One of my innumerable long-standing gripes has been the inability to obtain merchandise that is “exclusive” to the Disney parks without either taking a trip to the parks or paying a huge markup to a third party. We’ve seen this problem in action lately with the release of The Art of Walt Disney World, a park-only book release that everyone assures me is amazing but which I cannot purchase because I’m not in Orlando.
Imagine my surprise when I get an advertisement in my email today from the online Disney store, announcing that “Disney Parks” merchandise is now available through their site. Despite the noxious “Disney Parks” branding and the “enchanting” promotional photos of young princesses in the ad – in the minds of the Disney marketing staff, Disney World is occupied entirely by swarms of feral children who have somehow made it to Orlando without parents or adults whatsoever – I was excited.
Of course, the book isn’t on there. So far the store seems to focus on the less-exciting aspects of park merchandise – mouse ears and snow globes. But I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that this is just the start. If they have any sense about them, they’ll add park books, video and music as soon as possible.
There’s one thing that you can do, though. Click on the “contact us” button in the upper, right-hand corner of the Disney site and ask them to carry these exclusive park-related titles on their site. Specifically mention The Art of Walt Disney World, and underscore that the only way they can get their hands on your money is to actually offer you the opportunity to purchase it. I’ve sent in my email, and hopefully that won’t be the only one.
One last thing – thanks to everyone who keeps checking in while we’re in reduced-posting mode this week. We’ll be back soon!