Disney Character Warehouse and The Disney Store
Two separate topics today – first, the Disney Character Warehouse
A company by the name of AMS Liquidation runs some outlet stores under the name Disney Character Warehouse. I’ve mentioned them in the Beardall’s Guide to the Disneyland Resort (see pages link), but not in great detail. The best I’ve been able to determine, the way these folks operate is this: Imagine that a retail store at Disneyland or Disneyworld has extra stock. That store sells off boxes of their stuff to the AMS folks. This company then distributes that among their several stores. Most of the time, that merchandise ends up being the old stock – such as a stuffed animal or t-shirt that has “2006” on it, or a holiday themed item that’s time has past. Sometimes though, it seems that one store might have overstock, and sell to the AMS people. So they end up receiving current merchandise that is still available in other Disneyland stores — just not at the particular store that gave up their extra stock. Recently at the Salt Lake City location they had recently received a huge Christmas themed shipment, and I picked up some current merchandise of that nature that I later saw on our winter pilgrimage to the park.
If you are interested in a deal, they are worth keeping an eye on, and if one comes to your town, check them out. Keep in mind that if you spend $100, they will give you a card that is good for 10% off at future visits ($250 gets you 15%). We have combined purchases for several family members, and easily obtained that discount card.
Second, the Disney Store
We used to have a couple of Disney Stores around here. During the 90’s, they were especially big and did a lot of business. Then the merchandise line started changing to more kids, and more generic items; less for adults or collectors. Business started falling, and the Disney company began closing them until they finally sold out the few remaining stores and the brand name to The Children’s Place. In the closing of the stores, we lost all the locations near us. In fact, the closest one we could find was in Arvada Colorado, a good eight-hour drive.
I was recently on a business trip to San Francisco, and was ecstatic to find that my company trade show coordinator had put me in the St Francis hotel, which unbeknownst to me until I got there, was directly across the street from The Disney Store (a special thanks and shout out to Christy! Though in actuality, I don’t think she knew it was there either).
It was one of the classic stores, decorated when the Disney company was in charge and was building them with real pixie-dust. I was so excited (and such a Disney nerd), that half of the photos I took of that trip were just of the inside and outside of that store.
Now yes, the actual content of the products they were selling were nothing special. I could buy most of it here at home at Target or one of the “-Mart” stores. The rest of the products I could buy online at disneyshopping.com. But this store at least had the feeling and brought the excitement to me momentarily! And getting lost in the feeling and excitement is a big part of what the Disney magic feeling is all about.
So a few weeks ago, they finished building a new Disney Store in the mall here. It will be sandwiched in-between “The Children’s Place” and “Build-a-Bear” so it has good company. In fact, that little corner of the mall will kind of seem like a part of “Downtown Disney” with that combination of businesses together. They have just opened, and from the looks of the crowds inside have been very well received! But the decor is not as magical. In fact, it is only a slight notch above the standard retail look, in my opinion. It misses the magic a bit.
But no matter, the Disney company knows they have me and my family hooked. We’ll spend a few dollars here and there, and enough others like us will spend some to, that we’ll keep the place open and make business worthwhile.