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  1. #1

    • "I Break Things"
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    Would land specific merchandise work now?

    It's an interesting question, and one that is usually skirted on this board. People love to reminisce about the "good old days" and one of the first things to come up is land specific merchandise. For example if you were in Adventureland they had a place that sold Hawaiian shirts, another sold coconut sculptures, yet another specialized in bamboo artwork. Drums, masks, rain sticks, if you could picture it coming from the tropics then someone there might be selling it. In Frontierland they had an actual Pendleton shirt shop, and you could buy a variety of western goods. Tomorrowland sold astronaut icecream and Main Street was a unique turn of the century shopping experience.

    What you see now is the streamlined efforts of corporate America. It is convience at it's most basic level, anything you want in every store you walk into. Merchandise is generic, often seasonal, and caters to the "flavor of the week". Some of the more popular characters are easily found, while those that don't sell are hard to come by. In truth we built this system, with our own decision making purchases.

    So the question arises, would land specific merchandise actually work even if it was brought back? One issue is that land specific merchandise would likely be pricey. It would be a great deal harder to find some of the merchandise in bulk, and those costs would most definately be passed on to the consumer. Another issue is sales. People have been conditioned to buy T-Shirts, and stuffed animals, and may not readily purchase land specific merchandise as an alternative. Looking at NOS, and it's semi empty shops would indicate that the "big spenders" (foreign and domestic tourists) are more prone to purchase the mass produced souviners that have become so prevelant in the park. Honestly who would want to trek all the way to Tomorrowland to buy a glow sword, or all the way to Adventureland to buy an "Indy Mickey"? For that matter who would want to walk to Main Street just to find a shot glass, or a souvenir book.

    The flip side of the coin is that there is a strong local market that likely would appreciate such land specific merchandise. Knott's does extremely well in that regard (well the Ghost Town ones I speak with most weekends do). And they could serve as a potential model for Frontierland, but again the issue would still boil down to price... and it's been said that the AP does not buy on the level of the domestic or foreign tourist. So even if AP's might purchase such products, it wouldn't matter unless it caters to the larger audience as well.

    So I pose the question to Micechat, do you think it would work? There are still some holdouts of the old land specific system (for example masks in Adventureland but they hardly sell...) I am curious what all of you think.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    And they could serve as a potential model for Frontierland, but again the issue would still boil down to price... and it's been said that the AP does not buy on the level of the domestic or foreign tourist. So even if AP's might purchase such products, it wouldn't matter unless it caters to the larger audience as well.
    This isn't an issue about AP's. What you mean is locals who frequent the park, I think.

    "APs" as you refer to them, don't buy too much merchandise because they have the luxury of perhaps buying an item elsewhere. If they see an item they like, especially if it is fairly generic, it might be a good idea to check the local Walmart or Target before going back to DL to buy it. Especially if it is then discovered that only DL carries the item or (more likely) it is more expensive than Walmart or Target at which point they could purchase it there.

    Tourists, on the other hand do not have this luxury. So if a tourist sees something they like, they are more likely to buy it.

  3. #3

    • A Suitcase & A Dream
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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    I think that since Disneyland is small that land specific merchandise could possibly work, in all reality the lands are not that far from each other so people really shouldn't complain about having to go from one land to next to buy something. The DisneyParks brand is hurting the identity of each land, having the same merchandise gives the impression that all parts of the park are the same, you get the same cups and popcorn containers and such no matter where you are. Having the land specific merchandise would make what you buy a little more meaningful.

  4. #4

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    It worked in the past. I miss those days so much. To go into NOS and go to the kitchen shop that sold Cafe du Monde coffee & chicory, beignet mix, and other kitchen stuff. To cross to what is now a pin shop and buy a unique gift. I miss it a LOT. I think it's too generic now. It's sad that if you missed buying something on Main Street, you don't have to go back there to get it...you can get it in Tomorrowland, Frontierland, etc.

  5. #5

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    I'm casting my vote for the land-specific stuff - Ten years ago I bought my nephew the most awesome wooden rifle in frontier land - loved it.

  6. #6

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    There already is limited selections of land specific merchandise in Frontierland and Adventureland. But looks untouched.

    Tokyo Disneyland has vast amounts of land specific merchandise in many shops throughout the park. Guests there seem to snap those things up, but I really don't know how it would go over stateside. I am glad that they at least have a little offered at Disneyland.

  7. #7

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    I LOVE the shop in Adventureland that sells Adventureland stuff. I don't know how much land-specific merchandise they sell, but I wish that all lands had stuff like that.

