Welcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. How long? Today marks the FIVE year anniversary! What started out as a simple $1 bet between Len Testa and Laurel Stewart to see if they could take a simple Florida blogger and turn him into a two time runDisney medal winner/PizzaMania champion, has blossomed into into a wondrous creation which has been around to see the debut of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Diagon Alley, and Toy Story Land. The best rags-to-riches story this side of Cinderella, our monthly treks into Orlando’s Disney Outlet Stores have provided highs and lows (and then even more lows) in order to deliver you, Dear Reader, a glimpse into a world which very few have lived long enough to tell about.
This year is also the inaugural class for the 2018 DISNEY OUTLET HALL OF FAME. Throughout the article you’ll see introductions for merchandise that was truly the best of the best over years, and by best we mean worst. We also close out with a fun surprise as well, so strap in folks, its gonna be a doozy.
Enough jibber jabber! Who is ready to hit the Outlets?
Now, I’ve often said that nothing warms my heart more than seeing items from Pandora: The World of Avatar make their way to the outlets. We often see pictures of this popular land just absolutely swarmed with people at all times of the day and I’ve often joked that I’ve put out a $1,000 bounty for a picture showing a single guest holding a bag from the gift shop. Outside of the tremendous Banshee puppets, Disney seems to be having just as hard a time selling Avatar merchandise as the actual movie did when it came out in 2009.
One of the first items that came to the Outlets from Pandora was this next level bonkers pen set featuring the skulls of several creatures from Pandora. You might ask yourself, who is this pen set for? Kids most likely don’t know what these creatures are, and if they did they probably don’t want the skulls unless they are Sid from Toy Story. The pen set was also originally priced at $24.99, which would make sense if the pen set was released in 2154 – the year the movie Avatar takes place in – but not so much in 2018. The set came to the Outlets and was priced at $7.99, and sat on the shelves for months.
Its a rough guesstimate, but I would say there is just about a complete turnover in merchandise at the Outlets every 4-6 weeks. Its rare for an item to last at the Outlets for a long time, and on the rare occasion it does, the item is generally something that is sold across the entire property, like a Star Wars toy (which you can buy at gift shops in all four Disney parks, at Disney Springs, and at many Disney hotels.) This pen set has been sitting at the Outlets for over half a year. Believe me, I’ve checked every single month to see if Disney came to their senses and lowered the price. FINALLY they did. The pen set was lowered to $3.99 and you better believe I bought it.
Turns out, the colors on the pens have absolutely no relation to the ink color. They all write in black. There is also no cover for any of the pens, nor a way to retract the tip, so its just a matter of time before they all dry out. This may be the most ill thought out pen design in the history of mankind. That said, it does make a good writing instrument for the important documents in your life.
Okay, let’s check out some more items from Pandora that have been put on clearance. First up is this iPhone case that was originally $29.99, now $7.99.
This women’s shirt featuring an artistic interpretation of a banshee was originally $27.99, now $7.99
All the Pandora shirts have this nice snazzy logo on them as well, something that will probably be changing now that Disney owns the Avatar franchise and doesn’t have anyone holding their feet to the fire when it comes to quality control (over at Universal, there is a HUGE difference in quality of merchandise at places Uni licenses; including the Wizarding World and Springfield USA compared to the brands Uni is in charge of, like King Kong and The Mummy.)
Here is a kid’s banshee shirt. Originally $24.99, now $6.99. I’m not sure with the height requirement at Flight of Passage that anyone small enough to wear this shirt would be tall enough to ride the attraction, which is the only experience with banshees you have in the entire land.
Imagine the pitch meeting for this shirt.
“I got an idea. Picture this. A banshee screaming, except instead of doing it photo-realistic, we do it artsy-like.”
“I like where you’re going. Tell me more.”
“We only make it sizes for young kids.”
“That’s why you got the corner office Johnson. Tell China to make 100,000 of em.”
Originally $24.99, now $3.99.
A lot of readers enjoy the high end Disney bags, such as Dooney & Bourke, so may I interest you in a non-sensical bag featuring insanely drawn banshees from Pandora: The World of Avatar? Originally $34.99, now $19.99.
