/ Thursday, March 13th, 2014

shopDisney: Merchandise Ideas for Walt Disney World®

shopDisney is a bi-weekly blog that will focus on Disney merchandise and products sold in the parks, in Disney stores, and in other retail markets.  We will explore product reviews, affordability, and to whom the products are marketed.  Like any other good product review, we will conclude with a rating scale for several different key components: price, age group, and whether the product is a “must have.”

Profile pic for shopDisneyThis weeks blog is a little different than previous blogs, as it is focuses on merchandise that I think should be sold at Walt Disney World®.  Having visited so many times over the years, there are some items that I just cannot believe are not sold in specific resorts or parks and wanted to share some of these ideas with you.

Resort-specific Merchandise:

I have heard of the resort-specific merchandise that used to be available at the Disney resorts, however, having not stayed on property when I was a child, I have not ever observed any merchandise that is resort-specific.  That being said, I think that people would love to have a t-shirt, shot glass, or even the refillable resort mugs that is resort-specific.  I observe many people in everyday life who wear a t-shirt branded with hotel names, and I still don’t understand why Disney wouldn’t take advantage of this opportunity.

On that same note, it would be fun to sell either resort stickers or magnets at each resort and then sell a map that you could place each on. Think of the state magnets that avid campers can buy and put on their RVs, but this would be in the Disney spirit.  Collect all of the resorts that you have stayed at to complete your map!

Re-fillable cups in the Disney Parks:

I know that the resort mugs are in the process of being changed and the system redone, but couldn’t Disney use the same concept inside the parks? Pay $15 or so for one day of unlimited refills, make it X number of refills per hour, and people would flock to use the service. My husband, Brandon, prefers fountain beverages to a bottle and would be the first one to buy a mug. And bonus, you get to keep the mug as a souvenir! Make 7 different designs and have an RFID chip inside for tracking and making sure the cup is being used on the correct day and you would have people wanting to collect each day of the week.

Disney Movies:

It makes no sense to me that Disney does not have all of their currently “out of the vault” movies being sold in the parks and/or resorts.  Disney began as a movie studio, so why wouldn’t they be selling the products that built the parks?  I would love to see some of their older movies being offered as well, because people should be educated in the film history of the Walt Disney Studios.

 

I hope you have enjoyed my brief look at some items that I think should be offered at Walt Disney World.  I honestly think that Disney puts the same exact merchandise in all of their stores, and you are seeing the same items over and over again.  Why not offer items in less stores and carry more of a variety?  I don’t want to see the same 10 shirts at each of the parks and also in my resort.  I would love to see a shirt hanging in Epcot® that I can’t find anywhere else.  The demand for that would bring people back into the parks to buy the items that they couldn’t find anywhere else.

I would love to know what you think that Disney should offer in their gift shops that they don’t currently offer.  Its an interesting topic when you begin looking and thinking about what really is offered.  Remember to have a wonderful couple of weeks and keep shopping Disney-style!

(All photographs are from the authors personal collection)

Alyssa Wiseman (also known as ajwiseman09 in the box) and her husband Brandon reside in central Indiana (too far from Disney) with their 4 year shih tzu London Bridget and Bulldog, Maggie Mae.  Alyssa and Brandon enjoy traveling to Disney several times a year to see what is new and enjoy classic Disney.  While traveling, and at home, Alyssa is frequently shopping for Disney products and making a list of items to buy while in the parks.  Please follow Alyssa on twitter @ajwiseman09.

12 Responses to "shopDisney: Merchandise Ideas for Walt Disney World®"

  1. Jen says:

    We loved collecting resort magnets for our fridge. The kids used to fight over who had a particular magnet on “their” side of the fridge. We miss them! We have several that our now missing from our collection. We did inquire with cast members, and they stated that we should suggest it to the guest services people. We suggest it every chance we get!

  2. Steamboat Eddie says:

    I’m with ya on the refillable mug idea, I would be all over that.

