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Disneyland Article
Why Disneyland Is Not Selling The Same Old Stuff In Star Wars Galaxys Edge

ID:TMS-4105
Source:Orange County Register
Author:Robert Niles
Dateline:March 05, 2019
Posted:March 11, 2019
 
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The most interesting nugget from last week's publicity dump from Disneyland on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge revealed the company's merchandise strategy for the new land.

Everything that Disneyland is planning to sell in Galaxy's Edge will be original souvenirs, designed specifically for the land, Disney said. That means no "Star Wars" T-shirts that you can find in the mall or online. No toys that you have seen for years on shelves at big box stores, either.

The souvenirs that Disney will sell in Galaxy's Edge are designed to reinforce the idea that you're not actually in a Disney theme park, but instead visiting the Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu in a galaxy far, far away, of course. You will be able to buy custom lightsabers, droids, robes and gear from the Resistance and First Order that you would not be able to get anywhere else.

Disney's move isn't simply artistic. It's smart business, too.

Last week, I read a report from design consultant PGAV Destinations that said that the top motivator for international tourists visiting the United States was shopping. Theme parks came in as the number two reason why visitors came to the U.S., so the combination of shopping with theme parks creates an irresistible place for many tourists to spend their cash.

Theme parks have known about the appeal for shopping for decades. That's why Disneyland has its Downtown Disney shopping district and Universal Studios has its CityWalk, after all. By increasing the opportunities for visitors to spend money, theme parks can make more from each person who visits. But it's not just the number of shops that a park offers, but what they sell that matters.

The study focused on international visitors, but souvenirs attract a lot of domestic spending as well. Just watch the frenzy whenever a new souvenir drops at Disneyland and fans line up for the chance to buy the lot and sell it on eBay.

The appeal of original souvenirs has shown theme parks how to level up their merchandise sales. With the right line-up of clothes, toys, accessories and collectibles, a theme park can use its merchandise selection to entice fans to buy tickets just to go shopping. Disney's Imagineers said as much during the press junket introducing the Galaxy's Edge shops. Disney now sees its stores as attractions by themselves.

Disney's hardly alone in trying to create bespoke shopping opportunities that make its parks stand out in a crowded retail market. Universal pretty much wrote the book on this with its Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands and their supply of wizard robes, wands and tchotchkes.

If Galaxy's Edge offered the same Star Wars souvenirs as you could find in malls and online, Disney would have missed an opportunity to entice more fans buy tickets and wait in line to visit the new land. By making Galaxy's Edge a destination for unique shopping opportunities as well as unique rides, Disney increases the land's appeal to free-spending tourists looking for something fresh.
 

 
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