For longtime fans of Walt Disney World, it’s the end of an era. The “vacation scent” is coming to an end, as the brand that makes resort bath products has announced it’s closing up shop.
H2O+ posted on its official website a thank you to its 33-year-old customers, along with this: “After more than 30 incredible years of innovation, we have made the very difficult decision to retire the brand at the end of the year. ” H2O+ also said your customers can “shop your favorites on Amazon while supplies last.”
Frequent visitors to Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line will instantly recognize the name H2O+. This is the company that makes all of these bath and body products, from shampoo and conditioner to foot scrub, which are provided in the rooms and cabins of the resort.
Items featured at Walt Disney World and beyond include premium H2O Plus Sea Salt and Sea Marine SPA lines, the Bath Aquatics signature blue collection, and bath and body care products in Blushing Orange and Grapefruit Bergamot scents. H2O Plus products are also available at resort gift shops and online at shopDisney.com.
Speaking of which, shopDisney just posted a banner stating that they are closing their remaining H2O+ inventory…
Once the current inventory is depleted, that’s it. The products will be “gone forever on September 30” according to the shopDisney banner.
Until the end of 2022, you can also purchase items from the H2O Plus storefront on Amazon. On its website, the bath products company states that “H2O+ products will be available exclusively on Amazon, and we will no longer be accepting orders from H2OPlus.com. Keep reading for detailed product information and easily find links to your products on Amazon.
H2O Plus is a subsidiary of Pola Orbis Holdings, based in Tokyo, Japan. In a statement, the Pola Orbis Group said it had positioned the expansion of its business portfolio as “the new pillar of its strategies, while aiming to further improve its profitability by continuing the reforms of its brand portfolio in the existing cosmetic business” for Vision 2029, which is its 100th anniversary plan.
With this, Pola eliminates H2O Plus Holdings Inc. Since joining the group, H2O Plus has engaged in the manufacture and sale of cosmetics primarily in the United States. However, the business environment surrounding the beauty brand has become “extremely difficult”, with sales falling short of expectations. Pola acquired H2O Plus in 2010. At the time of the acquisition, Pola said it would expand the brand into Asia.
According to the company, H2O Plus will fulfill its contractual obligations to supply products in accordance with the agreements with its business partners and will proceed with the dissolution procedures during the second half of 2023. Thereafter, the liquidation will be concluded upon completion of the necessary procedures. .
Given this, it’s likely that H2O+ products will be available in Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and DCL theaters until at least the end of 2022. The Walt Disney Company has yet to say which brand will replace H2O, but our “vote” goes to another Japanese brand: Kao Corporation, sponsor of Tokyo Disney Resort and producer of the iconic Mickey Mouse head soap dispensers (which smell good).
The Walt Disney Company and H2O Plus have had a successful relationship for over 15 years. The two began working together in 2006, when Walt Disney World partnered with H2O Plus to “provide our guests with high-quality in-room amenities such as shampoos, conditioners and body lotions.” body,” said Michael CohenVice President, Disney Corporate Alliances.
If I remember correctly, H2O products were initially only offered at Deluxe Resorts and Disney Vacation Club properties. Someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I could swear we still got the old school Mickey Mouse stuff at the All Stars and Port Orleans Resorts in 2007.
In 2013, the two partners announced a multi-year strategic relationship that went even further. At the time, Cohen said Disney was “excited to expand this relationship and look forward to introducing H2O Plus products to Disney customers around the world.”
Subsequently, H2O+ grew from the primary provider of in-room amenities for Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line and Disney Vacation Club properties, to expand H2O Plus’ presence internationally.
Through this agreement, H2O Plus products have been added to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Koh Olina, Hawaii. Additionally, H2O Plus has become the sponsor of several runDisney races at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
“We have a wonderful, long-standing relationship with Disney and are thrilled to have the opportunity to further collaborate with one of the world’s most beloved companies,” said H2O Plus CEO, Rick Ruffolo at the time. “This expanded agreement will allow us to provide H2O Plus to an even broader Disney audience who can now enjoy the very best in marine skincare products.”
