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|Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, editor|
|July Merchandise Update II - 7/26/02|
Halloween in July?
It's begun even earlier than last year; Halloween merchandise has taken over parts of the World of Disney store at Disneyland, and is spreading into the park. When the pins move out of the Showcase on Main Street, look for costumes and accessories to take their place. Most costumes can already be found inside the park in Pioneer Mercantile, and the princess costumes are available in the new Once Upon a Time store.
What's new for 2002? Grown-ups are the big winner this year, with new adult-size costumes of Sully, Aladdin and even Prince Phillip. Sorcerer Mickey, Jack, Sally, Grumpy and the Evil Queen all return as well, and both the kids and adult Tigger and Pooh costumes come in a much nicer plush fabric than in prior years.
For kids, the sky is the limit. Almost every princess is represented, including Pochahontas and Mulan. There is a Minnie Mouse cheerleader costume, as well as boys versions of the Aladdin and Prince costumes. About the only real miss is an Alice in Wonderland costume.
For daytime wear, a group of Halloween-print T-shirts and sweatshirts for kids, teens and adults has already been extremely popular, although the usual grumbles can be heard about the sizes. The Pooh print is available only for kids, one collection of cute T-shirts are offered only in "tween" sizes, and, no matter what the label says, the adult nightshirt is not one-size-fits-all.
Oh well, you can't please everyone, but this is a great start. Next year, let's hope for some Halloween home decor items.
Bye Bye Tink
As David Koenig mentioned in his column yesterday, the Tinker Bell toy shop has reopened as Once Upon a Time - the Disney Princess Shoppe. This is the first of two remodels for this location, and really more of an overlay than a remodel.
The heavy, Peter Pan-inspired decor has been lightened with swags of pastel fabric and satin bows. The carved wood columns have been covered with more fabric and garlands of silk flowers. Even the pirate ship prop which makes up one wall of the store has been cleverly reused as a setting from The Little Mermaid.
As you would expect, the merchandise is aimed right at little girls. Dolls, costumes, plush characters and more fill the shelves. In the next phase, set for sometime after the holiday, the store will be completely remodeled and new fixtures will be installed. It looks like the princesses are here to stay.
Downtown Disney Notes
One frequent comment about Downtown Disney is that there are not enough "grab-and-go" food or drink options available. In the past month, some dramatic changes have been made to offer busy visitors a meal on the run. Naples installed a takeout window at the front of the pizzeria, and now offers a slice of pizza and a beverage for $5. The window has always had a short line in the afternoon, and gets busier during the evening.
Wetzel's Pretzels has opened a wagon near Y Arriba Y Arriba, and serves pretzels, pretzel dogs and drinks. Down the lane, Haagen Daaz offers ice cream bars and bottled water from their push cart.
The most interesting cart has to be Yamabuki Express, which offers sushi trays and drinks. As much as I love the idea of sushi-to-go, cast members report that business has been slow. In the past week, fresh fruit bowls and bagged chips have been added, which will hopefully draw more business. The cart's hours are constantly being refined, but you can usually find it outside the AMC Theaters around noon.
I've spent some recent evenings munching on sushi while enjoying the Downtown Disney entertainment offerings. The artists vary, and there does not seem to be a published scheduled of performances, but we've seen everything from a pair of electric violinists to a taiko drum group.
One young band is called "Suburban Legend", and their act is a mix of brass instruments and electric guitars. It's like a garage rock band tried to recreate Blast!, and the results are actually quite entertaining. If you are looking for something to do one evening, Downtown Disney is not a bad option. Grab a slice of pizza, and enjoy the music.
DCA Music Series
We caught the 5:45 performance of Starship featuring Mickey Thomas at DCA on Wednesday, in order to follow up on the Summer Music Series report from last weekend. Although we chose to wait in the standby line, it turns out that we could have skipped the line and still found second-row seats right up until show time. It did not appear that anyone had booked a Priority Seating package for the show, and the amphitheater was no more than 2/3rds full for the performance.
