Saturday, June 16, 2012

Keychain Capers - Made in China?

I collect keychains. You'd think, given my multi-decade fascination with theme parks, that I've been doing it for years, but I just started earlier this one. I'm trying to get at least one per park, and I'll use them to decorate a special Christmas tree (not the main tree) each year.

Imagine my surprise when I finally got around to looking for some at Disney World, where I spend every weekend. I'd put it off since I'm there all the time, so what's the rush?

What I found was that they sell plenty of keychains, in all the parks. And all of them say "Walt Disney World." It's as if they are afraid visiting tourists won't know what an Epcot or a Magic Kingdom are when they look at the tchotchkes in a few months.

I did locate one "Magic Kingdom" keychain, but it featured that grating image of cartoon Mickey and real Walt standing on Main Street USA while under construction. Forget the cartoon figure; this never happened with the real Walt! He stood on Main Street in Disneyland plenty of times, but never in Orlando. So the image is a cheat.

Besides, I was looking for a keychain that highlighted the park rather than just Main Street.

The deal was sealed (meaning there would BE no deal) when I saw what was on the back. An extremely large, garish proclamation that the keychain was made in China. I don't object from a political or economic point of view, but an aesthetic one. This wouldn't work on my Christmas tree at all, since hung objects rotate!

I'm still looking. Perhaps I'll drop by Theme Park Connection to see if they have older ones for sale.

Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.