If your kids love Pixar movies or beg to play dress up all day, it's time to plan a trip to the new Disney store in Times Square. With merchandise lining every inch of the place, it'll be hard to leave without buying something, but at least it's cheaper than a trip to Orlando. And the added bonus, it's super impressive. Read on to see photos and find out why your kid will be wowed.
When I visited with my son, I wasn't sure where to start. The main floor was full of stuffed animals, a big Toy Story section, and lots of candy.
We browsed a bit before figuring out that most of the action is one flight up.
Up there, this big castle beckoned. Behind its doors, we found paradise for mini princesses.
With gowns, jewelry, wands and crowns, it'd be the perfect place to play dress up all day.
The store has an imagination theme inspired by Tinkerbell and there's a small section devoted to her, as well as Magic Mirrors that bring Disney characters to life. When children wave a wand, dress or crown in front them, princesses such as Cinderella, Belle, or Jasmine appear and tell a story.
It wasn't long before my son pulled me over to the Cars section to check out Lightning McQueen and other characters from his new favorite movie. At the Ride Makerz tables, kids can customize their own cool rides by selecting the body, chassis, tread, wheels, performance parts and decals.
Next to Ride Makerz is Imagination Theater which has a 12-foot screen and free events every day. Each morning, one child gets to use a special key to open up the theater (and a replica of the key to keep). Cyber books are animated for storytime and kids can participate in parades down the Pixie Trail, sparkly blue tiles that wind their way through the store.
At the theater's Imagination Portal, kids can choose a clip from the Disney channel or a movie. Paper and crayons are also provided for budding artists who want to draw their favorite Disney characters.
We didn't get to see one, but an energetic employee told us about the store's Imagination Explosions. Randomly, villains appear on the theater's screen. Shoppers are asked to rub their hands together and Tinkerbell will appear on trees throughout the store to save the day.
If you happen to visit on your child's birthday, ask to have their name put up on the theater's screen. It's free of charge, no advance notice is needed and when they ask how it got there, you can say it was magic.
Disney Store Times Square
1540 Broadway between 45th and 46th Sts
Open 9am-midnight, daily
For more fun outings check out New York City Stores to Play Indoors for Free.