In September 1997 I, along with my mum, my sister and my cousins, got to witness the opening of the first Disney Store in Aberdeen, Scotland. This was a dream come true for me and my family, because the closest Disney Store to us before was in Glasgow. And the only other Disney Store I had ever been to used to be in Kingston, London.
Now that same year Hercules was released in the cinema. So us Aberdonians had the previlage of having Hercules officially open our Disney Store! I watched it from the escalators, as their was no room anywhere around the store. It was filled with people. they filled the lower mall and the upper mall, looking over the barriers, in the lifts, and like me, on the escalators.
My auntie got a job as one of the first cast members of the store. She had the very exciting job of working on the day of the opening. One of the local newspapers even featured her in their article about the opening. Press & Journal was one of the newspapers there.
This was the photo used in the local newpaper
For us “guests” in the shopping centre waiting to see their new Disney Store, we had a photo event arranged by the store for the shopping centre. This entertained the kids and parents who had not yet gotten into the store. They had a stage built in between the escalators, and everyone queued up to have their photo taken with Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald and Goofy. I remember being in the queue for so long, long enough for mum to sneak into the store and do some secret shopping! But once it was our turn we had a blast and got some brilliant photos taken with our favourite characters.
I remember being in the shopping centre nearly all day. We finally got to see inside the store after the queues had died down. And oh my god it was magical! It was better than I imagined. The Kingston Disney Store had an eighties, early nineties style, with pink and mint green as the colours on the logo. Our Disney Store was red and gold, with characters above our heads, as well as above the wall fixtures. The theme was film, and Mickey was the director. The theme spread across the store, with film reels running loose. And the entrance had a gigantic Mickey Mouse face on the floor as you entered the store.
A few years ago, the Aberdeen Disney Store moved to a different unit, and has the latest store design. I have been in the new store while visiting family, and although it is still magical, i have a lot of fond memories with the original store. My very first job was at the Disney Store, when i was 16. I was a Christmas temp. What a great place to have your first job experience! And when I moved to Leicester, because of that experience, I once again became a Christmas temp at the Disney Store. I got to stay a bit longer than the Christmas period though.
I treasure these memories. Do you remember when your local Disney Store opened? Did they have a magical opening ceremony? Share your memories, and if you have any, maybe a photo or two.
“All the world is made of faith and trust and pixie dust” – Peter Pan
Originally posted SEP 28TH 2015 on previous website