Merchandise

Observations from Downtown Disney for April 10, 2014 (Construction Walls, T-Rex, Food Trucks, New Merchandise)

by on April 14, 2014

It has been several months since I have been to Downtown Disney, so it’s time to check in to see what is going on lately. After several trips in which I had to scream “Serenity Now!” while trying to find a parking spot, I realized what I needed to do in order to fix that problem: I rope-dropped Downtown Disney.

The only two places to park in front of Downtown Disney itself and these are the lot by the Marketplace and way down the other end by Cirque du Soleil. Even at 10 AM, the sign leading to the Marketplace lot said it was “full,” so we parked down by Cirque du Soleil. This lack of parking is caused by the two parking garages Downtown Disney is in the process of building. Many people are hoping for these to be done by the holiday season of this year, but guest services said it wouldn’t be until early 2015.  There is also parking across the street in which you can take a Disney shuttle to Downtown Disney.

DowntownDisney_ParkingGarage

Status of the parking garage closest to Cirque du Soleil

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

Frozen Out: Searching for an Elsa doll at Disney World

by on April 10, 2014

Elsa doll Disney World

Searching for an Elsa doll or toy at Disney World? Join the club! (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

My family up north doesn’t necessarily share or understand my theme park obsessions, but every so often they call upon my Orlando expertise. Recently, my young niece lost her mind over Frozen (much like half of America, it seems) and wants an Elsa doll more than life itself.

Unfortunately, it seems Barbie-sized “Sparkle Princess” figures of this frigid sister are scarcer than snowmen in summer, as toy stores throughout the New York and Philadelphia regions are chronically out of stock. So I gallantly volunteered to play the heroic uncle by finding one and bringing it to her during my upcoming visit. Surely it would be simple to find an Elsa doll inside one of Walt Disney World’s infinite gift shops…or so I foolishly thought.

I was so wrong.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

Disney World Pick-A Pearl FAQ

by on March 31, 2014

Have you ever wondered about the big pools of water on the counter in the middle of the Japan Pavilion at Epcot? That’s one of the Pick-A-Pearl stations at Walt Disney World. Here’s what you need to know.

Pick-A-Pearl station at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.

Pick-A-Pearl station at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.

What’s a Pick-A-Pearl?

The name is pretty self explanatory. At a Pick-A-Pearl station, you’ll find a large, shallow tank of water with several oysters placed on the bottom. At the station, you choose (“pick”) an oyster to buy. The cast member at the station opens the oyster in front of you, the pearl inside is yours to keep.

Is the Japan Pavilion the only place to do this at Walt Disney World?

There are actually four places to Pick-A-Pearl at Walt Disney World: inside the large Mitsukoshi store at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot, at a kiosk at Downtown Disney near the Pin Traders outpost, at a kiosk at Typhoon Lagoon, and at a kiosk on the pathway just outside the Stormalong Bay pool area at the Yacht & Beach Club resorts. While the general Pick-A-Pearl concept is the same at all the locations, they are operated by different entities, so some details may vary.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

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

by on March 29, 2014

MMM positiveWe’ve made it to March, home of Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day, two of the biggest holidays of the year that involve adult beverages. Is it any surprise that with all that alcohol flowing that March is also home to If Pets Had Thumbs Day? While you ponder that existential question, we’re gearing up for our monthly trip to the Disney Outlet Store! This week we’ll be wearing our I Love the Lone Ranger t-shirt, applying our Stitch-in-a-bikini hat pin, and slipping our Mickey Waffle Air Freshener onto the view mirror. Now that we are geared up, it’s time to hit the outlets!

While the month of February had Valentine’s Day, there were almost no items related to the romantic holiday except this Be My Valentine Duffy Bear.

IMG_3231

If Strawberry Shortcake and the bear from the movie Ted had a baby, it would probably look like this.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

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

by on February 27, 2014

MMM positiveIt’s February, and earlier this month Punxsutawny Phil saw his shadow, which signaled six more weeks of bad merchandise, so off to Disney Outlet Store we go! This week we’ll be wearing our Mickey Mouse “Rebel with a Cause” t-shirt, slip on our $1,690 Mickey Ears necklace, and make sure our phone is protected with the Blank – A Vinylmation Love Story iPhone case. Now that we are geared up, it’s time to hit the outlets!

Please remember to click on any picture to see it in full size.

One thing that jumped out to me on this trip was the amount of items that I would consider relatively “new” at the parks and at Downtown Disney. The first is this mashup of Mickey Mouse and Iron Man. I remember first seeing it late last year at the World of Disney store, and I can’t say I’m surprised to see it at the outlet. I like Mickey Mouse mashups, and love my Mickey Mouse/Tron, Mickey Mouse/Indiana Jones, and Mickey Mouse/Star Wars figures, but this Iron Man plush just looks weird.

DSC_0349

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons To Check Out Universal’s Mardi Gras 2014

by on February 22, 2014

This week’s SATURDAY SIX covers Six Reasons To Check Out Universal’s Mardi Gras Grand Celebration. The Universal Orlando Resort knows how to throw a party and Mardi Gras is their wildest celebration of the year. Universal’s Mardi Gras brings in big name musical acts, authentic New Orleans food, and a party atmosphere like no other and on top of it all the price is included in the price of regular admission.  If you need more reasons than that to attend, here are an additional six.

