Walt Dated World
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Empress Lilly | Great Southern Craft Company/Lillie Langtry's Old Fashioned Photo Studio | Mickey's Character Shop | Village Restaurant/Village Lounge/Chef Mickey's Village Restaurant
Mickey's Character Shop
Mickey's Character Shop
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When Walt Disney World Village first opened, there wasn't a store that only sold Disney souvenirs (It's A Small World did sell some Disney items but wasn't exclusively devoted to Disney merchandise). Due to guest demand, the former Port of Entry store became The Character Shop to showcase stuffed animals, toys and other Disney merchandise. Opened on October 25, 1985, Mickey's name was later added to the store and featured the largest selection of Disney merchandise on the Disney property, including toys, novelties and gifts. The store was neighbors with Great Southern Craft Company and Bath Parlor/Sachet In.
The shop featured a 20-foot long flying machine/hot air balloon piloted by Mickey that hovered over the plush display and you could also get personalized T-shirts airbrushed by a robotic arm at this shop. The store was so popular that it was one of the few shops and restaurants that opened early at 9:30 a.m. Mickey's Character Shop closed on October 2, 1996 once construction on the massive World of Disney store was completed.
One of the signs from Mickey's Character Shop later turned up at a garage sale in Kissimmee and was purchased by someone who lived in St. Cloud. As of March, 2009, the owner was debating if they would sell it on eBay so perhaps someone else has now purchased it.
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See ya real soon!