Due to the global health crisis, Disney has stopped releasing limited edition merch in the theme parks en masse, instead opting to release them online using MerchPass or hold special shopping events. That’s all well and fine in principle but in reality, the limited merch drops are still happening in the parks, just a bit more unpredictably. And these days, it seems like ANY new, likely-to-be popular item flies off the shelves at Disney World due to merchandise resellers.
So far, Walt Disney World has not taken any major action to stop people from buying sacks upon sacks of Funko Pops and spirit jerseys, so it can feel hopeless if you want a cool, new piece or merch. But don’t lose hope! We have a few tips for finding those coveted items.
Check your resort
Check your resort merch shop first thing in the morning for that new item you have in mind! For instance, yesterday we spotted full shelves of Wishes Come True Blue Loungefly backpacks, ears, T-shirts, hats, and more at The Market at Ale & Compass at the Yacht Club Resort after seeing empty shelves at the Magic Kingdom.
Already in the parks? Don’t fret! Resort shops tend to be less heavily trafficked so they can often keep items stocked for a longer period of time. Check those resort shops when you’re done for the day. We found all that new merch AFTER a full day at EPCOT!
Don’t go to the Magic Kingdom
Resellers and folks just hoping to be the first to get a new Loungefly or other merch often crowd the stores and have been known to follow regular guests carrying new items around the store, hoping they’ll drop them or put them down while browsing.
If you manage to get that sought-after item and set your bag down for a moment to tie your shoe, you could find it snatched away from you before you know what happened (seriously.)! During a time when we should be practicing social distancing whenever possible, that isn’t necessarily a safe environment! We’ve found the Magic Kingdom Emporium to be one of the busiest spots for new merch. Not only can bottlenecks occur, but items practically disappear.
Be sure to keep an eye out at smaller gift shops as well. This doesn’t work for ALL limited releases. For instance, if you wanted the uber-popular Macaron Minnie Ears we spotted flying off the shelves by the cartful over in EPCOT, you could ONLY get those in the France Pavilion. But something like a color trend or new pair of Minnie Ears released around all of Disney World can often be found in smaller, less heavily trafficked shops around the parks.
If you’re going to the park with the goal of getting that merch item maybe choose a park other than Magic Kingdom. On Wishes Come True Blue day, the display at the Emporium was left in shambles minutes after opening but over at EPCOT and Hollywood Studios their (albeit slightly smaller) display was intact AND had a few items we couldn’t find in the Emporium.
Risking a different park can be a winning strategy if you play your cards right!
Hunt around Disney Springs
Want to be the very first person to get a new piece of merch? Check World Of Disney at Disney Springs — they have been known to get collections before other places around Walt Disney World.
In fact, you may want to look all OVER Disney Springs. You just may be surprised where merch is hiding in plain sight. For instance, we could not find the newly revamped Minnie Mouse gingerbread ears ANYWHERE in Disney World today — but we found them in a very unexpected place — Wonderful World of Memories in Disney Springs!
You never know what you might find! And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, don’t get upset. Disney will restock merch often, so it could always come back! And once hard-to-find items can become commonplace after the hype dies down. You may not be the first person to get those red Minnie ears, but you can still possibly get them one day!
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Have you had a hard time finding new merch at Disney World lately? Let us know your experience in the comments.