Disney opend its new showcase Disney Store in Oxford Street, London today. The store is twice as large as the previous Oxford Street store and has taken two years to plan and construct.
The store at 350 Oxford Street is the largest Disney Store in Europe and covers 8,200 square feet across two floors.
The centrepiece is a 28 foot high castle which sits in the middle of the store and is the first thing to be seen when walking in. The store uses the latest technology including animated trees, and cartoons on the walls and music which are adjusted by a handheld device controlled by a member of staff.
The store will begin each day with an opening ceremony in which one child will be chosen to use a giant key to open the rope barrier, with Tinker Bell appearing and spreading pixie dust on the showpiece castle.
Jonathan Storey, Disney's marketing and guest experiences director, said: "We really wanted to make this store more than just a place to by merchandise. The castle really does signify what Disney is all about. This really is our showcase centrepiece".
"Being the Walt Disney company, we're primarily an entertainment company. While it's important to have great products we wanted to entertain out guests at the same time. We thought, 'How could we entertain children and families?' The idea was to create the best 30 minutes of a child's day."
Other interactive experiences for children include the Disney Princess Magic Mirror. By waving a wand in front of the mirror, youngsters can watch short stories appear before them from princesses Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Tiana.
The Disney Store Theatre will host a number of free events throughout the day, including animation classes, quizzes and lessons in how to dance like their favourite characters.
To mark its opening, A Disney London map has been created to celebrate the company's heritage in London, featuring locations from movies including Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and the upcoming movie Cars 2.
Source: London Evening Standard