How do you take TRON Lightcycle / Run presented by Enterprise – our newest thrilling attraction – and translate it into a creative and visually stunning retail experience unlike any other?
Using the attraction as the starting line, visual merchandising cast members at Magic Kingdom Park have been working behind the scenes to create the Tomorrowland Launch Depot, home of the new TRON-inspired merchandise collections.
There’s one secret to creating an immersive merchandise location that seemingly transports guests into another world. If you ask Chris Edwards, the merchandise presentation manager for Magic Kingdom Park, that secret is storytelling.
“Most other retailers don’t go to the length that we do to make sure the guest is involved in our story,” said Chris. “We have the unique ability to really connect with our guests and invite them into our storylines.”
The storytelling starts with the mannequins, which were designed with one question in mind: How can we take inspiration from life on the Grid? Instead of natural skin tones, they have a shiny blue and silver finish. Their accompanying clothes are inspired by the thrill of racing on a lightcycle.
“I think the way the outfits and mannequin finishes bring this whole thing together is really exciting,” Chris said.
Knowing they want to shine a light on the incredible merchandise products in the store, the team brought in special shelving units that light up from underneath, creating a glow effect like one would see in the virtual universe.
“Everything in the world of TRON lights up, so we want to incorporate that here as well,” said Chris. “We first debuted this type of light-up shelving on Disney Cruise Line, and we knew it would be a perfect fit for the Tomorrowland Launch Depot.”
The luminescence extends from floor to ceiling, which is lined with glowing orange and blue line trails to simulate two of the teams Users will see in the attraction. Outside of the store, you can’t miss the neon window displays featuring light-up jackets and illuminated identity disks.
Other high-tech elements integrated into the store include sleek display cases with rotating products and the all-new Grid Digitization Portal, where guests can create an action figure (also known as a Program) that looks and sounds just like them through the TRON Identity Program. Guests can also look forward to using Merchandise Mobile Checkout in the My Disney Experience app to save time by scanning and paying for merchandise items right from their phone.
All of these creative and innovative elements work together to create an unparalleled shopping experience, and it’s all possible thanks to the teams who so passionately create spaces where we can all see ourselves in the stories we know and love. From store designers to merchandise presentation experts to project managers to the creative forces behind the products, many cast members played an important role in bringing this vision to life.
“At Disney, no project is ever the same,” said Chris. “We have so many different stories that we help tell in our retail locations. That’s the unique thing we get to do here.”
Next time you find yourself at Magic Kingdom Park, be sure to race on over to Tomorrowland Launch Depot to get a closer look at these digital details. We can’t wait to welcome you to the Grid!