Springtime refurbishments and merchandise mishaps at Disneyland

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features

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Published on April 28, 2014 at 5:38 am with 65 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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  • drnigelc

    Ha! The mugs next to the “Disney Adventureland” plate pic are also from Walt Disney World – Animal Kingdom to be exact (I have one!).

    • Stormy

      That mug is adorable!

      • drnigelc

        It’s one of my favorites! :)

  • LoveStallion

    1. Let’s face it. No one is really going to see “Million Dollar Arm” unless it surprises us with very strong reviews. Otherwise, it’s Don Draper teaching Indians how to pitch.

    2. I’m surprised they carry the Neal Gabler biography in the music shop. It’s a great read, but also an unflinchingly honest portrayal of Disney’s founder, faults and all. You’d think Disney PR might be concerned, but I doubt the book is pushing enough volume for anyone to care.

    3. The other merch stuff is bemusing, to be sure. Corporate synergy is, unfortunately, creeping more and more into the Anaheim properties. Anaheim for so long seemed immune to the lackadaisical attitude of top brass in Orlando, but it appears that such is no longer the case.

    • Zorro825

      I literally LOL’d at that first bullet point!!

    • WookieCookie

      “Million Dollar Arm” has been getting early buzz. Alan Horn said it was his highest-tested film since the first “Harry Potter” film. Here’s hoping it’s true and the film is a great one.

  • eicarr

    It will be interesting to see what happens on the next one of those gay days at DL with the Anita Bryant orange bird. Her scandal helped put that bird in the Disney vault quick. That’s one bit of Deep South merch I never expected in California. I’ll be skipping all the WDW merch.

    Love the Alice progress!!

    • Westsider

      There’s lots of gay CM’s and they seem to get a kick out of the Orange Bird exactly because of Anita Bryant. It’s obvious Anita lost that fight, and it’s ancient history now (long before most CM’s were born) as Anita sits quietly in a lightly attended dinner show in Branson. I think straight folks won’t know or care, and the gays think it’s a kitschy reminder of the fight they ultimately won. So out of the vault for the Orange Bird! It still doesn’t belong in Disneyland however.

  • Stormy

    Glad that it appears they aren’t going to change the track on Alice. I’d guess they’re going to extend it out on one side for an OSHA walkway.

    I do like the overall look of the new merch, but I agree that it would be nice if it were more park specific. But then again, a lot of guests won’t realize that.

  • Dhawkins1

    It is sad about the music shop, but. . . . . Most people now buy their music and videos digitally. CDs and DVDs are slowly going away. You can’t blame Disney for wanting to use valuable space for merchandise that sells. It is a business. That said, I wish they would still keep some of the sheet music around. It would keep the store a “music” shop.

  • Nland316

    Too bad about Mermaid! I was really looking forward to the new ending scene. Maybe this means that imagineers are gonna take their time to prep and conceptualized it more thoroughly. Hopefully it comes before the 60th!

    • Marko50

      While I also would like to see them make a really great Mermaid ending (?!?), I wonder how many more extended closures it’ll take on this attraction to get it the way they want it.

  • JCSkipr79

    Sorry, but I am SOOOO glad DL is finally carrying merch that is not DisneyParks crap. When was the last time Adv.Land had merch. ABOUT Adv.Land??? 20yrs ago??? Now if they could only redo the stores in New Orleans Square. And WTH is up w/ Small and Space??? They look as bad as they did before Cynthia came in!!!!!!

    • Internitty

      Personally, when I go to Disneyland I want to buy Disneyland souvenirs. When I want generic I go to Wal Mart or Hot Topic.

    • MyFriendtheAtom

      its so WDW specific tho its kinda not fun

  • Nola ron

    So no total improvovement for mermaid? Why dont they just tear it out if there gonna close it every few months for a month or two update. Might as well keep it closed. Will all referbs wouldn’t want to be at DL full price for a view of tons of walls? And maybe Disney should just admit that memo is lost at sea. And follow their own advise and “Let it go”

    • LoveStallion

      The real beauty here is that the Fantasyland dark rides have not shut down so much for random tinkering and show/story improvements. It seems like Ariel is constantly on the mend. When was the last time anything drastic changed in Fantasyland?

