An end of an era is coming soon to all Disney Stores in the state of Illinois. Decades of Disney retail store gift shopping will disappear.

For almost 30 years, children on my gift-buying list had me hitting up a Disney Store in whatever shopping mall I was near. I won't be able to do that, this Christmas.

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Disney Store Closing all Illinois Locations

If I'm being honest, not ALL my Disney Store trips were for the purpose of buying some child a gift. The Disney Store was a place I could make myself feel like a child, as well.

Such Iconic movies and characters, just one touch of a 'Lion King' plushie and I could hear Hakuna Matata playing in my head.

"It means no worries
For the rest of your days
It's our problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata."

It's no surprise that retail stores are struggling to stay open when so many of us rely on online shopping to make almost all of our purchases. For Disney, it's a move they've been looking to make for most of 2021 and now it is official.

Getty Images for Disney

Disney operates four stores in Illinois:

  • Woodfield Mall
  • Gurnee Mills
  • Chicago Premium Outlets

and the biggest and most beautiful of them all,

  • Chicago's Magnificent Mile
Disneyland Resorts via Getty Ima

All Illinois Disney Stores closing in September

According to NBC Chicago, Disney's website says the Michigan Avenue store will close "on or before" September 1 and the others will be closing "on or before" September 15.

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Shopping for authentic Disney items in an actual store will still happen in about 100 more Target stores around the country as the Walt Disney Company announced the opening of Disney Shops in these select Target store locations. The plan is for these new shops to be up and running by the holiday season.

 

Besides Disney's theme parks, the Target locations will be the only retail stores.

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