What do you do when you want to be in the middle of the Disney magic 24/7, but unfortunately have to be an adult and work and live 1,249 miles from Magic Kingdom?! You go to a Disney Store, of course! Fortunately for us, our local mall opened a Disney Store 4 years ago. And every time I need a little magic in my life, we hop in the car and head there. But did you know that the Disney Store, just like Disney World, has an opening ceremony every day to open the store?!? It seriously is the cutest thing ever! In this article, I will tell you about the two different experiences that we had. The first, at a Disney Store, and the second at a Disney Store outlet.
Disclaimer: Not every Disney Store will set up their opening ceremony in the way that I describe. Most stores do the same thing, but some stores may differ in how they do their ceremony. I am only writing about my personal experiences.
The Disney Store
I like to get to the mall about 15 minutes before the stores officially open. This usually ensures that we are the first ones to the Disney Store, since the first ones to the Disney Store get to help with the opening ceremony! My son has done this on multiple occasions now, but every time he does it, he is so excited! Just as anything Disney seems to do, the Disney Store opening is a whole experience. They roll out a HUGE keyhole with ropes attached to it. Then, they bring out a huge key that fits into the matching lock.
Next, my son, with the help of the cast members, counts down from 5 and twists the gigantic key to release the ropes and “unlock” the magic and imagination in store!
After the rope drop, the castmembers offer my son a special keepsake mini version of the key to bring home. We currently have maybe 20 (or more, I lost count) hanging around our house. We always joke that we have enough keys to use them as Christmas Tree ornaments to completely decorate our tree.
The last time we went, things were a little different. Instead of bringing out the comically large key and lock, the cast members came out with Mickey gloves instead. And they also gave him a Mickey sticker. From my understanding, this is because Disney is celebrating Mickey’s 90th birthday in December. So this is just another way to celebrate the mouse that started it all.
The Disney Outlet
My family likes to visit Lancaster, PA every year, and one of the things that I look forward to is going to the Disney Store Outlet! We have gotten some great deals on some Disneyland merch (this particular outlet gets the leftovers from Disneyland and the discounts are pretty good!). But their opening ceremony is different from our local Disney Store. First off, they let the kids get dressed up like Sorcerer Mickey! My son thinks that is the coolest thing ever! He loves putting on that hat and red robe. Then, instead of a key, they bring out a magical looking book. The castmember tells the kids that they need to say the magic words in order to open the store! After the kids go through all of the phrases that they think it is, the cast member tells them the correct phrase, which happens to be “Let the Magic begin!” Once the kid says that, the book lights up and the store is open! Also, instead of giving out mini keys, they gave my son and his cousin lanyards! My son uses this lanyard every time we go to Disney World now to show off his pin collection (to read more about pin trading, click here).
To see if your Disney Store participates in the Daily Opening Ceremony, look up your nearest location and check the Events section on disneystore.com.