One of the essential parts of a trip to the Disney Parks is stopping at your favorite merchandise location and bringing home the perfect souvenir to remember your magical vacation.
Disney is known for limited-time merchandise that sells out in minutes, but some Guests are disappointed in the more permanent souvenir offerings at Disneyland Resort.
Reddit user u/HG_Away_Team started a conversation with other Disneyland fans, asking:
Is it just me or does the park merchandise leave a lot to be desired?
This simple question began a long discussion about how Disney Parks merchandise has evolved over the past few years. Many fans reported too much uniformity in what is offered at each souvenir store. u/crownebeach posted:
There’s a lot more uniformity than I remember. Used to be that each store in each land had very different stuff, so there was a reason to shop the whole park. Now the shops all have the same merch, with one token “theme” shelf for whatever area it’s in.
u/TrashPandaAntics agreed, writing that it has ruined the fun of shopping throughout the different areas of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure:
Yeah, it has killed the adventure of shopping in the parks. It used to be so fun going to the different ones looking for specific themed merch for each area. Now I just ignore the shops completely and just stop by World of Disney at the end of my trip. Pretty much everything sold in the parks is there now.
Some Disney fans speculated that the change from individual merchandise for each domestic Park — Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort – sparked the downward spiral in souvenir quality. u/Craz_Oatmeal wrote:
They’ve been moving this direction since before the “Disney Parks” branding. You’re saying it’s gotten worse? (Genuine question, I haven’t been in like 5 years)
Many noted that Disney could be trying to simplify its supply chain, especially given production issues during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
There’s a massive gain in reducing variety as it lowers production costs. If I have 2 choices of shirts or 50 choices and I’m going to sell about 100 shirts regardless of the choices I offer, it’s more profitable to only have the two option as the volume would drive the price down significantly.
Of course, an increase in profitability for The Walt Disney Company doesn’t appease Guests who want the most magical experience possible.
Some fans longed for merchandise like that at TokyoDisney, which is different from the domestic Disney Parks. u/rainyrosegarden wrote:
I’ve had my magic key since they day they came out. Haven’t bought a single piece of merch for myself. Nothing is cute.
Now TokyoDisney…. THAT’S how you do merch. I went a few years ago and bought a GIANT sleepy Thumper stuffed animal that’s literally the size of a toddler. Their merch doesn’t look like the Disney Brand threw up on everything. The theming is spot on and over there they’re OBSESSED with Bambi which I really appreciate because those are the cutest characters (fight me). Disneyland, please take a hint from TokyoDisney!!! 🙏😫
Some Guests report that even the limited edition souvenirs are suffering this fate. u/RealRockLicker said they usually purchase a Loungefly – a unique, high-quality Disney-inspired backpack – each trip, but couldn’t find one at Disneyland despite checking every store. They wrote:
I, too, have an obsession with loungeflys. We went in March as well & my husband was SHOCKED I didn’t purchase one. First Disney trip where I left without one….. & trust me when I say I looked EVERYWHERE lol. The same 5 they had to choose from throughout both parks were all just “meh”.
Though Disney seemed to cut its merchandise offerings following the COVID-19 pandemic closures, it’s unknown whether they’ll ramp up production or increase souvenir variety in the future as supply chain issues dissipate and The Walt Disney Company profits increase.
Have you found any must-have souvenirs on your latest Disney Park vacation? Let us know what you brought home!
If you want to visit Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World on your next family vacation to experience any of the four Disney Parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — but aren’t sure where to begin planning, then don’t hesitate to reach out to our friends over at the Authorized Disney Vacation Planners at Academy Travel for a free quote.