Now that we are out of Pandora, let’s check on the seemingly never ending supply of merchandise direct from Shanghai Disneyland. First up is more Disney Racers, which features Hot Wheels-like cars made into Disney characters while tripping on acid. Reduced to $2.99 each.
Pretty neat Shanghai Disneyland Grand Opening train set. This set is interesting because Shanghai Disneyland did not open with a train ride in the park, nor does it have one now. Price was $49.99. I wonder if there is a Shanghai Disneyland monorail set?
This Bambi bag is one of those items you would never think was from Shanghai without looking at the tags. Was reduced to $17.99.
I tried for a bit, but after spending a couple minutes I just gave up trying to figure out what this BB-8 set was. I’m going to assume from the item that follows this that it is some sort of handbag. Reduced to $24.99.
This BB-8 wallet was located right below that tin above. Reduced to $19.99. If you look at the tags, it looks like the original price was 525Yuan, but reduced to 299Yuan. I wonder if there is a Shanghai Disneyland Outlet Store? That means there could be an alternate version of me doing a similar report over there. Unfortunately with all the sites blocked by the Shanghai government, he gets no readers compared to my dozens. USA! USA!USA!
These socks were from Shanghai and reduced to $2.99. Came this close to picking them up. Pretty cute stuff.
These two action figures were for the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in Shanghai Disney’s Treasure Cove. Both Barbossa and Davy Jones were priced at $5.99.
I don’t collect too many Disney items, but one of my favorite collectibles are Disney “mash up” action figures, like this one featuring Donald Duck as Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean. I have similar action figures mashing up Disney characters with brands such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Tron. Absolutely love them. This figure was reduced to $3.99.
Here’s the thing though. A year or so ago there was already a line of Pirates of the Caribbean mash-up figures made for the American parks. Here you can see the difference between the Shanghai Disneyland Goofy-as-Davy Jones figure (on the left) and the American version on the right. The figures themselves are exactly the same, but the packaging has some notable differences.
Here are the back of the packages. Again, Shanghai version is on the left, American version is on the right.
This next figure was not from Shanghai, but it makes sense to put it here. This one features Carina and a completely out of scale Jack the monkey from Dead Men Tell No Tales. If you can’t remember which Pirates film that was, don’t worry, no one else can either. Reduced to $4.99.
This is pretty neat. It’s a pretty large Pirates of the Caribbean skull which I wrongly assumed was filled with gummy candy. I bought one for the little pirates in our family, and turns out it is filled with little bugs, coins, and other pirate paraphernalia made out of plastic. The kids LOVED IT, and it was priced at only $4.99.
DISNEY OUTLET STORE 2018 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: CREEPY BELLE DOLL
One of the rare pieces of Disney merchandise to go “viral” is this creepy looking Belle doll from the live action Beauty & the Beast film. Its supposed to be based around the look of Emma Watson, but instead looks more like one of the Maharelle sisters that Kristen Wiig played on SNL’s Lawrence Welk show.
Okay, back to the Outlets. Next up is this baby blankie featuring Thumper from Bambi. We had a new baby girl born into our family earlier this summer, so I picked this up for her. Originally $14.99, now $4.99.
For the first time in what seems like months some new Tsum Tsums arrived. Each were sold at 99 cents each. First up was this owl from Bambi.
And the only other new one was this Ewok (Logray.)
How about some Star Wars easter eggs featuring the combination of C-3PO and a Stormtrooper (whaaaaaaaat?!) These were originally $9.99 a pair, reduced to $2.99 and were certainly sold during the egg hunt gimmick every year at EPCOT.
Star Wars flip flops. Originally $14.95, now $3.99.
I don’t think they made too many pieces of merchandise for the Star Wars: Galactic Nights event at DHS (which ironically only takes place on one night) but another item made it to the Outlets with this water bottle. Originally $29.99, now $8.99. I love Star Wars as much as the next person, but $30 for this?
Cute R2-D2 dress. Originally $34.95, now $12.99.
There were like HUNDREDS of these ridiculous Elite Guard pins billed as “limited edition.” Who is dumb enough to fall for that? WHO BUYS THIS FOR THE ORIGINAL PRICE OF $15.99?!!!!! This was “reduced” to “just” $6.99. Does the mafia run Disney Pin Trading? None of this makes any sense.
