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Disney’s Character Warehouse

There can be no argument; visiting Walt Disney World is expensive. That’s not to say it isn’t worth the price, but most people need to plan and budget and schedule wisely before a visit to Orlando. There are, of course, ways to save money. First, you can stay at one of Disney’s value resorts (or stay off property). At meal time, you can opt for a counter-service restaurant rather than a table-service eatery (or eat off property). And when buying souvenirs you can… You can… Not buy them? That’s probably not an option for most of you. But how can you save money when your kids are begging you for that special Disney souvenir? Disney does offer “Special Values” on a few of their items in the parks and resorts, but the selection is very limited. However, there is another option. Go off property.

Now I’m not talking about the tourist traps that line Highway 192. In most cases, these stores sell items of lesser quality than you would find at Walt Disney World. In addition, these stores do not sell merchandise branded with the words “Walt Disney World” but only with the word “Disney.” What I am talking about are the two Disney’s Character Warehouse stores that Disney operates at the “Premium Outlets” malls nearby. Here you will find entire stores filled with merchandise that was once sold at Walt Disney World. Now these stores might not carry exactly what you’re looking for, but the selection is good.


Disney’s Character Warehouse

Disney’s Character Warehouse

Disney’s Character Warehouse


As with any merchandising company, Disney must liquidate out-of-date items, off sizes, left-overs, hard-to-sell stock, discontinued items, and other articles that can no longer be allowed to take up valuable shelf space in their resorts and parks. And that’s where Disney’s Character Warehouse stores come in. These shops were set up to liquidate this merchandise. There are actually several of these shops in Florida, but my article is primarily about the two in Orlando.

As the sign in the window says, prices can be up to 70% off the original price. Of course, not everything is reduced this much. But good deals can be found throughout the store.


Up to 70% Off


Here’s one example I found. This Christmas Duffy Bear is now out of season so it is being liquidated. Over the holidays he sold for $30. At Disney’s Character Warehouse, he’s now selling for $9.99.


Christmas Duffy Bear

Duffy Price Tag


Disney sells a lot of clothing at Disney’s Character Warehouse. But once again, some of it is out of season. For example, in the spring you might find sweaters and jackets and in the fall, numerous t-shirts. You’ll also find merchandise with last year’s date. But that’s not always the case so check out the entire store.


Out of Date Merchandise


Now this next little tidbit is important, so pay attention. NOT EVERYTHING IN THE STORE IS VALUE PRICED. For example, these Vinylmation figures are the same price at Disney’s Character Warehouse as they are in the parks. But the vast majority of the merchandise has been discounted, so these stores are worth the effort.


Vinylmation


Disney park tickets are also sold at Disney’s Character Warehouse, but once again, these are NOT discounted.

The closest store to Walt Disney World is located at “Orlando Premium Outlets Vineland Avenue mall. The address is:

8200 Vineland Avenue
Suite 1252
Lake Buena Vista


Orlando Premium Outlets Vineland Ave.

Orlando Premium Outlets Vineland Ave


If you don’t have a car, a taxi ride over wouldn’t be too expensive. If you do have a car, getting there is easy. But since directions would vary depending on the resort you’re staying at, I’m not going to give you instructions. Just ask your concierge and they’ll be able to help you out.

A word of warning. The traffic approaching this mall can be horrific at certain times of the year. Bring your patience.

The second Orlando store is located at the north end of International Drive at the “Orlando Premium Outlet” mall. The address is:

4951 International Drive
Suite 95
Orlando


Orlando Premium Outlet

Orlando Premium Outlet


This mall is a little further away and a taxi ride will cost significantly more. I would visit this mall only if you have a car or if you’re a big-time shopper. Although both malls have dozens and dozens of other stores to tempt you, the one on International Drive has additional vendors located at competing malls. There are easily three to four times as many stores in the immediate vicinity.

Note, the merchandise at the two Disney’s Character Warehouse stores is almost identical. There is no need to visit both shops.

There are also Disney Character Warehouse stores in Fort Lauderdale (Sunrise) and Saint Augustine.

If you’re visiting Walt Disney World on a tight schedule, maybe a trip to one of these outlet malls isn’t the best idea. You can easily spend an entire afternoon browsing all of the stores. But if you’re here for a longer stay and want to find a few bargains, then think about the outlet malls and Disney’s Character Warehouse stores.

The previous post in this blog was Gay Days.

The next post in this blog is Storybook Circus - Soft Opening.

Comments (28)

Tracey:

OR you can just shop at your local Disney Store or online BEFORE you go to the parks. The kids will have something Disney to wear in the parks and you will save $$. If you buy before hand the kids will not "want" as much when you get there.

Mary:

Thanks for highlighting these stores Jack! We love visiting both of them. On our recent visit, I was able to buy souvenirs for both of my Preschool classes! (: That was not possible in the parks for 40 children for $60.00. The prices start at $ .99. We have been using these stores for some years. One bit of advice, be aware of the crowds that can be at the outlet malls on Sundays! It can take some time to find a parking space.

