Friday, 28th February 2014

Europe’s largest LEGO Store opens its doors at Disney Village today – in pictures

LEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland Paris

After a long wait, it was with just two days’ notice that fans learned the LEGO Store would finally be opening today, 28th February 2014, at 9am — and open it really did.

Joined by the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors, the Vice President of LEGO Europe and a special walkaround “LEGO mascot” named Tom, the new boutique’s team of brick-building enthusiasts cut the ribbon and invited the first shoppers inside the store.

Using the same modern design scheme of other European shopping mall LEGO Stores, this flagship location can boast being the largest on the continent. That said, it’s not massively bigger — at almost 600m² only roughly the size of Hollywood Pictures that was there before — but with walls piled high with LEGO sets and a minimalist aesthetic it does look like a bigger, much more exciting retail space. And certainly a vast improvement on the tired Hollywood Pictures.

LEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland Paris
LEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris Ambassadors, Antonella and Jonathan met “Tom” the store’s mascot and Ward Van Duffel, Vice President and General Manager of LEGO Europe at the store’s opening this morning and shared a series of photos from inside the new shop.

LEGO’s all-glass shopfront is immediately the most modern in Disney Village, offering a full view inside the colourful store to passing customers. Brick murals of Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland Hotel and Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups are featured centrally on the bright yellow podium along with a textured, LEGO brick logo.

LEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland Paris
LEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland Paris

Where most other LEGO Stores have just a single yellow brick ceiling feature in the middle of the store, this flagship has several, of different sizes, creating more unique areas within the store.

All the LEGO Store favourites are present and correct: the free building table, the build-your-own Minifigure display, and the clever augmented reality scanner that lets you hold a LEGO set up and see the finished creation on screen in 3D.

LEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland Paris
LEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland Paris
LEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland ParisLEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland Paris
LEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland Paris

Here, the popular trademark “Pick-a-Brick wall”, which lets you fill cartons with your choice of loose bricks, isn’t on the back wall of the store as standard, but a larger free-standing wall, with even more LEGO sets behind.

Despite not being as grand as the longstanding LEGO Imagination Center in Orlando or self-contained LEGO Store Anaheim, this new Disneyland Paris example does feature the same special models and customisations.

LEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland Paris
LEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland ParisLEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland Paris
LEGO Store Disney Village Disneyland Paris

A huge, stunning brick mural of Prince Phillip fighting dragon Maleficent sits just inside the door, with murals of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars line the walls, which are also criss-crossed by a long green monster.

Other full-scale models featured are Sorcerer Mickey, Woody and Buzz Lightyear, and R2D2.

LEGO Store Disney Village opens 9am to midnight, daily.

PHOTOS Ambassadeurs Disneyland Paris (Facebook)

Wednesday, 26th February 2014

LEGO Store Disney Village opening confirmed for 9am this Friday, 28th February

LEGO Store Disney Village Concept Art

Disneyland Paris has just minutes ago confirmed that the long-awaited and overdue LEGO Store in Disney Village will open this Friday, 28th February, at 9am.

The news was announced on the resort’s official Twitter feed at 5.00pm, following rumours for a few days that this Friday could finally see the retailer of plastic bricks open its doors.

Speaking of what will be Europe’s largest LEGO Store, Disneyland Paris added: “This new development will reinforce the shopping experience at #DisneylandParis, with a new family concept”.

A number of customisations and custom-built models will be featured in the new store, which has faced a number of set-backs and delays to its opening, including a LEGO-brick Sorcerer Mickey statue and murals of popular Disneyland Paris icons.

While several restaurants and attractions are operated within Disney Village by third parties, LEGO will be Disney’s first externally-let retail unit, finally opening up the merchandise offer beyond the standard Disneyland Paris range now perfected by World of Disney.

• See our previous article with a sneaky peek inside the LEGO Store here

VIA @Disney_ParisEN (Twitter)

Sunday, 16th February 2014

New LEGO Store concept art stems wait for Disney Village opening date

LEGO Store Disney Village Concept Art

“Everything Is Awesome”, if you’ve seen The LEGO Movie; perhaps not so if you’re involved with the LEGO Store in Disney Village, which is still yet to open to its doors to customers.

While they search for that elusive last brick, the new concept art above has surfaced in the Euro Disney S.C.A. Annual Review, showing the full shopfront as seen from outside. Due to be the flagship of LEGO’s European retail chain, as well as being just that bit bigger than a standard high street example, the store has plenty of special “Disney” touches to set it apart.

The new store, which replaces the tired Hollywood Pictures, was originally announced for “Autumn 2013” and due to open on 27th September 2013, but suffered a major setback late in construction when much of the suspended ceiling collapsed. This was since refitted and final decorative elements begun to be put in place — including those elusive LEGO bricks in models specially commissioned for Disneyland Paris.

Peeking under the construction walls in late December, InsideDLParis managed to get a look at the installations, which include Sorcerer Mickey and figures of Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

LEGO Store Disney Village © InsideDLParisLEGO Store Disney Village © InsideDLParis
LEGO Store Disney Village © InsideDLParis

A second confirmed opening date of 14th January then failed to materialise, with Disneyland Paris sending out an official statement announcing the opening had been postponed “due to a delay in construction work resulting from new building regulations” and that we would be kept informed of further developments.

