The O.G. of Disney Stores

June 12, 2016 Brandon, FL, USA

As a child, being able to step inside a Disney Store at my local mall was the next best thing to actually going to Disneyland or Walt Disney World. When I was a kid in the early 1990s, the Disney Store was so alive with Disney figures and different Disney scenes throughout the store. I still visit Disney Stores today and enjoy them, but they honestly just feel like any mall store selling Disney memorabilia. 

I was beyond ecstatic when I stumbled upon this Disney Store in Brandon, Florida a few months ago. It is in the Westfield Mall located near the food court. It is perfectly intact in its 1990s design, just as I remembered from my childhood. The last Disney Store I have visited with this same look was the Florida Mall in Orlando about 6 years ago, but it has since been renovated to the new design.


As you can see, the same film strip covers and the old Disney Store sign. I loved how the right section still has all of the classic characters, and the left section shows the new Star Wars scenes with figures. 



These tile walls along the side of the store were beautiful.









I loved all of the character scenes above the displays! I used to walk around the store as a kid looking at each one. My favorite are the wash buckets (below) from The Sorcerer's Apprentice.





And this. If you were a 90s kid like me, and loved going to the Disney Stores...you KNOW this was your favorite part of the store. I always called it PLUSH MOUNTAIN. Every other time my parents would take me to the Disney Store, I was allowed to pick out one plush from the mountain. Either that or a Disney VHS.


Not exactly my proudest moment, but at least I got to live out my childhood dream: Jumping into Plush Mountain with no parents around to scold me!

I hope you get to visit this Disney Store before it gets the renovation the other Disney Stores have had. It is an absolutely beautiful store and a fun blast from the past! You will not be disappointed!

P.S. If you are into seeing other mall shops & department stores that are stuck in the past, take a look around this mall. The Dillard's department store is literally like walking into 1988.

5 comments

  1. Although I didn't work on this store specifically, I DID design some of the theming elements in it and all the others we did that year. I can't believe it's still in it's almost original form!! I worked for TDS for ten years as a designer and seeing these photos brought back tons of memories!!

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  2. Although I didn't work on this store specifically, I DID design some of the theming elements in it and all the others we did that year. I can't believe it's still in it's almost original form!! I worked for TDS for ten years as a designer and seeing these photos brought back tons of memories!!

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  3. I used to work at the Disney Store from 1993 - 1996. I was a member of the "Original Cast" or "Opening Team" as they called us as I was part of the very first group of people hired to work at our store that was put at our local mall.

    Seeing this picture of a Disney Store that still looks like the one I worked at brings back tons of memories. We even had some of the same animation in our store as this one (i.e. Ariel, Belle.) I wished more of the stores still had this design as it maintains the spirit of the Disney company and makes it a unique store compared to what you would find anywhere else. That is what made TDS stand out.

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  4. Wow, this brought me back to my high school years back in the mid 90's! The last time I walked into this store design was in 2000 back home in Puerto Rico. The store closed shortly after in 2001. I always wondered why they changed the store design, this was such a fun, amazing place. Thanks for posting!

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  5. Holy crap, the memories!!! Our local Disney Store at Dadeland Mall in Miami, FL was EXACTLY like this back in the late 80s and early 90s. I loved all the character displays along the top; one of my favorites from that time was a scene from Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers, which had just come out in 1989; the display of statues of the main characters was up near the ceiling for many years until the store was renovated (which IMO was a mistake, the new look was terrible).

    Thank you for posting this; this Internet stranger greatly appreciates being able to see this blast from the past. I hope the store is still like this and hasn't been renovated. :)

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