If you’ve recently traveled through the International Drive (I-Drive) tourist district in Orlando, you may have noticed a big new Disney project that is visible from the I-4 freeway. If it looks like a giant video display to you, you’re right.
And when we say big, we mean big.
The Hollywood Plaza garage, located near the intersection of International Drive and Sand Lake Blvd will soon be home to a new Walt Disney World store and a huge ribbon-like video display that wraps around nearly two sides of the parking garage.
5/29 – Update: Everything looks ready to go for tomorrow’s opening:
It looks a lot like the Disney themed stores that were recently added to Disney Springs. No surprise there.
A new Walt Disney World store location
The Walt Disney World store will provide travelers an opportunity to do everything from buy tickets, pick up souvenirs, and explore Disney Vacation Club membership. It will also feature an interactive virtual discovery station that will provide walk-throughs of some World Disney World resorts and attractions.
This is not a Disney Store like the kind that used to be open in malls across America. Nor will it be as all encompassing as World of Disney at Disney Springs. It’s closer to the store that Disney has operated at the Orlando International Airport (MCO) for years.
The new store is located in the heart of I-Drive in an area that’s slated to get traffic and pedestrian improvements in the future. The Sand Lake and I-4 intersection is also scheduled to receive some improvements in the next 3-5 years.
A giant billboard screen to advertise Walt Disney World
The giant display, reminiscent of the kind found in Times Square in the center of Manhattan, New York City, will initially feature an “Ear”-idescent tribute to Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary and the Fab 50 golden sculptures that dot the parks as part of the celebration.
Like in Times Square the display is composed of a collection of LED screens designed to be visible day and night and synchronized via computer. (Similar technology is used for the video barges in EPCOT’s Harmonious show.)
This video is Disney provided motion concept art. The final product may not resemble this exactly.
“We took a lot of knowledge from setting up the 50th art installations in our parks and the Orlando International Airport and wanted to spread a little of that magic out into the world,” Will Gay, design director with Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group, said.
The plan is for the dynamic art to be updated overtime as Disney rolls out new promotions and celebrations.
Gay added, “It all started with a little idea and a question – could we do this? Could we turn this into a dynamic art display bigger than anything we’ve ever done before?”
I’m excited to check it out when it opens. I do hope that any sales of tickets to the parks will come with park pass reservations. Without issuing park passes, there will be a lot of disappointed guests on the other end of the drive from the store to Walt Disney World.
The store and the display will light up beginning May 31.