I agree with you on the layout. It was easy to get disoriented (for me, at least).IMO, the old store was a nightmare both in its so-called 'whimsy' and layout.
What's there now, IMO, is so much better.
It could stand to have more magical moments, like the drawings that come to life. But, I can browse the store now without becoming dizzy.
Disney isn't meant to be a jungle either where moving forward is difficult to near impossible.Disney is not a supermarket where I go through a shopping list.
Clarity and ease of navigation are not a goal. The goal rather is to browse, get lost, stumble upon unforeseen need-to-haves.
In general the modern hipster industrial style is not a good match for Disney. The 90s/early 00s style, of the erstwhile Disney Store amongst others, bordered on garish and plain ugly, no false nostalgia there, but it was a more natural fit.
I think the openness makes that worse -- not that it wasn't cramped before, but at least people were separated into different rooms rather than all being smushed together in one huge open space. That's not necessarily better from a design standpoint, but it wasn't as loud.I avoid the World of Disney store as much as possible. Not because of the remodel, which I think looks nice and has an improved layout, but because it’s always insanely cramped, crowded, chaotic and loud.
That is pretty much what we did on our trip last November. We did check out some of the more specialized stores ( World Showcase, Main Street Jewelry, & a few others). But otherwise we didn't do much time at the stores in the parks.I suppose you could just shop at World of Disney and then ignore all the shops in the parks, though.