We have reached the end of June and the non-stop amount of theme park new continues. Most importantly, our prayers were answered and Disney World banned the use of selfie sticks at any of its four theme parks, two water parks, and DisneyQuest. Over at Animal Kingdom, snacks shaped in the form of animal poop became an instant success last week, generating more viral attention for Disney than I have seen in years, yet they have already been taken off the market. Meanwhile at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Frozen Summer Fun began its summer run, but with the good comes the bad, as it was also announced that The Magic of Disney Animation would be joining the Studio Backlot Tour, the Legend of Capt Jack Sparrow, Sounds Dangerous, American Idol Experience, and the Sorcerer’s Hat in the great big theme park in the sky. Universal, already in the middle of building an E-Ticket attraction (Skull Island: The Reign of Kong), a new hotel (Sapphire Falls) and a water park (Volcano Bay) also just committed to what looks like a MAJOR renovation of the Incredible Hulk Coaster and the removal of what is expected to be Twister: Ride It Out for a rumored attraction based on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Don’t the theme parks know it’s summer and they are supposed to be resting on their laurels while the theme parks are packed?!
Enough jibber jabber! Who is ready to hit the Outlets? Remember that clicking on any picture will open a full size version of it (don’t say we didn’t warn you).
This trip started off with a surreal experience at the Disney Character Warehouse on I-Drive (close to Universal) because everything in the store was 50% off the already discounted prices. A lot of stuff that was normally in the store was gone though, such as Tsum Tsums, most of the pins, all the plush, etc. Later in our journey I’ll explain why this once-in-a-lifetime sale was happening. However, to show the type of deal that this was, that next level bananas Mama Melrose sign had been brought down to “just” $30 after all the discounts were applied. I was tempted to buy it, if only as a gag gift for Len Testa, but somehow held back.
It’s long been known that WDW Today’s own Matt Hochberg is terrified of the Dinosaur attraction at DHS, and you can imagine why if his parents ever got him this photo frame as a kid. I actually wish Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights merch was this scary. Originally $14.95, this was marked down to $7.99 (and keep in mind that would be $4 after the final discount.)
Whole bunch of plastic kitchen utensils hit the Outlet this month.
Not too many holiday items around, but Christmas Mickey antennae toppers were available.
And these bow key chains.
The store almost always has a wall of professional sports clothing. I imagine a lot of it coming The Trophy Room at Disney Springs’ Marketplace Co-Op store. One day I will figure out why Disney doesn’t try to market their characters playing sports rather than selling the same shirts/hats you can get literally anywhere else. These shirts were originally $54.00, marked down to $26.99.
The amount of Grumpy merchandise compared to any other dwarf must be 100-1, but I didn’t mind this Grumpytown shirt. Originally $21.95, marked down to $9.99.
It was a nice surprise to see the Mickey Mouse Tim Tracker shirt. Originally $21.95, now $9.99.
If you ever go to World of Disney at Disney Springs there is always a small section of unwearable ESPN branded merchandise. Maybe it’s in the contracts with the SportsCenter anchors that merchandise must be made for them no matter how little demand there is for it. This particular shirt featured a ton of catch phrases heard on the show. Originally $21.95, marked down to $8.99
Another semi-scary shirt themed to Pirates of the Caribbean. Like the ESPN shirt, this was originally $21.95, but marked down to $9.99 instead of $8.99. I think it would be fascinating to find out the algorithm for how they determine what the outlet prices will be.
As a comic book fan, loved seeing this Marvel shirt. Originally $32.00, marked down to $14.99. I want to believe that Disney’s ownership of Marvel is going to lead to a whole bunch of great merchandise, but it has been almost 6 years and there has only been – at best – a handful of decent items. Shirts like this can be found anywhere, including over at Universal’s Marvel Superhero Island. Here’s to Disney going into the Marvel toolbox and pulling out items that fans really want, like Universal did for Harry Potter.
