Tokyo Disneyland stops selling balloons due to lack of helium

Tokyo Disneyland stops selling balloons due to lack of helium

TOKYO —

If you were lucky enough to take a trip to Disneyland as a child, you no doubt remember the bouquets of brightly colored balloons that towered over the crowds. And if you asked your mom really nicely and flashed your best set of puppy dog eyes, added in a few “please, oh please, oh please, I’ll be good all day!” you might have been granted an inflated Micky head to bob along with you while you made your way through the happiest place on earth.

If you’re a Japanese kid in November 2012, you will never have the chance to even covet a shiny Disney themed balloon because all traces of them have been wiped out of the park.

What the heck happened?!

Starting from Nov 21, Tokyo Disneyland suspended all sales of balloons within the park. The official reason as stated on the Tokyo Disneyland site is because of “supply difficulties related to the raw material put into the balloons.”

So in other words, they ran out of helium. After a little research, this is actually a serious problem.

Because helium is an inert gas that has extreme melting and boiling points, it is widely used by medical companies and high tech firms (also, at children’s birthday parties and in bored teenagers’ basements). Recently, due to the growth of the manufacturing industry in Asia, demand for helium in the region has skyrocketed. Even though helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, just like balloons in the possession of small children, most of the earth’s helium floats off into space.

In addition, the United States produces 75% of the world’s helium, most of which is located in the Texas panhandle, making it even more expensive for Japanese patrons to get their hands on the prized gas. Because of the high demand for helium and the rapid depletion of helium reserves, the price continues to rise steadily by an average of 6.9% each year.

At the height of the Christmas season, Tokyo Disneyland will not be filled with balloons bobbing and darting through the crowds.

Tokyo Disneyland, “Where dreams come true.” Not if you’re dreaming of buying a balloon.

Source: ITmedia

RocketNews24

  • 0

    Realistic

    Bad news for kids.!

    This is called as "Great Helium Shortage":

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/08/27/what-great-helium-shortage/

  • -1

    Penfold

    Wow, what a scoop JT!

  • 2

    JonathanJo

    Have more fun and fill the balloons with hydrogen instead.

  • 2

    Nessie

    In addition, the United States produces 75% of the world’s helium, most of which is located in the Texas panhandle, making it even more expensive for Japanese patrons to get their hands on the prized gas.

    More expensive than what? It's not like the location of the gas has changed.

  • -1

    Disillusioned

    Yeah Nessie, I read this article on Rocket News the other day and thought exactly the same thing. The cost would not have changed. I think it is just an excuse to cut their overheads.

  • 1

    Serrano

    "most of the Earth's helium floats off into space... the United States produces 75% of the world's helium, most of which is located in the Texas panhandle..."

    Wow! Texans must be working like dogs to produce all this gas, and most of it just floats off into space! Can't they send more of it to Tokyo Disneyland instead of just letting it float off into space?

  • 3

    Farmboy

    This will cut down on the number of children carried off into space while holding their balloons, however.

  • -2

    volland

    Oh my Lord ! The mayan calender is right, the world will be coming to end !

    @Farmboy, Nov. 24, 2012 - 09:24AM See, that is more bad news!

    @SerranoNov. 24, 2012 - 09:00AM Now there is a great business idea. Transport the ballons to Texas, fill them with Helium, hang on to them and float back, while the arth will rotate backwards underneath you...

    No, we should stop joking, this is a really serious matter, a truely essential problem! Everybody put all your energy into solving this desaster!

  • 2

    gaijinfo

    So in other words, they ran out of helium.

    No, they didn't "run out" of helium. It just got too expensive. For them. There's still plenty of people paying higher prices for helium. That happens sometimes in business. The prices of raw materials fluctuates.

  • 1

    hkitagawa

    Replace it by cheap hydrogen

  • 0

    Farmboy

    Replace it by cheap hydrogen

    And hope Mommy and Daddy don't smoke?

  • 1

    cleo

    Replace it by cheap hydrogen

    And hope Mommy and Daddy don't smoke?

    Hope that anyway.....

  • 0

    Eric Draken

    "John Lee, chairman of the UK's Balloon Association, insists that the helium its members put into balloons is not depriving the medical profession of the gas. 'The helium we use is not pure,' says Lee. 'It's recycled from the gas which is used in the medical industry, and mixed with air. We call it balloon gas rather than helium for that reason.'"

    Can't 'balloon gas' be procured from anywhere in the medically-developed world if the above is true in general?

    Ref: http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/09/23/0518247/scientists-speak-out-against-wasting-helium-in-balloons

  • 6

    Jaymann

    how about using all hot air produced by politicians, or the poster on these boards?

  • -1

    kuroshima

    Noooooooo!!!! Mayumi and Richard Heene will never be able to launch Falcon "Balloon Boy" again :'(

  • 2

    as_the_crow_flies

    how about using all hot air produced by politicians, or the poster on these boards?

    Because it sinks, and it stinks. Neither of which make it very suitable for a nice day out at Disneyland.

  • -1

    cramp

    what...i thought this was a joke...there is such a thing as helium shortage?? damn i'm ignorant

  • -1

    tairitsuiken

    No more balloons at Chiba Disneyland. The Times is ON IT.

  • 0

    sillygirl

    OMG what am i going to do????!?!?!?!?!??!?

  • 1

    whiskeysour

    All the plastic is a waste. Good idea Disney

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