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|Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, editor|
|Shopping the Parks: "Rizzo's Prop and Pawn Shop" at DCA - 05/22/01|
Designing an attraction so that guests exit out into a store is hardly a new concept. The trick is to make the store look like more than a hurdle that must be passed to get to the next ride. Some rides handle this better than others. Disneyland's "it's a small world" and Universal Studios Hollywood's Jurassic Park both empty directly into overcrowded shops. I resent having to push through a cash register line just to get outside again. DCA's Animation building, and Disneyland's Pinocchio have stores near the exit, but you can easily pass them by.
Rizzo's Prop and Pawn shop is another degree removed. It's entirely possible to experience Muppet*Vision 3-D, and completely miss the store at the exit. It would be a shame if you did, though, because this store has some of the greatest Muppet merchandise assembled on the West Coast. (You right- coasters have been fortunate enough to have the WDW version for years). I've received a number of requests to talk about this store, so here it is - a small column on a small shop!
Rizzo's is housed in a shack, set between Muppet*Vision 3-D and Superstar Limo. The counters around the stand are made from stylized crates, boxes, barrels, tool boxes and equipment trunks.
Like any self respecting Pawn Shop owner, Rizzo has decorated his shop with the merchandise. You'll find everything from Tiffany- style lamps to used costumes, and anything in between. Along the back walls, a series of lockers are used to house the merchandise.
The Cast Members who work in the shop have taken this one step further, and incorporated the real merchandise into the displays, like the poor stuffed Rizzo below.
You'll also find a variety of humorous "policy" signs around the shop...
...along with a collection of signed photographs of the stars.
The merchandise is pretty much what you expect to find. 3 sizes of plush Muppets are available, from Keychain size to about 12" dolls.
They are all very detailed toys, with a variety of costumes and accessories.
I love the keychain "Diva" Miss Piggy. Most of the characters from Muppet*Vision 3-D are available, including Waldorf and Statler, Bunsen and Beaker, and of course Miss. Piggy and Kermit.
The Animal character plush have been very popular, and the shop is expecting to receive some Bean Bunny dolls soon.
If you want something Muppet to wear, consider a backpack...
...a t-shirt or sweatshirt.
I especially like the tie-dye shirts.
There is a small selection of other Muppet items - magnets and stickers, plus a collection of the Muppet videos. Of course, since this is a DCA store, you'll also find the requisite film, disposable cameras, water-fan bottles and silly hats. Rizzo's is also home to one of the parks new Pressed Penny machines. (More on those in a few weeks)
The CMs at Rizzo's get to wear a nifty little apron, and seem to really enjoy their shop. You usually see them carrying around a doll or two, and interacting with guests. On the day I took these photos, it was about 90 degrees outside. The two CMs were cheerful and smiling, despite the heat. One was very proud to point out the stuffed Rizzo in the trap, (photographed above), proclaiming "I did that!"
I think it's a fitting tribute to Jim Henson that just working with the characters he created makes people happy.
Now remember to pick up all your belongings and exit through the open doors to your right. And we hope you enjoyed your visit to MousePlanet today.
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.
Visit our other shopping service, MouseMemories.com.
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