Lisa:

I agree with Tracey...for buying Disney Tshirts, I shop the Disney Store or Walmart before going to WDW. I just ordered a bunch of Tshirts online for only about $5/each.

tj mahan:

There is a third Character Premier outlet at the St. Augustine, Fl outlets. Lately they have a lot of DCL merchandise. I have also been to Disney Store outlets in LV, NV and Wisconsin Dells, WS that had sections of Disneyland items.s

margie:

Do these stores have web sites so you can order on line?

Jack's Answer:

No. Sorry.

Louise:

Jack,
While I haven't had the opportunity to visit the outlets in Florida, I have been to the Disney outlet in Las Vegas, NV on 3 separate occasions. I have been able to get many pins priced at a dollar or two for my pin-loving youngest daughter to trade. One year, I found these Haunted Mansion pins that were mummies and goblins with a tassel attached. I thought they were a bit much; but every time my daughter traded that year at Disney World, the cast members were so happy to get a pin they hadn't seen before. I was surprised at the amount of Disney World merchandise in the Vegas outlet, as I initially thought in would all be Disneyland merchandise.
Louise

renee arenas:

I just think they should be running some specials due to all the construction.. went last year and was very dissapointed

Susan:

I've even found merchandise that was still selling in the parks. I bought shirt for $12.50 then saw it in the park for $25. It's a fun place to go especially if you need to bring presents home.

Josh:

hey Jack
If there is one thing that I like, it is saving money. I am glad I know about these shops and will make sure i take time to visit them next time my family and I visit. can't wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

Mike:

Jack:

As always, great information. Also, I'm giving you bonus points for the hidden Mickey dust orbs in the second photograph. Well, let's hope it's just dust. Perhaps one of the happy haunts followed you home.

Jenny Sperandeo:

Hi Jack! Thanks for the great money saving advice. I may just check out one of the outlets next time around.
However, I always budget tons of cash for souvenirs while visiting WDW. There are certain stand bys I have to get every time I visit, like soap from Basin, an updated tee, Disney note pads, character pens, and of course, a new coffee mug for my collection. :) I know, I'm an addict, but a supportive Disney shopper as well...

Marianela:

For more money savings...if you staying at property, take a bus to Downtown Disney and get a taxi there...the outlet in Vineland is almost "across the street" from DD; these help if you are staying in a those resort that are far from DD.

Jack's Comment:

The outlet mall is still a 2-3 miles from Downtown Disney and Hotel Plaza Blvd. I'm not sure I would want to walk it.

Robin from Orlando:

Living in the area, I periodically pop into the Disney Outlets to see what they have.

If you attend a special event at WDW, like Food and Wine or MVMCP, you can usually find whatever they didn't sell a few months later on clearance.

Discounted pins can usually be found as cheap at $2.99. Grab a few pins for trading. Pay attention to the prices on the back, as not all pins are discounted. Occasionally you can get a really good deal on a multipack.

Sometimes you will find overstocks of the same merchandise on sale in the parks.

The Character Warehouses on the west coast which normally carry Disneyland merchandise are run by AMS. I don't know if it's still true, but in the past they had better discounts than the Disney run stores.

AMS periodically lists temporary locations. http://www.ams-liquidation.com/listings.aspx

Candy:

I will be going to Disney next month, and I sure hate to pay the Disney price. Too bad, well maybe they can come up with the idea of a shuttle to and from the part to the warehouse. Boy oh Boy I can save so much.

Larry Margolis:

the problem with the Disney stores in the malls is the limited selection since very little is stocked not related to princesses, Toy Story, Cars or Peter Pan - for anything more than those types of T shirts, these warehouses seem a lot better

Lynette:

We always go to these 2 stores when we visit Disney. If you are looking for adult clothes they do have tons! If you are looking for something specific you found in the park for your kids this is not the place to try and find it at a discount. Most items only come in 1 or 2 sizes. 2 Years ago we found the sleeping beauty costume for our daughter and they only had 2 sizes, we only paid 12.99, while in the park they were 59.00. This is the place if you have time to look for a bargain and not on a time crunch, we are true bargain hunter! We also buy the pins that are really clearanced and use them to trade in the park since my kids are not attached to them.

Sue:

Thanks for the great article! They have redone the LBV outlet since my last visit there. It looks a lot better now. I rarely go to that outlet because the traffic is horrendous and so is parking! Besides, I have a Disney outlet where I live. If you are driving on I-95 to Disney stop at St. Augustine, exit 311 (I think), and visit the outlet mall on the east side of the interstate for my Disney outlet. Less traffic and lots of parking!

Dan:

I've been to the Vineland one, great way to pick up trader vinyls. Thanks for letting me know the I-Drive and Vineland ones have the same merchandise. Saves me the trip.

