No matter how old we get, the magic of Disney has the power to awaken the child within us all. Whether we are watching the films, singing along to the musicals, or taking an enchanting trip to Disney Land, Disney lets our troubles wash away as we enter a realm of fantasy.
I am a perfect case study. When I visited Kingston a few years ago, I was in the Bentalls Centre and my eyes were immediately drawn to a big red shop with the word 'Disney' glowing in lights before me. It was the first time I had ever seen a Disney store, and I was so excited that I began to squeal (at least on the inside, public performances aren't my thing).
Before all the information had fully downloaded into my brain, my feet were already heading towards the entrance. I was greeted by a uncharacteristically cheery Donald Duck, who presented a shop awash with a rainbow of colour. Disney songs played from the speakers, classic films were being screened on the numerous televisions hanging from the ceiling, and there was merchandise galore.
I had no doubt in my mind what my first purchase was going to be. Pretty soon, I was coming out with a snazzy shopping bag with a soft Simba plushie inside. I made frequent trips to the store after that day, each time buying one more Lion King toy, until there were no more to get.
Then last year, I was in the Bentalls Centre again, when shock horror, the Disney Store had disappeared. Nooooooooooo. I admit I had stopped buying things from them by then, but I still got a joyful feeling when ever I walked by.
It was yesterday that I was visiting Kingston once again, and I was in the Bentalls Centre, looking down from the first floor. From there, you can see all the lower levels, and on the lower ground floor something caught my eye. Was that a hint of red I saw?
I went downstairs and discovered to my delight that the Disney Store had not closed down at all, it had simply moved floors. To celebrate, I went inside and had a browse. Donald was still there to greet me, and on the left hand side there was a wall of pink. I had entered the realm of Disney Princesses, where were dresses, toys, books, stationary, and more. While this was clearly the girl's side, the right hand side of the store was aimed at boys, featuring Pixar films such as Cars and The Incredibles. I was also a bit perplexed to see Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk. Are they Disney?
There were three things in the store tat interest me most, and these included a new range of 'baby' princess dolls at £20. I was very taken with Pocahontas and Snow White, and was half tempted to buy one.
If you are ever looking for gifts for any age, you'll be sure to find something at the Disney Store. Toddlers will enjoy the sound-making books. I used to have a 'Winnie The Pooh' version that I loved; I still remember all the sounds it made. Older kids might like playing with Merida's bow and arrows or Wreck-It-Ralph action figures, and dressing up like a super hero.
Finally, there was a nod to all us adult fans. Leaving the toys and costumes behind, there was a small section dedicated to figurines and perfume. I don't wear perfume, but the image of Bambi persuaded me to test it, and it had a very pleasing scent.