Disney Store Lies to Customers, Creates Online Frenzy

in Disney, Merchandise

Donald Duck grimacing

Credit: Disney

Amid countless complaints about overpriced, low-quality Disney souvenirs, fans are again calling out The Walt Disney Company’s merchandise division for “phoning it in.”

Related: Disney Park Evacuated: Security Measures Prompt Removal of Thousands

Self-described Disney historian Danielle (@thedapperdanielle on TikTok) recently responded to a Disney Parks fan’s question about a low-effort merchandise item celebrating Donald Duck’s 90th birthday. The new Disney t-shirt features “Donald Duck Through the Years,” but none of the four images of the character are dated by year.

@thedapperdanielle

Replying to @The Dapper Danielle on @longdistancemagic video! I dont think they can put the years on the Donald shirt, because they dont even know what year they are referencing. #donaldduck#disneymerch#disneymerchandise#disneyworld#disneyparks#disneyhistory

♬ original sound – The Dapper Danielle

Danielle pulled up the vintage t-shirt that the 90th birthday design was based on. It featured the years each Donald Duck outfit premiered, though she noted even the old version got one of the dates wrong. But why doesn’t the new shirt feature any fun outfits alongside their release dates?

“Donald’s ‘normal mode’ changes very, very little unless you know what you’re looking for,” Danielle explained. “However, the duck has one heck of a wardrobe past 1945, post-World War II. Donald was in over 70 shorts, while Mickey Mouse was only in eight.”

A family of three, holding hands, walks past the Disney & Co. Gifts store. The father and mother are dressed casually, and their young daughter sports a pink top. The busy shopping area bustles with activity, as others queue by the storefront to explore the magical Disney merchandise inside.
Credit: Disney

The first and last Donald Duck designs on the modern t-shirt are historically accurate, but the middle two are murky.

“These almost look the same, except for this version of Donald Duck has a pie-eye and his bow tie is huge,” the TikToker continued. “…However, Donald never appeared in animation with a pie-eye, only in the print media and in comics…, not until 2013… In all honestly, I don’t know what year he’s supposed to represent.”

A young couple takes a selfie; the woman is making a peace sign. they wear matching purple t-shirts with cartoon dragon designs, standing against a vibrant blue backdrop.
Credit: Disney

The third design was historically accurate but should’ve appeared before the second because of its release date.

“This one looks the most like Donald Duck from about 1935 in The Band Concert,” Danielle said. “He has a smaller bow tie, the smaller rim up there, the more rounded, less expressive eyebrows.”

Are you happy with the merchandise currently available at the Disney Store, Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, and the international Disney parks? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

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