Welcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. Let’s face it, October is hands down the greatest month in the theme park calendar. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is our favorite Hard Ticket event at WDW, with the new Hocus Pocus Spelltacular show as a fantastic addition. Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights is having perhaps its strongest year ever during its silver anniversary. Food & Wine continues its popular fall run. But maybe the reason October was the greatest month ever this year was the simple fact that Duffy the Disney Bear was removed from Epcot (just kidding, it’s because of the new Force Awakens trailer.)
Don’t worry, while all of you were having the time of your lives enjoying the parks during this wonderful month, Outlet Intern Julia Mascardo and I threw caution to the wind to bring you the Outlet coverage you deserve!
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).
First up is one of our all-time favorite finds at the Outlet, this Little Orange Bird ceramic figure. I first saw this a while back at Centerpiece in Disney Spring’s Marketplace Co-op and was happy to see it here. Originally $21.95, reduced to $6.99, you better believe I bought one of these.
Another thing I enjoyed seeing at Centerpiece were these Jungle Cruise Elephant figurines. Didn’t like them enough to pick them up, but if one was painted gray I think I may have gotten that one.
These Adventureland plates were marked down to $4.99 each, but I liked the Mickey Mouse bamboo ones I got last month more.
Speaking of plates, a whole bunch of stuff from Mickey’s Kitchen arrived. Available in black or blue, the small plates and bowls were originally $9.95 marked down to $3.99, while the large plates were originally $12.95 marked down to $4.99.
In heartbreaking news, this was the total amount of Tsum Tsums available. I can’t even remember which movie this dog was from. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to faithful readers in the comments I now know it is Bruno from Cinderella.) Not sure if the lack of Tsum Tsums is to stop the amount of Toy Pirates who raid the store to flip those for more money (it’s the first area of the store these guys go for at rope drop. Always.), but let’s hoping for more Tsum Tsums to show up in future months.
Straight from your nightmares comes this Olaf “media case.” Is this next level bananas or what? It’s to hold an “mp3 player, camera, or iPod.” This was originally $24.95 marked down to $9.99. I’m trying to figure out who is the market for this? 5-8 year olds? But while they would like the Olaf gimmick, would they want to carry around a big thing like this? IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!
Ooooooh, a Frozen MagicBand reduced from $29.95 to $19.99.
Speaking of Frozen, not sure if this was a necklace or a bracelet, but it originally was $19.95 reduced to $9.99.
On a recent episode of Disney Dish Podcast, Len Testa -the grand poohbah of TouringPlans – sung the praises of Disney’s Aulani Resort. He mentioned the amazing pools, the incredible lobby and rooms, and even the interactive games at the resort but he never mentioned the exclusive Disney plush you can get there, including this Chip & Dale set. Originally $27.95 marked down to $16.99.
One thing Len did mention about Aulani is the amount of Duffy the Disney Bear merchandise. This makes sense because Duffy is super popular over at the Disney parks in Japan, and a lot of Aulani guests are traveling from there. Duffy is not as popular over here, and not only did he lose his meet and greet at Epcot, his MagicBits also went on clearance.
These Star Wars Bandits and Sliders were new and being sold at full price. Recently I was at Pop Century and saw some pretty nifty MagicBandits and sliders for sale. However Disney seems to be going all in on themed MagicBands (like the Frozen one above and the new custom ones you can print on demand in Tomorrowland) and I can’t see many guests wanting to cover up their MagicBands with this stuff.
More Disney postcards arrived. I love the price of just $0.25 each, but the printing is so “dull” that the pictures seem years old. For all I know these postcards were made this very year but seem like they are a decade old.
The Outlets had a whole bunch of CRAZY writing instruments this month, starting with this Mickey Shaker Pens. These pens had a Mickey Mouse head at the top filled with a bunch of little rocks or something which you could shake. Originally $9.95. WHO WAS BUYING THIS?! This is a pen clearly designed for a very small kid but who is buying a kid that young a $10 pen? Am I losing my mind?!
Here’s another thing I have seen for sale at WDW for years and just never understood who buys them. A Jumbo Princess Pencil that came with it’s own sharpener. This pencil was as long as my forearm. Do people, even kids, actually use them to write or draw with? I would think it would be incredibly awkward to hold if not downright heavy after a while.
My favorites though were these these plain Walt Disney World pens that were originally $11.95. There is nothing remarkable about them other than they say “Walt Disney World” on the side. Are these from the Golden Oaks gift shop? Are these the pens people buying into the DVC Poly Bungalows sign their contracts with?
I liked this Tropical Serenade magnet. Picked one up. Originally $4.95, reduced to $1.99.
The Tiki God Rongo, from the Enchanted Tiki Room. Also $1.99 after discount.