    Have a great day!

  3. Lisa says:

    Would like to see info on any Disney products made in America. We need to push that more. Imagine the impact that would have! And, I have found so many reasonably priced items made in America so it’s certainly doable.

  4. DisneyGirlRuby says:

    Totally on board with the Refillable mugs in the parks.

  5. Elaine says:

    Love all of your suggestions, Alyssa! When our kids were little, we stayed in a different hotel each time we went to WDW. So, of course we would buy resort specific refillable mugs each time. As the girls grew up and moved out of the house, each made sure to take all their mugs with them. Yes, we all bought resort, park, and even ride specific magnets, pens, charms, T shirts, mugs, and any other doodads we could take home with us to extend our vacation feelings once we got home.

    I always wondered why Disney didn’t sell their older movies too. Sometimes when we got back to our roomsat night, we wished we had a good old movie like Peter Pan, Snow White, Dumbo, Jungle book, Alice in Wonderland or Indiana Jones to watch so the girls could see the Disney Movies the attractions and all the characters we saw during the day were based on.

    I hope The Disney Guys are reading this!

    I really agree with Lisa about souvenirs being made in America. I’m quite turned off by all the stuff made in China being sold there now.

  6. Craig Hargrove says:

    Not sure what should be sold but, enough of the dated merchandise. All I see at the parks now is merchandise with the current year plastered all over it. Does anyone buy this stuff?

  7. Melanie says:

    Hi Alyssa! I don’t know why the resorts stopped selling merchandise with their logos. I have sweatshirts and refillable mugs from Dixie Landings (now Port Orleans) and Wilderness Lodge. When we were married at Disney in 2006, I do remember seeing resort specific merchandise at DVC resorts. I love your idea about the refillable mugs in the park. I always thought why not allow those mugs in the parks? Great ideas, Alyssa!

  8. Kendall Foreman (MoretotheWorld) says:

    Back in the mid 90s, there was a store at the Polynesian where the (now or soon to be closed)Wyland Gallery is/was. It sold only Polynesian Resort specific merchandise and items made in Hawaii or the other South Pacific islands. My mom actually purchased a purse made out of a coconut shell there. It was such a neat merchandise location because it was entirely unique items. We were so sad when it closed. The Boutiki has started stocking more resort specific items. I purchased a Polynesian Resort t-shirt and a magnet when I stayed there last year.

    One merchandise location I would have liked to see over the years is a store or kiosk where you could make a CD (I know a little outdated now!) of whatever background music, attraction songs, or parade soundtracks you wanted. So many great songs from the parks are not available on iTunes or on any of the parks CDs.

  9. Fran Cassano says:

    Alyssa, This is a great post! You’ve got us all thinking and on the lookout :)

  10. Lauren Ashley Minchin says:

    I thought that disney already did take advantage of this!

  11. paul says:

    I have about twenty shirts, mugs, magnets, and other stuff that is resort specific but I remember that Disney stop selling this things because they wanted to consolidate all their products to one or two logos. How many times do you see “Disney Parks” on items. I do think bring back the resort mugs would be a good idea. I do not thing mugs in the major parks would work well. There are other parks who have tried this and the price is 20.00 with a 1.00 refill or 30.00 for free refill for the day. The one item I item I would like to see sold in the parks is the Mickey and me photos that used to be sold at Disney Down Town.

  12. Amanda small says:

    Hello
    I would like to suggest a new product for you to sell in all your Disney park stores.
    I have been many times to your resorts , travelling with children buggies and prams … Although you provide buggy stations to leave them in , I always worry that someone could take the wrong buggy , which happened to us on our last visit , we did how ever track it down and there was no problem .
    I would like to suggest that you could sell a bike lock / chain in your stores with a Disney logo so customers could use them at the buggy parks.
    Buggies are very costly and I think this product would go really well giving people peace of mind on long waits to go on a ride !!! Many thanks ;)

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