Usually, fashion makeovers are ruthless. Bin this, chop that, lift everything. Unfortunately, when you’re the entertainment district of a financially struggling resort still busy improving its two theme parks, it seems you’ll be left standing with a few balloons and some paint colours that can be seen from the Moon. A far cry from the postmodern, monotone designs of original architect Frank Gehry, recent works have attempted to all but eliminate the cold designs and “Disneyfy” the Village street.
After removing the central steel columns in late 2005, colourful illuminated balloons were added to the remaining pylons and along the row of stores on the left-hand side of the street. Next, the area of the former Central Stage was gutted and totally repainted to form a warmer undercover area for the Sports Bar, with new flat signage replacing the neons. The latest phase of work continues this project, with the remaining grey stores repainted neon colours and more new signage installed.
Team Mickey has seen the most change, with its name finally officially changed to “Disney Fashion”. The rebrand already took place inside the store over two years ago, albeit with a different, more modern style to this green and orange redesign. When originally opened in 1992, the store represented the American love of sports with a wide variety of Disney-themed sports items and clothing. Strangely, the various sports balls adorning the entrance arches have remained in place and been given a fresh coat of metallic silver paint, highlighting their design even more than before.
Further along the street, the new orange and pink colours of the Hollywood Pictures and World of Toys stores are nothing short of unmissable. The original large neon signs of the boutiques, previously positioned on the outside of the metal canopy, were removed in late 2005, leaving only 2D signage behind. Some rumours say the stores along this row will be further brightened with murals of Disney characters, any hints of whom are currently totally absent from the main avenue (excluding Café Mickey).
A stunning makeover or a fashion faux-pas? I’ll let you decide…
All photos © Joel.