Welcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. In fact, with this edition of MMM Your Humble Author is completing the greatest month in the history of theme park blogging. In December we had the 25 Drinks of Christmas countdown (featuring the Nautilus at Grog Grotto, Deathly Hallows at WWOHP, Candy Apple Cotton-Tini at T-Rex Cafe and more), SATURDAY SIXES on the best souvenir cups at WDW along with Indiana Jones references in Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, our annual IN MEMORIAM – Six Things We Lost From the Theme Park World, and the inaugural 12 Days of a Theme Park Christmas. Of course readers of this fine column will enjoy Six Gifts Santa Can Bring BACK to the North Pole (AKA The Best of the Disney Outlet Stores 2015)
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)
We are going to start off this month’s report with a story so uplifting that, if it was made into a movie, it could only star Kirk Cameron. When the Disney Outlet Store off of International Drive was shut down in June for a “refurbishment,” we were told it would be closed for three months and reopen in September. Well, September came and went and it still wasn’t open. October came and went and it still wasn’t open. November came and went and it still wasn’t open…
A funny thing happened in early December. I had bought tickets to go to a private event in Diagon Alley at the Universal Orlando Resort, which is close to the International Drive Outlets. I walked by the Disney Outlet, and found it still closed, but this time there was a sign on the door…
The feeling I got upon seeing this sign is a feeling that only someone who has been marooned on an island with no hope of survival can understand. There was finally hope.
I returned later that week, and my heart grew three sizes when seeing the store was finally open! This meant no more trips to the Disney Outlet off Vineland Ave!
For some reason known only to Bob Iger himself, the Disney Outlet on International Drive was closed for almost half a year as it gave up half its space. That’s right, the Disney Outlet is now half the size it originally was and the other half of the store will be used for an upcoming Panera Bread.
One step into the Outlets and I knew I was HOME. Look at these plush monstrosities. Both were originally $22.95 each and reduced to $9.99. They are the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for anyone considering a breakup but don’t know how to say it with words.
Next up was a series of outfits for Duffy the Disney Bear. These originally ranged in price from $20-$35 and all reduced to $9.99 each.
How do these things look in the real world? Well, turns out I can show you because when I was at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort this past month they had one on display.
Now YOU try to sleep tonight. Good luck, I wont be able to. pic.twitter.com/FfiwCwO4OO
— Derek Burgan (@derekburgan) November 16, 2015
I kind of like this Pinocchio one because it comes with a Jiminy Cricket.
One for Goofy.
Here is a next level bananas one. This is a Lightning McQueen Rust-eze pit crew outfit, except this is not what they looked like in the Cars film.
Ooooh here’s a good one, a three pack of Haunted Mansion ghost hitchhikers. Originally $39.95, reduced to $14.99. I definitely had to get this.
All American Mickey Mouse plush. This I did not get.
Certainly more Anger related merchandise from Inside Out has hit the Outlets than all the other characters form the film combined. That’s actually a good thing because if you’re buying Anger plush for a young child you should probably have your head examined.
There were several JUMBO plushes available, including this Sorcerer Mickey. For anyone interested, I was once a guest on a podcast where we reviewed Fantasia, the film where Sorcerer Mickey comes from. Later we reviewed Disney’s The Reluctant Dragon, which features an appearance by Walt Disney himself and a next level bonkers reference to Fantasia.
Here’s a Jumbo Olaf.
Speaking of Olaf, here’s one of those huge eraser things. Originally $14.95, reduced to 3.99.
Absolutely no idea what these Mickey Mouse statuettes are from or for. Any ideas?Originally $29.95, marked down to $12.99.
Here is a sharp looking Princes Aurora pillow. Originally $19.95, this was marked down to $9.99 and I picked up one for a certain princess loving girl in our family.
The Rapunzel pillow also looked great. There was only one of these left and I bought it.
Believe it or not I also bought one of these Enchanted Tiki Room pillows. Originally $34.95, marked down to $19.99. Love the Tiki Room.
Also got a set of these Enchanted Tiki Room coasters. Set of 4. Originally $12.95, marked down to $5.99. Just fantastic and I love how the coasters also feature “Adventureland” just like the the great souvenir mugs at the new Jungle Cruise Skipper Canteen.
However this plate was a little too “artsy” for me. Originally $16.95, reduced to $7.99.
Now I like these plates, especially with the original price tag of $14.95 brought down to $6.99, but I did buy those Mickey Mouse bamboo plates at the Outlet recently and I don’t want to become one of those people.