Most people forget Disney’s short run of clothing themed to Theme Park Bloggers. These shirts were from the Tom Corless Collection. Originally $59.95, marked down to $19.99. Because these are Blogger related you are allowed to also present your Tables in Wonderland card for an extra discount. Reminder that the Derek Burgan “I’m With Stupid” (with the arrow pointing up) shirts are SOLD OUT.
I don’t understand these Popcorn Vinylmations at all, but this Chernabog one reminded me of the news that his section of the Fantasia film is being adapted into a live-action film. Inconcievable! (For those interested, I was once on a podcast fully reviewing the original, un-edited version of Fantasia, a movie that in my humble opinion is bonkers. You can check out the podcast by CLICKING HERE)
Here’s a whole bunch of DHS 25th Anniversary merchandise. I’m not saying sales are still slow, but they just recieved a sympathy card from the Atari E.T. game.
A couple new pins were available. I’m assuming the one on the left is for Norway in Epcot (don’t ask why but I feel I have seen it before. EDIT: Turns out I have. Comments have pointed out it is seen at Disneyland’s It’s a Small World ride.) The other pin I’m guessing is for Walt Disney World? Some pins take you to Tomorrowland, but pins like these take you to Mars Needs Moms.
Although more than a little creepy, I was this-close to picking up one of these Tinker Bell and Agent P toothbrush holders for the kids in our family. Originally $9.99, marked down to $4.95. I had them in my basket, but put back after deciding they probably don’t work that well.
Postcards were available, although it’s strange that these feel like they were made in 1975. Here we have cards for moderates Port Orleans Riverside, Caribbean Beach , Port Orleans French Quarter, and Coronado Springs. Disney puts out postcard sets for all the parks as well, but the pictures always pale in comparison to the ones you see regularly from Disney bloggers such as Tom Bricker, Morgan Crutchfield, Josh EasyWDW or Mark Willard.
More postcards from Cars Land from out in Disneyland.
Beer Stein Christmas ornaments. There was a lively debate on a recent SATURDAY SIX featuring the Most Unusual Souvenirs in Epcot’s World Showcase. There have been cases made for, but a whole more AGAINST, the validity of the Pickle ornaments in the Germany Pavilion being a real thing. I’m not sure which country puts beer steins on it’s Christmas Trees, but I bet Drunk@Disney is planning on moving there once he finds out.
More beer ornaments. Some people enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas, others, the 12 Steps. We’re all #blessed.
And that was it.
For the first time in over two years I felt that a stop at the Outlet Store was a waste. Despite having an extra 50% taken off my entire bill at the very end, I bought less items on this trip than any other. What I found out was that this wasn’t just a super secret flash sale, the Character Warehouse on I-Drive is shutting down for three months, to reopen this September. That means I have make the monthly journey over to Mordor (AKA: The Vineland Ave location.) This Disney Outlet Store is much closer to Disney property and is right off SR 535. However, it probably causes more cases of road rage anywhere outside of Los Angeles. The mall is always packed, always. The road to get it shrinks down to one lane, backing traffic up. There is a gigantic church directly next to mall, which adds to the traffic. The only way to describe the parking situation is to think of the worst time you have EVER had in a parking lot, and multiply it times 10. To top it off, there’s a gas station nearby which has the audacity to charge $3.00 more per gallon than any other place in Orlando.
With all that said, I will make the journey to Vineland Ave each and every single month for YOU, Dear Reader.
Cinderella Tsum Tsums have hit the Outlets. here are Gus, Perla, Jaq, and Mary.
Here are the Fairy Godmother, Cindy herself, and the Prince.
And Lucifer the Cat and Bruno the dog. I bought them all and have fully realized I have a problem, a big problem.
These Darth Vader pillows were originally $24.95, marked down to $9.99. I would have liked to see “Luke, I am your pillow” written on the back.
This Stitch pillow was double sided. Same price as Vader.
I had no idea who this droid was, but apparently he was on the Star Wars Rebels series. It’s a nice plush.
