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|Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, editor|
"How I spend my weekend" : Marie Osmond Doll Signing, Just for Fun Pin Show, The Dalmatianization of Disneyland, and WoD Store Rumors
I thought I had the whole day planned. Get up early on Saturday, to go see a special charity viewing of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" that we had tickets for. Head up to the Disney Studios for the Christmas Faire they were holding. Head back to Disneyland to wish Mickey and Minnie a Happy 72nd Birthday. It seemed like an ideal plan.
You know what they say about the Best Laid Plans?
On Friday I learned that Marie Osmond was going to be at Disneyland on Saturday, signing her three new "it's a small world" collection dolls. Plus, there was a Pin Show at the Westcoast Anaheim Hotel the same day. We decided to hit the Show and Signing, and let the Lovely Sue Kruse visit the Studio Faire. You'll have to check in with Sue to read about her day too!
The doll signing was to take place at Geppetto's, beginning at 1:30. I had some advance warning that I needed to be there LONG before that. So, when the shop opened at 11, we were there to buy the dolls we were to have signed later. Then we immediately got in line for the signing. And we waited. And waited. And waited.
Having done it once, though, I would definitely do the wait again. People who arrived AT 1:30 faced an unbelievable line, and some late arrivals were even turned away. As we waited, Event CMs and managers walked up and down the line, answering questions and just making themselves available. I really appreciated the effort they were making to keep the event running smoothly.
As the appointed hour drew near, we were instructed to take our dolls to a little table to have them "un-boxed." This process involved removing the doll and all of the accessories from the box; cutting the wires that held the doll to a cardboard insert; turning the doll face down; and unfastening the doll's dress. This was to make it easier for Marie to sign the dolls quickly. Unfortunately, the one little table they had provided for this purpose was far too small to accommodate everyone, so helpful CMs began to travel down the line and assist people where they stood. We all got our dolls ready, and then we waited some more.
By 1:45, people we getting impatient. Marie had still not arrived. (The scuttlebutt was that her party had been eating lunch at Club 33, and were running a tad late) The line had grown to the Fantasyland restrooms. The event CMs were becoming anxious. Suddenly, surrounded by her entourage and a group of Disneyland suits, Marie appeared. She looked cool and lovely in a red silk pantsuit. The group walked across the Village Haus patio and slipped into the shop.
The signing got underway very quickly. Once we entered the store, Marie's assistant took our box and made sure the doll was ready to sign. Then we waited for our turn. Marie was extremely gracious with each guest. Although she worked very quickly, she didn't make us feel rushed at all. The guest in front of us was telling Marie that her daughter had worn a dress to her Prom which was a reproduction of a dress from one of Marie's earlier dolls. She was so touched that she had her assistant take the woman's contact information, so that she could send her one of the original dolls.
QVC had a camera crew there to film part of the signing for an upcoming special they are going to broadcast. The camera set up and the lighting took up quite a lot of room in the already cramped shop. After about 15 minutes, the Disneyland Event staff told the cameraman that his time was up, and he quickly packed up his gear.
When it was our turn, Marie greeted us, and talked with us as she signed. We asked her about future dolls in this series, and she said that there would definitely be more coming. One of the Disneyland Resort Amabasadors, Doina, was also there assisting during the signing. Once our doll was signed, Doina handed it to one of the Event CMs, who re-boxed it like new and placed it in a bag for us. We were offered Package Express at that time, but we had another stop to make. Marie shook my hand, thanked me for coming, and greeted the next guest.
From purchase to signing, we were there about three hours. I understand that the line was SO long that Marie stayed until 4:30 to make sure that all of the guests who had been there by 1:30 were able to have their dolls signed. I was very pleased to hear that. I've attended events where the featured guest arrived late, left early and was surly throughout. Despite the late start, I found Marie to be gracious and very appreciative of her fans. What a nice event, and what a classy lady.
We then hopped in the car and headed over to the "All Disneyana" Pin and Collectibles Show. This is the latest meeting place for Pin Collectors from all over. I met several Florida Pin Traders who had timed their Disneyland vacations to attend this show.
There were about 20 vendors there, offering everything from Pins to Animation Cells to Disney Cookie Jars. There were also some Special Guests, and some commemorative merchandise. Margaret Kerry - Willcox, the model for Tinker bell, was greeting guests and signing autographs. Several veteran Disney Animators were also in attendance: Willie Ito, Floyd Norman, Peter Emmerich, Lew Ott and Rubin Apodaca.
Of course, pins were the point of the show. I was able to find some personal favorites to add to my collection, and I looked at the commemorative pins that were being offered at the show. The designs were very nice, but I'm not a big fan of unlicensed Disneyana merchandise, no matter how attractive. To each his own, I guess.
While at the show, we ran across a friend who was helping with the Candlelight Choir fundraiser. Each year, the Candlelight Choir offers various items for sale as a fundraiser. This year they are offering a pin set, a single pin, a cookbook, and Candlelight Name Badges. These fundraisers help the members of the choir to participate in the Candlelight Processions both here and in Florida.
In order to support this group, we are offering this merchandise AT COST at MouseShoppe. Orders need to be placed today, to give the choir enough time to process and fill them. Visit MouseShoppe.com to learn more.
Meanwhile, the Dalmatianization of Disneyland continues.... Lucky guests on Saturday and Sunday were invited to attend a sneak preview of the new 102 Dalmatians inside the Lincoln Theater. Cast Members were handing tickets out both mornings. Unfortunately, we had dolls to buy!
When 101 Dalmatians was released, Main Street USA was overrun with the little spotted critters. Fortunately, it looks like most of them didn't survive storage. While you can definitely "Spot" the enhancements, it's nothing like last time!
Most of the decorations are inside the shops themselves. Most of it is pretty tasteful, and the windows are very cute. However, The Fabulous Disney Babe and I were aghast to see that the Dalmatians had overrun the Storybook Shop ledges. I can only hope that this cleans up well!
Of course, the stores are overflowing with Dalmatian Merchandise. All of this is available at your local Disney store.
Here is my still unanswered question: HOW can two movies which focus on the evil of wearing fur result in SO much spotted clothing? I just don't get it. I wonder if we'll see the Dalmatian Head Slippers again this time? At least they're using the whole animal.....
Finally, the countdown continues towards the opening of the World of Disney Shop. From quick peeks over the construction fence, the shop looks like it could open any moment. CMs have been inside the store for more than a week, merchandising the store and creating displays. On my visit Friday, you could see that the window displays were being prepared. While I'd heard rumors of a soft opening this weekend, it didn't happen. City Hall maintains that the store will open in January, but come on - who fills a store with merchandise and lets it sit for two months? It's going to open just as soon as the surrounding construction is completed - perhaps next week? Having it open for the Post-Thanksgiving weekend - the biggest weekend in retail - would make everyone happy.
That's it for now! Be sure to stop over at MouseShoppe for a peek at all of the goodies we found this weekend!
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Adrienne here.
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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