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New Disney Store is in the works near the parks at Walt Disney World

In March 2021, The Walt Disney Company announced that it would close a majority of its Disney Store locations in the United States and Canada, and Disney fans of all ages were stunned, saddened, and somber.

Disney Store - Toys, Accessories & More in New York | 10036

Now, a new Disney Store is reportedly under construction near the parks at the Walt Disney World Resort, which will probably delight the heck out of fans–and cause them to scratch their heads a bit too; after all, why close so many locations, only to build a new one?

RELATED: What role has COVID played in the closing of the North American Disney Store locations?

According to records from Orange County, Florida, The Walt Disney Company made plans months ago to construct a huge 337-foot-long billboard at the Hollywood Plaza Garage at 8050 International Drive.

Credit: Google Maps

Per Click Orlando, the new billboard will have a very “Disney” feel to it:

“Under the proposed plan, which is being developed by Winter Park group AOA, the ribbonlike technology will be seen from the entire north, west, and south façades of the building, as well as from nearby I-4. Creators said the technology will have the ability to change or move and will feature artwork including the Walt Disney Company‘s iconic characters, franchises, and famous attractions.”

Disney proposing to build new giant display along International Drive

Proposed ribbon-like Disney-themed billboard along International Drive in Orlando, Florida/Credit: AOA

The Orlando Business Journal also published a piece in June of this year that gave specifications about the new billboard and made mention of a store being part of the project. Per that post, Disney plans “to build a gargantuan, ribbon-like art display. The entertainment giant is partnering with Japan-based Mitsubishi to install and maintain the dynamic art.”

Now, according to a permit filed by The Walt Disney Company, the same address at which the billboard will be constructed is also the address where Disney has plans the “buildout of new retail space.” That retail space is reportedly a new Disney StoreIf so, the new Disney Store will be located approximately 25 minutes from the central Florida Disney theme parks at Walt Disney World at Lake Buena Vista.

Because a majority of the information comes from the permit filed by The Walt Disney Company, it’s not clear whether the new Disney Store will be like those we remember in shopping malls, or like the Magic of Disney Store at Orlando’s MCO Airport. Perhaps it will be a lot like the World of Disney Store at Disney Springs and at Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort in California.

First Look Inside the Reimagined World of Disney Stores | Disney Parks Blog

We won’t complain; we’re just happy to have a new Disney Store–of any kind!

At this time, the only remaining Disney Store location is in Destin, Florida, and that location is a Disney Store Outlet, not the Disney Store we remember in New York City, Glendale, California, and in our local shopping malls.

Many fans of the Disney Store were shocked to hear Disney’s announcement about closing its stores in North America, but, per Disney, when it comes to its retail endeavors, the Walt Disney Company has chosen to focus its time, attention and energy on its online retail site at ShopDisney.com. The change in Disney’s retail mindset also paved the way for the creation of mini-Disney Stores inside Target retail locations. These were first announced at the 2019 D23 Expo in California.

Disney Stores at Target (October 2019) | All Things Target

Credit: All Things Target

In August 2021, Disney announced that its partnership with Target Stores was growing, and that by year’s end, the number of mini-Disney Store locations inside Target would triple.

For now, you can shop Disney Stores at Target, the Disney Store Outlet in Destin, Florida, and online at ShopDisney.com. 

 

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!