Even so, the concert was a lot of fun, and the audience really got into the show. The group performed a crowd-pleasing set which included their hits Sara, Find Your Way Back, and We Built this City. Thomas also sang Fooled Around and Fell in Love, and related the story of having performed the same song with Elvin Bishop's band at Disneyland 25-years earlier. It was a great set, and a nice way to spend part of the afternoon.
Would I pay $45 to see the band at DCA? Not a chance. Was it pretty nice for a free concert in the middle of the day? Absolutely. And did I buy a drink, (or three), and have dinner in Downtown Disney afterwards? You bet. I doubt the concert series is drawing the crowds that Disney hoped for, but this is a great bonus for local Annual Passholderss.
If you are coming to catch any of the other bands in the Summer Music Series, try the 5:45 show. By early evening, the temperatures are a little cooler, and the sun isn't quite as harsh. If you are interested in the Priority Seating package, it looks like ABC Soap Opera Bistro has been added back onto the list of options. You can also make a reservation at the Golden Vine Winery, or purchase a ticket for Priority Seating at Disney's Electrical Parade, and receive a voucher for VIP seating at one of the two concerts that day.
This Fall looks to be the season of the Special Event. I have assembled a schedule and the latest updates about upcoming Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World events below.
(Since press releases and event announcements can arrive at any time, be sure to check the Announcements forum on our MousePad message boards for up-to-the-minute news and updates between columns.)
Saturday, July 27th - Disneyland
Saturday, August 3rd & Sunday, August 4th - Disneyland
"Pin Mania Weekend"
* Marie Osmond doll release and signing. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Premier Shop, Tomorrowland.
* Cast member "Create a Pin" release and signing. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Premier Shop, Tomorrowland.
Details of the pin weekend, doll release and related events can be found at this link.
Sunday, August 4th - Walt Disney World
Grand Opening of Disney's Pin Traders. Day-long event at Downtown Disney. Details can be found at Dizpins.com
Saturday, August 10th - Disneyland
Tinkerbell merchandise event featuring artist Terri Hardin. Disneyana Shop, Main Street, U.S.A. Details are still sketchy, but can be found at this link.
Sunday, August 11th - Disneyland
Bambi 60th Anniversary Pin Release. Breakfast event at the Plaza Inn, 8 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Event details can be found at this link.
Thursday, August 15 - Disneyland Paris
Peter Pan Pin Event - Return to Neverland. No other details are available at this time.
Sunday, August 18th - Friday, August 23rd - Walt Disney World
5th Anniversary Disney Institute Animation Event: "Drawn to Be Bad" Details can be found at this link. A registration form can be found at this link. For more information, contact Walt Disney Event Services at (407) 827-7600.
Wednesday, August 21st - Saturday, August 24th - Walt Disney World
"Official Disneyana Mystery" Newly updated event details can be found at this link. For questions, or to make reservations, contact Walt Disney Event Services at (407) 827-7600.
Saturday, August 24th & Sunday, August 25th - Walt Disney World
"Official Disneyana Mystery" Public Days Saturday: 11a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission to public day events is free, valid admission to Epcot park is required. Updated event details can be found at this link. For questions, contact Walt Disney Event Services at (407) 827-7600.
Sunday, September 8th - Disneyland
"Where's Mickey?" pin event. Times and locations to follow. Preliminary details can be found at this link.
Friday, September 20th - Sunday, September 22nd - Walt Disney World
Sunday, September 22nd - Disney's California Adventure
Annual Passholder Event. More details to follow.
Thursday, October 3rd - Disneyland
Haunted Mansion Holiday Event. Details can be found at this link.
Friday, October 5th - Disneyland Paris
1st Anniversary Pin Trading. No other details are available at this time
Wednesday, October 30th - Walt Disney World
Thursday, October 31st - Disneyland Paris
Halloween Pin Event. No other details are available at this time
Sunday, November 17th - Thursday, November 21st - Disney Cruise Line
Rescue Captain Mickey Pin Cruise. Details can be found at this link to Walt Disney Event Services.
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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