Alright, let’s get to some clothing! First up is one of those Tinker Bell shirts that I just can’t comprehend. It’s made for a clearly very young child, but promotes a “spoiled and sassy” attitude. Did I somehow turn into a “GET OFF MY LAWN!” old guy? Or is this just inappropriate? Originally $29.95, reduced to $12.99.
Next up is one more my style. When I visited Disney’s BoardWalk Resort this summer I thought it was really cool. One of the fun surprises was the amount of cool “Old Timey” merchandise, especially in such a small gift shop. One of the shirts I liked was this one featuring Goofy as a juggler on the BoardWalk. Originally $29.95, marked down to $12.99.
Also love this one featuring Mickey and Minnie. Originally $29.95, reduced to $12.99.
How can you not love the film Inside Out? One of my favorite Pixar releases, right up there with The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Up. This women’s shirt was originally $29.95, marked down to $8.99 and I bought one.
Last year Disney put out a slew of “Ugly Christmas Sweater” t-shirts. I’ll admit I don’t understand the craze (at least in t-shirt form). This one is more of a “Regular Christmas Sweater” in t-shirt form. Originally $32.95, reduced to $4.99.
More and more Marvel products showing up over the months, including this Thor shirt that was originally $32.00, marked down to $14.99.
Ah, my absolute favorite shirts. The ESPN shirts made for women. It’s not sexist thinking women have too much good taste to wear stuff like this, right? If anything it’s reverse sexism. We men will buy anything (I just bought Gronk Flakes cereal!) but the fairer sex actually use their brain. Originally $24.95, marked down to $9.99.
There’s already been a lot of Walt Disney World 2015 merch at the Outlet but expect a metric ton in the next few months. Oh joy. Here’s some “coffee tumblers” that were originally $19.95, marked down to $7.99. This was part of a huge display that featured different sized photo albums, pens, eraser sets, and magnets but this section is in the direct middle of the store AND PEOPLE WOULDN’T BACK AWAY FROM ME. The Disney Outlet Store is the closest you can get to experiencing the claustrophobic insanity of a Tokyo subway.
Our intern Julia Mascardo took the following photo of a neat Rose & Crown Coffee Mug. In an interesting artistic choice, Julia decided to focus on the ceiling of the Outlet store rather than the actual mug. Looks like this month Julia saved her A-game for her Remy’s Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt article.
This Mickey “Safari Bag” was pretty cool. If you click on the pic and see the large version you’ll notice that Mickey’s head is actually a globe. Originally $39.95, marked down to $17.99 and I bought one of these.
This Mickey Mouse Safari Wallet presumably accompanies the bag, but I left this one behind.
Lots of Minnie Mouse themed items for school arrived at the Outlet including this locker set of a mirror and a dry erase board.
And here’s some folders along with other school supplies including pencils, rulers, etc. In my day we had Trapper Keepers and we loved them! Now GET OF MY LAWN! (well I guess my earlier question is answered.)
Here’s a rather strange Mickey Mouse backpack to hold all those school supplies.
Oh, and before we move on… SPEAKING OF SCHOOLS, here’s a terrifying article by someone who is quitting school to move closer to Disney World. I’m all for people trying to live out their dreams, but there are also some hard realities about working in the theme park business that are largely ignored. 1) If you are coming to Orlando to work for Disney or Universal without any degree, you are going to have to work very hard for little money. Many of the front line jobs at the parks and resorts are thankless ones in which you may have to deal with truly awful behavior by us, the guests. 2) Orlando is not the cheapest city in the world to live. It’s a sellers market when it comes to apartments and you are surrounded by things you’ll want to spend money on (restaurants, activities, merchandise.)
That said, both Disney and Universal are fantastic about promoting from within, and you can really move up in both. However you will have a HUGE leg up by actually having a degree. Not only will you have a head start on many others, but you’ll also have a backup just in case things at Disney/Universal aren’t exactly what you expected (there is a big difference between vacationing at Orlando and working in Orlando).
There are three rules in life to live by:
1) STAY IN SCHOOL
2) When in doubt, refer back to rule #1
3) If you insist on dropping out to live out your dream, make it a sensible one like THEME PARK BLOGGER.
With that Public Service Announcement out of the way let’s get to out next item, a Cars Vinylmation in which you can actually create your own car. These use a blank Lightning McQueen mold and let the kids/adults create their own car. I LOVE IT!! This was originally $34.95 marked down to $9.99.
Here is a three year old going to town on Lighting.
What I didn’t love was this Pirates of the Caribbean Vinylmation.
But this Vinylmation is unbelievable, as in not believable. We’ve asked several times over the course of this fine article of who exactly is the audience for some of this stuff and it is more baffling now than ever.
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 “Hopefully by the holidays” 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, September 2014, October 2014, November 2014, December 2015, January 2015, February 2015, March 2015, April 2015, May 2015. June 2015, July 2015, August 2015, and September 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).