People shop inside a New York City Disney Store on June 18, 1997.

The Disney Store was a staple of shopping malls after its first location opened in 1987.
Throwback photos of the store show mountains of stuffed animals, giant crowds, and holiday sales.
The images also show how the store changed approximately 10 years before most locations shuttered.

Years after Disneyland and Disney World became the ultimate vacation destinations, the Disney Store became the shopping-mall equivalent of the beloved theme parks.

According to the official Disney fan club D23, the first Disney Store opened at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California, on March 28, 1987.

It was the first store to sell Disney merchandise outside the theme parks and Orlando Airport, D23 says, and employees were trained to hold the friendly, magical standards set by those at Disney World and Disneyland.

Throwback photos of the retailer show the Disney Store in its heyday, years before most locations — aside from outlet stores and a mega location in New York City — went out of business in 2021.

The Disney Store was a staple of shopping malls between 1987 and 2021.
A Disney Store opens in the South Coast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa, California.
It closed most of its locations in 2021, citing a switch to e-commerce operations over brick-and-mortar stores.
Shoppers visit a closing Disney Store in Miami, Florida, in 2021.
Today, only a larger shop in New York City, the World of Disney in Orlando, and 20 Disney outlets filled with discounted theme-park merchandise remain across the country.
The World of Disney store in Orlando, Florida.
Some stores had cartoon-inspired exteriors, while others were more upscale. But every entrance featured an intricate Disney design.
Outside a Disney Store located in Chicago, Illinois, on March 15, 2004.
Mosaic and tile floors depicting classic Disney characters greeted shoppers as they entered.
A Minnie Mouse tile floor outside a Disney Store in Chicago, Illinois, on March 15, 2004.
Inside the stores, statues of Disney characters could be found in every corner and even hanging from the ceiling.
Inside a Disney Store at the Mall of America in 1999.
But what fans will remember most are the mountains of stuffed animals and massive TV screens that played Disney movie scenes.
People shop inside a New York City Disney Store on June 18, 1997.
Disney often used these round displays to promote merchandise from new movies. In 1996, that was the live-action version of “101 Dalmatians.”
A young shopper at a Disney Store in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 26, 1996.
If you wanted a sweet treat while shopping, there were multiple kinds of Mickey Mouse lollipops available.
Candy at a Disney Store in New York City on October 4, 2004.
It was normal to see crowds of shoppers gather outside Disney Stores on Black Friday to score major deals.
Shoppers outside the Disney Store in the Lakewood Center mall in California on Black Friday 2006.
And the stores would always be decked out for the holidays with themed music and festive character displays.
A Christmas window display at a Disney Store in New York City on November 25, 2001.
Sales were a big part of the Disney Store business. Many happened after holidays like Christmas, but there were also year-round discounts.
A Disney Store at the Golf-Mill Mall in Niles, Illinois, on December 26, 2001.
During those sales, shoppers would stock up on Disney clothes, toys, and other merchandise.
Shoppers at the Disney Store in Glendale, California, on November 23, 2007.
Princess dolls, costumes, and action-figure sets were other big draws when discounted.
Inside a Disney Store at the Lakewood Mall in California on November 24, 2006.
Occasionally, you could find Disney Channel stars at Disney Stores for promotional appearances and meet-and-greets.
Hilary Duff at a Disney Store in New York City on May 3, 2003.
Around 2010, most Disney Stores were renovated with new decor and shopping features, including activity areas for children with coloring stations and big TVs.
Inside a Disney Store in New York City’s Times Square on November 9, 2010.
The updated store designs also included walk-through castles, light-up wall displays, and most notably, the removal of character statues.
Inside a Disney Store in Orlando, Florida, on August 24, 2011.
The modern design remained until the Disney Store as most fans knew it closed in 2021.
Inside a Disney Store in Miami, Florida, on May 18, 2013.
Read the original article on Business Insider


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