Disney & Citizen - Clock Watching At The Happiest Place On Earth
Last month, Citizen and the Walt Disney Corporation unveiled new Citizen branded in-park clocks at all of their US resorts. Watchonista had the special opportunity to visit Disney World and do a bit of clock watching. Join along as we take you inside the happiest place on earth!
For generations, Walt Disney's theme parks have captivated visitors young and old. Having grown up in Long Beach, California, my family was only minutes away from Disney's first park 'Disneyland'. This afforded my sister and me many opportunities to experience a live action version of the cartoons which we so dearly loved.
So when the opportunity came to visit Disney World, we jumped at the chance. After all, a trip to Disney isn't exactly your average workday. What's more, the partnership between Citizen and Walt Disney isn't an ordinary collaboration. This multi-channel partnership will see re-branding at Disney's theme parks, a plethora of new Disney themed timepieces, and because of the brand's partnership Marvel New Media’s Creative Space, we'll see Citizen at upcoming movie premieres.
A day at Disney World
After arriving in Orlando, Florida from New York, we settled into comfortable accommodations at Disney's Grand Floridian hotel. Located just minutes from Main Street U.S.A. this four-star resort is one of the top hotels located on premise at Disney World. After an efficient check-in and a quick pot of coffee. We were off to join our friends from Citizen for a whirlwind day. My colleague and our photographer Liam O'Donnell represented Watchonista on this whirlwind trip and from all accounts, he had a marvelous time.
Our agenda for the trip started with a presentation covering the strategic partnership between the Disney corporation and Citizen. This partnership goes WAY behind Mickey Mouse watches. While many other brands produce Mickey Mouse and Disney themed timepieces, these products are made via licensing agreements. It was explained that the collaboration between Citizen and Disney goes far beyond watch dials.
Instead of a traditional licensing arrangement. Citizen's partnership with Disney also includes all of Disney's sister companies. And there are many! Just to name a few, Disney owns ABC, ESPN, Lucasfilm, and Marvel. The Star Wars and Marvel franchises alone are severally underrepresented in the timepiece sector, so while we were on location for the Citizen x Disney theme park re-branding, there is so much more to come. During our presentation, Disney being typically tight-lipped let very few details slip through.
After our presentation, our group was ushered to a seldom seen area of Disney, the kitchen! As a group bonding experiment, Citizen had arranged a private cooking class for us. While watch journalists aren't particularly known for their culinary skills, this exercise presented us the opportunity to go behind the proverbial curtain of Disney. I have to say, seeing the results of the class, we had some very talented chefs among us, or perhaps just some great teachers.
Clock watching at Disney World
Once inside the park, we took a stroll down Main Street U.S.A. which is Disney's main thoroughfare for all park visitors. This brick-lined street is constantly bursting with activity. From themed shops selling Mickey Mouse ears, to candy corn and snow cones, Main Street U.S.A. is every tourists one-stop-shop for all things Disney. This was also our first taste of what Citizen had in store for our visit. For this initiative, all clock along Main Street and all ride FastPass clocks in the park were replaced with Citizen clocks. In addition, the Furtuosity Watch Shop had its clock replaced with a Citizen analog clock.
At any Disney theme park, time is of the essence. Today, visitors to Disney can proactively plan their visit months prior to their visit via the Disney app. Gone are the days of upgrading your park ticket with a "FastPass" option. Nowadays, any visitor can download the app, book a slotted time for any ride, and then via the magic of technology, show up at your ride at the pre-designated time and hop aboard. No lines, no fuss, no muss. This part of the Disney experience is probably the most interactive for Citizen. Because every visitor is paying close attention to the time of their ride, large Citizen clocks are positioned outside every ride which displays to incoming riders the precise time in preparation for their visit. Citizen is constantly getting captive eyeballs on their clocks throughout the park
The list of rides at Disney is exhaustive, and Citizen has left no stone unturned. From FastPass "Time Guide" clocks to restaurants and shops, Citizen will have a presence at Disney for many years to come.
“Since his big-screen debut in Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928, Mickey has been the global ambassador for The Walt Disney Company and he embodies a positivity that reflects Citizen’s ‘Better Starts Now’ initiative,” says President of Citizen Watch America, Jeffrey Cohen. “We are proud to honor this iconic character on our new timepieces and continue celebrating moments like this as we build on our collaboration with the Disney brand.”
Pricing & Availability
Citizen's new range of Mickey timepieces is available in men's and women's sizes. These eight new pieces range in size from 29.5mm to 40mm. The predominant color theme is black with red accents. A Mickey silhouette is placed prominently on the dial in a motion the brand calls "chasing after time." These pieces are priced from $295 to $475 and will be available to purchase on Citizen's website starting in 2019.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)