Merchandise

Incorporating Disney into Everyday Life

by on July 19, 2014

t_logo_fbRecently, fellow blogger, Daisy Lauren, posted tips to beating your post-Disney blues. Inspired by her article, I have compiled a list of ways to keep the Disney magic flowing once you return home. Keep track of how many you’ve done and put your total in the comments!

Here we gooooooo….. (Peter Pan reference anyone? Yes? No? Okay, let’s move on.)

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Seven Disney Souvenir Buying Mistakes

by on July 8, 2014

The 1,200 Vinylmation figurines staring at me from the shelves of my home office right now will tell you that I am a veteran Disney parks shopper. I truly understand the desire to troll the theme park shops for the perfect souvenir. But as satisfying as it can be to come home with just the right thing, there are plenty of pitfalls to Disney parks shopping. Here are seven potential Disney souvenir shopping mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Some Disney take-home items can be had for free.

Some Disney take-home items can be had for free.

1. Thinking that you have to pay for souvenirs.

Believe it or not, you can score many items for free at Walt Disney World. They practically throw Mickey stickers at kids during resort check in and there’s always a reason to grab a free celebration button. You can also get free bookmarks by participating in the Enchanted Tales with Belle attraction at the Magic Kingdom, free stick puppets at the Epcot Kidcot Fun Stops, or a lei at the Polynesian resort. These free items can go a long way toward scratching that “but I MUST bring something home” itch, with no additional outlay of cash.

And don’t forget that the best Disney souvenir is usually a memory. “Remember when Cousin Billy spilled his milk on Goofy’s shoe at Chef Mickeys?” “Remember when Baby Sally hugged Cinderella for the first time?” “Remember when we finally got Grandma to go on the Teacups and she actually had a blast?” Assuming that you’ve got a digital camera or a camera-equipped phone, these memories can all be captured gratis. Disney PhotoPass photographers will even take group shots using your camera, at no charge. Isn’t a photo of Mom wearing Mickey ears a better souvenir than a snow globe?

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Ollivanders Interactive Wands REVIEW

by on July 3, 2014

 

Ollivanders interactive wands review

Some of the new models of interactive wands available in Ollivanders at Diagon Alley. (photos by Seth Kubersky)

As PotterWatch wraps up with the approach of Diagon Alley’s July 8 official opening date, I’m proud to present Touring Plans’ first in-depth review of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions. During the recent VIP preview week, I spent nearly 12 hours exploring the expansion at Universal Studios Florida, and was the only member of the media to successfully ride the Gringotts attraction three times. I’ve distilled that first-hand experience into the following Ollivanders interactive wands review, which will appear in edited form in the 2015 edition of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, as well as other affiliated titles.

Bear in mind, the following opinions and information are based on a preview of the attraction, and is subject to change once the area is open to the public. BEWARE: Minor spoilers ahead.

Ollivanders Wand Shop and Interactive Wands

4 STARS

APPEAL BY AGE

  • PRESCHOOL 4 stars
  • GRADE SCHOOL 5 stars
  • TEENS 4 stars
  • YOUNG ADULTS 4 stars
  • OVER 30 3 1/2 stars
  • SENIORS 3 1/2 stars

What it is Combination wizarding demonstration and shopping op.

Scope and scale Major attraction.
When to go Just before or after riding Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
Special comments Audience stands.
Authors’ rating Enchanting; 4 stars.
Duration of presentation 6 minutes.
Probable waiting time per 100 people ahead of you 7 minutes.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! June 2014 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on June 29, 2014

MMM positiveWelcome to the one year anniversary of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! When I pitched the idea of a monthly photo report of the Disney Outlet Store to the Powers That Be, I was told it couldn’t be done. That it wouldn’t be done. And now after reading a year’s worth of articles from your humble author, most agree that it shouldn’t have been done. But without it, how would you – Dear Reader – be able to experience the wonder of Mickey’s Personal Disney Assistant, A print of Daisy Duck in the style of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring painting, or a shirt with Darth Maul getting a rainbow painted on his face? It’s schadenfreude writ large, and I want to thank each and every one of you for being along the journey with me. Now let’s hit the outlet!

Walt Disney famously said “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse-stache.” Or something like that. I’m not good with quotes. Originally $3.95, these are now $1.99.

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I’m sure you’re all shocked, SHOCKED to see these make their way to the outlet.

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52 Disney World Souvenirs Under $5

by on June 5, 2014

Sometimes you’re at Disney World and you treat yourself to that awesome Dooney & Bourke bag, diamond Mickey pendant, or custom Disney artwork. Huzzah and glad tidings to your good fortune!

But there will also be times when those big budget items are just not in the cards. There may be many situations where you need to buy something at Disney World, but don’t want to break the bank. A few of these reasons might include:

  • You need to placate a child. Don’t judge, we’ve all resorted to the occasional bribe.
  • You need to bring a token gift to someone at home. For example, the neighbor kid who watered your plants merits just a little something.
  • You’ve have to bring a bunch of small somethings to a group. For example, everyone in your child’s preschool class gets a small gift. Or you’re getting favors for a party.
  • You’re on an extremely strict budget, but you want just a little something to commenorate your trip.
  • You’re participating in a Secret Santa or similar gift exchange or game with a small expenditure limit.

