I feel like I’ve been a bit of a Negative Nancy recently. Sort of a Debbie Downer. A Pessimistic Paul. A little hint of Sarcastic Sam. We’ve had a slew of what some may consider to be “negative news” over the last couple of weeks. Disney has removed Flynn Ryder from the Tangled Meet and Greet, discontinued monorail service during Epcot’s evening Extra Magic Hours with plans to discontinue Magic Kingdom monorail server one hour after regular Park close beginning August 1st, canceled ESPN the Weekend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, put Hyperion Wharf on hold, made a questionable ‘enhancement’ to Lights, Motors, Action(!), among a few other “misses.” And then there was Diamond Horseshoe. While none of this is exactly sunshine and rainbows type stuff, we may be getting away from the positive vibe that I try to convey as much as possible. Rest assured, Expedition Everest still brings a smile to your author’s face each and every time it ascends up the mountain, he still stands in awe every time Mickey rolls in on his locomotive to open the Magic Kingdom, and he’s starting to enjoy reconstituted-from-a-powder soft serve treats of various varieties. With that in mind, this is not going to be one of those positive posts.
Disney runs a major sale each year for its Annual Passholders. Always well publicized on the likes of the Disney Parks Blog and Passholder website, it’s billed as a sort of private experience to benefit those who are the most supportive of the Disney conglomerate. As Passholders, we are among Disney’s biggest supporters, both in terms of lip service and good ol’ American plastic (read: cash). This year, the event was held at the World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney Orlando from 6am to 9am and in Disneyland from 6:30am to 9am this morning, July 23 ,2011.
The thing you have to keep in mind at events like these is the fact that you’re battling the big time resellers. The good stuff isn’t going to land in the hands of Daryl and Suzanne who casually arrive at 7:30am looking for discounted outfits for the grandkids visiting next month. The resellers show up early and they show up ready and willing to buy the entire store. Since the whole point of these sorts of sales is to clear out unwanted merchandise, Disney doesn’t necessarily care who’s buying it. And the resellers have enough help that Disney couldn’t effectively combat them even with reasonable sales limits. Although I had never been to a Disney Passholer Sale like this before, I went in knowing full well that I would likely come out disappointed. There were two things on my list – a coffee mug and a beer glass. Living in squalor, I have neither of these items. Sad, but true. I figured the beer glass would be a bit of a longshot, but surely they would have some sort of coffee mug for sale for six or seven dollars. I didn’t even care what it looked like – Minnie Mouse with one and a half ears, Goofy painted in unfortunate colors, a mug with three quarters of a handle, paint chipped, missing eyeballs. I honestly didn’t care.
No discounted coffee mugs. No discounted beer glasses.
Granted, I arrived at 7:45am. But still, you would think something would be left for those of us who are unable to arrive any earlier. It just wasn’t worth battling the crowds for a couple of items. Here’s what was listed on the Disney Parks Blog. I’ve crossed out what wasn’t available.
75% off select Vinylmation 40% off select Disney Parks Dooney & Bourke styles
- 50% off select Apparel
for the entire family
- 50% off select Ear Hats and headwear
50% off select Disney Parks Edition Games such as Monopoly and Operation Door busters at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort beginning as low as $1 (plus tax)
Here’s what it looked like this morning around 8am. A you’ll see below, there were in fact some “select” items left.
These people are pawing over a plastic container full of what I assume the resellers forgot or ended up not wanting.
That’s what you get when you arrive at 7:45am for a sale that begins at 6am I guess. I naively was hoping that I would come away with something. Disney Store online has had some great sales recently and you would think Disney World would be able to have a similar selection for a high profile event like this. Like I said, these are all Annual Passholders or DVC members who at a minimum have paid several hundred dollars for their Pass this year, if not more than $100,000 over the course of their DVC contract or the life of their Passes. It would have been fun to see some discounted merchandise from years past. Maybe some 2009 Star Wars Weekend glassware that was recently discovered in a box somewhere. Or maybe just a coffee mug for your poor author who has nothing to drink his lukewarm coffee from.
Again, sorry for all of this negativity. This event was just such a shame. Instead of families leaving with a few fun marked down items, most left empty handed. Instead of happy kids getting a free Mickey Balloon on the way out of the store, most left with parents that had just spent the last five minutes yelling at a poor store associate. Obviously store inventory, sale item availability, and pricing decisions are far removed from your average store employee and they never deserve all of the anger directed toward them. Even the “higher ups” present probably have little to do with the ultimate selection processes. But they always seem to be on the receiving end of the brunt of it.
On the plus side, check your favorite eBay reseller this evening and over the next week or two. They probably have some great deals to offer. And hey, the 99% of you who got to sleep in and wouldn’t have been able to visit the store anyway can be happy that you missed absolutely nothing. A positive outcome after all.