The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! December 2015 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on December 31, 2015 12 Comments

Filed under: Adults, Beyond the Parks, Christmas, discounts, DVC, Epcot, Halloween, Hollywood Studios, In the Parks, Magic Kingdom, Merchandise, Money Matters, Saving Money, Shopping, Walt Disney World (FL)

MMM positiveWelcome 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)

Now while all of you were out buying the wrong gift for your loved ones, Outlet Intern Julia Mascardo and I were hard at work to bring you the Outlet coverage you expect 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)

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

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I made many trips past this closed Outlet Store during the Summer and Fall, not unlike Ralphie Parker hoping to find his Little Orphan Annie Decoder Ring in the mail.

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…

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Wait, is that a sign on the door?!

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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.

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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!

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OPEN!

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.

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That sign has said “Opening Soon!” for six months. Surprised Disney doesn’t have an “Opening Soon!” for Avatarland over at the Animal Kingdom.

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.

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It’s like I never left.

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.

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Duffy as Donald Duck.

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.

I kind of like this Pinocchio one because it comes with a Jiminy Cricket.

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Duffy as Pinocchio.

One for Goofy.

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Duffy as 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.

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Duffy as something from an alternate universe.

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.

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Haunted Mansion plush.

All American Mickey Mouse plush. This I did not get.

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Mickey Mouse as Uncle Sam.

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.

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Anger.

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.

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Giant Sorcerer Mickey.

Here’s a Jumbo Olaf.

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Speaking of Olaf, here’s one of those huge eraser things. Originally $14.95, reduced to 3.99.

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Olaf eraser.

Absolutely no idea what these Mickey Mouse statuettes are from or for. Any ideas?Originally $29.95, marked down to $12.99.

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Mickey Mouse.

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.

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A Sleeping Beauty pillow, now that’s #synergy.

The Rapunzel pillow also looked great. There was only one of these left and I bought it.

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Rapunzel.

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.

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Tiki Room pillow.

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.

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Tiki Tiki Tiki Room.

However this plate was a little too “artsy” for me. Originally $16.95, reduced to $7.99.

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Tiki Room’s “Brady Bunch” plate.

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.

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Tiki plates.

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.

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DCL hats.

Big fan of this photo frame. Originally $14.95, now $6.99.

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DCL photo frames.

Sharp looking insulated cups. Originally $19.95, now $7.99.

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DCL cups.

DCL magnets are now at $1.99 a pop.

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DCL magnets.

Coffee mugs were originally $12.95, $5.99. Keep forgetting to take a pictures of the inside of them.

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DCL coffee mug. “That’s funny, Derek never drinks two cups of coffee at home.”

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.

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DCL stuff.

Christmas tree photo frame ornament was originally $12.95, now $4.99.

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DCL ornament.

Sharp looking keychain.

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DCL keychain.

DLC pin was $9.95, now $4.99.

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DCL pin.

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.

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2015 pins.

This WDW Halloween coffee mug set was originally $24.95, marked down to $5.99. I picked up one set.

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WDW Halloween coffee mugs.

I did not get this Halloween mug. Originally $14.95, now $5.99.

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Disney Halloween mug.

Foam Boo To You pumpkin was originally $39.95, now $14.99

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Halloween pumpkin.

These Halloween themed handtowels were originally $19.95, marked down to $9.99. I picked up the Maleficent one.

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Halloween handtowels.

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.

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Haunted Mansion Magic Bands.

Not exactly sure what these Haunted Mansion things were. Originally $59.95, reduced to $23.99.

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Haunted Mansion something or other.

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.

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Such is my dementia that I would have bought a mirror I didn’t need at $4, but $20 was just way too much.

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.

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Splash Mountain photo frame.

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.)

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Pirates cards.

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.)

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Star Wars toys.

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?

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Sofia the First toys.

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.

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Monorail Track.

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.

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Me likey! Saving for my Future Monorail Set. Can this be considered a Derek Dowery?

Grand Floridian Tervis-like cups. Originally $19.95, now $9.99.

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Grand Flo cups.

These frosted style Grand Flo cups were originally $19.95, reduced to $7.99.

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Grand Flo cups.

This was a Sorcerer Mickey “Four Parks” glass that still had the old Hat logo for DHS. Originally $8.95, now $3.99.

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Mickey Mouse juice glass, for when you want something to drink but aren’t that thirsty

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.

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What exactly is Minnie doing with her right hand?

Finding Nemo Mickey Ears. Originally $24.95, reduced to $5.99.

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Finding Nemo Mickey Ears.

Here is a cute girl’s shirt featuring Mickey Mouse. Originally a pricey $32.95, marked down to $9.99.

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Mickey Mouse shirt.

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.

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Mickey Mouse “distressed” shirt.

The following character shirts were originally $36.95, reduced to $14.99 each. Always love seeing Oswald merch.

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Oswald the Lucky Rabbit tee.

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Grumpy tee.

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Donald Duck tee.

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.

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Make WDW Great Again.

Muppet and Toy Story hats. Originally $29.95, now $14.99.

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Animal, Kermit, and Alien hats.

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.

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Wampa and Yeti hats.

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.

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Dooney & Bourke phone case.

Here’s some screen protectors for your smart phone.

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Screen protectors.

Here is a giant Vinylmation themed to Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This was originally $89.95. ALMOST $100!!!!!!

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Dear Lord!

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.

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DVC Vinylmation.

Here is a selection of some of the $0.79 pins available at the register.

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Pins.

I’m a sucker for this one.

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Balloon pin.

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.

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Disney Boxers.

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.

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Pencil.

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.

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Not sure if having a job where you spend more money on it than you make is a solid financial plan to future success.

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.

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Hocus Pocus and MNSSHP shirts. (photo by Julia Mascardo)

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!!

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MNSSHP shirts (photo by Julia Mascardo)

These MNSSHP party pins were originally $15.95, marked down to $6.99.

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MNSSHP pins. (photo by Julia Mascardo)

This was the exclusive MNSSHP pin for WDW Annual Passholders. It has been reduced to $15.99.

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MNSSHP AP pin. (photo by Julia Mascardo)

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.

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Mickey Mouse bowls. (photo by Julia Mascardo)

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 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2015January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015. June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 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.

If you liked what you read here, you may enjoy THE SATURDAY SIX articles every week on the TouringPlans.com blog and you can follow your humble author on Twitter (@derekbugan).

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 MascardoDani, Daisy Lauren, Seth KuberskyDrew From OU, Matt Cleary, Michael Sheehy, Trygve Nelson, Brian Carey, Drunk@DisneyMr. Monkey, Parkscope’s Joe and Nick, Joe MachadoAmusement 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.

Posted on December 31, 2015

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