Kelly M:

This is a great blog Jack as I love the Character Warehouse!
Having had a few friends who have younger kids, I picked up some boys tshirts, in blue, with a classic Mickey and 'Walt Disney World' on...for $3.99!! The tshirt I bought for a 4 year old in park was $18 (didnt have his size in the Warehouse).
Everyone loved them.
For me a visit is highly recommended and this is great for holiday items too. I also picked up some great pet items when they were all vanished from Downtown Disney.
Worth a note that the items come in the same WDW bags you would get in park too and the staff are always happy to provide a few extra bags to give the gifts in.

Mark D:

Jack, Great info as always! What is the selection of pins like? Are the pins sold at a discount?

Jack's Answer:

Like everything else in the store, the collection of pins is constantly changing. For a "true collector" of pins, I doubt that they would find much of interest here. But for the casual collector, they might find a few good buys as many of the pins are sold at a discount.

Great blog again, Jack!

I guess I'm in the minority here. We (myself, my wife, my sister and her two kids - ages 12 & 14) spent 8 days at the world in August 2010. Our total expenditure on souvenirs amounted to $0.00. And nobody missed them! We took tons of photos in the parks and the resort, and bought Disney shirts to wear in the parks beforehand.

Heck - the kids didn't really even ask for souvenirs! Again, maybe I'm in the minority here, but souvenirs weren't really a concern for us.

Brian M:

It's worth noting the Vineland Ave. location (which is the one I always visit) is usually open until 11:00 p.m. We usually head over after the parks have closed and we've eaten dinner.

FYI - on my Summer 2011 visit to Disneyland we sought out the outlet nearest to DLR. It was a bizarre mix of poor selection and quality. Very little actual clearance merchandise from the parks. In fact a lot of non-Disney merchandise. Nothing at all like the Orlando vicinity stores, which I think are superb and worth the trip.

Jack's Comment:

The stores in California are not owned or run by Disney. An outside company purchases Disney's out-of-stock and outdated items and resells them. This is probably why you saw such a discrepancy in merchandise.

Everett Stephens:

I've been a fan of the outlets for quite a while, I am more than happy to work thru the racks to save BIG $$$$ over buying in the parks. We visit one of both each visit and often have come home with some real finds- it can be challenging to find a particular style that fits everyone, but always worth the visit.

In contrast the Character Outlet near DL/Anaheim is almost worthless. Unlike the two stores in Orlando that are ran by Disney, it is contracted out and the selection is mediocre at best, and sometimes challenging to find any significant collection of true Disneyana, even DL stuff.

Shop on!

Sara:

I buy small items and T shirts from the Disney Store at home and pack them with us. Each morning as we are ready to head out from our hotel Mom (me) always forgets something. I pull the Oh you guys head downstairs and I will be right back. I run into the room and pull out a small item and place it on the dresser with a note. When we get back to the room the kids are so surprised that Mickey, a Princess or Fairy left a surprise. Now my girls are 10 and 11 and love looking into the gift shops and once in awhile we let them get something but they are usually excited to see what has been left behind in the room at the end of the day. Last year Target had great Disney themed T shirts and jewelry. The younger ones will think their token was magical. My girls do the pin trading and once in awhile I will buy them a new pin on the Disney Store website under theme park merchandise. They are a perfect pack and take item.

Elizabeth Goodman:

Jack, Thanks for letting us know about these. I knew these stores existed, but because we usually fly, have never tried to visit one of them. They sound like an interesting place to check out the merchandise. I'll try to check one out next time we drive down.

Penny from Vermont:

Dear Jack,

Thank you for this information. You are so good at what you do!
Instead of Disney World and the Flower and Garden Festival this year, I am going to California and sneak in a few days in Disneyland. I had wondered if Disneyland had outlets but from the comments I have read, it will not be worth it to seek them out.

Susan :

There is a Disney Character Warehouse also located at the Miromar Outlets in Estero, FL, near Fort Myers. Happy shopping!

stephanie:

Forgot to mention cheaper transportation option for those without a car. When staying on disney property you have lynx bus option. Go to downtown disney marketplace on disney resort bus and go to and walk through downtown disney to toystore where you can exit marketplace and use crosswalk you can take lynx bus 50 to sea world get off catch the 8 bus it will take you premium outlet and then if you want to hit the other premmium you can catch either the 8 or 42 to premium outlet on vineland. If you make it an all day trip an all day lynx pass is 4-4.50 per which can be purchase on the bus its good all day. Kids are youth prices. Then when you want downtown disney from premium from vineland international dr just hop on bus 8 get off sea world then from sea world side cross the street hop on the 50 bus at the Renaissance hotel head back to downtown disney then go to your disney value moderate or deluxe resorts from there. Great for spending a day in Orlando out the parks. Me and my family use lynx all the time when Orlando. Google lynx Orlando bus and check their websites they have lynx buses go to and from airport and Amtrak station. If you pack light you can use the bus system if you just go on a single trip ride its 2.00 but if connection to another ask for transfer pass when boarding to get the connection bus.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 12, 2012 7:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Gay Days.

The next post in this blog is Storybook Circus - Soft Opening.

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