More about the World of Disney Store
Thursday, January 4, 2001
by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
Tuesday morning, I was lucky enough to spend some time chatting with
a manager from the World of Disney store. I want to thank her for taking
time from her busy schedule to answer all of my questions, and to give
me a phone- tour of the store from her perspective. I know, from the many
store openings I survived, the last thing I wanted to be doing the next
day was giving an interview!
After ending the phone call, I realized that there was a lot I had yet
to discover in the store. Camera in hand, I headed back down there to
dig deeper into the merchandise and decor. I wanted to show you more of
the attention to detail that is found throughout the store. I'm also going
to tell you about more of the unique and exclusive merchandise being offered
An exclusive line of products called "Disney Presents" can
be found throughout the store. This merchandise is unique to the World
of Disney Stores, and much of it can only be found at the Anaheim location.
This is a higher end line of home accessories and apparel. While these
items are not totally devoid of character logos, the icons you will see
are smaller and more subtle.
The largest collection of "Disney Presents" merchandise is
found in the Home and Garden section. The entire "Color in the Garden"
group is unique to the Anaheim World of Disney store. I can't help but
feel that this is all inspired by Pottery Barn. PB did Frogs last year
- Disney is doing Mickey. However, if you happen to have a "hidden"
Mickey Mouse planter bed in your front lawn like I do (I swear, it was
there when we moved in!), this collection is right up your alley. I'm
going to try to see if I can get a topiary to grow on the Mickey frame.
I've been wanting one since Disney Magazine published an article on how
to grow them last year.
There is a collection of candles, separate from the Mouse Head splattered
candles in the main room. These come in decorator colors, (not that "Mickey's
Shoes Yellow" isn't a fine color...), and are fragranced. This group
also includes stationary, candies, cookies and gift baskets, all in the
same subtle design.
Disneyland store Cast Members get a lot of requests for lamps, and the
World of Disney store has a good selection of them. Some of them can already
be found in the Disney Catalog, but others are unique to this store.
There is a nice luggage and leather goods section in this store. One
of the "Disney Presents" collections is made of brushed aluminum,
and includes day planners, briefcases, suitcases and really really cute
luggage locks. The "Mickey" design on these is so subtle, you
can use it anywhere without looking like you're on vacation. Other groups
are made of black leather and vinyl, with the same subtle Disney touches.
I mentioned the very affordable Pooh desk set that I bought on Monday.
There is an equally affordable Mickey and Minnie set available too, as
well as several Pen/Notepad Holders in different characters. The Mickey
Office collection from the catalog is available here, and even more pieces
Another "Disney Presents" line is found in the baby / layette
section. This is a high-end collection of clothing and accessories,
which includes a $120.00 hand-crocheted infant sweater. Not everything
is quite so pricey. There are a number of decor pieces for baby's room,
diaper table caddies, chalk boards and bulletin boards, trash cans and
photo frames. My favorite item from this collection is the plush pink
pig purse. I think I need to find a dress to match.
If this seems over the top, remember that Pottery Barn has just launched
an entire catalog devoted to this exact market segment, and will soon
be opening new stores themed just to children's furniture and home accessories.
Given the popularity of the Laura Ashley style, this merchandise is very
Little Girls are going to love this store. Bring your daughter, your
wallet, and a lot of time. There is entirely too much to look at. This
chenille sweater is one of the nicer items available in the Princess collection.
Everything is pink, purple or white, and features a varying selection
of the Disney Princesses. There is an endless array of matching accessories:
Purses, Backpacks, Notebooks, Wallets. You could probably do your back-to-school
shopping without ever leaving here.
Remember the line of "Tinkerbell Cosmetics"? Here's the next
generation: a full line of glittery products for the Britney Spears crowd.
There are lotions, lip glosses, nail polishes and overnight kits. Again,
it's way beyond your basic Minnie Mouse t-shirt, but Disney is capitalizing
on the same market which Bath and Body Works and Limited Too have found
so attractive: Pre-Teens with Allowances.
Here is where you could lose your daughter for hours - the Princess Wall.
You will find dresses for the major Disney Princesses here, along with
the shoes, wand, jewelry, wigs, hair bows, tiaras, gloves and comb/mirror
sets to match. A fitting room is conveniently located right next to this
wall. These dresses are MUCH nicer than any costumes offered at Halloween,
and are made well enough to withstand lots of "dress up" days.
I often see little girls wear these dresses into the park. The sight of
a tiny princess standing next to the real life character in the park is
I said that I could spend hours just looking at the ceiling of this store.
I'm not kidding. Above is the ceiling / valance in the Alice room. As
you wander around, these are the types of decorations you'll find in the
The scary trees from Snow White are hovering over you in the Villains
The Pridelands Area is covered with a stained glass ceiling. Jungle themes
paintings border the upper edge of the walls all around this area.
The overall World of Disney theme is travel and exploration. All of the
ceiling sculptures depict the Characters in various flying machines. The
walls of the Great Hall are decorated with images of characters traveling
throughout the world. And, there are certainly some strange tour groups
As promised, the Cinderella painting in the Housewares section.