While this partnership was big news at the time, the bigger story involving H2O Plus and Walt Disney World was, naturally, a controversy. A minor change that sparked disproportionate reactions.
In 2017, Walt Disney World began replacing individually wrapped soaps and shampoos with larger, refillable dispensers in the shower. This was one of many unpopular changes to resorts in 2017-2018, eclipsed only by the addition of hotel parking fees and pet-friendly resorts. (Parking fees are still a big deal, but the other two “problems” seem downright odd compared to the changes of the past two years.)
These refillable dispensers were first added at Value and Moderate Hotels, then expanded to Disney Vacation Club Hotels and beyond.
For those keeping score at home, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser officially became the most expensive “hotel” to have the refillable dispensers when it debuted earlier this year.
It was a bit random, though. Some Deluxe and Villa resorts have refillable shampoo, conditioner, and body wash dispensers, while others do not.
During our last stay at Grand New Rooms at Walt Disney World Flagship Resort, we were surprised to find individual toiletries. (Not that any of you actually care, but I find it fascinating to see what new bedrooms do and don’t do things like this and bed runners.)
I was split on this. For one thing, it’s more eco-friendly, and it’s a trend in the larger hospitality industry far beyond Disney. It’s especially popular in Europe (we’ve experienced it even in high-end hotels and boutique hotels), but it’s also been a common practice in US national park lodges for some time.
The other side of the coin is that it is another reduction in hotels with constantly increasing prices. It’s one of those things that looks like a cost-cutting measure implemented under the guise of the environment. It would be one thing if those savings were passed on to customers or used to upgrade other equipment, but I think we all know that’s not how it happened.
Every time we stay at a Walt Disney World resort, we stock up on H2O+ products.
Some time ago I admitted into our Top 10 Perfumes of Walt Disney World I hadn’t bought a shampoo in years. While that’s no longer true, it’s not due to the refillable dispenser switch – I still have enough H2O Plus products to last a lifetime.
As strong supporters of olfactory nostalgia, that’s why we continue to collect the little bottles and have all stock.
We use various H2O+ bath products on “special occasions” or when we want to start our day off right. Some discontinued perfumes or bath products from specific hotels still evoke memories and emotions of past travels, and it’s nice to revisit them every once in a while.
Sarah and I started visiting Walt Disney World together in 2006, just before H2O Plus began its relationship with Disney. (I guess our first trip included the old-school black and red Mickey Mouse toiletries.)
Since then, H2O Plus products have been a defining flavor of our holidays. The “turquoise flavor” always instantly transports me to a stay in Saratoga Springs in 2007-2009, the “green flavor” is associated with our first stay at the Grand Californian. Etc. This is probably unimportant news for most normal people or even casual visitors, but it’s huge for us. Calling it the end of an era might sound hyperbolic – and probably is – but that’s kind of how we feel.
Ultimately, this is precisely why the news of the bath products brand being pulled from Walt Disney World is such “big” news, despite being relatively inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. That’s why so many other fans also stock these toiletries (if you thought it was frugality, you missed the point – no one who can afford a $200+ hotel room can’t not afford a $2 bottle of Suave). It’s also why the switch to refillable dispensers has been so important to so many people.
The good news is that Walt Disney World and the other destinations will be replacing H2O Plus with different bath products (presumably – probably shouldn’t get ahead of that guess given the recent nips) and that brand will have its own distinct smells ( probably too). It will be a while before nostalgia builds around these new scents, but it will eventually happen. Hoping they are as good as the ones made by H2O Plus. Truly the end of an era… and hopefully the beginning of another!
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Will you miss the nostalgic scents of H2O+ bath products at Walt Disney World, Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line? Is this the “end of an era” for you… or is this news without consequence? Are you a fan of H2O Plus or are you ready for something different? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback, even when you disagree with us, is both interesting for us and helpful for other readers, so share your thoughts below in the comments!