Tons and tons of these “U-Wing Fighter” pins. You know, the vehicle every kid is talking about after watching a Star Wars film. Priced at $5.99, and I feel like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode. I’m trying to imagine something to compare it to for Disney fans. I guess if they made a pin set of Disney food items there would be ones for Mickey bars, Dole Whips, and Turkey Legs. This U-Wing Fighter pin would be the equivalent of a “ranch dipping sauce” pin for the Disney food pin set.
Captain Phasma pin. Reduced to $4.99.
Anyone who buys this hat should be subjected to an immediate drug test. Originally $24.99, now $7.99.
I picked one up.
Hopefully you caught our recent SATURDAY SIX on the DISNEY CRUISE LINE. Sailing on the high seas with Disney is one of the most enjoyable vacations you can have and is also one of the quickest ways to spend $10,000. This hat commemorates the Disney Magic sailing along the Canadian Coast and New England. A more appropriately hat would have had the saying “You can’t get there from here” on the back, but you gotta be from New Hampshire or Maine to understand. Originally $24.99, now $7.99 and can also be found on the head of one Mr. Captain Cruiseline.
This is either a Castaway Cay hat, or Disney targeting those airbrush kiosks on the boardwalks of the East Coast. Reduced to $2.99.
I love this style of artwork and its done by artist David Perillo. Just a gorgeous print done in the style of an attraction poster. Originally $39.99, now $19.99.
This is “art” from the movie Frozen. Originally $24.99, now $12.99.
COLLECT ALL 6 MOMENTS.
DISNEY OUTLET STORE 2018 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: MEET & GREET MICKEY FIGURE
This Mickey “collectible figure” came straight from your nightmares, and was priced at $49.95 and limited to just 500 pieces. Each of these 500 figures was numbered. Now when you are selling numbered items, you start selling the lowest numbered ones first because everyone wants a low number. You can imagine how many of these figures they sold in the ‘real world’ when ones numbered as low as 50/500 made it to the Outlets. Ok it looks weird, but here’s the kicker. This figure is themed around the 13 REFLECTIONS OF EVIL trading event at EPCOT back in September of 2013.
Back at the Outlets we have this Grand Floridian bag. Originally $39.95, now $14.99.
This Old Timey Mickey pillow was originally $29.99, reduced to $9.99. I probably would have got it at $4.99.
This poster from the Festival of the Arts, which is pound for pound Epcot’s BEST festival now, is an awesome picture based around World Showcase. It was originally $50, now $24.99.
How cool is this, all the countries in World Showcase represented with their famous icons. Love it.
Minnie Mouse photo frame. Perfect for those people who shoot in square photos (AKA crazy people). Originally $22.99, now $7.99.
There are still about 1,000,000 of these Disney “Charmed in the Park” charms priced at $3.99. This one is from 2015.
Captain Hook and Test Track pins. $2.99 and $4.99 respectively.
Tons of Marvel pins, including these two for Dr. Strange and Spider-Man. All were $4.99.
I really like this Grand Floridian featuring Donald, Mickey, and Goofy in their best duds. Reduced to $4.99.
Also love this Wilderness Lodge one. Priced at $5.99. Any pin with Humphrey the Bear is one worth getting in my book.
Another Wilderness Lodge one, which is kinda hard to make out what’s going on unless you got really close to see it. Also $5.99.
I love the adorable “8-bit” style of this Frozen pin set, but there is nothing I despise more than these “mystery” packages. Each was reduced to $6.99.
DISNEY OUTLET STORE 2018 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: SELF PLEASURING MICKEY
Time for some t-shirts. First up is this cute one for kids featuring Expedition Everest’s Yeti. Originally $17.99, now $9.99.
Flower & Garden shirt featuring everyone’s favorite dragon Figment. Originally $36.99, now $10.99.
A much more “artsy” Flower & Garden shirt. Well, as artsy as you can be having Spaceship Earth as an orange. Originally $34.99, now $10.99.
I could not get the Spaceship Earth orange “ears” for this hat to stay up for a photo, so doubtful they would while walking around EPCOT. Originally $32.99, now $9.99.
Another super cute shirt for kiddos. Originally $21.99, now $4.99.