The detail even extends to the music you'll hear in the store. A great
soundtrack has been created especially for this store. These are very
"singable" songs, and you'll recognize most of them. There are
some real classics in this collection. Don't be too surprised to find
a Cast Member, or even a customer, singing along.
It's impossible to convey the feel of this store in a handful of photos.
If you're planning a trip to the Disneyland Resort, and you like to shop,
make time to visit this store. I'm sure you'll be as enchanted with it
as I am.
One of our kind readers, Clark Daniels, sent this note about the assembly
of his new DCA "California Screamin'" Roller Coaster Toy:
I was one of the few lucky people to get my own California Screamin'
Roller Coaster from the World Of Disney store when it opened on the 1st
of this year. Let me begin by stating the obvious, the coaster is pretty
The adventure begins with the box, made to look like a blue print for
the coaster. Now had I paid attention to the box design, I would have
gotten the hint of what was in store for me. Opening the fairly large
box, I pulled out a 3 and half-inch thick bag of white track supports,
and two non-descript cardboard boxes. Eagerly I opened the smaller of
the two boxes and found a large assortment of curved white track pieces
and bags of assorted parts. Eeek! Already the thing felt like a model.
The last box revealed yet even more white track supports, track pieces,
bag of parts, and finally the orange roller coaster train itself. The
8.5 by 11 multi page directions where tucked into the larger box.
Those of you that have ever built a model can appreciate the amount of
stuff that came out of the box! I begin building the coaster at 4:30.
By 4:37 I had the loop built and I though, "This is going to be a
snap!" By 6:30 I was concerned that I would never finish building
the coaster. At 7:15 I had placed a curse on each of the sadomasochists
who had designed this kit.
You see, there is this bag of full stars and a bag of half stars that
decorate the coaster track supports. Now you have a track support that
has a place to push and plug in these gold colored stars. Each track support
having around 50 or so stars that need placing. Multiplied that by four
major sections, and you have some serious pain coming on. After the 100th
star pushed in, the right thumb called it quits, by the 165th star the
left thumb had joined suit. I ended up using the blunt end of a screwdriver
to push in the rest of the stars.
Clearly labeled on the box is, "Some assembly required". Oh
yeah, some. They needed to add the labels "Requires 3 to 4 hours
assembly time", and, "Infinite patience required". This
coaster kit is slightly easier to put together than a bike.
I finally had the coaster finished at 8:35 pm. I placed the train on
the track and turned it on. Off it went around the curve, up the lift
hill, down the other side and headed full speed to the loop. Now full
speed for this thing is about as fast a constipated turtle. As it hit
the loop, it began to crawl through the loop got around to the top and
stopped. My imaginary riders must have been terrified being stuck on the
loop like that. Imagine how this would affect my load times for the ride.
So I removed the train, took out the first battery, and immediately dropped
the battery. The battery was hot. Both were. I discovered that there is
a whole lot of load being placed on that little motor as it pulls those
cars around the track and up the loop. I suspect that the motor will burn
out on the little train in a few hours of continuous use.
After replacing the batteries with fresh ones, I started the train on
its way. Off it sped, still constipated. Around the track the track it
traveled. Up and around the loop it sped. I smiled. Gave myself a pat
on the back, mixed myself a drink and got blissfully drunk. I had to do
something to numb the pain in my thumbs.
First, the box may say ages 4 and up, but this is in error. There are
many, many small parts that can cause chocking hazards to small children.
Of major concern are small white clips used to hold the track supports
together, track spreaders, and the half gold stars used in decorating.
Next, this kit requires at lot of time to put together. Most kids may
not have the patience to put this thing together. I know there were several
times when I was going to throw in the towel. I couldn't quit and have
my thumbs suffer for not.
Finally, the layout of the coast is huge! Its eight feet in length and
about two feet wide once completed. My coaster occupies a corner nook
of my apartment, and it's a tight fit.
Nit pick stuff includes the noise of the little train, and the fact that
it could have included a small load station in the box. Now I'm off to
my local hobby shop to find miniature lighting to string across the coaster
track. It's just screamin' for that!
As Disney fan I would highly recommend this item. Its something I think
the park should have more of. I would love to see a working model of the
Grizzly River Run complete with water! Why stop at DCA? How about a working
model of Big Thunder? Or the rest of the Disneyland Mountains?
All I can say is "ouch". I have not had the time to do much
more than examine the box mine came in, but I had already heard that this
was a true "labor of love" to assemble. The other four toys
in this series also require a little bit of time with a screwdriver, but
nothing like this.
I was prepared for how large this is - so big, in fact, that the World
of Disney store just displayed the loop and a few inches of track. That's
all they had room for, in a 33,000 square foot store.
I'm glad you like your roller coaster. I had not heard about a problem
with the motor. Once I get mine working, we can compare notes and see
if this is a problem with yours alone, or if they all have the same trouble.
I'd also love feedback from those of you who have already assembled the
coasters you bought. If this is a widespread problem, Disney should know
about it quickly.
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Adrienne here.