Friday, January 10, 2014

Flashback Friday - The Jessica Rabbit Store, Gone But Not Forgotten

The Jessica Rabbit Store, called Jessica's, was opened on December 15th 1990, according to the D23 Archives. I was fortunate enough to visit the store without even knowing it existed, now over 20 years ago. Back then, there was no internet to keep you informed on all the different happenings, news and such. Disney fan's had an especially hard time knowing much of what was going on in the parks, aside from random TV specials. Though Disney's MGM Studios had quite a lot of press at the time, the Jessica's store in Pleasure Island was a well kept secret. Also around this time, Disney began to focus on creating more "park-exclusive" merchandise which you wouldn't find anywhere else, making Jessica Rabbit one of the first modern Disney characters to house a shop of her own signature merchandise.

Before becoming the Jessica's store, the building housed the Island Depot from 1989 to 1990, which sold Pleasure Island memorabilia and assorted sundries. It then became the Dick Tracy store around the summer of 1990, selling merchandise from the film. The entrance sign was the Dick Tracy logo, and automobiles from the Dick Tracy film were located around the outside. There was even a large standee of Breathless Mahoney outside - much like that of Jessica Rabbit from the MGM Studios. The building then became Jessica's and was only open until some time in 1992. Though the article on the D23 website states it was shut down in February of 1993, the merchandise was not being sold in 1992 when I went for a second visit, so they maybe referring to when the large neon Jessica Rabbit sign was removed.

The Jessica sign was eventually relocated to another area of the park atop the West End Stage alongside a “Pleasure Island Tonight” sign, where it remained a popular visual for many years until the sign and entire stage were removed in June of 2006. The store building went on to become the Music Legends store, a tattoo parlor and in 2007 a smokers lounge called Fuego by Sosa Cigars. Sadly, even the entire building which once housed the store is now gone, as you can see blow from this photo taken in the Pleasure Island area in December 2013. The blank space in the middle would have been were the building once stood. Disney is now reworking this entire area.

To read more about Jessica's, the merchandise, and my visit to the store, Click Here: - A Jessica Rabbit Site: Jessica's - Signature Store of a Toon Diva

For a timeline of photos for the Jessica Rabbit store building, interior, exterior, and neon sign, Click Here: - A Jessica Rabbit Site: Park Photos - Pleasure Island and Downtown Disney