October 21, 2008

Disneyland shops weren’t always Disney Stores

Disneyland shops once offered all kinds of things.

The incredible selection made Disneyland a fabulous place for holiday gifts. I remember once meeting up with my sister, who worked at Plaza Inn, to undertake a quick search for Christmas presents late in December. We raced from Bear Country’s Wilderness Outpost to Tomorrowland’s Character Shop and got it all done.

You were sure to find something for each person on your list somewhere. Kitchenware, candles, Native American arts and crafts, handbags, flowers, pipes, almost anything. The mall merchandise hadn’t been pushed into every corner, crowding out nearly everything else.

Disneyland shops even carried things that can’t possibly have sold all that well. How many folks left with antiques or custom perfumes, for example? It didn’t really matter. The experience that included such things brought many of those folks back through the main gate time and again. Some people came just to shop, visiting the Park and not getting on a single attraction.

The shops added a lot more than dollars to the deposits turned in at Cash Control at the end of every shift. They added value and interest and helped make Disneyland all that it used to be.

And that’s not something you can buy in any store.

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