Who remembers the old Disney Stores? The ones in mall that made you feel as if you were stepping into a Disney Park? Between the huge sculptures, endless toys and Mickey Merch, and those amazing displays that often moved running along the near ceiling of the store? I loved those.
But slowly they vanished. Soon, the Disney Store was a memory of the past. It's gotten worse as over the last few years, Disney has done a massive closing of their stores. As of a September 2021 article by USA TODAY, only around 2 dozen stores exist outside of the parks!
If you are lucky enough to stumble across one of these stores, what can you expect? Is there as much Disney magic as at a park store? What will you see for sale? Are the prices cheaper? Is everything retail? Why are some of the tags not in English?
I'm going to give you a quick visual of what you can expect, as well as answer those questions!
While the front of a Disney Store looks pretty blah, the insides are great! Stepping inside, you're greeted with Disney music, smiling faces, and Disney loot everywhere! Toys, clothes, plush friends, and even some park essentials like pins, lanyards, and other trinkets. There's also a big section of light up toys, in case you want to buy now and save.
Just like on ShopDisney, you'll find stuffed animals, but the great thing is getting to pick them out and hold them first, to make sure it's what you want!
Depending on the time of year, you'll also find seasonal merchandise. Right now, expect to see ornaments.
Now, the question is there as much Disney magic as at a park store? Sort of. Expect a greeting and a magical goodbye. But there's no pixie dust being sprinkled around, no one jumping in with a sticker for a crying kiddo.
You will find some unusual items you WON'T find in the park stores. Like, adult size Spiderman PJs. (I tried...my 14 year old wouldn't get them)
When you look at the clothing tags, you will often find that some aren't in English. These are items that come from Tokyo Disney, and Shanghai Disney and Hong Kong Disney, so watch those sizes! We've bought a few things we thought would fit, but were tight in the chest and long in the torso.
On the racks, you'll find lots of clothes. There is something for everyone from baby to adult.
This is a pretty great place to get gifts! But your next question... Are the prices cheaper? Is everything retail? The Disney Outlets participate in the same sales that ShopDisney does.
So if it's 30% off online, and the store has it, it's 30% off there too.
You are going to find favorites like Disney Princess gear, but also the latest kid show goodies!
There's also my favorite section...the clearance! Usually you'll find several shelves and a clothing rack with items marked down. It can vary as to how much. Usually 30-50% is common, but sometimes you'll really luck out! You'll find both Disney Store and Disney Park merchandise here.
It varries from visit to visit. We live around 3 1/2 hours away from our closes Disney Outlet, so we don't visit too often. In the summer, we bought a TON. We must have hit it just right. Our recent visit, we got almost nothing.
While pins are for sale, there is NO pin trading in the store.
You will be able to purchase the deal of the day though, like you can on ShopDisney.
One great thing about the Disney Store Outlets, is if you have a Disney Visa card, you get 10% off! And you are earning points to spend at Disney!
Hopefully this little tour of the largest Disney Store Outlet I've ever been in tides you over til the day you can get back to your favorite place on Earth!
Several years ago I was packing for my children before we left on a trip to see Thomas the Tank Engine at North Carolina. The toddler at the time wanted to help and kept giggling and bouncing around as we loaded the suitcases with all the essentials. When we got to the hotel the next night, I dug frantically through the kids' suitcase, in a near panic. How in the world could I have forgotten to pack my kids pants, socks, underwear...how?! Why was it only filled with pajamas (Thomas of course!) and t shirts? (Also Thomas!)
I remembered laying the outfits together, putting them in the suitcase, and...uhoh. The giggling. The smiles. The...helper.
It had been a really long day already. When we'd gotten to the hotel late afternoon, their housekeeping didn't have the rooms ready. We waited until nearly seven that evening before we could get into our room. I wasn't a happy camper. We were also in nearly the middle of nowhere, and now...with no pants, no socks, no extra undies...
Thankfully, about a half hour away was a Walmart. The most picked over and tiny Walmart I've ever seen, but it was a life saver. They had shorts, socks, undies...not much to choose from, but they had them!
Fast toward about seven years, my kids are much better at helping, and we've never had a pants-less vacation again. But boy oh boy...we've forgotten other things! I bet you have too!
Luckily, Kissimmee and Orlando isn't a dead zone. Even better, so much can be delivered, but what to do when it's super late at night, you don't have transportation, and you are in desperate need?
Hit your Disney Resort gift shop! That's what!
Not only will you find endless munchies, but Disney Resort shops also carry the essentials. While not a huge selection, you'll find clothes, shoes, batteries, hygiene and medicine products, along with those for baby.
Not all items are on the shelves! Sometimes you might need to ask for a particular item, but each resort has a surprisingly large inventory, better than you'd think! It's at least enough to get you through until you can hit a larger store.
Some of the best places to get apparel are at Disney Springs. With such a variety of stores, you'll find something for everyone. For medicines, baby needs, or hygiene products, there are multiple pharmacies (some that even deliver!) as well as Walmart and Target, right near by! Walmart also delivers, as do several of the local grocery stores.
Luckily, if you do forget something at Disney, it's fairly easily replaced! But a helpful tip...don't let the toddlers help pack unless it's their toys! Save yourself that 10pm trip to Walmart as you frantically dash through the aisles! What's not a fun way to start a trip!