In the store, there is a very cool little detail. Alien Encounter is adjacent to this store and is touching it on the back wall. Across from the door is a small grate just below the ceiling. It has some tubes and wires in it, presumably an an air conditioner or part of the "Space Age that never was" decor. However, this one is much more. According to the complex plot of Alien Encounter, the Alien goes on a rampage through the presentation building. Well, since this gift shop is so close to the Tommorowland convention center, the Alien seems to make a little detour and make a quick stop at Merchant of Venus! Every 10-15 minutes or so, the panel behind the grate comes alive, making sounds, bubbling, sparking, and flashing as if the "Alien was behind it."
REPORTED: Sam Moore 17 FEB 97
CONFIRMED: Spencer Parks 06 APR 97
CONFIRMED: Skunk 18 APR 97
Actually, the moving wall in Merchant of Venus isn't there anymore. Well, it kind of is, but it isn't. I (living in Florida, visiting Disney about once every week) went to the Merchant of Venus just to see the wall move, but there wasn't a wall. There was just a wall with T-shirts hanging on it. There was a somewhat large purple and green thing at the top of the wall, though. I asked the clerk at the counter, and they said it hasn't worked in years, so they just put T-shirts on it. I really hope they get it fixed soon!
UPDATE: Dr. Nigel Channing 05 NOV 99
In the Merchants of Venus Shop there is a display/retail center featuring robotic arms that airbrushes shirts in multiple colors. Consumers can choose many different designs and also have their name put on shirts. These robots, minus their XS decor were once in Village Marketplace. The robots motions are controlled by CAD programs running on computers. The robots present an excellent prospective into the way Disney combines "show with sale".
REPORTED: Kenneth Klingensmith 09 JUL 98
They had stuffed animal Skippys on display (the tortured Animal in Alien Encounter). It also displayed a little plaque, saying, who was Skippy, and what he was used for. It said that he was not alone, the skippies are guienia pigs for XS Tech's experiments.
REPORTED: anon 09 SEP 98