And while initially, this seemed like a good thing, (not having to put on pants, get off the sofa, and physically drag ourselves to the theme parks), it’s been a major headache — which we’ll get into in a sec! But when the parks reopen, is this going to be our only option for those must-have merch items from now on??
Now that some Disney Stores will be reopening soon, they’ve announced some limited-edition releases and specialty products might not be available in stores anymore.
They stated the reason for no longer providing these types of items in stores is crowd control. Limited releases tend to be known for a bit of a mad dash as guests scramble for what they want, and since distancing guests is important right now, those big crowds need to be a no-go.
So what does this mean in terms of buying exclusive Disney Parks items at the theme parks when they reopen? Surely Disney World will want to keep gatherings to a minimum, so how will they address this issue?
Will Disney World Resume Selling Its Limited Edition Collections Again When the Parks Reopen?
Disney World recently shared that limited releases will NOT be sold in the parks when they reopen.
Does that mean no more hunting in every gift shop for Rose Gold Ears after they’re released, or snagging a new spirit jersey right as a Cast Member puts them on display? What about lining up early outside a gift shop to snag the newest Dooney and Bourke bag? For now, yes.
Why is This a GOOD Thing?
This way, guests who are unable to get a reservation to visit the parks can at least have access to the limited edition items such as Pins, Designer Ears, Dooney and Bourkes, and other exclusive wares.
And not having to wait in a physical line for your chance to buy your Disney Dooney and Bourke bags really has some added benefits! We don’t know many folks who would complain about snapping up these purses without having to leave their houses!
And while some Vera Bradley bags have previously been sold on shopDisney, the Vera Bradley website is selling Disney styles for the very first time! Sometimes they even offer special discounts like free shipping!
So what’s the problem, right? Not having to go out AND still getting your Disney gear? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal! Only…it isn’t always perfect.
While buying some of the parks’ limited edition items online is super-convenient, it can also be quite frustrating if you’re going after Disney’s more-popular items!
Why is This a BAD Thing?
Here’s the thing — while being able to buy this stuff online ROCKS when it works, many of the most desirable items are selling out SUPER FAST! We’re talkin’ you click refresh on a page a fraction of a second too late and you might miss out on that item you so desperately want!
One of the hottest ticket items recently have been some of Disney’s Designer Ears. We’re talking mega-trendy Mickey and Minnie-themed headwear designed by Disney’s most elite! Some of our favorite ear sets include Ashley Eckstein’s Ahsoka Tano Ears (who she also portrayed in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series!)…
…and who can forget Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde’s Designer Ears!
These seemed to sell out faster than Thanos could snap his fingers! (Seriously — as soon as we shared with you that they were available we were turning around to tell you they were gone!)
See how much Joe Rohde’s Designer Ears were selling for on eBay shortly after selling out on shopDisney!
How Disney Is Trying to Fix This?
There’s some good news (although the results so far have been underwhelming). Disney is aware of this problem of their merch selling out too quickly online and they’re actively addressing the issue. Just before releasing their Star Wars May the Fourth collection, Disney said they would be implementing a virtual waiting room system that was supposed to give everyone a fair shake at getting their goods.
However, the new system had major technical issues. Many would-be-shoppers were very frustrated to see a cartoon Millennium Falcon endlessly floating on their computer screens telling them to wait for the page to load!
We’ve tried (and failed) to jump on the Minnie Main Attraction merch as it’s been released since the parks have been closed…we’ve come up empty each time (so if you missed out, you’re in good company 😉).
Disney once again tried to use the virtual waiting room when they released their Minnie Mouse: The Main Attraction collection for May only to once again encounter more problems. Enchanted Tiki Room fans sobbed as the Minnie Ears, Loungefly Backpacks, and Minnie Plush all slipped through their fingers! Surely there has to be a better way!
We were slightly reassured when World of Disney reopened on May 27th and we saw a few Minnie Mouse: The Main Attraction items were for sale. However, in mere moments, all of the Mad Tea Party Loungeflys and Pirates of the Caribbean Minnie Plushes (which had previously been released months before) were gobbled up and haven’t been replenished since.
So, we won’t be seeing specialty or limited edition merchandise in the parks or brick and mortar stores for a while. But in the meantime, it seems Disney will continue to release their limited edition stuff online for now.
There are FAR too many glitches on the shopDisney site right now to currently handle this sort of change, so time will tell if they can get a reliable and efficient system to shoulder this influx of traffic. If they can just work out some of the kinks of their virtual waiting room — we wouldn’t be so bothered by the idea of not having the opportunity to buy this stuff at the parks. But only time will tell!
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Have you encountered problems using shopDisney’s virtual waiting room? Let us know if you’ve missed out on something you really wanted in the comments below!