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|Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, editor|
The Day After Christmas Sale, DCA Event Notes and a Monorail Contest Update
I've spent quite a few years working in retail stores on the Day After Christmas. You know what it's like - crowds of people, pushing and shoving to get to the 50% off wrapping paper. Long Lines, Short Tempers. Ugh - once again let me count my blessings that I am NOT doing THAT anymore! Finding myself on the other side of the cash register after all those years, I decided to check out the After Christmas Sale at Disneyland. Yeah, so I'm a sucker for punishment. It had to be done.
On the 26th of December, Disneyland puts most of it's holiday merchandise on sale for at up to 50% off. The scene looks like every shopping mall in America: People line up early and rush the stores at opening to get the best selection.
The two most obvious targets are the China Closet on Main Street and the Christmas Shop in New Orleans Square. These two shops set up additional cash registers to help handle the traffic. Even with the added help, the lines were still loooonng.
So, what was all the fuss about? Were the deals so great? Well, honestly... I think it depends on what you were looking for. A LOT of the merchandise still left was the merchandise that had not sold during the season anyway. The Minnie Angel collection had not done very well, and so lots of it was available. The same held true with many of the ornaments - some of them were just not attractive. Even at 50% off, some collections just sat there. Plush Abounds, even days later. The Choir Angel Set is widely available, as are the Pooh and Friends Snow Plushes.
Of course, there were some great deals. Thanks to the problems with the distribution center, a lot of previously sold out and even brand new items flooded the park on the 23rd and 24th. Lucky shoppers were able to get some great prices on very hard to find items. Even yesterday, new items were being brought to the floor. One stock person told me that she didn't know what all of the fuss had been on Tuesday - she thought the selection was pretty much the same three days later.
There are people who make an annual trek out of this sale. If you're already planning your strategy for next year, here are some hints:
1) Try to make a visit to the park on between the 23rd and Christmas Day to check out what you want and what stores have a lot of it. No sense in getting up early if there really isn't anything you want!
2) AVOID Package Express if at all possible, and make a trip to the car with your purchases. This is the one time of the year that Package Express does NOT save you time or frustration. Their poor stockroom is just not large enough for the flood of packages they get on the 26th. The line just to get your packages can be 30 minutes long, and that's IF they can find them quickly.
If you must use Package Express, plan to pick up your packages at the earliest possible time and take them to your car. Trust Me - you do not want to be trying to retrieve packages at park closing.
3) Try alternate locations. While the China Closet and the Christmas Shop are the obvious places to start, there are dozens of locations in the park which carry Holiday merchandise as well.
The Gag Factory is the most overlooked location, and has a great selection or ornaments. Star Trader and Pioneer Mercantile are both good places to look for Holiday Plush. You can even skip the park entirely and shop at Tinker Bell's Treasures at the Disneyland Hotel.
If you are interested in any of the items I've discussed above, just drop me a note at this link. As with all clearance sales, selection changes moment to moment!
One little note about the DCA Sneak Preview Event - it appears that the "Park Challenge" is not Team Based, although you can work as a team if you like. You'll be given sheets for each "area", containing questions and other trivia. As you turn in each sheet, you will get a Button for your efforts - NOT a pin, a button.
I'd like to thank everyone who entered our Monorail Contest. We are still reviewing the entries, and will announce the winner on TUESDAY! Sorry for the delay. Once you see how great these are, you'll understand why we're having such a hard time determining the winner!
Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix is the super-shopper behind MouseShoppe, your personal and unofficial shopping service for the Disneyland Resort, and the owner of CharmingShoppe, a Disney collectibles store located in Anaheim.
In addition to scouring the park to find you the latest and greatest merchandise, she keeps you updated on all of the merchandise events happening in the parks.
If you want to talk to her about this column, merchandise, or events, contact her here.
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