      • Marko50

        Guess you mean besides Alice.

      • ayalexander

        Alice is the first in a Fantasyland Dark Ride redo. Trust me, change is on its way.

      • bluekirty

        Well, those Fantasyland dark rides have been around for almost 40 years to almost 60 years. And as others pointed out, they’re getting their tinkering done even now. But Ariel is very important to DCA due to its ride capacity. They want it to be very successful. To me, it’s fine the way it is, but I do look forward to seeing these changes (as long as we can still see Mr. Limpet)

  • Internitty

    “I can’t help but feel like Disney is missing out on a huge opportunity to release rare theme park audio. After the huge success of the Disneyland 50th Anniversary box set, you’d think Disney would have been eager to cash in on the portion of their audience that will pay big money for high-quality theme park audio collections.”

    I couldn’t agree more. I picked up the remastered CD of the original Haunted Mansion record a couple of years back and I was SO hoping they would remaster the Small World record for the 50th anniversary of the ride. Even if things like that were limited edition it would be nice. There are so many park related records out there that would be nice to have on CD as well, just search Disneyland LP on eBay.
    Thank goodness I never stopped collecting vinyl I guess.


    It almost looks as if they are going to install some safety netting around the sides of Alice in Wonderland.

    Not sure how the OSHA rules define what type of barrier or what have you has to be installed, but I think a netting would be less intrusive visually.

    • LoveStallion

      I think netting would look too tacky for Disney standards. And is netting even OSHA compliant? It would catch you, sure, bit you could also slip a leg through it on accident and twist something.

      • mbyrd

        Agreed. A net would look really tacky. Cheap too, like a fair ride or something. But who knows maybe you’re correct and that IS what they are doing.

      • CaptainAction

        How often does Jerry Lewis ride Alice with the Three Stooges?
        They all fall out of the car, over the lap bar, then wander over the edge, turning around in circles wildly and then fall into a net, catching their legs, and twist something while yelling, “Waaa..haaa..aaaa?!?”
        Are you joking?
        If I had a nickel for every Guest and Castmember who fell to their death from the Alice ride – what a travesty.
        Sometimes on our vacations to Disneyland there were just piles of Guests laying around moaning in agony all around the Alice ride. We had to distract our kids and run passed all of them.
        Nanny State!?!

    • ayalexander

      What you are seeing with the wooden installations arent permanent, they look to be measurement placers for what is to be permanent. Most likely, they are building an ADA compliant walkway up there for guests who could be stranded on the ride and also for workers. A walkway would not be built on those flimsy wooden rods. They’re temporary.

    • CaptainAction

      Why don’t castmembers put helmets on all guests riding Alice, along with bungie cords.
      Then put helmets on all guests below Alice standing in the que.
      Problem solved.
      Nanny State!?!

  • Tinkbelle

    Yay! Dateline is back! Welcome back, Andy.

    I really like the plates and mugs for the specific lands. Did they have any for New Orleans and Critter Country?

    Those boysenberry treats look delicious. Especially the churros and ice cream.

  • coprogressfan

    What the heck is “Disney Adventureland”?!??!

    Again, the marketing and product development geniuses just miss the mark. So much of that merchandise is really cool and stuff I WANT to buy. But I’m never going to buy anything that says “Disney Adventureland” because it just makes no sense and reeks of clueless executives who are only concerned about branding, rather than the actual product.

    I love the mugs too…but if they’re not microwave/dishwasher safe…well, I’m really not about to start hand washing my coffee mug every morning.

  • DuckyDelite

    Thanks for posting about Knotts Berry Bloom. I had noticed some earlier articles here about the event and finally made it out there on Sunday and had a great time. With the Wine and Beer sampler plus all the berry themed food, it was a great way to spend an afternoon. It felt more like spending an afternoon at a local neighborhood park than a giant amusement park. The reasonable prices were nice too! Good job, Knotts. I hope they continue to do this every year.

  • michael darling

    LAND-specific merch is the way to go. This allows guests to really go after something specific to their visit.

  • MyFriendtheAtom

    im with andy on the whole music thing