Not as cute Mickey shirt for kids. Originally $24.99, now $9.99.
Next up are some next level INSANE Mickey Mouse shirts. This one was originally $42.99, reduced to $7.99. I’m not sure what alternate timeline would have to exist for it to be normal for a human being to wear this shirt in public.
Trippy Mickey shirt. Originally $42.99, now $7.99.
These had to have been sold in Tren-D in Disney Springs. Had to. This one was originally $29.99, now $7.99.
Princess Elena shirts. The first one is a 2 piece set that was originally $36.99, now $12.99 while the shirt on the right was originally $21.99, now $9.99.
DISNEY OUTLET STORE 2018 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES: ANNA AND JESSICA RABBIT BIRTHSTONE PINS
Its always odd when you see a Disney character “off model,” but few were more off than these two pins featuring Frozen‘s Anna and Who Framed Roger Rabbit‘s Jessica Rabbit.
Okay, we’re in the final stretch! This anime-style Mickey and Minnie plush were originally $21.99, reduced to $12.99. I honestly think I would have grabbed them at $9.99 even though I’ve been threatened with death if I bring home any more plush.
I really like this Fantasyland cup featuring Mickey, Minnie and Daisy Duck. Just love the comic strip-like style. Originally $15.99, now $5.99.
Not as cool is this completely ABSURD Magic Kingdom cup. Originally $19.99, now $5.99.
Not many people would have the courage to put spikes on the HANDLE of a coffee cup, but Disney defies all odds with this fanboy friendly Adventurer’s Club cup. KUNGALOOSH! Originally $19.99, now $5.99.
They sell a good amount of candy and assorted snacks at the Outlets, but pretty much all of them are full price. This month these gummi Space Shuttles arrived. Reduced from $4.49 to 99 cents.
We’ll close with this Maleficent tea set, priced at $69.99 (which means the original price was probably well north of $100.) I have to say, this is the coolest tea set I’ve ever seen, but not sure if its for the demographic of people that actually buy tea sets.
Before we go, as fine purveyors of discounted items, we wanted to see what a line of DISNEY OUTLET STORE PHOTO REPORT merch would look like. So we reached out to some of the most talented creators in the Disney community to get their unique vision. Unfortunately they all turned us down. However we were able to get some items by these fine folks:
First up is this I WAS THERE cup by Howard Bowers. With his incredible TeePublic store, Howie is known for well crafted designs appealing to theme park superfans, including this one for Galactic Heroes, and this incredible mashup of Star Wars and the Enchanted Tiki Room. The site also offers some really fun designs including one of my favorites featuring a well known Water Pageant.
This fine blog series has given a lot of grief to #Millenials in our five years, but we have to hand it to one of those youngsters with this awesome Outlet Report shirt based around the iconic Jurassic Park logo. Big thanks to @FinnFromNY and be sure to check out his teepublic store that contains some truly great work including a Flight of Passage themed shirt that is better than any in Pandora, an a teriffic TTC Symbol Sign shirt that will hit the sweet spot for any park nerd that reads an article like this.
Finn even created an Outlet Mobile!
SEE YOU NEXT MONTH!
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). They do not ship. There are items at the Outlets that you can buy both in Disney stores along with the Shop Disney Parks app, but you will be paying full retail for the items.
I often get asked “which store is better?” That depends. Vineland is close to Walt Disney World, while the I-Drive location is a hop, skip, and jump away from the Universal Orlando Resort. The Vineland Disney Outlet Store is much, MUCH bigger than the I-Drive location. However, the Vineland outlets in general are much, MUCH busier than I-Drive. Each have their pros and cons, and ultimately they carry much of the same items.
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, November 2015. December 2015, January 2016, February 2016, March 2016, April 2016, May 2016, June 2016, July 2016, August 2016, September 2016, October 2016, November 2016, December 2016, January 2017, February 2017, March 2017, April 2017, May 2017, June 2017, July 2017: The FOUR YEAR ANNIVERSARY special, August 2017, September 2017, October 2017 (tribute to the O.O.G.), November 2017, December 2017, January 2018, February 2018, March 2018, April 2018, May 2018, and June 2018.
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. Want to see our favorite WDW resort-specific merchandise? Well, CLICK HERE!