This is why I need to move to Tokyo. Akihabara, to be more specific. Now.
Hat tip to Silent Kimbly, yay!
After much internal debate, and not a small amount of sheepishness, I’ve bought my first Pal Mickey. My descent into the Dark Side seems to be complete.
But Pal Mickey isn’t the only adorable souvenir that accompanied us on our flight home. At Club Cool in Epcot, my son created his own custom slushie cup, which immediately took on a life of its own as Princess Stitch, and pal’ed around with Mickey for the rest of the day. All hail the power of a child’s imagination!
Now, in my family we’ve never encouraged sibling rivalry. But watching these two side-by-side for the rest of the visit, I couldn’t help but wonder which was the better investment. So, I provide here a comparison, across multiple categories:
- Pal Mickey: About $61, with my Annual Passholder discount at the World of Disney store.
- Princess Stitch: About $8, filled with Frozen Coke.
- Advantage: Princess Stitch
- Pal Mickey: Soft and plush, like you’d expect any plushie to be. The metal casing for his electronic innards is mostly well-covered, with the exception of his disturbingly hard and rectangular tushie.
- Princess Stitch: Hard and smooth, like you’d expect any plastic cup to be. It’s hard to tell the difference between Princess Stitch cozying up to you for a cuddle, and Princess Stitch whacking you in the bicep. And isn’t that just what you’d expect from Princess Stitch?
- Advantage: Pal Mickey
- Pal Mickey: Disney sells a few outfits for Pal Mickey, plus there’s a great big beautiful world of teddy bear and doll clothes which either fit Pal Mickey, or can easily be altered to do so (um, am I really suggesting here that Pal Mickey needs a tailor?). PalMickey.net has an excellent page on sources of Pal Mickey attire. Plenty of Pal Mickey fans also seem to be rather handy with sewing machines.
- Princess Stitch: Extremely limited. If you need a new pair of shoes you might luck out; when our Princess Stitch lost his adorable blue mid-heel pumps, I found the Cast Member in Club Cool was kind enough to give me a replacement, gratis (though he certainly did look doubtful when I told him my son had lost the princess shoes cup item). I’m sure any number of cup cozies could be let-out to accommodate Princess Stitch’s impressive circumference, or easily whipped up with a sewing machine, but there just isn’t much available ready-to-wear.
- Advantage: Pal Mickey
- Pal Mickey: While a cuddly plushie can win my heart any day, Pal Mickey’s real selling point is his interactivity. He’ll give you tips on short lines for attractions, current locations of nearby character meet-and-greets, or entertain you while you’re waiting in line. Of course, you might look a little silly doing all this if you are a forty-year-old woman, touring the parks alone . . . but Pal Mickey theoretically should be useful. And here is where Pal Mickey’s design point as a toy for the under-8 set was most clear. Only once in nearly 20 hours of use did Mickey offer a tip about a short waiting line for an attraction (Winnie the Pooh, Thursday night right around Wishes). The rest of the time he was a needy child with a short-term memory problem, constantly buzzing on my hip and wanting to tell me the same joke over and over . . . and over . . . and over. (In this category, I definitely found myself wishing for a Pal Len, as described by one of the listeners of the WDW Today podcast. Pal Len would shame you for missing rope drop, bully you out of Fantasyland when the lines were getting too long, and pester you into taking an afternoon break no matter what. Pal Mickey, on the other hand, just wanted to ask me yet again whether I knew the second line to “it’s a small world.”)
- Princess Stitch: Doesn’t offer any Disney Parks touring tips, doesn’t play any games, but is perfectly designed to hold a frosty beverage.
- Advantage: Pal Mickey, by an adorable shiny little nose.
Setting aside price, Pal Mickey takes it in a walk. But if I figure in the price, it’s a tougher call, because then I need to think about the long term. Will Pal Mickey end up gathering dust on a shelf, just as I suspect will happen to Princess Stitch? Will I tire of his corny jokes and incessant buzzing? Or will I really make that costume I’ve been thinking about, for Pal Mickey to wear to the Pirates and Princesses Party next month? If my son lobbies for a matching outfit for Princess Stitch, it will truly give me reason for pause.
I mean really, couldn’t you just lay down and die?
(Photo found on Flickr, taken at ConnectiCon, courtesy of DS Daijoubu.)
Bittersweet news for Star Wars fans . . . MGMstudios.org reports that:
Disney has filed plans with the Orange County Comptroller’s Office to begin construction on a permanent stage for Jedi Training Academy. According to the plans, the stage will be built where the Endor village currently is.
I’m stoked about the Jedi Training Academy becoming a permanent feature at Disney-MGM Studios, rather than just a special event during Star Wars Weekends. But man I love that Endor village, especially in the evenings where you can hear the little dudes celebrating.
Big hat tip to MouseExtra, not just for bringing my attention to MGMStudios.org’s posting in the first place, but also for being a big freakin’ Star Wars geek (yay!):
The description of the project offered within the official files is “to design, engineer, construct, and install an outdoor stage reminiscent of the Imperial Bunker on Endor from Star Wars”. Not withstanding the fact that the bunker was in Return of the Jedi and not Star Wars [emphasis mine], we can only assume that such a stage must be for the Academy, although in the file I read there is not mention of the Academy.
Can’t keep track of all the rumors flying around about potential changes at Disney-MGM Studios? Not to worry, Mouse Extra has you covered, with an article drawing heavily on Lou Mongello’s Walt Disney World Rumor Mill.
I for one am rooting for year-round Jedi Academy!
So wrong, it’s gotta be right! They almost lost me in the silliness of Luke and Leia dancing to We Are Family, but Amadala performing I Will Survive with Darth Vader brought things back to the sublimely ridiculous.