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Is the Disney Store the happiest place on earth to shop? If you're a fan of the mouse, then it very well might be!
All about the Disney Store
The first Disney Store in the world was opened in 1987 in southern California - specifically, in Glendale at the Glendale Galleria. By 1990, they had 50 stores (the 50th one opened was also in southern California, at the Montclair Plaza). This was also the year that they opened their first overseas location, in London's iconic Oxford Circus. It was quickly followed by stores in Japan and Australia (though their Australian locations closed in 2003).
You can usually find a Disney Store at a shopping mall, although there are a few in commercial areas, too. Today, they have nearly 400 stores worldwide.
You used to be able to buy actual items from Disney movies and theme parks
As part of Disney's marketing plan to sell merchandise, they created something called Disney Auctions to go along with the Disney Store. Disney Auctions was a partnership between online bidding site eBay and Disney.
The idea was that people could bid on fun things that had been used at Disney theme parks or actual Disney movies. Fans could pick up something small like a sign from Disneyland, or something as big as an actual ride vehicle used at hte same park!
Disney Auctions also sold props and pieces of costumes that had been used in their previously released movies.
It only lasted 9 years, and in 2009 the website was completely shut down. So, if you're looking to buy props from Disney today, you'll have to either have good luck on eBay or check out one of the other websites that sell movie collectibles - though you won't be guaranteed to find Disney items.