Thursday, June 20, 2019

Disneyland Quickly Responds to Guest Complaints About New Store

Disneyland tried a new change last week, and let's just didn't go well. Now, change is always hard when its something you love and we've seen it over and over again when a ride is closed or changed. You'll usually hear some complaints and then life moves on. But this wasn't the case when last Thursday Disneyland turned the Main Street Cinema into a souvenir shop overnight.

Photo Credit: Disney
The Main Street Cinema is the perfect spot to escape crowds, heat, and overloaded senses. It's fairly quiet and gives you a chance to watch classic, original Mickey Mouse cartoons. Because its right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Main Street, it's often overlooked. So, in an attempt to bring in more people (according to Disney) they put signs out front saying "Cartoons and Collectibles" and added stands with park merchandise.

Photo Credit: WDW News Today

Taking a look at the pic above, its not as if this is exclusive collectibles (like in the Disneyana store) or something with a classic Mickey feel that would go along well with the old cartoons. This is the exact same merch you can get at any other store in the park. Why drag it into this space? Also interesting to note, the Main Street Cinema at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World has been a store, with no films showing, since 1998.

Well, after some very loud outrage, Disney has thought the better of it and pulled out all of the merchandise as of this morning. They've even added in a few benches, which is an easy and nice touch, seeing as this spot didn't have any kind of seating before aside from the floor or the steps to the raised platform in the middle of the room.

Photo Credit: Mice Chat

So this whole four day process brings up a couple interesting questions...

1. What should be done with this space so it's best utilized?

What should be done with the space to draw attention? Adding benches was a good start. I'd also consider changing up the cartoons or having some sort of "special feature" on a rotating basis with the sound playing for that certain film, whether its a Disney movie, old footage like opening day of Disneyland, or really whatever. Disneyland fans seem to really love anything that's only around for a limited time. And perhaps CMs could hand out special buttons to people who come to see whatever is new. 

This could also be a fun spot to have a classic character meet and greet. Let's face it, those characters must get HOT out there in the sun on Main Street. What if a character or two were inside and guests could watch the cartoons as they waited to meet whoever it is (Mickey and Minnie, Chip and Dale, maybe lesser seen characters). 

2. What can we do to keep other "classic" parts of Disneyland that are maybe overlooked? 

VISIT ALL OF THE THINGS YOU LOVE. If you never want to see Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln vanish (the last few times we were there, there were only a handful of people in the theater), visit it every time you go. 

Show Disney that there is demand. When you go to the parks, take a look at what doesn't have a wait or a crowd. We've already mentioned Lincoln, but some others that come to mind are the Canoe ride, the Redwood Challenge Trail in DCA, Tarzan's Treehouse, and even the Tiki Room. (People go into the queue area for the Dole Whips but don't necessarily stay for the show! And now that Dole Whips are available at the Tropical Hideaway, this could take even more people away from the show we love so much.) Ride those rides! See those shows! Show Disney BEFORE they think about changing something that this isn't one that should be messed with. 

For Disney's part, they did the right thing in this situation. But let's face it, things will change. Paradise Pier becomes Pixar Pier, Tower of Terror becomes Mission Breakout, Bug's Land closes for Marvel Land. We can't always stop change, and we should't always stop it. But we should still let our voices be heard when they do something like this, where there's no real reason or meaningful change. Hope to see you all at the Main Street Cinema soon!

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