Posts Tagged ‘merchandise’

The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! July photo report for the Disney Outlet Store

by on July 31, 2013

TP_MagicMemoriesMerch_LogoWe all have our favorite stores in the Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts to get our fill of merchandise. Whether it’s the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney, the Emporium on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom, or Everything POP! at the Pop Century Resort, it’s not that hard to find a gift shop filled to the brim with the latest Disney Vinylmation, t-shirts, and plushes. But did you know that there is a place where all the merchandise Disney has a hard time selling ends up? A magical store filled with discount prices and Disney-related items that even Guy Selga wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Disney outlet stores.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

August Art Events Coming to Disneyland’s WonderGround Art Gallery

by on July 29, 2013

Art by Matt Spangler

Attention all deep-pocketed devotees of collectible Disney artwork: several exclusive new merchandise events are coming next months to the Disneyland Resort’s WonderGround Gallery at Downtown Disney.

All of the above appearances are from 1pm to 4pm. In addition, the monthly Pop Fusion event (August 24, 11am to 1pm) will feature Sean D’Anconia, John Coulter, Sam Carter and Noah. The WonderGround Gallery is always free and open to the public.

inside the park, artist Katie Kelly debuts her new “Movie Time with Mickey” series on August 17&18 from 10am to 4pm at Disneyland’s new Disneyana shop (formerly the Disney Gallery). Park admission is required.

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Celebrate the Tiki Room’s 50th Anniversary This Week at Disneyland

by on June 23, 2013

Happy birthday Jose, Fritz, Pierre, and Michael! Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, known as the first Audio-Animatronic theme park attraction, opened its doors 50 years ago this week in 1963. This spectacle of singing flowers, wisecracking birds, and chanting idols has gone through a few changes over the decades, but the playful Polynesian spirt Walt intended is still fully intact, at least in the Anaheim installation.

If you are visiting Disneyland this week, grab a Dole Whip and stop in for an air-conditioned show or two, not forgetting to arrive early enough for the outdoor preshow. Better yet, it you have the spare bucks, swing by the Disneyland Hotel on 6/28-29 for the Enchanted Tiki Room 50th Anniversary Merchandise Event. The weekend features the opportunity to buy exclusive Vinylmation figures, posters, and other artwork, along with encounters with Disney Legends Rolly Crump and Bob Gurr, and artist SHAG.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Free Stuff at Disney World: Part Two – MORE Free Disney

by on April 24, 2013

A while ago, we published some tips about FREE things you can get at Walt Disney World. Well, we’re back now with more. In addition to our previous list of freebies, here is a whole new batch of suggestions for free things you can get or do to enhance your Disney vacation experience. Thanks to the many readers who gave us ideas for additional items to include.

FOOD

Free cookies and cider at the Wilderness Lodge at Christmas.

Free cookies and cider at the Wilderness Lodge at Christmas.

  • Tasting portions. You’re not sure that Junior is actually going to eat that kids’ meal sweet n’ sour chicken they’re serving at the quick service restaurant in Epcot’s China? Well, ask them for a taste. Many restaurants on property will be happy to provide you with a tasting-size portion of an item to help you decide what to order. Just let them know what you need.
  • S’mores. The moderate and deluxe resorts often list a campfire on their recreation schedule. These feature cast members armed with sticks, marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers, ready to share with passing guests. There’s no requirement that you be staying at the resort to participate. Campfires usually start around dusk, but schedules are variable. Unlike the campfire at Fort Wilderness, which charges for marshmallows and s’mores kits, the hotel campfires are typically sparsely attended, so they’re great if you want to just pop in for a moment or grab a second s’more without seeming greedy.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

How Much Do Disney World Souvenirs Cost?

by on April 17, 2013

I often hear guests planning Disney World trips ask, “How much should I budget for souvenirs?” I find this tricky to answer because there is a near unlimited supply of things to buy at Walt Disney World, with prices ranging from free to tens of thousands of dollars. Depending on your personal preferences, you can spend anything from nothing to a full year’s paycheck on Disney souvenirs during a single trip.

