Official Grand Opening! Disney Springs’ World of Disney Debuts

We’ve been getting sneak peeks at the re-imagined World of Disney at Disney Springs over the last few weeks as it has undergone a major renovation. But this morning, Oct. 27, the store had its official grand opening, where it unveiled the entire redesigned shop and scads of new merchandise!

World of Disney at Disney Springs grand opening ceremony

Along with a redesign of the space, the Disney Imagineers have come up with a new “back story” for how the store came into being that ties into the original heart of Disney, animation. It also ties into the back story of Disney Springs in general, which is that of a once-thriving community brought back to life.

As the story goes, the space used to be a marketplace, a Citrus Exchange, but as time went on it was eventually abandoned. You can see elements of the “original” marketplace around the store.

Elements of the World of Disney’s new back story are found around the store.

You’ll see exposed brick on some of the walls — it’s actual, authentic used brick. Occasionally you’ll spot a mint green or light blue brick, and other elements throughout the store that are a nod to the iconic Hollywood Studios colors.

Exposed used brick walls around the World of Disney.

After the marketplace closed, the story continues, a group of animators came in and turned the location into a gathering spot where they could create. Once their actual animation studios opened in 1989, the spot was again abandoned. Subsequently, a group of retailers came in and uncovered what the animators had left behind.

Enchanted posters around the World of Disney

There are enchanted posters that change images scattered around the store, supposedly left by the animators. There are also old animators’ desks, paints and files that further complement the store’s new back story.

Wall of ink and paint “left behind” by the animators that used to occupy the World of Disney space.
Old animators desks make up the cash registers at the World of Disney store.

While we had already seen much of the new store at a preview a week or so ago, there were still some areas that were a surprise.

The Princess area was closed off last week, but is now fully open and brimming with merchandise.

Adorable Cinderella merchandise display at World of Disney.
Princess merchandise at the new World of Disney at Disney Springs.
New Princess merchandise area at World of Disney.

And just look at the chandeliers in this area! They’re made from tiaras and wands.

Chandelier in the Princess area of World of Disney.

As for the rest of the store, you can see that a real effort was made to keep the space open and airy, to eliminate the overcrowded, congested feeling it used to have. Whereas previously store was difficult to navigate, it is now much more stroller and wheelchair friendly. In addition, there are visual architectural clues, such as that chandelier made of tiaras and wands, that will help guests see where they want to go.

Toy department of World of Disney
PLUSH!
Ears and more!
Lots of Marvel and Star Wars merch.
And of course, Millennial Pink!

A big section of the store is filled with a new line of retro Mickey Mouse Club merchandise, which we showcased a few days ago. There are also projections here, tying into Disney’s heritage.

Along with all these changes to the store, we also noticed a move to further Disney’s commitment to reduce plastic waste. Reusable bags are an option here, and can be purchased at check-out.

Reusable shopping bags at World of Disney
Reusable shopping bags at World of Disney

In spite of all these changes, World of Disney is still the world’s largest Disney store, with the Disney Springs store considered to be the flagship.

After seeing ALL of the changes to this store, what do you think? Let us know in the comments!



Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

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7 Replies to “Official Grand Opening! Disney Springs’ World of Disney Debuts”

  1. The new World of Disney brought tears to my ears….the magic is gone! Who wants to travel hundreds of miles to see a generic store that just happens to sell Disney merchandise?

  2. Today’s imagineers couldn’t give a rats rear end about what Walt would approve. They are so far removed from the vision and philosophy of Walt Disney they can’t even see it in their rear view mirrors. Tradition and history mean nothing to this bunch. And to tell you the truth, far too many of today’s Disney lovers feel the same way too. Time has come to accept it, Disney as it was founded is gone forever.

  3. When we walked into the old store and looked around it really was the World of Disney, now it’s just another store. The magic is gone!

  4. When did Disney decide it was a good idea to take the Disney out of Disney? Where is all the magic and pixie dust? This looks like any store in any mall anywhere. That’s not what I travel across the country for! Please, Disney, stop and ask yourself, “Would Walt approve?”. I bet the answer is a resounding no!