    Right now, it seems like most gift shops sell the same items. Last time I went, every gift shop had PotC merch regardless of where the gift shop was located. I like the lands being separate and having their own items.

  8. #8

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    Quote Originally Posted by HelloKimmie View Post
    I'm casting my vote for the land-specific stuff - Ten years ago I bought my nephew the most awesome wooden rifle in frontier land - loved it.
    You've got no idea how many times I try to look for something like that rifle (the lever-action winchester-looking rifle?) and I'm disappointed to find the day-glo neon electronic ones in Frontierland.

    But anyway, I would love to see land-specific merchandise make a stronger return. It is there, already, to a certain degree. Adventureland of course carries the Indy stuff, and a few of the hawaiian shirts and things like that. I think, though, the thought of going to a certain land, hunting for a specific item that can only be found there certainly adds to the relative "fun" of souvenir shopping.

    Of course, I can see a lot of people going to Main Street asking where to buy an Indy hat and finding out they have to "oooh nooo" walk all the way back to Adventureland to buy one. I think it's already been said, the merchandise would probably sell better of course if centralized and things like that. It hurts your bottom line to spread everything so thin. I think they fear that guests wouldn't want to spend the extra time walking back and forth, here and there to just buy one thing, thus resulting in lost sales due to lazy customers.

    I feel that that is a vast generalization that isn't deserved by many guests.

  9. #9

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    I have bought bamboo wind chimes, and hunted down an Indy Mickey figure in Adventureland. BUT rather than LAND specific merchandise I WOULD RATHER have DISNEYLAND specific merchandise, instead of this "Disney Parks" CRAP! And ENOUGH with the merchandise the says BOTH DL and WDW! Heck, they had a boardgame bein sold in DL, that was really WDW's. And I DON'T want Animal Kingdom merchandise in Adventureland at Disneyland!

    In addition to DL specific merchandise, I would ALSO LIKE TO SEE Disneyland Ride specific merchandise! I have a figure of Brer Bear and Brer Fox in a Splash Mt Log as they as heading to a splashdown! It's one of my favorite DL items. Tiki Room merchandise moves like crazy, the Shag Hawaiian shirts, prints, mugs, etc. Not just some generic junk. People and Fans know quality, and are still willing to pay for it. But when you give them crap for merchandise, don't expect the praise of a ringing cash register. And we also want some quality, lower priced items, too.

    Fortunately, DL does have some nice big figs from time to time, and the Olszewski figures are nice, BUT even some of those items way overpriced for most people. How about bringing back pennants! I still have a collection from trips I was on in the 70's. And WHY has DL stoped selling posters (the ones that are NOT custom ordered) That's one thing I could afford as a kid, that I loved to get. Sorry but those small $35 to 40 matted prints aren't what we want all the time.

    The ride vehicle toys are great (just not with BOTH DL and WDW) printed on them. And what's the deal with so dang many grumpy shirts for men. There are PLENTY of other Disney characters that appeal to guys,

    Well, at least DL does do a better job at merchandise than The Disney Stores do. But that ain't sayin' much these days.

  10. #10

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    Aladdin...I have the bamboo windchimes and also the coconut monkey windchime from DL too. I remember when Adventureland Bazaar sold cool Raku pottery from Africa, and, carved wood boxes. Anyone else remember this? It was within the past 10 years. It's nuts that now it's mostly just stuffed animals in there and I just hate it.

    I do like the new Fortuosity Shop and bought a couple of non-Disney looking items in there last time. I LOVE bringing home a piece of my DL trip when I go there, but, Mickey and Minnie decor does not suit my decor.

    I do have a Tiki Room in my house, where I have lots of neat Tiki Room stuff from DL. And, my office has a number of DL items such as the bronze statues from around the hub. I have all of those and the Partners statue. Also, I have several attraction posters framed and hanging in the house. In general though, I'd like some options that are not covered in Disney characters.

  11. #11

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    On the whole guests prefer merchandise in centralized locations. I can't even tell you how many times I've been at Guide I (souvie stand by the Tour Guides and City Hall) and have had to tell a guest that what they are looking for is in the Emporium (about a 30 second walk away), from their response you'd think I was telling them to hike to Nepal.
    I love themed merchandise. I love that Rebel Base in Star Trader is filled with Star Wars stuff. I love that Frontierland is basically the place for coonskin caps and Woody's Roundup stuff. I love that Adventureland has all the Indiana Jones and dinosaur and tiki stuff. Etc. Bottom line though, the average guest somewhat appreciates theme- but they more appreaciate convenience. They want one spot where everything is. Emporium makes the most money not because it has the coolest stuff, but it has the most and is centralized, same for the World of Disney.
    A small amount of land specific merchandise DOES work, and that is currently being done right now. But whole stores dedicated with 100% unique merchandise? That day is done. Any line successful enough to support an entire store will be replicated through every store that can reasonably within theme sell it. Main Street is fairly generic, so it scoops up the top sellers in the park, while selling nothing unique itself. And it still makes the most sales.