I had a discussion on Twitter this week with @TheDCLBlog about how Disney Cruise Line merchandise is pound for pound the best that disney can produce. It has the highest rate of quality items to crap per capita (am I using that expression right?) Blows away any store at the parks, Marvel, Star Wars, etc. Here’s some great DCL stuff that arrived at the Outlets this month starting with these hats that were originally $17.95, marked down to $4.99.
Big fan of this photo frame. Originally $14.95, now $6.99.
Sharp looking insulated cups. Originally $19.95, now $7.99.
DCL magnets are now at $1.99 a pop.
Coffee mugs were originally $12.95, $5.99. Keep forgetting to take a pictures of the inside of them.
This next photo is me being an absolute idiot. It is supposed to show you the front and back of the DCL photo scrapbook kit, but you only get to see the back as my “front” picture is clearly just the photo frame I just showed you earlier. Originally $19.95, now 5.99.
Christmas tree photo frame ornament was originally $12.95, now $4.99.
Sharp looking keychain.
DLC pin was $9.95, now $4.99.
These Disney parks 2015 pins also were originally $9.95, reduced to $4.99. Would have thought it was impossible to have Figment merchandise I wouldn’t want to buy, but this is like two months in a row.
This WDW Halloween coffee mug set was originally $24.95, marked down to $5.99. I picked up one set.
I did not get this Halloween mug. Originally $14.95, now $5.99.
Foam Boo To You pumpkin was originally $39.95, now $14.99
These Halloween themed handtowels were originally $19.95, marked down to $9.99. I picked up the Maleficent one.
Took a while, but the Haunted Mansion themed MagicBands have finally went on clearances. I may be wrong, but I think these were one the first “limited edition” bands ever made. Keep in mind there are two types of “limited edition” MagicBands. True “limited edition” ones like the bands sold at Star Wars Weekends, and ones like this which are apparently “limited to the amount Disney can sell.” They’ve been reduced to $11.99. (I believe originally price was $24.95). I did buy one of these. I seriously need an intervention.
Not exactly sure what these Haunted Mansion things were. Originally $59.95, reduced to $23.99.
This Haunted Mansion mirror was pretty neat. Originally $49.95, marked down to $19.99. However, the first one I picked up was marked $3.99. At $3.99 I was going to buy one. But the next one I picked up was marked $19.99. Turns out half of them were marked $3.99 and the other half at $19.99. I asked a Cast Member and they said the $19.99 price was correct. So I didn’t buy any.
I think with the advent of digital downloads and pictures being immediately available on guest’s smart phones, the era of photo frames in the gift shops is almost over. This Splash Mountain one was originally $14.95, marked down to $8.99.
After last month’s very interesting debate in the comments about the ethics of shaming Disney eBay scalpers, here were more of the Pirates of the Caribbean cards that got scooped up over in the Vineland Outlets (a true wretched hive of scum and villainy.)
We are a couple months out from probably seeing a whole bunch of Star Wars items hit the Outlets. Here are some giant figures from Star Wars Rebels cartoon. Originally $24.95, marked down to $16.99. While I was more of a 3 3/4″ action figure fan growing up, I did enjoy the occasional 12″ Star Wars toy. However these look much cheaper in quality than the ones I grew up with (which is strange because all other toys are so much better.)
Sofia the First figurine set. Originally $14.95, marked down to $9.99. I doubt anyone is going to read this part so I’ll admit one of my secret shames here. When we head up to Disney we only watch the Disney TV channels while in the hotels. First start off with the Must Dos of course, but then usually set in to Disney Junior for the kiddos. While I’m not overly impressed with Sofia or Jake and the Neverland Pirates (which they love) I do actually like Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, and Miles from Tomorrowland isn’t so bad either. I find that I am still watching them when the kids go to sleep. Is there a 12 Step Program for this?
This was cool, a section of Monorail Track. The Monorail toy (and the Contemporary and Polynesian accessories) is one of the few pieces of Disney merchandise that I have always wanted. This piece of track was originally $11.95, marked down to $6.99.
Okay, had to get this Monorail Character set. I mean c’mon, it features two characters from Splash Mountain! Although I am very concerned that the scale for Chip and Dale is WAY OFF. Originally $9.95, now $5.99.
Grand Floridian Tervis-like cups. Originally $19.95, now $9.99.
These frosted style Grand Flo cups were originally $19.95, reduced to $7.99.
This was a Sorcerer Mickey “Four Parks” glass that still had the old Hat logo for DHS. Originally $8.95, now $3.99.
