Sunday, December 5, 2010
First, on December 26, 2010, the existing collective bargaining agreements with the International Federation of Elves (IFE) and the Global Reindeer Association (GRA) will expire and all current Santa Claus employees will be officially laid off. According to Iger, "Santa Claus's current system of accepting gift lists by mail and delivering presents to every home on the planet completely free of charge is a concept that goes against everything Disney stands for. The home-delivery policy will be eliminated, making Santa's flying reindeer unnecessary. And since Disney already has a well-developed product development division, we certainly don't need elves to build toys for us. Even if we did, we have seven of our own already under contract." When gently reminded that elves are not the same as dwarves, Iger replied, "Whatever. They're all short and funny-looking."
Instead of writing letters directly to Santa, children will request presents by logging on to the website www.disneyclaus.com and filling out an on-line order form. All gifts will be available for their regular retail price plus a $12 per item processing fee.
Every year, on December 20, all gifts will be delivered to regional "Disney Claus Gift Depots" where they can be picked up by parents in time for distribution on Christmas morning. While Iger admits that lines at the depots will be quite long, for a very reasonable price of $500 parents will be able to purchase a Depot Fast Pass allowing them to wait in an express line with a guaranteed wait time of twelve hours or less.
In January 2011, the current Santa Claus Inc. facility located in Christmastown, North Pole will be packed up and moved to Orlando, Florida.
In addition to purchasing all of Santa's current holdings, Disney has also obtained the rights to the name and image of "Santa Claus," forcing the jolly old elf to resume using his given name, Kristopher Kringle.
"Really, they just came in and bought up everything," Kringle said. "My name, my factory, all of it. I'm not thrilled about this, but given the depressing state of the global economy, it was just a matter of time before I would've had to scale back my operation anyway. Instead of breaking millions of little hearts, I thought it best to turn over the operation to the Disney Company. And what the hell, 247 million bucks does wonders for alleviating guilt."
Iger went on to say that while Disney will obviously play a crucial role in the "toys and goodies" component of Christmas, the company has no plans to obtain the other elements of the holiday season. "We have no interest in buying the rights to Christmas trees, winter, holiday songs, or the image of Jesus Christ. We plan to focus on what Disney has always done best, that is, providing customers with high-quality toys, games, and other forms of entertainment."
When a reporter suggested that this might be because Disney has recently been far more concerned with their bottom line than customer satisfaction, ethics, or human decency, Iger responded, "Well yeah, what else?"