The Whos down in Who-ville are all in a fit
The Holiday Fever has once again hit!
Ringing bat-winged jing-tinglers, blowing haunt horns ‘til dawn,
They celebrate nothing ‘til they’re haggard and drawn.
The end of September is a beautiful season
But try as I may, I can’t see the reason
To make-over the Park, and close down a ride
Striping everything orange a country-mile wide!
When I stop and consider their plan a bit more
The Grinch sees the genius of using the Park as a store!
Manufacture promotions to get locals to shop
Selling Taiwanese Pumpkin Churro Whips eight bucks a pop!
What can we lose when we see so many smiles?
And bins of Nemo plushes for miles and miles?
So break out the bubbly, ‘cause Skellington’s here!
Merry Selling to All, and a Promotional New Year!!
I know, I know, the Grinch can be a bit overly dramatic, but do you agree? Let’s look at the argument closer:
With the unregulated proliferation of the AP, DL has had to adjust its model in order to compensate for the drop in per ticket admission sales. How better to accomplish this than by merchandise and food service sales. What this means of course, is the constant NEED for more merch, and food choices, and a higher volume of both. In essence, DIS needs increasingly more and more cheap excuses for locals to show up
DL’s market now caters more to the ‘casual visitor’ that the unregulated AP system has created. In order to keep APers interested and coming back to the Park regularly, to make up revenue lost through ticket sales, new different merch and food must be constantly offered. This is accomplished by the constant promotions/giveaways/special AP events/movie/TV tie-ins offered in the Parks today.
I traveled to the Park last week and found the decorations and appointments to be quite attractive and festive. HMH was a treat, as usual, but I couldn’t help feeling that the entire focus of the Parks has drastically changed over the years, away from attractions and towards merchandise and promotions.
DL’s main drawing power now seems to lie firmly planted in its retail appeal, not in its ability to thrill and enchant through experience. I personally hate to see this over-reliance on retail in order to support a Park, IMO, perfectly capable of standing on its own two creative feet without resorting to an addiction upon cheap plush sales.
By letting everybody in for virtually nothing through their non-regulated policies for AP sales, DIS has dug itself a hole that becomes harder and harder to fill back up as time goes on, IMO. We see DL attractions suffer because of it. A ‘half-finished’(possible ‘never-finished’ PLOTSI), a hand-me-down Finding Nemo, also not fully-completed/fulfilled.
Theme is also affected negatively by this addiction to promotional gimmickry to maintain revenue. Unique shops are almost a thing of the past, and the liberties taken to ‘seasonalize’ many Lands are staggering.
In short, I dislike seeing attractions taking a back-seat to merch sales. It would be hard for me to imagine, in today’s DL, a new attraction being considered without a movie/TV promotion, an exit store, and a strong merchandising future. Does it matter? Is it harmful long-term? Or is it a problem as fleeting and meaningless as ‘HalloweenTime’?