To give you an idea of what you might find during your Disney visit, here’s a sample of merchandise available for purchase in the WDW parks and resorts. These photos and prices were gathered during two Disney trips in early 2013. The exact items may or may not be available during your trip later in the year, but the general pricing should remain in the same ballpark. For example, the exact same t-shirt may be out of stock in the fall, but you will find plenty of tees at a similar price point.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Moving Merchandise at Walt Disney World: Getting Goods to Your Hotel and Shipping Stuff Home

by on April 10, 2013

In addition to park touring and dining, shopping ranks right at the top of popular activities at Walt Disney World (at least with me anyway). If you ever find yourself ending your vacation with more stuff than you started, there are lots of ways to get your stuff back home. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about this topic:

Wait! Before you get started with all the info about shipping, I drove to Walt Disney World and don’t have to worry about shipping (there’s loads of room in the car!), but I do have a quick question about carrying around purchases I’ve made in the parks. Basically, I don’t want to do it. What are my options?

No worries. Nearly all of the in-park merchandise shops have two ways of helping you deal with purchases in the short term. You can either have your merchandise sent directly to your hotel, or you can have it sent to a “Package Pickup” office at the front of the park.

There are plenty of signs in the WDW shops to remind you that you have many options for getting your merchandise purchases home.

What does “Package Pickup” mean?

Package Pickup is an in-park delivery/holding service. You buy something and instead of having to carry it around all day, it’s sent to an office at the front of the theme park (or possibly back if you’re at Epcot) so you can pick it up later.

How does this work?

Let’s say you’re at Mouse Gear at Epcot and you want to buy a couple of sweatshirts for the folks back home. You don’t want to schlep them all over the World Showcase while you spend the afternoon drinking around the world. So, WHILE YOU’RE AT THE REGISTER, tell the sales clerk that you’d like to use the Package Pickup service. They will give you a very simple form to fill out (name and address basics). You get a receipt and you’re on your way. Later in the day, return to the Package Pick Office, hand them the receipt, and your sweatshirts will once again be yours.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Enchanted Tiki Room 50th Anniversary Event Tickets Now On Sale

by on April 8, 2013

Are you a devoted fan of Disneyland’s original Audio-Animatronics attraction, home to dozens of frolicking feathered friends (and the delectable Dole Whip)? Then you’re going to want to dig deep any pony up for passes to the Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room 50th Anniversary Event, scheduled for June 28-29 at the Disneyland Hotel exhibit hall.

Event admission starts at $85 per person for the “Jose package,” which includes admission to the event store, silent auctions and trading opportunities, and a presentation featuring Disney Legends Rolly Crump and Bob Gurr. For an additional $185, you can meet popular retro artist SHAG at an evening cocktail reception.

The real reason people pay big bucks to attend these merchandise events is the opportunity to spend even more on exclusive and limited-edition souvenirs. A “random selection process” is used to distribute purchase opportunities among registrants for rare items, while other “open edition” artwork may be available online and in resort stores after the event.

Tickets are limited and can be purchased now online. If similar past events for the Haunted Mansion are any indication, you’ll want to order your tickets now if you plan on attending. Here is the complete event itinerary:

June 28, 2013 (5pm – 9pm)

  • Early Registration (including pick-up of Random Selection Process Merchandise)
  • Event Store
  • Trading Area

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Princess Dresses at Disney World

by on October 17, 2012

If you’ve ever seen a TV commercial or promotional video for Walt Disney World, then you’ve certainly seen images of young girls wearing Disney princess dresses in the theme parks. This iconography is so prevalent that it’s easy to get the impression that ball gown attire is mandatory for every elementary-school-age child entering the Magic Kingdom.

Cinderella dress sold at WDW, fall 2012. Click to enlarge.

While many girls do choose to wear princess dresses for some of their time at Walt Disney World, this is certainly not a requirement for any activity at the parks. Your daughter might love to dress up, or she might be completely uncomfortable in princess attire. Both opinions are perfectly OK. You should follow your child’s lead on whether to consider princess dresses as part of your vacation plan.

Here’s the complete scoop on how to navigate the princess dress situation in a way that makes sense for your family.

Do most girls wear princess dresses at Walt Disney World?

When you’re just walking around the park, you’ll see just a small percentage of girls ages about 3 to 8 wearing princess costumes, maybe 5%. However, there are some places at the parks where the percentage of girls in princess attire will be much higher.

