Even before the world stopped, the diversity of goods was changing. I noticed this a lot at EPCOT where in the showcase pavilions of the world there used to be a lot of items from certain countries. I noticed that more and more items were being replaced with generic Disney products that had little or no relation to the pavilion they were in. Simple example – in the UK pavilion there were lots of UK items (I bought lots of Doctor Who stuff in there), the Beatles and lots of other UK items. Last time I went it was replaced by Winnie the Pooh. Of course, Norway was just littered with frozen stuff everywhere.
I won’t talk about the quality as I haven’t bought anything for a while now, but the variety has been going down for a while. Even when I was at Disneyland Paris in late 2019, it was nearly impossible to find anything exclusive to this resort. Everything was generic and didn’t even have the name of the station. I found exactly two sweatshirts that actually had the Disneyland Paris name on them. Everything else was generic Mickey stuff. At WDW there are lots of shirts and different things with the castle on them and tons with the station logo. This did not exist at DLP. It might have been a seasonal thing, but even educating me, no one could direct me to that type of merchandise there. Everything was very generic and looked like items that could be purchased at a Disney store in the mall. I found precisely ONE mug at DLP that actually contained a small part of the castle as well as the name of the station. Unsurprisingly, it was exactly the same at the France Pavilion at the World Showcase with a slightly different name on it (and no chateau in the background). No kidding – not a single mug at DLP with the castle on it. In fact, I had to get one custom-engraved from a glass stand there because nothing existed. Savage!
I’ve seen this for a while now where the distinction between parks and resorts has eroded. Look at the bags used at checkout – they simply refer to ‘Disney Parks’. Ditto for the umbrellas. The keychains have a generic castle. This is purely a cost cutting measure. It’s not terrible, but makes each place a little less special on its own. Luckily, the reusable bags people buy are still (currently) distinctive, but I expect that won’t last either.
I have always enjoyed shopping for Disney merchandise and have a huge collection of Disney mugs dating back over 20 years. I love bags, phone cases, watches (previously), pens, books, almost anything. I like unique and more specific items versus generic “Disney parks” stuff. I just feel lazy and cheap for me. Haven’t bought a mug in a while as there haven’t been many good ones.