The MountainMy Disney family took quite a hit this week, and it sent shock waves through all of us.  I’ve never mentioned it before on Rays of Disneyland due to social media rules, etc. but I worked at the Disney Store, here in Denver, off and on, for nine years.  I worked at three different stores and had roles ranging from seasonal part-time, to Lead, and everything in between.  I met so many great people and built an amazing Disney family.  Unfortunately, in February of this year, Disney made the decision to close the store I was working at, without an opportunity to transfer.  Our entire Disney family got together and sat in our now empty store after the last guest came through the door.  We laughed and cried and enjoyed being together.

Now, eight months later, we are gathering again – digitally at least – to support two of our family members.  I found out last week that two wonderful ladies, that I have worked with for years, have been diagnosed with some pretty serious illnesses.  In deference to their situations, I won’t go into too much detail, but if you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen that one of them had massive surgery for a large brain tumor, and the other has a type of autoimmune disorder.  Both were struck suddenly and unexpectedly and took us all by surprise.


I’ve been reminiscing a lot this week about my time with my Disney family at my second home, the Disney Store.  Our store opened about 17 years ago.  It wasn’t the first store in Colorado but, for me, it was the most special.  The store was just a few minutes from my house in a mall that my mom and I frequented.  If I haven’t said it before, this store was special.  As I got older, even when I was working there, my Disney Store became my escape, my retreat.  When I had a bad day, no matter how big or how small, my mom and I would pile in the car after work and head to the 1.5 miles to the mall and into the pink and green Store.  It was our family seeking peace in our Disney family.

I made such good friends there.  Not only was it cozy and magical – in all of its mid-90s splendor – but the people were unlike any others.  We all shared a love for Disney… more than any other Disney Store I’ve been in, these folks worked there simply because they loved and believed in the company.  Many of us were working second jobs at the Store less because we needed the money and more because we needed the Store.  I was perfectly willing to work somewhere between 45 and 60 hours a week at my regular job and spend nights and weekends working at the Disney Store.  It was just that good.  I firmly believe that when Disney closed store 505 they lost many of their most devoted and dedicated employees.

I can’t adequately explain the feeling that being in that store gave me… but if I could bottle it and sell it, I think it would be the answer to world peace.

So, if you are reading this right now, I consider you to be part of my extended Disney family. 🙂  And, I need your help.  Please send all of your thoughts, prayers, and pixie dust to the former Cast of Store 505… we need a little extra these days.  I think this one’s going to take a lot, so it may take all of our faith, trust, and pixie dust to get this Disney family back on track, but trust me when I say that we all will appreciate it more than you know!

Photos Courtesy of Rebecca Bohmann

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