These were actual glasses, with a lot of weight to them.
Lots of MagicBands and accessories on sale. This is only striking because there was no discounts on anything MagicBand related until recently and it’s like the floodgates opened. And good news, this very month Disney put out the MagicBand Watch Slider which we’ll be covering in this very column in the near future!
Here’s a whole bunch of the 2014 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Limited Edition Magic Bands, followed by a lot more accessories.
Here is a pin from one of my all time favorite things on Disney property, the Hoop Dee Do Revue. If you haven’t done it yet, make sure you make a reservation on your next vacation. It’s that good. This pin was originally $9.95, reduced to $4.99. I didn’t even notice anything for sale at Hoop Dee Do when I went, so I was real glad to see this.
Here’s some Tarzan Vinylmation where the Mickey Ears above their head have tree branches. It’s a wonder how I keep my sanity at time.
Was there a whole series of handbags set to all the stores on Main Street USA? Here is one for The Chapeau. Originally $44.95, marked down to $19.99.
And another for The Emporium. Originally $39.95, marked down to $19.99. The audience for this idea must be really small, but it’s neat that they tried it.
This Minnie Mouse bag on the other hand looks like it just came directly from Japan, and my nightmares. Originally $34.95, marked down to $14.99.
I bought six of these “color fusion goblets.” You can’t go wrong for a Disney souvenir at 99 cents. These were made out of plastic.
Snow White themed Mickey Ears. Marked down to $6.99. Disney has put out a lot of these themed Mickey Ears and I’m not a fan of most of them. Too much going on.
This Minnie Mouse one is cute though. Same as above, Originally $17.95, marked down to $6.99.
Pirates of the Caribbean. I can see little kids digging this a lot. Major props for the earring. Same price as the other ears.
This Princess hat had a lot of bling on it. Originally $17.95, marked down to $6.99.
Some GREAT magnets this month, in fact I bought all three of these which I had not seen at the Outlets before. Very rare to see Beach Club or Yacht Club merch. They ranged between $1.99 and $2.99. A total steal.
I’m not 100% sure what these are, but I bought a couple packs as stocking stuffers for the kids in our family. Disney actually puts out a lot of products themed around erasers and I’m not sure I’ve used one for well over a decade. One of the prerequisites of being a Theme Park Blogger is that you never make mistakes. Ever.
Speaking of Theme Park Bloggers, for those of you who want to have your little kids cosplay as one of us at MNSSHP, here’s your chance. Although we’d probably be wearing jorts instead of the full length jeans, but that’s nit-picky.
I’m as big a fan of puns of anyone, but this Cars one is horrible. Originally $34.95, marked down to $14.99.
Maleficent tank top. Originally $32.00, marked down to $14.99.
I kinda like this kid’s shirt featuring old school Disney cartoons. Originally $24.95, marked down to $12.99. If this was all Disney Afternoon related I would have bought one for myself!
Very colorful Disney Cruise Line related shirt. Originally $29.95, this was marked down to $17.99. There are many great reasons to take a Disney Cruise, but seeing fireworks from the ship is one of the most memorable experiences. For me it was better than Wishes.
An artsy Disney shirt for women. Originally $32.95, marked down to $14.99.
This ladies t-shirt featuring Kilimanjaro Safaris was originally $29.95, marked down to $12.99.
This is a first, a Pixar Luxo Jr Christmas ornament.
Here is a Mickey head design for your Christmas tree. Original price was $14.99, marked down to $4.99.
The weirdest of all Christmas ornaments, the Mickey Ears versions. This one features Jessie, Bullseye, and Stinky Pete from Toy Story 2.
Here’s a small Prep & Landing figurine.
These Mickey Santa Claus gift card holders were reduced down to 99 cents, so I bought a couple.
And to show what type of shopping sickness I have, I also bought TWO of these “Pop Of Minnie” sets even though I’m not even sure what they are. But they were reduced from $36.95 down to under $4. That’s almost 90% off right? I’d be crazy NOT to buy it, right? RIGHT?!
