The Atlantic magazine has a very interesting article on how Apple stores are really an entertainment destination, much like Disney’s theme parks. As part of the story they include a chart that shows 74.5 million visitors to Apple stores compared to Disneyland and Disney World which they show as between 16 and 18 million. The gist of the article is that Apple has made entertainment, ie playing with Apple’s many devices, the key attractor of their stores. That drives future customers.

Looking past their under-counted numbers for Disney’s parks, the Atlantic is on to something here. A few years ago, The Disney Stores would have been competing with Apple Stores with for that in-mall entertainment experience. 300+ stores around the world as little ambassadors for the complete Disney experience. Possibly as important to developing future customers of Disney Parks and Films as the Disneyland TV shows were in 1950s to the success of Disneyland.

So, as The Disney Stores ramps up their opening schedule for the new models, which looked at Apple for inspiration, let’s hope they’ve hit the ball out of the park. The Times Square store will open November 9th.