My non-scientific, personal observation is that something along the lines of 50-60% of the preschool and elementary age girls at the princess-themed character meals will be wearing princess dresses. Note that this also means that 40-50% of the girls there will NOT be wearing gowns. Very few girls older than age 8 or 9 will be wearing princess dresses at meals, or anywhere else.

Ariel dress sold at WDW, fall 2012. Click to enlarge.

Something on the order of 80% of the girls getting makeovers at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (BBB) will be sporting some form of princess attire. Similarly, something on the order of 80-90% of the children attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will be wearing costumes. These might be princess gowns, but could just as easily be something else entirely.

My own three daughters did lots of princess dress-up at home, but never chose to wear gowns while at Walt Disney World, not even at the princess meals or the BBB. That was their choice. They never felt uncomfortable that other girls were wearing dresses at character meals while they were not. You should use your judgment about your own child’s personality about whether you think she would feel left out or sad if other girls are dressed in gowns while she is not.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Last Week at Disneyland Resort (6/17/2012 – 6/23/2012)

by on June 25, 2012

Welcome once again to our mostly-weekly wrap-up of what’s been happening at Disney’s Anaheim resort. Deepest apologies to anyone left bereft by the absence of this column, but the Touring Plans team was obviously occupied by a teensy-tiny little Grand Reopening that you may have heard about. Fret not: we’re back to bring you the news of everything that’s happened in the week since Cars Land and Buena Vista Street were unveiled to public.

Crowd Calendar

The new attractions at Disney California Adventure have rewritten attendance rules at the resort, and redefined what “busy” means.

Quietest Day: Thanks to Annual Pass blackouts, Saturday 6/23 was only a 3.8 at Disneyland and 5.4 at Disney California Adventure.

Busiest Day: Tuesday 6/19 was unofficially reported by Al Lutz as the highest-attended day in the history of Disneyland Resort, until the record was broken again on Wednesday with a 4.4 in Disneyland and 9.9 at DCA.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Paying for Merchandise at Walt Disney World: What Can You Use to do This?

by on March 14, 2012

You’re at the Magic Kingdom, your Sweet Baboo wants a sweet Mickey tee. You’re more than happy to oblige, but how exactly do you pay for this souvenir. Not surprisingly, Disney accepts many forms of payment. Here are your options:

  • Cash. Yep, good old American money works wonders.
    • Pros: It’s easy to understand, save, count, etc. If you need more, there are ATMs located at all the WDW parks and resorts. You can use it at non-Disney locations.
    • Cons: If you lose it, it’s gone.
  • Credit cards. Disney accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diner’s Club, Discover, and JCB (Japanese Credit Bureau).
    • Pros: Familiar, easy.
    • Cons: Maybe too easy.

Disney dollars are fun, but perhaps not the most practical choice.

  • Debit cards. These work if they’re scannable like a credit card. Debit cards with the Visa or Mastercard logo work just fine.
    • Pros: Easy to budget.
    • Cons: Might not have accessible funds if you need to make a particularly large purchase. (Or is that another pro?)
  • Traveler’s checks. Must be in U.S. currency. You must have a photo ID to use.
    • Pros: Replaceable if lost or stolen.
    • Cons: There may be fees to purchase. Some cast members may be unfamiliar with these, causing your transaction to take a bit longer. Some banks no longer offer these for purchase, making them difficult to obtain.
  • Disney Dollars. Disney dollars are Disney’s in-house currency. They look like Monopoly money would if it were designed by Mickey Mouse. Disney dollars used to be more widely available, but now they can only be purchased at Guest Relations and resort locations at Disney World and Disneyland, and via mail order. Disney dollars can be obtained for an even exchange of American dollars. You can use them as you would U.S. currency at Disney locations.
    • Pros: They’re pretty. They make a fun gift.
    • Cons: They’re somewhat difficult to obtain these days. They’re not replaceable if lost or stolen. Are you really going to use them, or are they an expensive souvenir? Cast members would rather be tipped in real cash than Disney cash.

Use a Disney Visa, get a reward card.

