Disney Parks Officially Sell Trash, Guests Share Confusing Experience

in Disneyland Resort, Merchandise

Guests wearing face masks at Disneyland Resorts

Credit: Disney

Hundreds of guests say Disneyland Resort’s merchandise offerings are so dismal that the Southern California Disney park is literally selling “bins filled with garbage.” Whereas souvenirs were once one of the most exciting parts of a Disney Parks vacation, guests now say they’re coming home empty-handed.

For decades, shopping at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort was a given. Even after spending thousands on a Disney Resort hotel room, Disney theme park tickets, travel, and food, guests couldn’t resist a fresh pair of Mickey Mouse ears or a new trading pin. Who can walk down Main Street, U.S.A., without stopping into a gift shop for some air conditioning or the smell of sweet cotton candy?

disneyland merchandise on shelves
Credit: Disney

However, guests’ suitcases are increasingly leaving Disneyland Resort weighing the same as when they arrived. Fans have noticed downsized merchandise options in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Theme park closures left The Walt Disney Company with so much merchandise it didn’t know what to do with, and some of it still pops up in discount stores like Burlington Coat Factory.

Four years into the “new normal,” guests say Disneyland Resort hasn’t improved its merchandise selection. This week, hundreds of Disney Parks fans complained about souvenirs on Reddit.

“My wife and I could not find anything that we wanted to buy on our recent trip,” u/Infinite_Panda began. “Even our son had trouble picking something out (he eventually bought a foam sword in Fantasyland). I ended up buying a shirt and I enjoyed some of the art prints, but really I wasn’t tempted to buy anything else…Some shops just had bins filled with plastic garbage, no price tags or anything.”

A woman wearing rose gold Minnie ears - a popular disney souvenir - in Fantasyland.
Credit: Disney

“Anyone else have trouble finding desirable merch?” they asked. “… I mean it’s Disney so I have to imagine they know what they’re doing but I feel like there should be so much more that I’m tempted to buy.”

“It hasn’t felt like it’s had that Disney magic for a while,” u/gothiclg commented. “I’ve had a cousin point out that some of it you can even find cheaper on Amazon.”

“Two summers ago I could not find one shirt I liked to buy,” said u/Vitalogist77. “My wife and kids did- that was cool at least. Was weird to not have one design I even liked a little.”

Store display of Pins at Disney World
Credit: Disney Pins Blog

u/dragonfly-1001 visited Disneyland Resort from Australia and struggled to find a souvenir. When they did, they later realized it was available at a local grocery store.

“Visited Disneyland mid-last year for the first time, expecting some decent merch,” they recalled. “Searched thoroughly in pretty well ever store & found bugger all. Ended up buying a silver Mickey Mouse in honour of the 100th year celebrations. Was happy with it thinking it would be an item only available at the park. On my return home, I went into Big W (a smaller version of Walmart) and lo & behold, this same Mickey was sitting on their d*mn shelves. I was so disappointed.”

Others felt the issue extended beyond Disneyland Resort, citing the global Disney Store closures and the replacement Target displays.

A Disney Store located inside of Target.
Credit: Target

“We were in [Walt Disney World Resort] a few months ago and felt the same way,” u/alruke wrote. “In previous years at [Disneyland Resort] we’d always find a few things we just had to have. But lately I’m not seeing anything I even like.”

“We struggled with merch for our kid – everything was the exact same stuff you can find at Target,” said u/EdmundCastle.

“The merch is terrible,” u/PRGTROLL echoed. “The tacky target shop merch is embarrassing. I miss the real Disney store. Although I am saving a lot of money by not going into that store.”

What merchandise would you like to see at Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney, and Disney California Adventure Park? Share your ideas with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

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