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Kim's Corner
Page 1 of 2

by Kim Petersen (archives)
May 29, 2003
Kim looks at the revamped Gone Hollywood at Disney's California Adventure.

Going - Going - Gone Hollywood
Playhouse Disney and Princesses Take Over

Since it's opening Gone Hollywood has featured a rather strangely diverse melange of non-Disney branded merchandise - everything from pet products to glam clothing - never really finding an audience. Now with the addition of Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage! right across the street it seems a natural that a coup de merchandise would occur. It's a very nice venue, large, brightly lit with a high ceiling - it's a very functional space. I only wish that there were one single piece of original merchandise in it. But there isn't - nothing I haven't seen before and certainly nothing that would identify that it came from Disney's California Adventure.

I like the characters of Playhouse Disney. What's not to like? They have everything a true Disney character needs - they're cute, they have plenty of personality, they make storytelling for children easy - and they're saleable. I understand that it takes months to bring merchandise through the levels of design and production and onto the sales floor. But the DLR Merchandise Division had nearly a year to get one product on target. Just one. A t-shirt maybe. A cap perhaps. All of the merchandise available was "generic� could have come from anywhere and most has been available at WDW since their Playhouse Disney opened.

While there was not one single piece of DCA specific or even Disneyland Resort branded merchandise available on opening day (save one LE pin), there is a wide range of "generic� character-driven merchandise to buy. As I wandered the isle or two of merchandise - all of which I'd seen available in WDW - I wondered how tough it would have been to drop an iron-on resort logo on a sleeve or silk-screen DCA logo on a pocket. I like park specific merchandise and wondered if I were the only one who cared about such things.

Obviously so - as I must also be the only adult who'd like to wear a Bear in the Big Blue House t-shirt. Yet another opportunity missed. It's my hope that the merchandise array for DCA's Tower of Terror has some park specific merchandise in it - if not it had better be on the drawing boards soon. I don't mind that they seem content to clone attractions - it does bother me that they don't park brand the merchandise.

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