Hey, Disney: Where Are the Yeti Books?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 5th, 2007

Disney Yeti

A reader Joshua Cutchin sends along the following email to Cryptomundo today:

I just returned from a visit to Walt Disney World, where I rode Expedition Everest for the first time. While I enjoyed much about the ride (the Yeti was portrayed in a very realistic manner of a white snowman), I have one glaring issue to take with the attraction.

Several books by Loren Coleman are on display in the queue line’s “Yeti Museum”, as well as some of the older literature as well. Yet, at the attraction’s gift shop, there is not one book on hairy bipeds to be found! Why? I assume Mr. Coleman gave permission for his books to be used in the attraction – did Disney not ask about selling some related literature?

My party complained to the checkout worker about this. The response was that “there are books” – but, books only on Everest, not the Yeti itself. The end result is a little bit of an agenda that I’ve found in all the officially-licensed ride-related material: the Yeti is portrayed largely as a “mythical” being. And that really irritated me – miseducation [disinformation] of the public.

Has Mr. Coleman discussed the marketing of his books here? I strongly encourage it, as I believe they would sell very well. – Joshua Cutchin

Disney Yeti

I appreciate learning of this information from Mr. Cutchin.

Of course, no one needs to ask my permission to put my books in their exhibitions. I am encouraged to hear that Disney designers did include, apparently, my Tom Slick Yeti book or books in their “Yeti Museum.”

Likewise, bookstores are hardly ever influenced by an author’s attempts to “sell” a specific venue on carrying their books. I have not tried at the Disney “Yeti Museum” bookstore at Walt Disney World. Perhaps this reader’s and others’ interest in buying real Yeti books will stimulate some interest on the part of Disney World folks. Maybe they will think about stocking my books, Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology (Fresno, CA: Craven Street-Linden Press, 2002), and The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (NY: Anomalist Books, 2006), both of which have information on the search for the Abominable Snowmen. Also, they might want to sell others’ books on the Yeti, as well.

If things there change, some of the Cryptomundo readers will keep us informed, I’m sure.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.


15 Responses to “Hey, Disney: Where Are the Yeti Books?”

  1. mystery_man responds:

    Hmmm, Yeti books seems like a strange thing to be missing in a Yeti themed attraction’s gift shop. Considering all of the souvenirs on sale for every other ride, you’d think there would be all kinds of books and Yeti merchandise up for sale. Weird.

  2. kamoeba responds:

    If Disney doesn’t profit from selling someone else’s books, they won’t sell ’em. I bet they sell plenty of Winnie the Pooh books.

  3. Loren Coleman responds:

    Kameoba: I bet they sell plenty of Winnie the Pooh books.

    Even trying to read that remark with a sense of humor, well, excuse me but that comment makes no sense in the context of what the reader shared or what is being discussed in this blog.

    The things that are for sale, the actual choices made at a theme-oriented bookstore attached to a Yeti ride, are political ones. If Disney wanted to stock their store with books on Yetis, by the very nature of them being there, they would find an open and willing market of people who would buy Yeti books.

    But Disney, in reality, continue to dismiss the reality behind the stories of Abominable Snowmen, and re-direct their customers to tourist books about the area itself.

  4. fuzzy responds:

    Remember what business Disney is in – entertainment, not education.

  5. Loren Coleman responds:

    Yes, fuzzy, entertainment is there, but the whole notion of the “Yeti Museum” and the design of this specific area was one of supposed education. As one of the many press releases noted, the design and supportive material of the queue line and off-ride areas are envisioned as educational. And don’t forget, I was consulted by the Disney designers regarding that “waiting line,” so I know what they were projecting as their needs.

    Preparation activities had this “educational” objective, to wit:

    “Expedition Everest: Mission Himalayas, a cultural and scientific journey through the Himalayas….to investigate the powerful legend of the yeti as protector of the mountain, bringing a new level of authenticity to Expedition Everest…”

  6. mystery_man responds:

    In light of Loren’s comments, I feel even more perplexed by the lack of Yeti themed books, as the design people seemed to be expecting lots of people and I would think they would suppose those people were indeed there to see stuff on the Yeti. Even if they were just there for entertainment, I’m sure plenty of people would be interested in picking up a book on the way out so they could look into it more. I mean, they have a whole market of people right there who obviously have some sort of fascination with the Yeti so why not tap that?

    The fact that Loren was even called in for consultation seems to suggest they wanted to make sure there was accuracy and something to teach. If they just wanted entertainment, they didn’t have to do that. This seems odd that they would enlist Loren’s help, state their “educational objective” as Loren called it, and then limit the choice of books available for those who wanted to study the matter further. I hope to hear more on this story!

