “neighborhoods” – such as a translucent forest and a CARS town – it also helped the Town Center add a bit of Disney tradition to the shopping experience.
“Because we do an opening ceremony every morning, it could really let the community know and be involved,” Partlow explained. “Being outdoors, it just gave a better look for the opening ceremony for everybody to enjoy.”
“I think if you had never been to the Disney Store, what you would find is interactive fun, you would find cast members that really enjoy working with children and working with parents. Whether you’re 2 or 62, we offer something for everyone.”
The Disney Store retail chain debuted in 1987, opening its first store in Glendale. There are currently more than 200 Disney Store locations in North America alone.