Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday announced a revamp of its Disney Store retail chain and plans to open 25 new and remodeled stores in North America and Europe this year.

The Burbank entertainment giant has been testing an activity oriented format at 19 stores, mostly in tourist locations. For example, the new stores include areas where children can assemble cars from the Disney-Pixar "Cars" movie or explore a two-story princess castle.

“Guests told us that we brought the magic back to Disney Store with the launch of our new design and responded by staying in the stores longer and purchasing more,” Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide, said in a statement.

Disney Store, which opened in 1987, had closed some of its more than 350 locations in recent years, even before the recession, due to lagging sales. It now will open stores in six new North American markets and in three new European countries, in addition to remodeling existing locations, including the Westfield mall in Culver City this year.

Shares were down 10 cents, or less than a percent, to $39.40 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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