Welcome to Jim Hill Media - Entertainment News : Theme Parks Movies Television

Tourists mob Muppets & Mouse shops, snatch up last “Mermaid” tickets

Jim Hill

Jim's musings on the history of and rumors about movies, TV shows, books and theme parks including Disneyland, Walt Disney World. Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Tourists mob Muppets & Mouse shops, snatch up last “Mermaid” tickets

Rate This
  • Comments 4
According to the good folks at Gallup, consumer confidence is on the rise. At the very least, there’s been a sharp albeit seasonal increase in spending over the past two weeks.

Of course, anyone who wandered through FAO Schwartz yesterday could have told that you spending was up. Based on the tons of tourists that were crowded around this NYC landmark’s Muppet Whatnot Shop.

The desk at the Muppet What Not Shop in FAO Schwarz in New York
Photo by Nancy Stadler

Even with a base price of $130 (which is quite a jump from what these Whatnots were going for back in October of 2008, when this FAO Schwartz in-store feature first opened. Back then, you could design and then have built your very own custom Muppet Whatnot for $90), people still patiently stood on line. Waiting for the chance to submit their design for a personalized puppet.

Shoppers of all sizes couldn't wait to get their hands ona Muppet Whatnot in FAO Schwarz
Shoppers of all sizes couldn’t wait to get their hands on a Muppet Whatnot.
Photo by Nancy Stadler

It was a similar sort of mob scene over in FAO Schwartz’s new Disney section. Which featured an assortment of classic characters that were exclusive to this store ...

Display of Mickey plush in FAO Schwarz in NYC
Photo by Nancy Stadler

… not to mention plush versions of Dug & Kevin from “Up” …

Dug the dog plush at FAO Schwarz in NYC
Photo by Nancy Stadler

Based on what FAO Schwartz employees told me yesterday, the talking version of Dug the Dog have proven to be particularly popular with tourists. Though – that said – it was rather hard to hear what this new Pixar star had to say over the noise of the crowds.

Jim listens to Dug the Dog at FAO Schwarz in NYC
“Hi there. My name is Dug. I have just met you and I love you.”
Photo by Nancy Stadler

A few blocks south on 5th Avenue, the World of Disney was equally crowded. With hundreds of tourists crammed into this three story store, eagerly snatching up the over-priced designer t-shirts that were on display in WOD’s new TrenD section (Which – as you might have already guessed – featured some of the very same items that are now on sale at WDW’s newest shop at Downtown Disney.

the TREND merchandise in the New York World of Disney Store
Photo by Jim Hill

But the most obvious Mouse-related sign that the economy was on the mend came yesterday when Disney Theatrical Productions revealed that the final 16 performances of the Broadway version of “The Little Mermaid” were completely sold out.

Now keep in mind that – just weeks ago – you could pick up a half-priced ticket for this musical at the TKTS booth in Times Square. And that – in order to spur sales – Disney had buses all over town plastered with banners proclaiming that “Mermaid” “ … must close August 30th.”

Little Mermaid Broadway closing sign on a New York bus
Photo by Alice Hill

Clearly something must of clicked. For – as of right now – there isn’t a single seat to be had at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. And if you’re headed to NYC over the next two weeks and really need to see “The Little Mermaid” … Well, you can come by the box office and hope for a cancellation OR purchase a day-of standing room ticket for $26.50.

From Disney Theatrical’s point of view … While they’re not exactly thrilled that the Broadway production of “The Little Mermaid” will be closing after 50 previews and 685 performances (Contrast that with “Beauty & the Beast” ‘s original Broadway run, during which that show racked up 46 previews and 5,464 regular performances), with their latest musical going out on top like this, with not a ticket to be had … Well, that will make it that much easier for Disney Theatrical to hype “The Little Mermaid” 's upcoming national tour. Which gets underway in the Fall of 2010 and reportedly plans to make stops in Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington DC, Tampa, Denver and Tempe.

So what about you folks? Are you also seeing signs in your area that suggest that the economy is actually turning around? Or is what was going on NYC yesterday more indicative of tourists being driven crazy by the heat (The Big Apple is just now going through its first heat wave of the summer)

Your thoughts?

Blog - Post Feedback Form
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Post
  • I think you said it all when you said tourists mobbing stores...people on vacation ALWAYS spend money while they're on vacation.  How many native New Yorkers did you see in there spending $130 on a toy?  I mean I'm broke but when I go on vacation I live it up because...well...I'm on vacation.  So is the economy getting better? I don't think you can gauge that by how many plush Mickey's FAO Schwartz is selling.  Ruler of the Multiverse, Usurper of Finances and Slayer of Interest Rates: Ben Bernanke, so far as I know does not include that as part of his report on how the Leading Economic Indicators are doing.

  • I'm not terribly surprised The Little Mermaid is closing.  When it previewed here in Denver, it was pleasant enough, but really nothing to write home about.  And it's coming back to Denver?  I suppose there's enough little princesses around here to justify another swing-through.

  • Your story was featured in DisMarks! Here is the link to vote it up and promote it: http://dismarks.com/GeneralDisney/Jim_Hill_Tourists_mob_Muppets_Mouse_shops_snatch_up_last_Mermaid_tickets

  • Jim, if you ever run a "JHM Write The Caption" contest, you've gotta use the photo of you listening to Dug.  :)

Page 1 of 1 (4 items)