Wednesday, March 28, 2012. 25 years ago today, the first Disney Store opened in Glendale, CA. To celebrate this achievement, Disney decided to throw a party today, both online and in stores. Being that I had the day off, and am insane, I decided to spend the day celebrating. Here is my journey. All times EST.
My apartment, 12:00 am: Disney decided to start the party early online. Instead of starting their 25% off sale at 3am, their usual time for updating inventory and starting sales, they started three hours early.
Yay for awesome emails!
When I got the email earlier in the evening, I was happy. So, when midnight rolled around, I went online and found out that the 2 for $50 Select 9” and the BOGO 50% off Nightmare Before Christmas Vinylmation offers were included in the sale. What’s that? A 9” Vinylmation for under $19? Yes, please. I ended up getting a couple of 9”, the NBC vinyls I was missing from my collection, the city exclusives from Chicago that was online, the Hawaii exclusive, and a couple of $1.99 Mystery figures. Only ½ hr. into the day and I was already scoring big.
My apartment, 3:00am: Decided to awake and check to see if anything fun appeared in the daily update of the website. Unfortunately, the only new thing that appeared was the 25th Anniversary Confetti vinyl. I would have gotten it online, but I was off in a couple of hours to get it in person.
The 25th Anniversary Confetti Vinylmation-
Solid clear resin mold with random “floating” Mickey ears & “25″ confetti.
My apartment, 5:00am: The alarm sounded, I sleepily got dressed, got into my car, drove to work to make sure they were good to go for the day, and made my way down to the Disney Flagship Store in Times Square. I was down there just yesterday and now I am going back.
Why? Well, I was under the impression that the store would have not just the Confetti vinyl, but also the 25th Anniversary Sorcerer Mickey vinyl. The reason for this? Both yesterday and on Sunday, while I was down there for other events, I was informed by MULTIPLE DIFFERENT CM’s that it was going to be sold today. Limit on number? Very. Limited Purchase? Of course. However, I was told this and, figuring the CM’s knew what they were talking about, decided to trek down there.
Times Square, 8:30am: I finally arrived, parked, and proceeded to the store, which is located in the middle of Times Square. I ended up 6th on line. Woohoo! Surely at least one Sorcerer Mickey would leave with me. You would think, right? Yea… um… no.
Mickey watching over us in Times Square
A very nice CM named Megan greeted the group of us waiting outside, gave up our vouchers for our free 25th Anniversary Silver Mickey Ears, and explained where to go for the ears. I then asked her about the Vinylmations. She went inside to check and came back… with news I did not want to hear. No Sorcerer Mickey. None to sell. She had no more information, but told me that I could go talk to the manager on duty, Brittany Jo, after the store opened.
25th Anniversary Silver Mickey Ears, Button, and Sticker.
Times Square, 10:00am: After the opening ceremony, the store officially opened. I decided to go grab the two Confetti vinyls I was able to get (their limit was two per person… funny how many of the Japanese tourists were getting online again and again with two at a time… they must have a lot fo friends over in Japan that want them). I then found Brittany Jo and found out that ALL of the CM’s I talked to over the past visits were mistaken. Times Square didn’t even have them in stock, not even to give them to employees. Funny, because the CM’s both days said they saw them in person. Vlad, one of the CM’s who told me this just the day before, was wandering around about that time. I could have thrown him under the bus. Maybe I should have. However, the fact remained that I went into the city for something that was told to me to be available, but obviously wasn’t. To say that I was upset was a kind way of putting it. I tried to make most of the 25% off storewide sale, though. Along with my two Confetti vinyls, I got a couple of Liberty Minnies (for only $4.50 each), a couple of 3” NYC Taxis, and a couple of Animation 2 bloxes. In the confusion of trying to get the 25% applied to my order, they forgot to ring a CARS 2 pk. up with the order, so I got it for free (didn’t realize until I got home for the day… but I don’t think I would have said anything anyways).
25% off entire store… sweet.
I left the Times Square store at about 10:30am, walked to the parking garage, paid the $15 parking for being there 2 hours (and that was WITH a coupon), and decided that, since the day was a bust in my eyes, I would try and make up for it by visiting a bunch of Disney Stores in the area. Next stop… Jersey.
Newport Centre, 11:00am: Located just outside of the Holland Tunnell in Jersey, Newprt Centre’s Disney Store is still one of the old fashioned ones with the larger than life characters and the fun atmosphere. I enjoy just walking into that store. The fact that I got another set of ears and some Muppet 2 bloxes for only $6 each was even better. The bloxes turned out to be nothing more than new traders but at $6, getting 4 in the hopes of pulling another Waldo was worth it.
Jersey Gardens, 11:45am: This store is a Disney Outlet, so nothing much on the Vinylmation front, but snagged another set of ears and picked up a couple sets of last season’s large decorative Nightmare Before Christmas Tree Ornaments for only $6 a set.
Menlo Park, 12:25pm: Now the soccer moms were starting to come out with their ½ day schoolchildren, so the stores weren’t as much fun to shop in. Also, this store is one of those undecorated messes they call a Disney Store. No imagination was placed in this store design. Basically, it looks like Disney came in and set up shop for the holidays. In one night it could all be removed and you wouldn’t know what store was there. I did manage to snag another set of ears and a couple of buttons… also broke down and got a POP! Zurg for 25% off.
Woodbridge Center, 12:50pm: Less than 10 minutes from the Menlo Park store, this generic design store had way too many complaining people in it. I felt bad for the employees. I felt bad for myself, who didn’t want to buy anything, but had to wait in the checkout line for my ears (only store that did that to me). I could not wait to get out of there. Of course, it was now raining, so I cancelled going west to visit two stores and opted to head north and towards home.
Bergen Towne Center, 1:45pm: My luck at getting ears ended here. They were out. Since they are an outlet, and a crappy one at that, I didn’t stay long.
Paramus Park, 2:05pm: Again, no ears. However, I took a few minutes looking at the awesome old store design (they say that this is the largest old store design still around, and was one of the largest made) and talking to the CM’s. Apparently they were out of ears by 10:30am. However, they still had ears on themselves. I thought the ears were for customers? I decided not to press the issue, because I was given permission to go down sometime in the future and photograph the figures that remind me of how great the Disney Store experience was in the past. All in all, left empty handed and headed back into New York, and to the last two stores of the day.
Palisades Center, 2:35pm: No ears again, yet CM’s were wearing them. It was getting a little irritating, but I saw one of the CM’s give a little girl his set of ears, which made me feel a bit better. I didn’t buy anything, but played some trivia and got another button and a couple of more stickers. Not as good as ears, but I’ll take it.
Window decoration at Palisades Center.
Woodbury Commons, 3:25pm: No to the ears, but this Disney Outlet had another Vinylmation Magnet I did not already have (Mr. Incredible) and a couple of ornaments laying around for under $1. It was a quick trip to the closest Disney Store to where I live. And with that, I was apartment bound.
So, after a long day and NINE Disney Stores later, I came home with five Silver Mickey Ears for me and my friends and a few goodies either for my collection or to sell/trade. It was a lot of driving and somewhat fun. Was it worth it? Probably not, but some days are just better than others.
In light of me being fortunate enough to get a few ears, I want to share one with a lucky reader.
How can you win? Well, today I answered a lot of trivia dealing with Disney and the Disney Store. In honor of that, whoever can come up with the best trivia question for me to answer will win.
Below, ask me a question. I will do my best to answer them without assistance. Whoever can stump me will be in the running for the ears.
NOTE: Make sure you are a member of the forums. I will only contact the winner thru there. If you aren’t a member, you can’t win.
Have a great rest of the week guys!