Disneyland to replace Main Street camera store with a year-round holiday trinket shop

Originally published at: Disneyland to replace Main Street camera store with a year-round holiday trinket shop | Boing Boing

Slight edit-

“In an attempt to ensure every square inch of USA possible is used for effective merchandising.”

This has been Disney’s credo for quite a while.
It may sound snarky, but it’s not a joke.


They have floating malls that also have beds and feeding stations to keep you shopping isolated at sea.

(I go to Disneyland and DCA all the time, my home is filled with merch.)


Disney version, oh wait…

People looking for charging would likely benefit from something right on Main Street and expect to be sold something.

Disneyland sells portable phone chargers at seven kiosks scattered about the park. The one on Main Street is at Main Street Locker Rental & Storage.

1 Like

One interesting tidbit I just learned was that, in exchange for agreeing to host the opening gala for Disneyland in 1955, Art Linkletter was granted an exclusive concession for selling film and cameras in the park for 10 years. And he made a killing doing it.

For a period of time Disneyland was the world’s largest retail outlet for photographic film, so it was quite a shrewd deal.


Remember those lousy old “disposable” 35 mm cameras? It never occurred to me whether there might be some sort of digital equivalent nowadays. Is there a market for people whose smartphones fail horribly one way or another but who feel an urgent need to continue taking pictures while waiting to get a proper replacement?

I one took a camera and an awesome heavy lens to the zoo without it’s brace of 32 GB cards… I think the zoo gift shop wanted $20 for a 4GB card. I bet disneyland price gouged even more.


speaking of turning main street attractions to straight up souvenir shops, at least disneyland still has movies playing in it’s cinema (unlike florida’s park). Ive been disappointed that in the past couple years the penny arcade has removed all the old hand crank movie nickelodeon machines. (all that’s left now is a fortune teller and a grip testing machine). that was one of my favorite things at disney world the first time i went as a kid. those machines all operates on just pennies or nickels. maybe the pandemic has been an excuse for their removal as it would be hard to keep them clean with all the hands and faces touching them… but i wonder if they’ll ever come back. (i just visited san francisco and they have an entire museum of machines like that at the wharf, so its possible to keep them going… just a matter of will really)


Weird thing is I think Disney could probably do pretty well selling actual cameras these days. Higher end cameras and video cameras are one of the major things visitors to the US go looking to buy. Pricing is often a little be cheaper to start with, but avoiding your various VAT taxes and what have tends to make a big difference. Often enough certain things are more available here.

We get loads of European and Asian tourists showing up at the Best Buy here, and it’s a pretty regular thing for my Irish family to hold off on buying an expensive new camera till some one heads over here for a visit.

Though just how much of a thing any of that is tends to boil down to exchange rates.

Problem there is Disney would have to price things competitively. To the extent that shopping in the US is a thing, if you can get the thing you’re looking for cheaper at the airport or during a shuttle bus trip to an outlet mall that tends to be the way to go.

Single use digitals were a thing briefly. They weren’t really cost competitive with the 35mm guys at any point. And the photos were a lot worse.

The 35mm disposables are still a thing, and there are cheap off brand point and shoots you see for less than $100 at drugs stores. Thing is a temp pre-paid phone would probably cost the same or less, and will tend to take a better photo.


Probably not a big enough market to make it worth the retail space inside the park though. If you are traveling to Disneyland with the intention of taking professional quality photos or video you’ll probably plan on having the equipment before you go.

1 Like

I would think that renting out very small lockers with included phone charger cables would be an easy way to make money. They have those external batteries available in the park for $30 but based on how many people I see camping out at any available outlet in the park I would think there’s also a market for people who would pay $10 or so to leave their phone charging safely while they went on Splash Mountain or whatever. And the lockers could be tiny.

Now if they could just capture the emotional essence of “full cell phone battery” into a frozen yogurt flavor then they’d be making some real money.


Like I said. You’d be surprised how many people plan on buying a camera as part of their trip to the US. There are actually package trips you can book to my area. Either as the whole thing, or a day trip as part of a longer stay in NYC or one of the Casinos in CT.

They’ll bus you out to the malls and outlet centers, and electronics including cameras are one of the big things people seem to be looking for. At their most extreme its fly in, shop, stay over night at an airport hotel, fly back.

You run into a lot of people at our parks and beaches who bought a camera when they landed in order to take the nice pictures they planned on. And when I lived in NYC that was a huge bit of the trade at B&H and J&R. Super common when I sold cameras and photo/video equipment in center city Philadelphia too.

And it makes a certain amount of sense, if and when cameras are cheaper in the US. If you’re into that and planning an already expensive trip. Budgeting in a deal on a camera is a good plan. Save some cash on a major purchase, spend your vacation learning the camera.

More often than not the people doing this already have a camera with them, they’ve just been planning on picking up something else for a while. Way back as a camera salesman you did move a lot of point and shoots to the international travelers cause smart phones hadn’t eaten them yet. But you saw a hell of a lot of enthusiasts looking to drop at least a couple grand.

Price difference and VAT on $200 point and shoot aren’t huge. But if you’re dropping thousands on a DSLR or Mirrorless kit, or high end video camera it definitely is.

And I know people do this during trips to Disney World at least, cause I know people who have done it. It just doesn’t happen at Disney. A shopping stop on the way or the airport was the trick.

I would expect that it wouldn’t be a high enough margin market for them. Plenty of people do this, when the money works out, and there’s real benefits to having this sort of thing where people are already going. That’s why those casinos, and increasingly airports have so many shopping options.

But there’s a hell of a lot more profit in selling park only Disney merch at a premium, and overpriced bottled water to that captive audience. Getting that camera business requires competing against the Best Buy a cab ride away. You can’t really have a park premium on it.


“Floating mall”. Love it; but yeah; it makes perfect sense.

If the maker community can charge a cell phone from AA batteries, surely Disney can figure out how to make it in China and sell it for cheap.

For a while, auto insurance companies would use them, or recommend them to their policyholders, because they couldn’t be faked as easily.

I don’t drive, so things might have changed. Probably slows down claim processing, nowadays/

Why would Disneyland sell something for cheap when they can sell it for substantially-more-expensive-than-cheap?

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.