Shopping at Disney’s Character Warehouse- What You Need to Know
Going on a Disney vacation can get costly. With park tickets, hotel, food, and souvenirs, the costs can add up very quickly. If you are like me, shopping for souvenirs/Disney merchandise is one of my favorite parts of the vacation. It can get expensive! I want to share with you a way for you to save some money on Disney Parks Merchandise. It is by shopping at Disney’s Character Warehouse.
(This post is focusing on the two located in Orlando, Florida. This post was based on my visits earlier this past year.)
What is Disney’s Character Warehouse?
Disney’s Character Warehouse is Disney’s version of a clearance section, but it is a whole store of discounts on merchandise exclusive sold at Disney Parks. Savings can be as high as 90% off the retail price. Most of the items I purchase from the Character Warehouse tend to fall in the range of 25% -75% off retail prices. It all depends! It is not guaranteed that things will be at a discount. Prices may fluctuate. When I went in June 2021, I noticed an increase in the prices of items compare to when I went in February 2021.
Available merchandise can be from past seasons/holidays, old styles, and/or from past events/vacations. They have apparel for adults and kids, accessories like ears, home goods, pins, toys, and so much more. You might even find discounts on big names like Loungefly, Pandora, Crocs, and Dooney & Bourke.
Where are the 2 in Orlando Located?
In Orlando, there are two. One is located in the Vineland Orlando Premium Outlets, and this one is near Walt Disney World. The second one is located in the Orlando International Premium Outlets. This one is near Universal Studios.
Shopping at Disney’s Character Warehouse
Before Covid, if there was a wait to get in, you had to wait in the physical line. Sometimes the line was long, like really long. This is due to the savings you can get on their merchandise. It is a popular place to shop at.
Now during Covid, Disney changed how you have to wait to get in. They use a virtual queue system.
Depending on the day, time of year, and/or what they have available, you may not have to wait long. Sometimes they could allow you to walk in without signing up in the virtual queue.
What is a Virtual Queue?
A virtual queue is where you registered with the Castmember, and they put you in a “virtual line.” You will provide them with your name, phone number, and how many are in your party. You will get a text when it is your turn. So instead of waiting in a physical line, you are in a virtual one.
I personally like this system because you can do other things while you wait for the text. My family and I typically shop at other outlet stores and/or eat in the food court while waiting for the text message.
When you do receive the text message, you have 15 minutes to return to the store. If you do not return in that time frame, you will lose your spot. You will check in with the Castmember, and then they will let you go into the store.
When you sign up, you can ask the Cast Member how many parties are ahead of you, and they will give you an estimated time frame.
What time does the Virtual Queue/Line Open Up?
The times I went, signing up in the Virtual Queue begins an hour before they open. This is the time when my family and I go usually go. When we do this, we are typically the first 10 parties in the store once we get our text message to come back.
Best Times to Go
The best times to go are first thing in the morning, right when they open. The reason is that this is the time that resellers go. So if you do not want to miss the chance to get first dibs on some good items, go in the morning! Another reason to go in the morning is less chance of having a long wait.
Some of the items I purchased from Disney’s Character Warehouse
If you are in Orlando for vacation, I highly recommend checking out at least one of these two Disney’s Character Warehouse. Please note masks are required indoors on Disney’s Properties, and this includes their Character Warehouses.