  12. #12

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    The concept of land-specific merchandise would only work, I think, if most of the items were Disneyland-branded.

    I visit the new Fortuosity Shop on Main Street, which touts its inventory as curios and unique items, but the "unique" items that don't feature a Disneyland logo always seem to be there, in the same place. Admittedly, I don't work in Main Street Stores, so I don't know what is actually selling well in Fortuosity, but the first couple weeks the store opened its unique Disneyland-branded Tomorrowland attraction t-shirts sold out. The shirts are back now in greater supply in Fortuosity and are now available in Tomorrowland and the Disney Vault 28 in Downtown Disney.

    It's an interesting question if land-specific items would work these days. I think with a larger, and ever-growing Annual Passholder demographic who appreciates Disneyland as a cultural icon and nostalgia factory, then land-specific items could work -- but only if they feature Disneyland-specific traits. Generic aloha shirts in Adventureland probably wouldn't work as well as aloha shirts with Tiki Room references mixed in. Generic wooden toy rifles in Frontierland probably wouldn't sell as well as Disneyland-branded wooden rifles.

    People aren't going to open up their wallets as quickly if the land-specific items are generic and have no direct link to Disneyland. I don't think the item needs to be dripping with Disney characters, glued on pixie dust glitter, or Mickey ears. But I think people will be more willing to buy unique "Disneyland"-branded land-specific items if they were available.

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  13. #13

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    "land" specific items can work.

    I believe each land should have a shop dedicated to that land, but be quality disney items not knock-offs from other companies.

    The Emporium and World of Disney should be the only mix of everything shops.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    I think it should be taken a step further, and remove all Disneyland merchandise from California Adventure, and vice versa! If I wanted to buy Disneyland merchandise, I would have gone to Disneyland!! The proliferation of cross-park items is astounding, and maddening. Why would I want to buy a Pirates of the Caribbean shirt in the Tower of Terror gift shop? How does that even fit the theme in there? And the same goes for pins, and whatnot.

    I just can't tell you how many times I've seen this happen. Why did they build the second park, if they aren't going to treat it as one?

    And, yes land-specific merchandise could work, but there's one thing that will make it a difficult transition- people conditioning themselves to have to walk more, and make that extra effort to buy that one unique item you saw earlier in the day. There will be a lot of backtracking, at first, but eventually, once guests figure out that there really isn't any other store that this item is sold in the parks, or the Resort for that matter, they will adapt back to buying it when they see it, to save time.

    I had to do this recently. I wanted to buy a brownie (triple chocolate, to be specific), and was on my way out of the Park, to go home. So, I stop in the Candy Palace on Main Street, and lo-and-behold: they don't sell brownies there. The only place they sell them is Pooh Corner! And it wasn't exactly a slow day where it would have been quick to go back and get it. I was going to have to make an effort to go buy that treat. So, what did I do? I got over my own laziness, walked back, and bought one. ... And a Milk Chocolate Supreme Pretzel. I haven't had either in so long, and considering I had to walk all the way back there to buy the one, I figured I'd go ahead and buy both. So, in this case, Disneyland actually made more money than they would have originally. And, I didn't die from walking a little more. Its a win-win.

    And, yes, I was actually happy to find out that there is merchandise (whatever form it may take) that is only sold in one location. And, now I know where the only place I can buy my favorite treats is, so if I want them, I'll buy them once I'm already over there.

    Other guests will do the same. It will just take a while to re-train the public to the non-convenience store mentality. Save those for gas stations, not Disneyland.

  15. #15

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    Re: Would land specific merchandise work now?

    Quote Originally Posted by biscuits View Post
    You've got no idea how many times I try to look for something like that rifle (the lever-action winchester-looking rifle?) and I'm disappointed to find the day-glo neon electronic ones in Frontierland.
    I was told once that the "day glow" has to do with a state law in reference to replica display weapons vs toys... I know one issue with the "orange tip" version initially produced in response to the law was that kids would take a black marker and cover up the orange tip. I am honestly not familiar with the law so more research would be necessary to verify if this is in fact the reason for the "day glow".

    I do have a pirate double flintlock back when the handle was real wood and the barrel/trigger mechanism/hammers were real metal! It was before the "orange tips".
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