About the Column

Admit it. You do it a lot. You ask yourself: Why Did Disney DO That?!? Maybe you ask others, too. Maybe you gather in groups, gnaw on turkey legs, and ponder what Disney does. But any such gab sessions inevitably lead to confusion and perhaps frustration. Because none of us have the answers. Disney has the answers, but it's not telling. The Mouse justifies its actions either with "it's part of our business plan" or the even more nebulous "it's part of Walt's vision". You deserve better. In his column, Lee Beatens will uncover the truth. Or at least deliver some entertaining rants.

Disney Swag: The T-Shirt

Get yours now!

Subscribe to Disney Dispatch Digest

And receive a daily email summary of new stuff on the site.

FROM: Why Did Disney DO That?!? Published As Necessary

Disney Merchandise and Disney Fans

Lee switches it up this week and discusses how Disney fans are ruining the collectible fun by buying up hard to get items and selling them at outrageous prices.




Welcome to a SPECIAL EDITION of the column today. Instead of ranting about some mistake, flub, or downright stupid thing Disney has done, we’re going to focus on a stupid thing that some Disney fans do.


Special Promotions

Disney is always releasing special products. It also has many special promotions at its Parks worldwide. Now most Disney fans can’t purchase a Special Edition item because they are usually released at a certain location for a limited time. Such items also sell out quickly, long before the masses can get one!

And as for special Park promotions, not everyone can visit the Parks every year, and so miss out on the special merchandise released during any such promotions. The current 40th Anniversary promotion at Walt Disney World is a good example.


Starting with a different example

At the D23 Expo, the Mattel booth offered several exclusive, Limited Edition, items. One of those items was a Woody Marionette in a special TV box. To get one, you had to pre-order on-line and then use a voucher to pick it up at the booth at the Expo.

For me, and millions of others, this wasn’t going to work! We weren’t going to be there. Fortunately friends of mine were there and they were able to get one for me. So for me, this story has a happy ending.

If anyone else wanted one but missed the D23 opportunity, they can simply go on eBay and buy one of the dozens being offered. But this is where the stupid part comes in.


EBay Rip-offs

To buy Woody at the D23 Expo, it was only $19.99 US. To buy it after-market on eBay? Anywhere from $50.00 to $75.00 only a few days after the show ended! So it appears that many people who didn’t want the item picked one or more up only to turn around and sell it at Scalper’s prices later. If they hadn’t of done this, maybe more people who wanted it could have gotten one at the regular price.

So it’s here we say: Why do Disney fans DO this?!?

But that’s the free enterprise system, I guess.


40th Anniversary Map


40th Anniversary Merchandise

So now we have a new Disney World promotion and the usual eBay Scalpers along with it. Case in point: The free (note that I said ‘free’) Park Maps that are being given out now at The Magic Kingdom are already surfacing on eBay for upwards of $10.00 or more!

This goes along well with the napkins, swizzle sticks, and merchandise bags that eBay Scalpers have been selling at ridiculous prices for years! It could be argued that at least this process makes these things available to those who otherwise would never be able to obtain them. And I agree. But let’s think about reasonable prices!

After all, we’re all in the Disney Community together, aren’t we?


Stuff Not to Skip