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New "Disney at Daytona" merchandise line reaches out to race fans

New "Disney at Daytona" merchandise line reaches out to race fans

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You know, after you spend 10 solid days at Walt Disney World, it's kind of easy to get Moused out.

You know what I'm talking about, right? That feeling you get after you've stood in one too many  lines and/or been joustled by one too many tourists. That little voice inside you that says: "If I see one more rack full of Disney merchandise, I'm going to scream."

Well, last Friday, I was feeling pretty Moused out. Which is why my pal, Robert Bish and I decided to ditch Disney World for a few days. Head on over to Daytona for a Mickey-free weekend full of fast cars and copious amounts of adult beverages.

That was the plan, anyway. Just get a break from Mickey for a few days. But imagine my surprise as I came through the gate at Daytona International Speedway and immediately saw ... Extremely long lines! Plus thousands of tourists who'd soon be joustling me!

But worse than that was -- at virtually every Daytona 500 souvenir stand that I visited -- there was this huge pile of Disney merchandise.

But not just any Disney merchandise. No, this was Disney racing-related merchandise. Where Mickey and his pals were happily hyping the Daytona 500 ...

Photo by Jeff Lange

With even Baby Mickey getting in on the act ...

Photo by Jeff Lange

As you might expect (What with this being a NASCAR event and all), there were also small die-cast race cars available for sale. Each of them emblazoned with a different Disney character.

Photo by Jeff Lange

But you know what really surprised me? The rather odd selection of characters that the Walt Disney Company had agreed to license to NASCAR for use on merchandise. I mean, okay ...

Photo by Jeff Lange

... I guess I can see how this Grumpy t-shirt would appeal to race fans. What with that "The Pits" joke being rather clever, given the racing venue and all.

But what about these Tinker Bell t-shirts?

Photos by Jeff Lange

Or -- better yet -- this Disney Princess jacket?

Photo by Jeff Lange

Which was deliberately designed to match the Disney Princess pace car.

Photo by Jeff Lange

Now I know that NASCAR supposedly has a lot of female fans. But I'm thinking that a jacket and/or t-shirt like that would only appeal to girls 10 and under.

Of course, for the little boys in the crowd, there was also this Buzz Lightyear jacket ...

Photo by Jeff Lange

Which (not-so-co-incidentally) was a perfect match for the Buzz Lightyear pace car.

Photo by Jeff Lange

So -- as you can see -- going over to Daytona in an effort to escape the Mouse (even for a little while) turned out to be a bit of a bust for Robert and I.

But -- then again -- maybe you're a Disneyana fan who actually loves stock car racing. If so ... Well, then you might want to check out some of the "Disney at Daytona" merch that's currently up for sale at NASCAR.com's online SuperStore and/or at Sportsgear-racing.com.

And speaking of rather gratuitous promotional plugs ...

Jeff Lange is JHM's photographer/archivist. He has just released two brand-new titles in his on-going series of Disney theme park DVDs, "Jeff Lange Remembers ... Tarzan Rocks" and "Jeff Lange's Cruise Line Classics."

For further information on these two discs as well as all of the other titles that Jeff has created, JHM suggests that you follow this link.

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