Please remember to click on any picture to see the full size version.

IMG_2374

Daughtry (photo courtesy of Chad Evetts)

# 6 – The Concerts

The music acts that Universal books for the Mardi Gras Grand Celebration are second-to-none in the theme park concert world.  While the Epcot Flower Power series of concerts will be featuring acts like Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Village People and Chubby Checker – people  you may have literally heard a thousand times before – this year’s Mardi Gras concert lineup includes a mix of classic and contemporary artists. Daughtry, Barenaked Ladies, Weezer and The Roots are just a few of the musical acts that will be headlining this year’s event. There’s also country stars like Gavin Degraw, classic rock groups like Foreigner and Lynyrd Skynryd, and even a Christian rock band with Skillet. Whether it’s Nelly, Collective Soul, or Huey Lewis and the News, you can pretty much count on Universal delivering an act you want to see perform.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

SATURDAY SIX: Six “Secrets” of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Hogsmeade Village

by on February 8, 2014

This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at Six “Secrets” of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Hogsmeade Village. When Islands of Adventure opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWoHP) in 2010, Universal established a new gold standard in theme park immersion. Walking into Hogsmeade Village is the closest anyone can come to stepping into the pages of J.K. Rowling’s book series. Filled with magic and surprises, Universal’s Wizarding World contains many secrets that not every guest knows about – even the ones who have been several times. Today we’re going to look at six of our favorites.

Please remember to click on any picture to see the full size version.

OwlPostDuo# 6 – Muggles can get their mail postmarked from Hogsmeade

Next to Ollivanders is the Owl Post, and outside of that is a manned Owl Post station where you can mail letters and get them marked with an actual Hogsmeade stamp. We all have friends and family who can’t make it down to Orlando, and this is one of the cheapest souvenirs you can get for them. It can also be a unique Wizarding World item to have waiting for you once you return home from vacation, so consider mailing something to yourself.

There is stationary you can buy in Hogsmeade Village to write your letter, or you can just bring your own. You’re also responsible for your own postage. Once you are ready, take your mail to the witch or wizard manning the station, and he or she will stamp your envelope and hand it off to Errol, Pigwidgeon, or the next owl up for delivery.

OWLPost3

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

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

by on January 29, 2014

MMM positiveAh, the first photo report of the Disney Outlet Store for the new year. 2014 is going to be a interesting and fun time for me in the Disney Universe. I recently received my first Magic Band, followed by making my first FastPass+ reservations, and will be taking my first ever Disney Cruise in October. But first we shall be making our monthly pilgrimage to the Mecca of unsalable merchandise. It has been a chilly winter so far, even for us Floridians, so before our trek we’re going to warm up with some hot chocolate in our Spaceship Earth mug and strap on our Captain America battle helmet to brave the elements outside.

Please remember to click on any picture to see it in full size.

It’s always a good day when special event merchandise shows up at the outlets and this trip was a bonanza as items from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party hit the shelves.

IMG_1338

Various pieces of merchandise from the 2013 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

SATURDAY SIX: Six Things We’re Excited About in Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

by on January 25, 2014

This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at Six Things We’re Excited About in Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. This week was a big week for Harry Potter fans as Universal had its long awaited webcast featuring details of the upcoming Diagon Alley expansion in Universal Studios Florida, and the resort is having a weekend long Celebration of Harry Potter. We’ve been following Seth Kubersky’s PotterWatch series of articles for a while now, and we’re about to explode with excitement. So today we’re counting down six things that just can’t get here fast enough….

# 6 – Knockturn Alley 

It’s very rare to have sections of theme parks dedicated to “the bad guys,” but we at the Saturday Six can’t get enough of them. We love meeting Gaston and enjoying a LeFou’s Brew in New Fantasyland, while over at Universal’s Islands of Adventure we like walking through Villain’s Alley at Marvel Superhero Island to see all the little details (and to ride Dr. Doom’s Fearfall). While very few details have been given out about Knockturn Alley (which we saw in the films Chamber of Secrets and Half Blood Prince), we’re looking forward to an experience at Borgin and Burkes, a store specializing in items related to the Dark Arts. We’re also hoping that various items related to Dark Magic will be for sale, including Death Eater masks, cursed necklaces, horcruxes, and skulls of creatures from the Potter universe. This is Universal Creative’s chance to take creepiness to an “11,” and we hope they go all the way with it.

SS_BorginandBurkes

Borgin and Burkes store of Dark Magic, as envisioned by J.K. Rowling’s Pottermoret

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

Universal Merchandise Review – The Grinch Christmas Village

by on December 25, 2013

Welcome to a special Christmas Day edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! For this installment we’re going to take a look at the Grinch Christmas village items available at Islands of Adventure. These items are available at the Port of Entry Christmas Shoppe and Seuss Landing’s Gertrude McFuzz Fine Feathered Finery.

The Grinch Christmas village uses the original Dr. Seuss version of The Grinch. The houses and accessory figures have been faithfully recreated from the 1966 animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Chuck Jones.

IMG_0882

 

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest