Back in 2005, the Walt Disney Company started a cost cutting initiative called “One Disney”. The idea was to look for cost savings opportunities between the U.S. Theme Parks – Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Many different initiatives came from One Disney, including consolidating many types of costume items.
For example, Disney was able to reduce the variety of black pants, which in turn reduced the cost per unit. They also found ways to change the manufacturing process of character costumes like Buzz Lightyear. In that example, the cost of the buzz costume fell nearly in half to $12,000.
Cost Cutting – But Too Much?
While businesses look for ways to cut costs – and I think that makes perfect sense – they have to be careful that they don’t impact their customers experience. Especially when we are talking about a premium experience like the one that Disney creates.
Many guests of Walt Disney world have noticed that the amount of merchandise tailored to specific Disney and resort hotels has slowly decreased over the past few years. In many cases, it seems to have disappeared completely. Many attribute this to the One Disney cost cutting efforts. And they are none too happy about it.
But it seems that trend may be reversing, which is a good thing. During a recent visit to several gift shops at Disney resort hotels, I noticed the return of merchandise specific to that resort.
First Stop – Disney’s Polynesian Resort
The first example I noticed was t-shirts in Disney’s Polynesian Resort. The shirts mentioned the name of the resort – not just a generic Disney Parks identifier. After I saw this set of merchandise, I decided to check out the other Disney resort hotels on the Magic Kingdom monorail loop.
My next stop was Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Here too I noticed a few t-shirts with designs specific to the Grand Floridian. There also matching backpacks too.
Contemporary Resort – No Luck
My last stop on this trip was at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any merchandise that was specifically branded to the Contemporary. Too bad, since it is such an iconic hotel.
Overall, I see this as a very encourage sign. I think it makes perfect sense for Disney to reduce costs wherever they can. But many people look for souvenirs to commemorate their trip. And many people have great love for certain Disney Resorts. They remember a special trip, a special celebration, or just a special memory that happened at one of these uniquely themed hotels. By bringing back merchandise and gifts specifically tailored to these resorts, I think Disney is doing guests a great service in providing an opportunity to purchase a souvenir to help them remember the magic again once they get home.
Do you like seeing resort-specific merchandise at Disney World?