Today, Disney Store celebrated its worldwide high-tech makeover with an over-the-top grand opening of its premier Times Square location. Crowds of fans, proudly wearing Mickey ears, cheered on while a colorful parade of Disney’s most beloved characters, from Mickey and Minnie Mouse to Cinderella and Buzz Lightyear, arrived to join Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Walt Disney Co. President and CEO, Robert Iger.
Also in attendance were celebrities including Melissa Joan Hart of ABC Family’s “Melissa & Joey;” Anika Noni Rose, voice of Princess Tiana from Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog,” ESPN’s Jesse Palmer, and award winning actress Brooke Shields. The new Times Square Disney Store is now the largest Disney Store in North America and culminates the first phase of the new store design’s openings worldwide.
Outside the Disney Store, a digital billboard extends 68 feet above Times Square, weighing over 1,000 pounds, stretching 2,250 square feet and featuring 2.3 million diodes.
Robin Roberts from ABC’s Good Morning America hosted the opening ceremony, offering commentary as Disney characters magically arrived by horse-drawn carriages, classic cars and along trails of Pixie dust. The excitement built up as Roberts enlisted help from Mickey and Minnie Mouse to open the store. Cheers from the crowd rose as Mickey then called for reinforcements, triggering a dramatic entrance from Tinker Bell as she swooped in across Times Square’s iconic digital billboards followed by Buzz Lightyear jumping in to the rescue. Dazzling fireworks lit the sky as they applied the perfect blend of magic, innovation and technology to help Disney’s Family.com sweepstakes winners 9-year-old Aden Schwartz and his 5-year-old brother Trevor Schwartz from Boston, Massachusetts to “unlock magic” and turn the oversized key to officially open the store.
Guests flooded the store when doors opened at 1 p.m. to be among the first to experience the two-level, 20,000+ square foot store and its key attractions including:
Each feature brings to life the stories of Disney’s most popular characters for local New York residents as well as the estimated 26 million tourists that visit Times Square each year. To extend the magic to as many guests as possible each year, the Disney Store Times Square will be open 105 hours per week, 9 a.m. to midnight every day.
As one of the newly designed Disney Stores, a unique opening ceremony will take place every morning at the Times Square Disney Store: one lucky child will be chosen each day to take part in the opening ceremony and officially “unlock magic” at Disney Store with an oversized lock and key. The child also receives their very own replica key to take home as a keepsake to remind them of that special day. This opening ceremony is a Disney Store ritual which creates magic every morning.
More photos from the Disney Store Times Square, New York grand opening:
Photos by Matt Peyton/Wire Image.