Mickey and Minnie Christmas Cards! I bought a set of these and used them this year announcing all my gift donations to The Human Fund. Originally $14.95, now $8.99.
Finding Nemo Mickey Ears. Originally $24.95, reduced to $5.99.
Here is a cute girl’s shirt featuring Mickey Mouse. Originally a pricey $32.95, marked down to $9.99.
An even more expensive one that was originally $44.95, reduced to a super weird $15.48. This may be the only item I have ever seen at the Outlets in over two years whose price didn’t end with 99 cents or with no cents (not counting items under $1 like pins). Just BIZARRE.
The following character shirts were originally $36.95, reduced to $14.99 each. Always love seeing Oswald merch.
Here is a Walt Disney World 71 shirt done in the style of Donald Trump’s Make American Great Again. Somehow this was originally $36.95 (can you imagine?!) and now “just” $14.99.
Muppet and Toy Story hats. Originally $29.95, now $14.99.
Yeti hat had same price point as the Muppets above, but the Star Wars Wampa one on the left was originally $34.95, marked down to $14.99. Reminded me of one of my favorite pieces of Star Wars merch I ever bought, this Wampa rug, which was immediately taken over by one of my dogs and used solely as a bed.
A Dooney & Bourke iPhone case. Originally $50.00, now $24.99. More power to you if you’re into this Dooney & Bourke Disney stuff, but I just don’t get it.
Here’s some screen protectors for your smart phone.
Here is a giant Vinylmation themed to Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This was originally $89.95. ALMOST $100!!!!!!
Here is an exclusive DVC Vinylmation. This is an all-time ugly one and I am ashamed to say I bought one because I really enjoy all my stays at a DVC place. Single Vinylmations like this are all $3.99 and with plenty of signs that say NO RETURNS WHATSOEVER.
Here is a selection of some of the $0.79 pins available at the register.
I’m a sucker for this one.
Mickey Mouse boxer shorts. I actually bought two pairs of these. What’s wonderful though is that they are one of the only items in the store with a theft deterrent device on them. Originally $19.95, now $9.99.
We’ll end our time at the International Drive location with a look at this Mickey Mouse pencil which as an eraser that is literally impossible to use. Maybe this is why Disney put out so many of those huge erasers like Olaf above. $1.99 each.
Here’s what drives me bananas. I went into the Outlet thinking I didn’t need to buy anything. All my Christmas shopping was done. My house is already full of Disney junk, and I end up spending more than ever. The only thing I can think of is that I was so overjoyed that I would not have to go to the Vineland Outlets that I was in a delirious state and was not making rational decisions. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Now we are going to head over to the Vineland Outlets where our intern Julia Mascardo braved the crowds to see what was new. First thing up was a doozy, exclusive shirts from this year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Not just the MNSSHP shirts, but the Hocus Pocus shirts. These purple shirts caused quite a bit of a brouhaha when they made their debut as they immediately sold out and then immediately went on eBay at scalper-like prices. That’s right, the Disney Merch Jerks target the hard ticket parties too. At the parks these shirts were $27.95 a pop, now they were $3.99.
Plenty of shirts were available. You can imagine how frustrating this must look to someone who paid over $60 for a ticket to the party only to find out some eBay pirate came early and bought them all to resell. Surprise!!
These MNSSHP party pins were originally $15.95, marked down to $6.99.
This was the exclusive MNSSHP pin for WDW Annual Passholders. It has been reduced to $15.99.
And we close out with a Mickey Mouse bowl. The front really doesn’t match the style of the back, but to quote George Lucas seeing that Star Tours had a scene on the planet Hoth that was out of continuity: Who Cares? Originally $9.95, now $4.99.
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).
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, September 2014, October 2014, November 2014, December 2015, January 2015, February 2015, March 2015, April 2015, May 2015. June 2015, July 2015, August 2015, September 2015, October 2015, and November 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.
It truly takes a village to get these Award Winning theme park blogs to you and we couldn’t do it without the best group of people you could ever meet. A HUGE thank you goes out to our pals Brandon Glover, Megan Stump, Julia Mascardo, Dani, Daisy Lauren, Seth Kubersky, Drew From OU, Matt Cleary, Michael Sheehy, Trygve Nelson, Brian Carey, Drunk@Disney, Mr. Monkey, Parkscope’s Joe and Nick, Joe Machado, Amusement Buzz and of course our humble benefactors Len Testa and Laurel Stewart. They are the wind beneath our wings and nothing you read here is possible without them. In short, if there’s something you don’t like: blame them.