Pirates of the Caribbean mugs. Originally $12.99, reduced to $3.95.
It is my personal experience from seeing literally millions of pieces of Disney merchandise that cutting off the heads or upper torsos of character rarely leads to good merchandise. Also reduced to $3.99.
I really like this Anna doll set. A year ago I would have been the HERO in our family finding something like this, but I didn’t even grab it because while the kids in our family still like Frozen, they aren’t obsessed anymore. This is one of my personal favorite pieces of Frozen merch though. Originally $29.95, marked down to $14.99.
Way too rare to see good Tangled items at the Outlet. This simulated 3D pic is neat, but even at $19.99 (marked down from $39.95) is a little too steep.
Wedding Day set for Stanly and Lizzie was originally $34.95, marked down to $23.99. Was there really a huge demand from Cars fans who not only wanted a wedding set, but featuring the two oldest characters in the franchise? I would think a “dream” scenario featuring Lighting and Sally would have a better chance of selling. Or, thanks to the Supreme Court this week, Lighting Queen and Mater.
Mickey and Minnie garden gnomes. Originally $32.95, marked down to $12.99. Not a bad deal if you’re into that sort of thing. A couple years ago one of the the items available at Flower and Garden was a “Flower” lawn statue (the skunk from Bambi.) I ended up going to Epcot probably on the second to last weekend of the festival and every place told me they were sold out. I could not wrap my head around it. Almost nothing sells out at Disney and much of it ends at the Outlets. However, I tell you that that tale to remind you that if you are at a Disney park, Disney Springs, or on a Disney Cruise and see something you want, buy it. It can be almost impossible to get a hold of some of these items after the fact. There have been many things I have made a calculated risk on, but the stuff I know I want I get immediately, even if it might show up at the Outlets at half price (like say the Angel/Devil Donal Duck tagalong.) Okay, that’s enough of this PSA.
This Mickey Mouse light up “mitts” were $6.99 each. Have to say I was tempted…
I’m not even sure how much this Merlin statue was, but I thought it was neat. You can see the prices for the Dooney & Bourke bags in the following picture.
And with that, we’re out!
There are actually two Disney outlet stores in Orlando. Both are in Orlando Premium Outlet shopping complexes, and they are called Disney’s Character Warehouse, presumably because The Land Of Misfit Toys was already trademarked. There is one Character Warehouse located on International Drive close to Universal Studios (4951 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819), and the other is on Vineland Avenue, right across I-4 near the exits to Disney World (8200 Vineland Ave, Orlando, FL 32821). For this edition of MMM, we went to the location near Universal and the one near Disney. NOTE THAT THE I-4 LOCATION IS CLOSED UNTIL SEPTEMBER FOR A REFURBISHMENT.
I get a lot of questions about this, so we’ll answer them here. You can order any item from the Disney Outlet Stores by calling the WDW Merchandise Guest Services (877-560-6477) There is a catch though, if the item is still available they will charge you full retail price for it, plus shipping. The Outlet Stores themselves do not ship merchandise.
Previous editions of Magic, Memories, and Merch: July 2013, August 2013, September 2013, October 2013, November 2013, December 2013, January 2014, February 2014, March 2014, April 2014, May 2014, June 2014, July 2014, August 2014, and September 2014, October 2014, November 2014, December 2015, January 2015, February 2015, March 2015, April 2015, and May 2015.
We also did an edition of Magic, Memories, and Junk for a non-Disney owned Outlet Store, and for you merch addicts like myself, you may also enjoy a look at the official Disney merchandise available on the Disney Cruise Line, Castaway Cay, and at the Orlando International Airport.
If you liked what you read here, you may enjoy THE SATURDAY SIX articles every week on the TouringPlans.com blog, the Pardon the Pixie Dust podcast, and you can follow your humble author on Twitter (@derekbugan).