Disney On A Dollar

Good things often come from surprising sources. This was the case this morning as I not so patiently waited on hold for Disney Dining. With my ears overflowing with the cheesiest of muzak, I thought about hanging up and calling back later. My urge to give up almost won out when the flagship release from Disney Pearl courtesy of Yanni came oozing out of my cell phone. (Really Disney – the best you can do is Yanni?!?!?!) Yanni aside, I held on and just before I got through to the operator, a manly, yet gentle pre-recorded message asked me what I would celebrate today. Now, not so long ago, I scoffed at what I referred to as Disney’s “Celebrate Mediocrity” theme for this year, but this morning, call me glass half full, I started to ponder the question – what will I celebrate today?

With Disneyland hundreds of miles away, my wallet near empty and the trappings of economic gloom and doom around every corner, it can be hard to be Disney-optimistic. While happiness comes from all sources, nothing makes me as tangibly joyful as consuming. Whether its merchandise, good food and drink, media – you name it, I love to consume it. I love to celebrate all things consumable. So in the spirit of celebrating the little things, here are my top 5 Disney consumables, accessible almost anytime, anywhere, for under a dollar:

1. Fun Little Figurines -Found at any mall, the exit of a Fry’s Electronics, or at the door to the supermarket they patiently wait; all jumbled together and tucked away in clear plastic eggs calling out “For only 4 quarters, I can come home with you!” You know the ones I’m talking about. So small, so cute, so collectible and only a dollar! (The only down side is you never know which one you’re going to get – hence the army of Edna’s from the Incredibles that lined the top of my computer last year.)
2. Magical, Musical, Downloadable iTunes – Some of my personal favs to spice up any Gloomy Gus – Louie Armstrong’s “Bare Necessities” Stan Jones and Thurl Ravenscroft’s “Saddle Up” and “Disco Mickey Mouse” just to name a few. These Disney classics will put a skip in anyone’s step and won’t put a dent in your pocketbook.
3. Outlet Extravaganza – you never know when a Disney Outlet will show up in your neighborhood, but that’s half the fun. One day it’s the empty hole next to Macys and overnight – poof! – Disney goodness at 80% off abounds. Just a few of my dollar treasures – Disneyland in the 70’s travel mug, patriotic Mickey antenna topper and a Proud Family Kwanza pin.
4. Target Dollar Section – A Monster’s Inc icepack, Finding Nemo zip lock Baggies, Hannah Montana pens, Cars magnetic play boards and more. The ever-changing selection keeps this treasure hunt unpredictable and frugally fun.
5. The Squashed Penny – The quintessential Disney souvenir and it costs less than a dollar. You’ll have to go to the parks to pick one up (or should I say, to squash one flat) but when I think about the Disney deals that brighten my day, this one takes the cake.

Those are my top five. What are yours?

Kristen

Mousetalgia Kristen may be best known for her color commentary, but she also brings her inquiring mind and insatiable appetite for new and exciting Disney-related experiences to the podcast.

In addition to her on-the-scene reports, Kristen is also the Mousetalgia house musician, and often records various themes and tunes for the show on her accordion (or her concertina, her piano, her banjo, or some other various rhythm instrument she finds laying around her home), putting her degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to good use.

After having spent a season in sub-Saharan Africa as a professional storyteller reporting on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Kristen has a special insight into the value of humor and perspective, and Kristen brings this joie de vivre to Mousetalgia. As a member of D23, the Cartoon Art Museum, and the Walt Disney Family Museum, Kristen rarely misses an opportunity to report on West Coast-based Disney happenings.

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