A little sugar is not enough because the pill, in this case too bitter, certainly does not go down. At least for the 26 employees of the Disney Store Milan (but in total there are about 230 in all of Italy) who from the end of October will see the shutters of the shop in which they have been working for some time closed definitively.
The international chain specializing in the sale of Disney-branded products has in fact decided to focus on online. One after the other, all the shops in Italy are closing (Milan will be the last) and dreams, which until recently were desires, now become nightmares for many workers (who learned the news unexpectedly and that in part will be reinstated by the Percassi group which operates in retail commercial).
Throughout this story, however, that if it were Cinderella’s tale we would still be stuck at the dance invitation scene, without a dress, with a simple pumpkin that no one thought of turning into a carriage (in other words, still immersed in disappointment. and in the bitterness, quite distant from a certain happy ending), in this story, it was written, there is a detail that is escaping many. The Disney Store in Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Milan closes forever and who knows how we will all do it.
Spoiler: there is no solution. To close, in fact, it is not a simple shop, it is a real dream factory that, in our city, has definitely made history. An example above all: February 2012, the day of the inauguration of the new store in the center: “A little further on, in the course, compared to the previous one – tells us Nadia, 39 years old and cast member of the Disney Store Milan from 12 – from Piazza Duomo to San Babila everything was blocked. It was a real big party for the whole city. Minnie and Mickey in a vintage car paraded from the Cathedral, with them the band and an immense crowd of people on either side. The opening ceremony was celebrated in front of the entrance to the shop, which later became a daily appointment, one of the most fascinating things about that shop. I felt so small in front of those hundreds of people who were waiting for nothing but to enter and experience the magic ».
Lucia, 36, also tells us about her testimony: «I have been working for the Disney Store for 14 and in all this time we have always been a point of reference. Not only for children, but also for adults, to whom we brought out that childish side that they kept hidden. It is impossible to imagine the center of Milan without the Disney Store, with the children waiting at 8 in the morning, before going to school, to do the ceremony and open the shop with the big key. With the rain, the snow, with the long queue at Christmas or Carnival, all to stay in there even just five minutes but the scenography, the music, the impact, it was all special ». Will the city miss him? “Milan without Disney Store is like a margherita pizza without basil leaves, it will certainly lack that scent that makes the difference”.
The great void will also be for citizens and tourists who felt a little at home here: “We all grew up on bread and Disney,” says Nadia. Let anyone who can testify to the contrary come forward. Entering that shop in front of Piazza San Carlo really meant entering an enchanted temporal space, a sort of Narnia (yes, “The Chronicles of Narnia” is a Disney Pictures distribution, the reference can be made) in which, once inside, choosing a toy was perhaps the least of the priorities.
The music was suddenly louder and a parade started along the corridors of people and characters practically rained down from another dimension. The magic mirror spoke to you, the castle welcomed you for the themed games on the screen, Tinker Bell and Buzz Lightyear chased each other three-dimensional on the walls, but come on, what are we talking about ».
Daniela is one cast member since he was 25 and since his first day in Milan, 20 have passed: “once you entered that shop you were completely surrounded by childhood memories, by all those sensations that leave you speechless and result in an explosion of smiles and cheer. Just like when you are a child and you see everything for the first time. It was like diving into those stories and fantasies that have accompanied you from an early age ».
Even just for the soundtrack that was always on, the automatic process was that of becoming children again: “Make a whistle” (from Pinocchio), does it say anything? A sinking heart, impossible to live online (let’s all put a stone on it). “Everyone’s hearts are broken but the sweet, magical, deep and unique memory remains and it will be present forever” concludes Rossella, store manager of the Disney Store Milano that now, for real, once upon a time. A sincere hug.