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No more souvenir balloons at Tokyo Disney

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Published: November 26, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Disney fans in Japan who want to buy a souvenir balloon on their next visit to the Tokyo Disney Resort are out of luck. Tokyo Disney has suspended the sale of helium character balloons, effective last Wednesday.

Balloon in Tokyo Disneyland
No more of these at Tokyo Disneyland, at least for a while

Why? A worldwide shortage of helium. The United States produces the majority of the world's helium, which is why balloons remain available at Disney's U.S. theme parks (though expensive - $15 at last check at Walt Disney World Resort). But in Japan, which imports almost all of its helium, supplies are running short. That's why Tokyo Disney's stopped sales.

Looking through my pictures from last December's trip to the Tokyo Disney Resort, I didn't see that many people with the character balloons. The cold weather might have had something to do with that, but balloons didn't seem to be nearly as popular with Disney's Japanese visitors as were souvenir character popcorn buckets or anything with Duffy - Japan's favorite Disney character. Cut off sales of those, and Tokyo Disney might have some problems on its hands.

Readers' Opinions

From Eric G on November 26, 2012 at 10:50 PM
As a child my parents used to always buy my brother and me a Mickey ears balloon when we were departing Disneyland. Today, I wouldn't even consider buying one for myself, my nephews or anyone. The price of a balloon has skyrocketed more than anything else that is sold in a Disney theme park. It's a disgusting rip off. I don't know anyone of sane mind that buys Disney balloons.
From N B on November 27, 2012 at 12:42 AM
The days of buying balloons my kids have long passed. Just out of curiosity, what do they charge for these?
From Amanda Jenkins on November 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Two years ago, I paid $40 dollars for two Mickey ear balloons. I was in shock. They also caught me in a weak moment (I had become sick on a ride). First because I didn't know how much it would be. Second, because they had already given my young sons the balloons before telling me the price. Feeling horrible, I didn't need the mommy guilt to kick in. Needless to say, that was the first and last time I bought balloons for my children. I do understand the price increase though, since they have the lights now, and that the balloon is inside a thicker plastic that also contains helium. But still, $20 dollars a balloon was more than I would normally pay.
From Ian Robinson on November 28, 2012 at 9:22 AM
Good on them - helium is running out (that's why the balloons are so expensive) so Disney should set an example and stop selling them altogether.
From Andy Stevens on November 30, 2012 at 5:04 AM
An interesting thing that I found out during my recent holiday. The inner, heavier balloon contains air, only the outer thin balloon contains helium. I suspect Disney are doing this to cut down on the use of this finite resource. Found this out when my Granddaughter punctured her balloon on a tree.

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