Beginning this week, the Easter Bunny's helpers hop into high gear at Walt Disney World resorts, preparing for the holiday on Sunday.
Guests at each hotel will be able to purchase pre-made Easter baskets -- or they can customize their own. The pre-made baskets are themed to pirates, princesses and Mickey Mouse, and they are priced to match customers' expectations at each resort. For example, Easter baskets at the Grand Floridian, a deluxe resort, usually are created with more extravagant items than, say, Port Orleans.
For Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, where I spotted the baskets, the price range for pre-made products was $40 to $50 each. For that price, here's what the child receives:
Pirate basket: pirate sword, spyglass, pirate hook, eye patch and earring, chocolate coins, Mickey and Pals gummies, Easter rice krispy treat, pirate gun with light and sound.
To get the ball rolling, a guest visits the hotel gift shop and either orders a pre-made basket or selects items in the store for a customized basket. Pricing for customized baskets begins with $7 plus tax, which covers the basket, grass, bow, shrink wrap and labor. All baskets are white and all grass is green. However, guests can choose the bow color -- pink, yellow, blue, purple. Then, it's up to the guest to determine the price, which is simply the additional total of the items purchased to go in the basket.
Some of the most popular items to include are plush -- Easter egg Minnie or Easter egg Mickey or Thumper -- and candy, of course. In addition to the wide selection of Disney candy and holiday-themed rice krispy treats already for sale, basket makers will also have traditional Easter candy, such as Peeps, Cadbury eggs and hollow chocolate bunnies.
So what are some of the more creative baskets they've seen over the years? A water-themed basket that featured goggles, beach toys and a swimsuit for the pool-loving child and a basket with a Disney Dooney & Bourke bag as its centerpiece for one lucky wife.
Disney cast members will be taking orders and creating baskets all week -- right up until Easter morning. In fact, the gift shop stays open until 11 p.m. on Saturday and reopens at 6:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning at Caribbean Beach.
"Saturday night is when panic hits and we do most baskets. We do a few on Easter morning, too" said Summer Figueroa, retail guest service manager at the Caribbean Beach resort.
Gift shops at the hotels will store the baskets, if guests prefer, because it's difficult to hide them in rooms ahead of time from curious little ones. At the Grand Floridian and Animal Kingdom Lodge, cast members will even deliver the baskets to the rooms.
The previous post in this blog was Disney author Ridley Pearson shares what's coming next in 'Kingdom Keepers' series.
The next post in this blog is Tips to keep kids happy while waiting in line at Disney World.