Just last week, the walls came down to reveal the full glass shopfront, blocked out by a temporary frosted covering.

LEGO Store Disney Village © InsideDLParis

Presuming the store still needs to be stocked and have its staff trained and prepared, an opening may not be exactly imminent but shouldn’t be too far away now, either.

CONCEPT Euro Disney S.C.A. Annual Review, PHOTOS @InsideDLParis (Twitter)

Thursday, 14th February 2013

LEGO Store for Disney Village all but confirmed by assistant manager recruitment notice?

Hollywood Pictures in Disney Village at Disneyland Paris (Photo: PhotosMagiques.com)

Long-standing rumours of a LEGO Store in Disney Village have been given new immediacy by the posting of a job recruitment notice for assistant managers. Posted on the Mercuri Urval website, the listing originally made explicit reference to a LEGO-branded retail store at Disneyland Paris and even went so far as to claim it will be the biggest in Europe. The page has now been amended to become more ambiguous, but still references a “flagship / concept store”.

We first reported rumours of a new LEGO Store in March 2012 when, in the lead up to the opening of World of Disney, the now rather superfluous Hollywood Pictures store was seen to be the likely location for such an outlet. That’s still the case, and some rumours suggest LEGO could open as soon as June — but so far there’s no word of an imminent closure for the movie-themed merchandise shop.

Following World of Disney opening last July, which sells the vast majority of general Disneyland Paris merchandise, the older Disney Store was reconfigured into more of a “character merchandise” location featuring franchises such as Star Wars and Cars. A “boutique” refit of Disney Fashion was also completed last year, leaving the remaining Disney Village stores to find a new raison d’être.

LEGO Stores have recently opened elsewhere in France at Lille and Paris’ SO Ouest shopping mall. Locations at the Downtown Disney districts in Florida and California, which are more of an “experience” with large custom-built Disney brick models, were originally given more prestigious “LEGO Imagination Centre” branding, but now appear to be being titled with simply the LEGO name.

Example LEGO Store
Hollywood Pictures in Disney Village at Disneyland Paris (Photo: PhotosMagiques.com)

Given the floorspace of Hollywood Pictures, the Disney Village location could be big, but maybe not particularly huge. Perhaps LEGO could use the World of Toys store next door too, especially since it would have its through-access cut off from the row of shops here anyway.

Just please, do something about that orange shopfront…

• See the current store: Photos Magiques recently added a new Hollywood Pictures photo gallery

VIA Mercuri Urval, J. Thaddeus Toad, jul (Disney Central Plaza)

Saturday, 24th March 2012

Rumour: LEGO Store to replace Hollywood Pictures in Disney Village

The LEGO Imagination Center, Downtown Disney Anaheim

We’ve been anticipating for years that the opening of the all-encompassing World of Disney would swallow up the requirement for several of Disney Village‘s original shopping destinations, clearing out units for new uses. With the new store well on its way to completion, we’ve got our first possibility for one of those new tenants: LEGO. Following the expected September opening for World of Disney, rumour has it that the current Hollywood Pictures boutique will be cleared out to make way for a LEGO store in the same unit in Winter 2013.

Numerous LEGO Stores can be found across the United States, with a more limited scattering of seven in the UK, nine in Germany and one in Denmark. The two of note, of course, are the LEGO Imagination Center stores in Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Florida. These larger-format stores are decorated with Disney-themed brick models and offer special activities alongside the sale of bricks and model kits. Hollywood Pictures, especially with its flat façade, might not allow for quite the same look as these stand-alone stores, but it is one of the larger spaces soon to become available in Disney Village.

One of the few dashes of Hollywood glamour at the Euro Disney Resort in 1992, this Festival Disney original (pictured below with its original marquee) became rather superfluous as long ago as 2002 with the opening of Walt Disney Studios Park. Its neon lights, colourful murals and art deco details provide a near identical experience to the Legends of Hollywood boutique inside Disney Studio 1.

Hollywood Pictures original marquee (1992-2005)Hollywood Pictures interior

Of the four shops in this row, Hollywood Pictures will be the most surplus to requirements post-World of Disney. The Disney Gallery could still have a niche in collectibles and the recently-revamped Disney Fashion could certainly stay on as the hub for Disney-branded clothing. World of Toys, which sits between Hollywood Pictures and Café Mickey, will have an awkwardly-similar name and would be another likely candidate for replacement. Further back down the street, the generic Disney Store presents the biggest opportunity, big enough for a large restaurant or to be split into several units.

Helping to build upon these rumours are the recent refurbishments of LEGO’s two existing Disney locations. The Florida Imagination Center reopened following a revamp in April 2011, while a project to improve the Californian location (pictured in the concept art above) has just begun. Constructing a third store in Paris at roughly the same time next Winter would give LEGO a neat annual investment programme in Disney properties and a presence in France which it currently lacks.

This might seem a conflict of interest, given the LEGOLAND parks in Windsor, Billund and Germany, but these, along with the indoor Discovery Centres in Berlin, Duisberg and Manchester, are operated separately by Merlin Entertainments with LEGO retaining only a 30% stake. With numerous Disney ranges in recent years such as Toy Story, Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean, not to mention Star Wars, such a store would add welcome variety to the merchandise offer at Disneyland Paris.

SOURCE RadioDisneyClub

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