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Chicago's Disney Store Grand Opening Today

About this blog

What's more fun than a kid in a candy store?   Two mouse eared munchkins in a Disney toy store!  As of 10:00 am today, Disney's newest redesigned store will be open at State and Randolph.   It's an airy, spacious location with loads of magical surprises and hands on fun.   We're lucky to have the first redesign in the midwest, the 2nd one in existance, and we even got the jump on Times Square which will open later this year!

Every morning at 10:00 am, one lucky child will get the giant key to "unlock imagination" and open the store.   Once inside, you can follow the sparkling path that winds throughout the store, and takes you to different "neighborhoods".   The new format was thoroughly researched with kids in mind.   Our guide said the adult design team spent a LOT of time on their knees, to get the sight lines just right.   They even built a mock up in California warehouse where they discovered what worked for kids and what needed to be reworked.   Originally, there was a jukebox at the theatre, but it proved confusing for kids, so they reinvented a more user friendly touch screen.

The interactive center piece is a giant screen theatre where kids can select Disney movie clips and songs on a giant ipad looking device.   Their choices will be stored and qued, juke box style, and played in turn.   Boys and mechanically minded girls will love the Cars station where custom parts can be purchased and assembled by kids on the spot, with parental help.   Girls and little boys who like to play dress up, will love the princess castle, where a wave of a wand brings characters to life in the magic mirror.

Shoppers will be able to see flying Disney characters flit by on the walls and check out projections on the store's trees which will change with the seasons.   At a random time each day, the Disney villains will try to take over, and children will be encouraged to clap along with Tinkerbelle and call the other heros to save the day.   Then, at closing time each day, the moon comes up in the theatre space and the lights dim, signifying time for all magical creatures and children to call it a day.   These special touches make each visit unique.

Although the entire store is devoted to children, there is a tween clothing area and an adult collectables and clothes island as well.   Sagezilla and Du-Jay's favorites were the blind box Mickey collectables in funky designs.   It's kind of like a gum ball machine concept for adults, where you get a random character from the line.   The boxes are identical and unmarked, so it's always a surprise.   They also loved the good selection of Nightmare Before Christmas characters and collectables.

It's always fun to have a new, interactive place to play.   Disney claims they'll give you the best 30 minutes of your kids' day.   So, take a mini vacation and enjoy some Disney magic right here at 1 Randolph Street.

Win A Disc (And Hardback Book) Wednesday: Swing Cafe

Posted Sep 29, 2010 3:29 PM

ChiIL Mama was absolutely delighted to read and listen to Swing Cafe, another excellent title in The Secret Mountain's award winning series of children's books. The accompanying CD is packed with classic recordings by legendary performers like Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller and other Jazz greats who are interwoven throughout the narration of the story. The CD is a lengthy 60 minutes, so families get their money's worth on this one. It's a perfect road trip disc.
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Win A Disc (And Hardback Book) Wednesdays: The Little Blue Doggy--And The Winner Is...

Posted Sep 29, 2010 1:30 PM

Mama Amanda and her youngest daughters, Victoria and Adeline, are our winners this week. Big congrats! The Secret Mountain's award winning children's books are well written and impressively creative musically and artistically. Check out their site for more great titles.
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Redesigned, Interactive Disney Store Grand Opening Today

Posted Sep 28, 2010 11:48 AM

Disney's newest redesigned store opens today at State and Randolph. It's an airy, spacious location with loads of magical surprises and hands on fun.
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Win A Disc (And A Hardback Book!) Wednesdays: The Little Blue Doggy

Posted Sep 22, 2010 2:33 PM

ChiIL Mama is thrilled to bring you 2 of The Secret Mountain's award winning children's book/CD sets, this week and next. The Little Blue Doggie is slated for October release, so our winner will be one of the first to have a copy anywhere! Enter on ChiIL Out to win.
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Win A Disc Wednesday: Gustafer Yellowgold ticket and DVD/CD Winners...

Posted Sep 22, 2010 1:31 PM

Check in on ChiIL Out to find out who won the family 4 pack of tickets to see Gustafer Yellowgold at Schubas, Oct. 3rd at 11am and who won the DVD-CD Set. We also have links to 8 days of new Boogers videos, along with a feature on Ed Kowalczyk from the band, LIVE. We also have a short list of the best of the rest of September.
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Win A Disc (Or Tickets!) Wednesdays: Gustafer Yellowgold

Posted Sep 16, 2010 5:21 PM

ChiIL Mama has something xtra special for you this week... Gustafer Yellowgold--Our favorite mellow, yellow space dude is coming back to Chicago on October 3rd, 11am at Schubas. And ChiIL Mama is giving away a family-4 pack of tickets to the show! We are also giving away Have You Never Been Yellow?, a charmingly quirky DVD/CD set. Enter to win through Tuesday midnight. One entry per family per week. Winners chosen by random number site. Enter at the end of this post!
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ChiIL Mama Win A Disc Wednesday: The Boogers-Road to Rock--And The Winner Is...

Posted Sep 15, 2010 3:39 PM

Check in to find out who won Road To Rock, and check out ChiIL Mama's exclusive interview with Chicago's own punk daddies, The Boogers. We also have concert footage of The Boogers, performing lots of new tunes, live at their 9/11 Schubas show. Catch a sneak peek all week.
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Win A Disc Wednesdays: Windy Kindie-The Boogers Are Back As Our Pick Of The Week

Posted Sep 8, 2010 4:11 PM

Who doesn't love Boogers, especially when they're Greenie, Crusty and Sticky?! This week for ChiIL Mama's Win A Disc Wednesday, we'll be giving away Road to Rock, by The Boogers. We've featured them 2 times on past Wednesdays, and believe me, this CD will turn the most reticent kid into a mosh pit monster. Enter at the end of this post to win your own copy!
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ChiIL Mama Win A Disc Wednesday: Meredith LeVande-What Are The Odds? And The Winner Is...

Posted Sep 8, 2010 12:38 PM

Dina and her kids, Lily & Jayce, are our big winners this week. She likes to listen to Pink and says "My daughter loves Rockstar!" Your family would probably also love our upcoming ChiIL Mama Win A Disc Wednesday bands, The Boogers--Chicago's kindie rockin' Ramones and Candy Band, Detroit's punk rock Mamas. Winners, please send your name and address to zbluesun@gmail.com. All contact info will remain private and confidential. Winners are chosen by random number generator every Wednesday. Enter to win through Tuesday midnight. One entry per family per week.
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Four Day-Not A Bored Day Weekend--Part 1--Billy Elliot

Posted Sep 7, 2010 11:21 AM

We made the most of our four day Labor Day weekend, and packed it full of fun. Thursday night we checked out Broadway in Chicago's production of Billy Elliot at the gorgeous Ford Center For The Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre. I'm not a huge fan of musicals, except the dark, macabre and quirky kind. So, of course we all thoroughly enjoyed this one. The kids loved the music and dance, especially the life sized dancing dresses. Sagezilla and Du-Jay were especially captivated, since the cast includes a number of children, not much older than they are. It was a highlight of our evening to meet Billy, J.P. Viernes, who is only fourteen and did a phenomenal job. He's been dancing for seven years and trades off with five other boys to play the title roll.
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