  • Disney gift cards.
    • Pros: Gift cards are easy to obtain, may be purchased at park locations, online, and at Disney Stores. Reloadable. Balance check available online. Can be used for non-park items such as cruise and Disney Store purchases. Many attractive designs available for gifting. No fees to use. Funds may be recoverable if card is lost/stolen.
    • Cons: Can only be used in Disney situations. For example, Disney gift cards won’t work at the shops/restaurants of the Swan & Dolphin because these are not Disney-owned locations. May not be used at Disney Stores outside the U.S.
  • Stored value cards. These are pre-paid, non-Disney gift cards. For example, the American Express Gift card or Visa TravelMoney card. Like debit cards, if these are machine readable and are imprinted with the logo of a major credit card company, then you’re good to go.
    • Pros: Easy, convenient, may be purchased in many locations. Helpful with budgeting.
    • Cons: Limited availability of funds in an emergency.
  • Disney Visa Rewards redemption cards. Disney Rewards Visa holders accumulate points which they can turn into a gift-card-like device for use at Disney locations.
    • Pros: Hey you earned it!
    • Cons: Only useful in Disney situations. Limited availability of funds in an emergency.
  • Your Key to the World card. If you choose to do so, your Key to the World Card (your room key) can be encoded in a way that allows you to charge merchandise/food/tickets/etc. to you room account. To set up this service you need to leave credit or debit card information, or a cash reserve, with the front desk of your hotel.
    • Pros: Convenient – your entire vacation is on one card. Reloadable. Can be replaced if lost. Possibly a good option for guests who only use cash, but don’t want to carry large amounts of cash on their person.
    • Cons: Only useful in Disney situations. Limited availability of funds in an emergency.

You can turn your room key into a payment card.

Believe it or not, there are actually a few forms of payment that Disney does not accept. These include:

    • Personal checks. Disney merchandise locations stopped taking personal checks as payment in 2006. I’ve spent way more time than is healthy trying to suss out the current status of personal check acceptance for on-site resort room payments and other non-merchandise situations. I’ve spoken to three different cast members at 407-W-DISNEY and the front desks of four different resorts and gotten many different answers, including: no personal checks ever; personal checks OK, but no cash advances; personal checks are OK with drivers license as ID; and personal checks are OK with drivers license and credit card as ID. Truly, I’m not sure what the actual policy is, and having gotten such a variety of answers from different cast members, I’m at a bit of a loss as to even find out the real scoop. At very least this tells you that if you want to use a personal check anywhere at WDW, you’re in for a bit of a run around. When in doubt, use a debit card.
    • Non-U.S. currency. Only United States currency is legal tender at Walt Disney World. If you find yourself with only international paper on hand, currency exchange is available at the Disney resorts, theme park and Downtown Disney guest relations offices, and at Orlando International airport. Be aware that there may be limits on the amount of currency allowed to be exchanged. A strange bit of trivia for you: While Walt Disney World does not take payment in foreign currency, you can buy foreign currency at Walt Disney World. Many of the shops at Epcot sell souvenir packs of coins from each of the countries represented in the World Showcase.

Cash payments must be in U.S. dollars.

DOES IT MATTER WHAT PAYMENT METHOD I USE?

Beyond the pros and cons listed above, there’s not much difference between payment methods. However, you should be aware that there may be discounts available to you should you choose one method or another. I’m specifically talking about the Disney Visa card. Beyond the Visa Rewards, a key selling point of the card is that it allows you merchandise discounts at some locations. For example, if you pay with cash, you pay the full retail price. If you pay with a Disney Visa, you get a 10% discount. I’m not telling anyone to go out and get a credit card, but if you happen to have a Disney Visa, you should always ask if there’s a discount for using it.

GIVEN ALL THE OPTIONS, WHAT SHOULD I HAVE IN MY POCKET?

Again, much of the choice is personal preference based on the pros/cons above. However, I would strongly caution you against ever walking into the park with just your Key to the World Card or Disney Gift or Reward cards in your pocket. You should ALWAYS carry some cash as well as some real-world plastic.

Cash will be needed if you quickly and unexpectedly need to take a taxi. This has happened to me twice in my WDW travels, both times related to medical situations. The corollary of this is that once I was away from WDW in my medically needed required taxi, I was “off campus” and thus needed to have real money on hand, not just Key cards and gift cards. As tempting as it may be leave your wallet in the hotel safe and venture into the theme parks with just your Key card, PLEASE don’t do it.

So Disney shoppers, what’s your preferred method of payment when you’re in the parks? International peeps, do you find any unique challenges with payment for Disney parks merchandise? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print