It’s all too easy to find expensive Disney souvenirs at the parks, but finding little trinkets can often be a challenge. Here’s a photo tour of some ideas for small purchases in the Disney parks. Each of the 52 items pictured below has been available for less than $5.00 during the past six months.

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Personalized Souvenirs of Walt Disney World

by on May 30, 2014

As a child with a strange name I longed to find personalized key chains and pencils when souvenir hunting. Even though it was never there, I always hunted through the racks hoping against hope that one day my name would magically appear. Maybe that’s why I’ve scoured Walt Disney World to find the best personalized souvenirs to remember your trip! If you, too, have a weird name, then have no fear, we’ve got you covered.

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Mickey Ears to fit every style!

Mickey Ears: This is an easy one, but anyone can get their his or her name embroidered on a pair of Mickey Ears. Disney has also lightened up on the policies about what can be put on ears these days. I’ll never forget a few years ago when a cast member actually said she had to see my drivers license to put my name on my hat! Locations are available to personalize hats in all four parks and Downtown Disney. Remember, now that fancier fonts available, you normally have to come back later in the day to pick up your personalized hat.

Parasols: While this option can get pricey fast, what little girl doesn’t want one of these? Not only can they be personalized with names, but I’ve even seen art work from Frozen starting to appear on these cute, little umbrellas. Several colors are available. Be sure to stop by early in the day to allow time for the paint to dry on your unique and personalized work of art. You can find these for sale in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom and France in Epcot.

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Observations from the Universal Orlando Resort – May 26, 2014 (Margaritaville, Red Oven, Cabana Bay, and more)

by on May 29, 2014

Seth Kubersky recently published the latest addition to PotterWatch, and it takes a look at the newly installed dragon on top of Gringotts Bank, new benches and massive lion heads in front of the London Waterfront, the growing of the Hogsmeade forest, and updates on the latest information concerning the possible opening of Diagon Alley. For this trip to the Universal Orlando Resort, Brandon Glover and I took a look at other new things that have popped up at the parks, CityWalk, and hotel area.

Our first stop was lunch at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. We had tried some of their new items on our last trip to UOR (including the Volcano Burger and insanely large Volcano Nachos) but saw others on the menu that we had to go back for, including this Margarita Flight.

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Margarita Flight (includes Who’s to Blame, BlueBerry Pomegranate, Fins to the Left, and Last Mango in Paris) $16.95

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! May 2014 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on May 28, 2014

MMM positiveIs it already the end of May? This month flew by. It seems we just celebrated Cinco de Mayo at La Cava del Tequila. We saw the annual running of the Kentucky Derby and the beginning of Star Wars Weekends. We rocked our Disney Side at the Magic Kingdom’s 24 Hour Event and we got to ride the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in soft opens. Meanwhile over at Universal a Dragon showed up at Diagon Alley, and work on the rumored King Kong attraction at Islands of Adventure is in full swing. It has been insanely busy, but we couldn’t forget about our monthly pilgrimage to the Disney Outlet Store!

March’s trip to the Outlet Store brought us unsold Valentine’s Day Duffy Bears from February, while April’s visit saw several St. Patrick’s Day items show up. Surprisingly enough, only two Easter items arrived at the Outlets so far. One is in the form of this Easter Egg Duffy Bear plush. Originally $20, it is now $9.99.

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Turns out this Humpty Dumpty got pushed off the wall.

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An Ode to H2O

by on May 1, 2014

One of the lovely little perks of staying at the Disney World resort hotels is that you get a supply of H2O brand products in your bathroom. The soaps and shampoos feel luxurious and smell simply divine. The “blushing orange” scent is, to my nose, almost identical to the aroma synchronized to the orange grove scene in Epcot’s Soarin’ attraction, so my shower not only reminds me of my happy place, but also of my happy ride in my happy place. Genius.

H2O products at the Disney resort hotels.

H2O products at the Disney resort hotels.

In addition to the two scents most commonly found in the Walt Disney World resorts (blushing orange and grapefruit bergamot), there are also formulas for Disney Cruise Line (the sea marine line), and a dedicated blend for Disney’s Hawaiian outpost, Aulani, called Hawaiian Sea Salt. Each of these variations has its own cult following. I’m not naming names, but among my pals at the Disney Parks Moms Panel, we have several H2O addicts, including one who begs for Sea Salt lotion from friends visiting Aulani and another who gushed that a bottle of Sea Marine shampoo was a favorite holiday gift. I myself have a not insubstantial stash of the stuff in my hall closet right now.

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Observations from the Universal Orlando Resort: April 26, 2014 (Margaritaville, New Merchandise, Royal Pacific Resort)

by on April 30, 2014

Last week intrepid Potter reporter Seth Kubersky scoured both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure for the latest updates to his running series of PotterWatch articles. There were several big changes in the WWOHP world, including the arrival of the Knight Bus and the Wiseacre’s Wizarding Supplies storefront in Hogsmeade Village being converted into Madame Puddifoot’s Tea Shop. Crack photographer Brandon Glover and myself hit the parks later in the week to see what else was going on at Universal. Here’s what we found…

RPR

When your walk to the park looks like this, who wants to take a shuttle or boat?

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