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Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, editor
All About Merchandise: January Clearance-1/17/02

If stores can have January clearance sales to rid their shelves of old merchandise, I think I'll have a January clearance column to rid my desk of old news and tidbits. Hang on to your hats; this is going to be quick.


January is the time when vacation crowds go home, holiday decorations go into storage, rides go down for rehab, and new policies go into effect. In an effort to cut expenses–and to "pay for that disaster across the way," says one cast member–many Disneyland Resort stores have cut their operating hours.

Geppettos Toys and Gifts and the Villains Lair are now open only on Saturdays. Tinker Bell Toy Shoppe now has a delayed opening time Monday through Thursday.

In New Orleans Square, La Boutique de Noel and La Mascarade d'Orleans have also gone to a Saturday-only schedule. Although the Disney Gallery was spared from a reduced work week, it now opens at noon Monday through Thursday.

Pooh Corner is now closed as part of the Critter Country makeover, and the Briar Patch has been shuttered for good. The same is true for the Premier Shop, which will probably remain closed until a new attraction is built to replace the Rocket Rods.

Both the Paradise Pier and Disneyland hotels have lost their pin carts, and the merchandise has been moved into the hotel gift shops.



Custom sketches, drawn to order while you watch.

Disney's California Adventure is feeling the pinch too, with some stores opening late and closing early. In bit of good news, Off the Page has extended the test of its custom artwork program. Visitors can watch a Disney artist at work, and take home a customized 8-inch by 11-inch sketch for around $35.00.

Blast! merchandise has taken over Gone Hollywood, earning an entire display window. The CD and DVD can be found–and heard–around the resort; the World of Disney store was playing the soundtrack over their speakers last week.

Disney pin trading is in a period of transition, and no one can predict where the trend is heading. While limited edition Disneyland Resort pins still hang on racks three and four months after release, the Disney Store has announced a second 100-pin series. Walt Disney World is gearing up for its second pin price increase, yet collectors already complain that pins are too expensive. Where pin trading is reportedly going strong at Disneyland Paris; Tokyo Disneyland has just announced the end of its own program, and has gone so far as to ban pin bags and lanyards inside the park.

In an effort to revive pin trading, the Disneyland Resort has announced the return of the Super Traders, assigned to each park and the Downtown Disney / hotel area. These CMs hold daily "pin talks" to educate new traders and provide release and event news to seasoned collectors. Many collectors, and even a few CMs, have expressed doubt that this will have the desired effect. Wrote one, "It isn't about getting more people into the hobby; it's about making the hobby more enjoyable and even possible. When (we) started trading, there were 10 new rack pins a month, and they were all $6. Now there are 10 new pins a week, they are all "limited edition," they are all $8.50 or more, and there is some big event or release every single weekend. I can't afford this anymore, in terms of time or money." Others point to the long-term popularity of Olympic pin trading, and say that Disney pins are here to stay. Of course, Olympic pin traders get 2 and 4 years off between events. Maybe Disney needs to call a time-out?

If pin trading has become passÚ, nobody told Florida. Walt Disney World has just announced its schedule of pin events for 2002, beginning with a Princess Ball at the Magic Kingdom in February, and ending with a three-day event at Epcot in September.

February 23, 2002 Magic Kingdom – Princess Ball
March 16, 2002 Disney-MGM Studios
April 13, 2002 Disney's Animal Kingdom – Chester & Hester's Pino-Rama
May 16, 2002 – Disney Cruise on Wonder
June – Wide World of Sports (no date yet)
June 29, 2002 Contemporary
September 20-21-22, 2002 – EPCOT

You can get more information by calling Walt Disney Special Events at 407-827-7600.



Herb Ryman, as painted by Sam McKim

If you have not yet visited the Herb Ryman exhibit at the Disney Gallery, you have just a very few days left to see it. The Disney Gallery closes on January 28 to prepare for a new exhibit. But before the Ryman exhibit closes, you have two opportunites to take a special tour. Here is the announcement from Disneyland about the events:

In celebration of the Ryman Program for Young Artists we have joined together with the Ryman-Carroll Foundation to present some of Walt Disney's favorite Imagineers who will spend some time reminiscing about Walt and his favorite artist, Herbert Ryman.

A Special Breakfast & "Walt Disney's Disneyland" Tour will take place on each of the following dates and will feature the following VIP Tour Guides: (Upon purchase of your ticket you will be asked to select one of the following dates)

Saturday, January 26, 2002
Harriet Burns (Disney Legend & Model Maker)
Maggie Elliott (Former Senior Vice President of Creative Administration at Walt Disney Imagineering)
Marty Sklar (Disney Legend and Vice Chairman & Principal Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering)

Sunday, January 27, 2002
Blaine Gibson (Disney Legend & Former Chief Sculptor at Walt Disney Imagineering)
Bob Gurr (Former Walt Disney Imagineer)
Marty Sklar (Disney Legend and Vice Chairman & Principal Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering)

The Event will include:

- Special breakfast at Club 33
- "Walt Disney's Disneyland" tour with Walt Disney Imagineers & Artists
- Limited-edition commemorative pin (exclusive to attendees)

Each event will take place from 7:00 a.m. to Noon.

A portion of the proceeds from these events will be donated to the Ryman-Carroll Foundation

Tickets for each event day are $100 per person. Limited to 100 Guests per Event. Tickets limited to availability. (Admission is not included in the price of the event ticket. Admission is required to enter Disneyland Park) No discounts apply. Tickets will be available beginning Wednesday, January 16, 2002 through Disneyland DelivEARS at 800.362.4533 or e-mail at dl.delivEARS@disney.go.com. We ask that you bring no personal items to be signed. Event & information subject to change without notice.

Sue Kruse wrote a wonderful review of a similar tour she took. If you are undecided about the event, this should help convince you. The new exhibit, opening in February, will feature Eric Robison's "100 Mickey's," celebrating Walt's birthday. This will be a really exciting exhibit – I'll tell you why another day.


Finally, the NFFC is again hosting the "World's Largest STRICTLY Disneyana Show and Sale" this Sunday, January 20, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Garden Grove, California. This is a new location for the show, one mile south of the Disneyland Resort. Tickets are $6 for the general public, $5 for current NFFC members, and $5 for Disney Company Cast Members. The Show & Sale hours are:

9 am - 5 pm for attendees of Kick-Off 2002
10:30 am - 5 pm for NFFC members not attending Kickoff 2002 (Non- members / Non- attendees may pay $25 for early admission at 10:30)
12 - 5 pm for the general public.


Jan clearance

ABOUT THE EDITOR

Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix is the super-shopper behind MouseShoppe, your personal and unofficial shopping service for the Disneyland Resort, and the owner of CharmingShoppe, a Disney collectibles store located in Anaheim.

In addition to scouring the park to find you the latest and greatest merchandise, she keeps you updated on all of the merchandise events happening in the parks.

If you want to talk to her about this column, merchandise, or events, contact her here.

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