After a decade’s absence, last week Disneyland shops once again began stocking toy guns.
The park had cut back on its sales of faux firearms—and removed marginally violent video games from its arcades—shortly after the Columbine High School shootings in April 1999. Disneyland dropped the rest of its Adventureland muskets and Frontierland rifles two years later, when California implemented a law requiring that toy weapons be brightly colored, to prevent them from being mistaken for real ones. Everything was removed except for the ray guns in Tomorrowland.
A cast member shared that guns are now stocked at Pioneer Mercantile, Pieces of Eight, and the Indiana Jones store. “If you remember the old guns they used to sell, that’s what they are, except they are painted red and green,” he said. “The types the stores sell are flintlock and bolt-action rifles, single and double barrel pistols, and a blunderbuss-type pistol.”
After a profitable trial in 2008, New Orleans Square’s Court of Angels will again be converted to a Christmas merchandise location for the holidays.
“In mid-October, the closed Le Bayou Magique, formerly the Radko Christmas ornament store, will reopen with the store extending into the Court of Angels, like the year before last,” said one source. The one change is that “you will see different shelving for the ornaments. A big hassle when the location was there was the amount of ornaments that broke due to guests handling them, and when the covers that were thrown over the stands when the location was closed.”
After the holidays, he said “plans are to turn the small shop into a Vinylmation store. The store is pretty small. It keeps changing every few years. Can you imagine the walls lined with shelves of Vinylmation figures? Pretty nauseating.”
Following top-to-bottom makeovers of the kitchens and underground support facilities in New Orleans Square and Tomorrowland, Fantasyland is next on the chopping block. The Village Haus restaurant’s rehab will stretch from late August to mid-December, during which time the entire kitchen will be gutted and remodeled.
Cast members are nervous, knowing that the remodelings in the other lands resulted in the loss of and changes to favorite employee cafeterias and breakrooms. Elimination of the breakroom under the Village Haus would be unlikely, since it’s used by so many cast members on all shifts. A more realistic object of concern might be the Village Haus’s backstage takeout window; it’s the last onstage restaurant to have one.
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David Koenig is the senior editor of the 80-year-old business journal, The Merchant Magazine.
After receiving his degree in journalism from California State University, Fullerton (aka Cal State Disneyland), he began years of research for his first book, Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland (1994), which he followed with Mouse Under Glass: Secrets of Disney Animation & Theme Parks (1997, revised 2001) and More Mouse Tales: A Closer Peek Backstage at Disneyland (1999) (All titles published by Bonaventure Press).
He lives in Aliso Viejo, California, with his lovely wife, Laura, their wonderful son, Zachary, and their adorable daughter, Rebecca.