PHOTOS, VIDEO: Full Tour of Disney’s EarPort Store Prior to Refurbishment at Orlando International Airport
If you’re a fan of the traditional, over-the-top designs of Disney Stores of old, then you’re probably aware of how limited they are in number, with the ones remaining getting sleek and streamlined makeovers to mimic the warehouse trend taking over most retail and dining spaces across Disney property.
Just yesterday, we brought you news of the closure of the Disney EarPort Store, located at the Hyatt atrium of the Orlando International Airport. Today is the last day of operation for the store before it closes for a full-on refurbishment. The store will remain closed for about four months before reopening in November 2019.
If you’re looking to take in the store in all its grandeur, we went out to MCO today to take photos of the beloved airport icons, as well as shoot a full video tour of the store for you. Check it all out below!
We’ll always remember the EarPort store in its wacky, eclectic state.
Before we tour the interior of the store, let’s say our last goodbyes to the outdoor photo op fixtures.
Families loved posing with this physical backdrop as a means of announcing their official arrival to Orlando. We don’t know whether they’ll rope this off once refurbishment begins, but if this fares anything like the Magic of Disney store, it’ll likely be replaced with screen backdrops.
The same goes for this popular Snow White princess corner, which, despite being stuck in the early 2000s, is a beloved nook for many children and Disney Princess fans alike.
Over on the other side of the store, the windows received Little Green Men decals back when Toy Story Land opened.
But the real star of the show, and my personal favorite, will always be this Goofy statue, a nod to Goofy’s Candy Co.
Goofy’s silhouette was even worked into the granite flooring. You just don’t see that kind of workmanship anymore, in any new Disney stores. These stores used to be preliminary or stand-in Disney Parks experiences, but now they’re just warehouses for generic merchandise.
Once inside, you’ll see that years of new promotions and redesigns make for a busy, eclectic interior. You have the “Where Magic Lives” castle backdrop promotion from 2002, the original retro Walt Disney World flooring, and signage from the heyday of Pin Trading in 1999.
Lots of merchandise was packed into the store, and it stocked a wide variety of goods from across the parks, including snacks, pins, apparel, and Minnie Ears.
Looking up at all the fun displays, a variety of whimsical blueprints were laid out on display.
Use of the four parks’ icons varies widely, with Cinderella Castle used for Magic Kingdom, Spaceship Earth for Epcot, and the Tree of Life for Animal Kingdom. The ones for Disney’s Hollywood Studios span the park’s tumultuous history, with Tower of Terror and divisive Sorcerer Mickey hat both used interchangeably, depending on when the display was built.
The details range from small to large, with various hidden Mickeys worked into merchandise displays and a series of gears, springs, and pipes adding additional whimsy to the space.
Oh, look! A plain wood wall.
Character silhouettes were even worked into the grain of the wood design.
A second register is themed to Goofy’s Candy Co., with the table made to look like it’s covered in pink frosting and sprinkles.
And of course, frosting splatters on the ground.
When it opens back up again in November, the EarPort store should mimic the generic style of the recently-refurbished Magic of Disney Store, which reopened at the airport (near the Gates 1-59 security area) in late January.
For a full walking tour of Disney’s EarPort Store at Orlando International Airport, check out the video below: