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|Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, editor|
|Shopping the Parks: Disneyland Shopping Adventure - 4/20/01|
There are four uniquely themed shops within Adventureland's retail complex. Last week, we toured Adventureland Bazaar and Tropical Imports. Today, we visit South Seas Traders and Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost.
South Seas Traders is located between Adventureland Bazaar and Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost. Doors on either side lead into the adjacent shops. The store is themed as a Polynesian island outpost, with lots of bamboo and rope construction.
A shipwreck hangs above you
I've always thought the store looked like it was decorated with the beached remains of a shipwreck. The ceiling is covered with an assortment of lamps, ceiling fans, fishing nets, wooden oars and metal containers. The walls are covered in worn pieces of wood, cloth, and paper. [Hidden Mickey alert: There are at least two hanging on the walls.]
The store's cash register is made from elaborately carved and painted wood panels, which are inset with woven panels and glass display cases. A cage above the register is daytime home to Freddy, a canary. Handlers bring him in from Circle D Ranch each morning, and take him back each evening. Freddy is quite a social, happy bird, watching over customers and cast members, and offering an occasional song. If he gets startled, he can take refuge in a sheltered area in the bottom of his cage.
There's another celebrity in the store - Shrunken Ned, who bills himself as "the jungle's only self-service witch doctor." For a modest offering, Ned provides you with a verbal diagnosis of your ailment, as well as a printed souvenir to take home. Be warned - the diagnosis process is definitely interactive. You might find yourself saying "ahhhh" (or worse) in front of an audience.
Unfortunately, Ned and Freddy are really the only reasons to spend much time in this store. The merchandise isn't anything to write home about. Straw hats, towels and flip flops are offered, along with the usual sun protection gear. OK, I can see the need. It's Disneyland; you might want a new pair of sunglasses.
A teenage Paradise
What I can't understand is why the park offers such a large collection of Quicksilver and Roxy merchandise. A third of the store is devoted to these two lines of clothing, aimed at teenagers. When Liquid Planet opened in Downtown Disney and offered the same product line, I'd hoped the park would find a new collection to put into South Seas Traders. I just can't imagine that this full-price merchandise is flying off the racks.
A collection of Hawaiian aloha shirts represents another missed opportunity. While you can find traditional prints year-round, what you can't always find are the Disney prints from Reyn Spooner, a well- known aloha shirt manufacturer in Hawaii. The shirts feature Disney characters, which are incorporated right into the aloha print designs. The store gets a small inventory of these once a year just in time for Father's Day. And every summer, the shirts just fly out in few weeks, leaving us waiting for next year's stock.
If you want to see the current collection of Reyn Spooner Disney- licensed shirts, click on this link. My favorite from the current crop of shirts is at this link. Disneyland really needs to consider offering these shirts year-round. I get enough requests from MouseShoppe customers to know that they are really missing an opportunity here.
Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost (try typing that three times fast) is the last store in this complex. It has limited operating hours, and a widely varying collection of merchandise. It is themed as the office of the archeological camp across the way (otherwise known as "the Indy attraction").
This store stocks merchandise themed to Indiana Jones movies and attractions. Videos of the actual movies are offered here, along with movie poster magnets, T-shirts, and coffee mugs. There's even a Polarfleece blanket, embroidered with the Indiana Jones logo.
A big draw for this store is the wall of Indy-inspired hats and leather coats. To accessorize, there is a spinner of silver, wood and stone jewelry. Some of it is pretty mainstream, such as friendship bracelets and necklaces. Other pieces however, are more unusual, including silver spider rings and cobweb earrings.
The most interesting merchandise at this store are those items you can never seem to find. Disney licensed a line of Indiana Jones attraction toys from Lucas Films, and offered them for sale first at Walt Disney World. These toys are finally now at Disneyland. The seven toys in this collection have been hot sellers in Florida, rivaling the popularity of Star Wars action figures. Disneyland has still not received the full collection. To fill out its displays in between shipments, the store offers an odd selection of skulls, plastic rats and rubber snakes.
Why did it have to be snakes?
Next week: DCA has "Gone Hollywood"
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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