  7. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Perhaps someone who has been to the exhibit could draft a letter to Disney asking them to stock books that address the Yeti from multiple perspectives (mythical, cryptozoological, pop-cultural, etc.), and could then collect signatures and send that letter. (After all, the best way to sway a corporate beast like Disney is to say “Hey, if you sold this, here are a bunch of folks who would buy it.”)

    Even if they decide to comission their own new books on the subject for their own publishing arm, it would be better than no books at all. I’m also convinced that, potential personal biases of some folks acknowledge as a possibility, if Disney sees a little cash potential in selling cryptozoologically based Yeti books, they will sell them.

    But folks who visit the museum need to let Disney know they would buy the books.

    I’m not planning on going to Disney World anytime soon myself, but if I were to go, I’d definitely check out the ride/museum, I’d browse the book shop, and I’d sign a letter saying that I’d buy a Yeti book if someone wrote it up.

  8. kamoeba responds:

    Hey, I’m just agreeing with you. It makes me wonder why Disney wouldn’t want to cash in by selling Yeti-themed books at a Yeti-themed attraction. I’m saying that maybe they don’t feel that they can make money on merchandise that doesn’t promote their “property” (like the Winnie the Pooh characters). Perhaps at one time they did have Yeti-themed books and they didn’t sell well? Every museum, zoo or other educational attraction I’ve been to is willing to sell you ANYTHING that even remotely has a connection to their attraction. In the end you’re probably better off since the price of a Yeti book at a Disney gift store would be significantly more than if you bought it somewhere else.

  9. fuzzy responds:

    Could it be that it just never occurred to Disney that visitors might take “…the powerful legend of the yeti as protector of the mountain…” seriously enough to actually buy a non-fiction book about the subject?

    Did Disney overlook the possibility that since most folks don’t hang around the crypto-section at their local book store, that they might be intrigued enough to pop for a non-fiction treatment of the subject, as long as it was displayed right there in front of them?

    Does Disney sell non-fiction books about the fictional characters in their other attractions – like (Pooh)-bears? Mice? Fairies?

    Perhaps the reason this ride’s “…design and supportive material of the queue line and off-ride areas are envisioned as educational…” is so that the queued adults won’t feel so “Goofy” as they shuffle along.

  10. Loren Coleman responds:

    For clarification’s sake, my publisher did contact the bookstore when the Expedition Everest ride-museum opened, and Disney was not interested in carrying the book. I was merely clarifying for the questioning reader that authors often are not the primary contact with bookstores (although, of course, I do it all the time). Instead it usually is the publishers and their sellers to the bookstores’ wholesale buyers who make these decisions.

    However, something deeper is happening with that Disney bookstore, and I will not withdraw from the fact it may be their “mythical” approach to the question of Yeti.

    The artist, Dick Klyver, who made the Yeti tee-shirts that I have mentioned at Cryptomundo, tried to sell the Disney bookstore on that product, and the Expedition Everest people were not interested.

    I have no idea what books of mine or anyone else’s that Disney have in the “Yeti museum” at the ride. I have not been able to get there yet.

    BTW, the decision to take “Yeti” out of my new revised edition of the book’s title is not one I was too happy about. The publisher’s other decision to not publish the index that was in the first edition certainly was also not my decision either. Authors do not have the final say on all that happens with their books, of course.

  11. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Darn editors! Oh wait… I’m part of an editorial sta… nevermind

  12. kamoeba responds:

    For more of Disney treating the Yeti like it was a character from a monster movie, check out their entirely Yeti-on-a-rampage themed web page:

    http://www.disneyeverest.com/

  13. mystery_man responds:

    Thanks for that link Kamoeba. Wow, rampage is right! I’m thinking maybe they just don’t want to sell books that might contradict their take that the Yeti is a dangerous marauding monster. It would be like having a shark attack ride and then selling books about how little a threat sharks are to man. Maybe they just want to maintain the illusion of dread.

  14. kamoeba responds:

    I happened to catch a little bit of a show on The Travel Channel yesterday that profiled Disney’s Himalaya Expedition attraction. They spoke at length about how their animatronic Yeti was created and what a state-of-the-art marvel it is. My wife was trying to get our 2-year-old daughter to watch the TV and she kept saying, “Look, is that King Kong?”. Then it occured to me that maybe that’s why they don’t want any Yeti-themed books in their gift stores–people would be disappointed to find that the different types of Yetis aren’t all giant monsters on a rampage and the truth is actually somewhat bland compared to their giant prop.

    By the way, I don’t think Disney is the only culprit here. I have seen several Matchbox brand toys in recent years that market Bigfoot adventure/capture vehicles, playsets and figures as though Bigfoot is a giant monster.

  15. Cryptid Hunt responds:

    I went on Expedition Everest. TWO THUMBS UP!! Same thing the gift shop should have books and DVDs on the Yeti. I think people would buy those more than on Mt. Everest!




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