1. Arts & Entertainment

Disney Store opens in Clearwater Target just in time for Star Wars’ Force Friday

The “shop-in-shop” location is one of only 25 in the country and two in the state of Florida.
Graham Kropp, 9 and his father Steve Kropp, both of Seminole, shop for Star Wars items at the Clearwater Target, 2747 Gulf To Bay Blvd, Friday, October 4, 2019 in the Disney Store section. Friday was the release of this year's Force Friday Star Wars products. Target sales associate Kat McCauley, right, offers them some Star Wars themed cup cakes. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
Published Oct. 4

CLEARWATER — Things got a little more magical at the Target on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard Friday morning.

The store became one of only 25 in the country and two in Florida (the other is in Jacksonville) to house the Disney Store “shop-in-shop,” a Disney Store pop-up in select Target locations. The launch coincided with Triple Force Friday, a global drop of new Star Wars memorabilia marking the release of three franchise properties in the coming months.

“I love the display,” Disney fan and Clearwater resident Ivette Irizarry said. “When I read about this I was wondering where they were going to put it. This is a great location. I would live in Disney all day long if I could.”

Target sales associate Bisma Sial, left, helps customer Ivette Irizarry, right, both of Clearwater at the Clearwater Target, 2747 Gulf To Bay Blvd, Friday, October 4, 2019. The Disney Store within the Target location opened Friday. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

More than two dozen fans lined up before the store even opened to grab exclusive collectibles released just for this year’s Force Friday. The tradition started in 2015 when Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released. Another followed in 2016 for the release of Rouge One and again in 2017 for the Last Jedi.

Customers line up outside of the Clearwater Target store, 2747 Gulf To Bay Blvd, Friday, October 4, 2019, before the store opened at 8am. The group was Star Wars fans waiting to purchase items during the release of this year's Force Friday Star Wars product in the store. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

This year’s Force Friday was one of the biggest yet. Disney will close the Skywalker Saga with The Rise of Skywalker in theaters in December. A month before the movie, Disney will release the action-adventure game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, as well as its first live action Star Wars show, The Mandalorian, on the new Disney+ streaming service.

Steve Kropp and his son Graham got there just as the store opened around 8 a.m. The father-son Star Wars fan duo from Seminole was on the hunt for some hot items, like the Black Series Sith Trooper and the remote controlled D-O droid, two of the new characters debuting in The Rise of Skywalker.

There were plenty of Disney fans on hand as well. Joel Feliciano eyed the Star Wars products from across the display as his wife and children looked over the Disney items, especially the Frozen 2 merchandise that also launched Friday. That’s his five-year-old daughter Anji’s favorite. Feliciano has been waiting for it to open since the “shop-in-shop” concept was announced in August.

Ahjali Feliciano, 5, Largo, holds up a Disney Elsa dress from the movie Frozen II in the Disney store at the Clearwater Target, 2747 Gulf To Bay Blvd, Friday, October 4, 2019. Feliciano was shopping with her parents in the store. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

“We couldn’t say no,” Feliciano said. “I think we’re going to have to schedule a specific day in the week now to come here.”

Target and Disney plan to launch 40 more locations in the next year. The stores will carry merchandise and apparel from most Disney properties including Disney Junior, animated films, Star Wars and Marvel. Shoppers can also find Disney store-exclusive items on

Star War items were on sale at the Clearwater Target, 2747 Gulf To Bay Blvd, Friday, October 4, 2019. Friday was the release of this year's Force Friday Star Wars products. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

“Our products help fans and families live the magic wherever and whenever they want,” Disney Parks chairman Bob Chapek said in a news release. “And we know the way consumers shop for those products is changing — so we’re making the magic easier to access than ever before through this collaboration that will bring Disney store magic to Target stores.”

We are visiting Target in Clearwater off Gulf To Bay Boulevard for the opening of the Disney Store POP-UP and Triple Force Friday.

Posted by Tampa Bay Times on Friday, October 4, 2019


  1. Alison Krauss will perform at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 20. Capitol Records
    The Clearwater Jazz Holiday returns with a strong music lineup, Zac Brown Band plays Tampa and Barry Bostwick will be here to screen ‘Rocky Horror.'
  2. Festival goers move through the midway during the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church's annual Ethnic Festival. This year's festival will be Oct. 17-20 at the church on Spring Hill Drive at Coronado Drive. Tampa Bay Times | 2010
    The 28th-annual Ethnic Festival returns to St. Joan of Arc.
  3. On Sunday, Wayne Brady will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater
    Wayne Brady performs at the Mahaffey, St. Petersburg hosts the UpDog Triple Crown Challenge and Taking Back Sunday stops by Jannus Live.
  4. Nghtmre performs at the Sunset Music Festival in Tampa on May 26, 2018. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  5. Trebek made clear he plans to continue working as a host. [Associated Press]
    The longtime Jeopardy! host announced a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in March, then remission in May, but now says tumors are worse than ever.
  6. Jill Ciment. Courtesy of Arnold Mesches
    The story of jurors on a Florida murder trial takes some wicked twists.
  7. The cast of "Floribama Shore." Season 3, which was shot in Pinellas County, premieres in November. Courtesy of MTV
    MTV released a teaser trailer for its hit reality series filmed in Pinellas. Here’s a first look at what happened in St. Petersburg.
  8. J.B. Smoove will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on Saturday. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Invision/AP
    J.B. Smoove takes the Straz Center stage, plus Roboticon Tampa Bay at the Yuengling Center and the St. Pete Side Lot hosts the Guerilla Art Market.
  9. Author Susan Isaacs' new novel is "Takes One to Know One." Linda Nutter
    ‘Takes One to Know One’ follows an ex-FBI agent uncovering hidden identity and crime in an upscale suburb.
  10. Florida Literary Legend Craig Pittman at work on the Ichetucknee River in 1999. Times (1999)
    His five books about the state and award-winning environmental reporting for the Times earned him the title.