Ever since hearing that a new Marvel-themed store was going to be opening at Disney Springs, we have been waiting with bated breath to go check it out! The shop is called Super Hero Headquarters and is located in the Westside neighborhood of the complex. The first thing that caught my eye as we walked up was the huge display windows (below), which are beautifully done; I wish I had something this bright and graphic in my home! Once you are inside you’ll notice that it’s small, very small, but they managed to squeeze a lot in there. They stock all things Avengers & Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside a few scattered items from other Marvel works. What I love more than the cool merchandise on offer, is the displays and design of the store. Everything is done up like a S.H.I.E.L.D. field station with flat screen TVs, maps, clocks and logos everywhere. The glowing emblem on the laptop and the sheet metal desk (both below) as you first walk into the store are fabulous!
As I said, this place is tiny and the two largest consumers of breathing space are the throngs of REALLY excited children waiting to have their photos added to posters/other novelties next to their favorite superheroes (this space is about 1/4 of the store’s footprint) and staff. The staff is everywhere! For a store about the size of my living room & dining room combined, they had two cast members at the photoshop center (my name for it), two on the register, two on the door, one standing behind the cast running the register and at least two (possibly three) others walking around. So 9 or 10 employees in a space that MIGHT hold 35-40 people comfortably, it’s insane. On top of it actually being small, it is stuffed FULL with displays and merch, most of which is very graphic in design or highly reflective, thus creating an optical clutter that makes this space seem even smaller than it really is.
It might sound like I’m complaining, but I assure you I could not be happier to have this shop right down the street from me. Here in the Florida Disney parks, we don’t get any Marvel love. They contracted their characters to Universal Studios in the years before Disney purchased them. As long as Universal wants the characters, they are free to use them and Disney can NOT use them in any of their US parks East of the Mississippi. So that leaves us at a stalemate here on the east coast, I’ll take whatever I can get. I’ve often wondered if Disney isn’t working on building up Marvel characters that don’t appear to be part of the original deal, with theme park tie-ins specifically in mind? Universal uses Spiderman, The Hulk, Captain America, some of the X-men, the Fantastic Four & Dr. Doom. Why is the mouse not using the myriad of other characters that have recently become popular for Disney/Marvel like Ant-man, Guardians of the Galaxy, The whole Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. crew (including Agent Carter), Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, The Punisher, Blade, Elektra, etc.. or even the Avengers that aren’t used by Universal like Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Falcon and Vision? Hell…. at the very least give me a LOKI!
Whether they ever add Marvel characters to the Florida parks or not, I’m at least glad we have this store. It’s location at Disney Springs is permitted because it is an entertainment complex that is free and not a pay-per-entrance “theme park”. You may also know Disney Springs as Downtown Disney, but since they will soon be changing the name, we decided to go with the new one here. There are a lot of new stores and restaurants going into the new spaces at DS so maybe they will move this into a larger storefront? I hope that they rotate the stock regularly, as one problem I have with some Disney-owned shops is that they will carry the same merchandise for a year or more before the new designs come in.