My wife and I decided to take a day off from writing our theses (Is that the plural for thesis? eh, sue me). She’s on page 62, I’m on page 54. I’m comfortable enough in my masculinity to know that she’s a better writer than me and I’ll never catch her. We decided to take our youngest two children (3 and 1) to the new concept Disney Store at Perimeter Mall in Atlanta, Georgia. If you remember how fun it was to go into a Disney Store back when they first launched, be ready to get nostalgic. The new concept Disney Store brings us back to how it was supposed to be run!
Somewhere along the way during the Eisner administration (as I call it) the Disney Stores lost their way. So much so that Disney, gasp, sold them to a clothing chain (The Children’s Place). As soon as it happened, every ounce of Disney magic was sucked out of the stores. Thankfully, Children’s Place ran the stores so far into the ground that Disney snatched the stores back up in 2008 and began the arduous task or repairing the image of the stores and regaining the magic that they once had. I must say that Disney Store President Jim Fielding has done an excellent job of righting the ship.
As soon as we entered the store, we were greated with a beautiful store that screamed “Disney”.
My very reserved, 3 year old was immediately drawn to the store and she darted toward the large screen showing Disney cartoons. This area also had a coloring center which she quickly began to take over. I was drawn to the 4 staff members who were incredibly friendly and “Disney-like.” If you have been to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you know what I mean. Disney customer service is top notch and head and shoulders above all other theme parks, hotels, restaurants, you name it. They might charge you $9.95 for a Cheeseburger but you are going to be treated exceptionally well and have an experience you never forget.
Each of the cast members working the store came up to talk to me during my visit to their store and most of our conversations centered around Vinylmations. I was ecstatic to find Maleficent (9 inch Villains) sitting on the shelf and I quickly placed her in the bag that a cast member brought over to me. My 1 year old son was intrigued by the Muppets Series 2 boxes so I placed a few in the stroller with him as I walked around the store. I was truly impressed by every aspect of the store. The design, the Disney feel but most importantly, the entire staff. They were what I expect at any place with Disney in the title: over the top friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. Isn’t it a shame that all stores don’t have employees like this?
Thanks again to the Perimeter Mall Disney Store for a great time. I liked them so much that once I realized I had blind boxed the Waldo Vinylmation chaser, I went back into the mall to show it to the two employees who had never seen it. I’ll definitely be back again soon!