Posts Tagged ‘merchandise’

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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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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PotterWatch: London Lampposts, Honeydukes Expansion, Merchandise and Food Preview

by on May 2, 2014

PotterWatch lampposts merchandise and food preview

Diagon Alley’s London Waterfront facade is approaching the finish line at Universal Orland (photos by Seth Kubersky)

April has turned to May at Univeral Orlando, and progress marches on towards the debut of Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Attraction employee training begining later this month, and it’s rumored that contractors must complete their work by the 20th. As work accelerates towards the finish line, we can see new features — like some stunningly detailed London lampposts — and finishing touches appearing daily. Meanwhile, over in Islands of Adventure, Honeydukes has expanded into Zonko’s space next door. Most excitingly, we have the inside word on a recent employee-only Harry Potter merchandise and food preview, unveiling brand new items that will be offered in the expanded Wizarding World.

 

Diagon Alley London Waterfront Lampposts

Here’s a recent look at progress on Diagon Alley and the London Waterfront:

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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.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! November 2013 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on November 29, 2013

MMM positiveToday is not just any day. Today is Black Friday. The official beginning to the Christmas shopping season. A day of bargains, lines, and absolute terror excitement. There couldn’t be a better day to lather ourselves up in pixie dust, strap on our Jessie cowgirl hat, and put on our Mickey Mouse “Hang Loose” shirt as we head out for our monthly photo report of the Disney Outlet Store.

You may remember last month that the outlet stores started selling 2013 merchandise at a deep discount, and this month a whole bunch of 2013 branded items joined the clearance rack including pins, graduation hats, basketballs, and laptop covers.

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SATURDAY SIX: Top Six Reasons We Loved the 2013 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

by on November 23, 2013

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This candy cane is a treat location icon, new for 2013

This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at the Top Six Reasons We Loved the 2013 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP). Recently, Kristina Murphy wrote a blog answering the question “Is MVMCP worth it?” Personally, I think the Disney hard ticket parties are the best way to experience the Magic Kingdom, especially if you take advantage of the fact that they will let you into the park as early as 4PM on party nights (the party official runs from 7PM-midnight). I think the parades are better, the fireworks are better, the characters you can meet are rarer, the lines for the attractions are generally much lower, and the overall atmosphere just feels special.

Regardless of whether you think the parties are worth the cost or not, there is no debate that they bring something unique to the table compared to an average day at the park. Today we’re going to look at what we enjoyed from this year’s MVMCP…

(Remember, you can click on any picture to see a full size version)

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! October 2013 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on October 31, 2013

IMG_8804It’s our favorite part of the month. Time to bathe ourselves in pixie dust, strap on our Mickey Mouse wristwatch, and put on our four armed Monsters University hoodie (because the weather is starting to turn just a little cooler) as we head out for our monthly photo report of the Disney Outlet Store.

The first thing of note when walking into the store is the amount of 2013 branded merchandise available: plenty of photo albums and magnets to grab, as well as calendars. I actually think giving someone a 2013 calendar for Christmas might make for a good gag gift with a note saying something like, “Better late than never,” or “Sorry, they were sold out of 2012s.” Or maybe rip out all the months but December and black out the first three weeks of the month. It makes for a cheap funny holiday gift!

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Out with the old, in with the new!

 

Let’s take a look at some of the shirts available this month…

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Classic Disney Souvenir: The Cut Paper Silhouette

by on October 27, 2013

One of favorite Disney souvenirs has absolutely nothing to do with Mickey, Minnie, or any other Disney character. It’s all about my kids and their beautiful faces (just one mom’s opinion :-)) captured in a moment of stillness. Of course I’m talking about the Cut Paper Silhouette. These miniature works of art are created on the spot, right at Walt Disney World. They’re a unique instant heirloom, and as an added bonus they’re sold at a very reasonable price point. Here’s what you need to know:

Having a silhouette portrait cut on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.

Having a silhouette portrait cut on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.

What exactly is a Cut Paper Silhouette?

Pretty much what it sounds like. You pose for an artist who cuts a portrait of your profile from plain black paper, resulting in a shadow-like image.

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Universal Orlando Merchandise Video Review: Interactive Marauder’s Map from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

by on October 19, 2013

All those who have seen or read the Harry Potter stories have probably wished they had a magical Marauder’s Map to surreptitiously surveil their kids or co-workers. Since opening in 2010 with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando‘s Islands of Adventure, Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods (located at the exit of the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride) has stocked souvenir Marauder’s Maps that, while handsomely detailed, are decidedly inert.

As of a couple weeks ago, Filch’s has begun selling a new electronic interactive version of the Marauder’s Map that is exclusive to Universal Parks and the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. The new maps, which retail for $59.95, feature light-up footsteps and sound effects that are triggered by a “magic” wand.

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SATURDAY SIX: Top Six Reasons We Loved the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival

by on October 5, 2013

The Saturday Six is a weekly look at the most interesting, most fun, and sometimes even the most outrageous things within the theme park world that we all love so much. Whether it’s checking out the World’s Largest Hard Rock Cafe in CityWalk, a look at Marvel Superhero Island in Islands of Adventure, or even going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, the Saturday Six is your personal guide to experiencing the very best Orlando has to offer.

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Photo courtesy of Morgan Crutchfield

This week’s Saturday Six looks at the Top Six Reasons We Loved the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. An annual event that originally started in 1995, Food & wine has grown each year and has become one of Orlando’s signature events of the fall. Over 25 marketplaces are placed around World Showcase and each bring their own unique food and drink offerings that offer guests the amazing opportunity to challenge their culinary palate and experience dining opportunities that just don’t exist in the theme park world during the rest of the year. But that’s not all, Food & Wine has a whole bunch of other stuff going on at the same time including seminars, concerts, and even the chance to meet celebrities from the world of food and wine. We loved this year’s festival but what are our favorite parts? For that we need to start the list~!

(Remember, you can click on any picture to see the full size version)

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The Cranberry Bog (presented by Ocean Spray)

#6 – The Cranberry Bog

I don’t know what it is about it, but I am completely mesmerized by the cranberry bog. At night, it actually looks like it could fit in well over at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. During the day Ocean Spray has representatives who will guide guests through the process or harvesting cranberries. Here you’ll find out that cranberries grow on lung running vines and Ocean Spray (along with other cranberry farmers) use rake-like tools to brush them into water. Because the cranberries have air pockets in them, they float, so the berries are then collected en masse. I love watching people wade through the cranberry bog and continue to try to wrap my mind around the fact that something like this exists in the real world. It also will allow me to drop some knowledge bombs during my next Thanksgiving dinner when I explain where the cranberry sauce comes from and – as a bonus – there are free packs of Craisins nearby the bog at the Ocean Spray booth.

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