Saturday, March 29, 2008

Disney's version of a toy store

OK, so I need to come clean off the bat. I eagerly drink the Disney Kool-Aid. I swallowed the blue pill a long time ago, and have a special place in my heart for all things Disney - especially Disney World.

It's funny, cause in the rest of my life, I am not a big fan of gihugant companies who's goals are to take over the world and charge you an arm and a leg for the service. But, plop me on Main St. in Disneyworld, and I'm five years old again.

I just got back from Disney World. (If you're curious, it's about a 15 hour drive straight through from Kissimmee) While there, I visited two stores that Disney identified as 'toy stores.' I say identified because every store in the entire Disney owned megalopolis sells toys.

One, 'Der Teddybar' in the German pavilion in Epcot Center sells German toys only. We went in and saw a selection of Playmobil, Steiff, Schleich, Ravensburger puzzles and some more stuff.
It's not a bad toy store, but it really doesn't do the tradition that is German toys justice. It's nice that they went to the effort of merchandising German owned toy companies and all, but I thought that perhaps it would have been nice to show off some of the history of the German toys throughout the years and offer some toys from smaller German toy companies. There was nothing at Der Teddybar that I haven't seen in dozens of specialty toy stores before.

The other 'Toy Store' we saw was 'Once Upon a Toy,' in the Downtown Disney shopping area. Again, it was nice and all, but how many times can you look at a mountain of Disney toys before you get sleepy. They had a cool 'make your own' Mr. Potato Head section, but I'd seen those before.

Disney does so many things well at Disney World, maybe I'm being a bit too picky about the stores. Maybe it's excellence in doing all the other things magnificently makes it easy for me to expect everything to be done perfectly.

Oh, and off topic - if you're going to Disney World, I wholeheartedly recommend picking up 'The Unofficial Guide to Disney World.' We stuck to the touring plans in the back of the book and, on one of the busiest weeks of the year for Disney, we spent no more than 25 minutes in line for any attraction and rode everything we wanted to ride (including Rock N Rollercoaster twice). Easily the best $20 I spent for the Disney trip.

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