Monday, August 3, 2015

Disney Designer Goods

I like to shop.  I like nice things.  I love Disney!  When all three of these are combined, it’s like a match made in heaven for me.  And herein lies the problem.  Disney has joint ventures with many of my very favorite designer brands, and I don’t know how to say “No!” to any of them!   I’ve become quite infatuated, and maybe a little obsessed, with collecting and searching out these objects of my affection.  I’ll give you all a brief primer on the easiest places to find, and the best way to choose all of my favorite Disney designer goods!
Disney Pandora Bracelet

Pandora, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  When Pandora and Disney announced their partnership last year I seriously planned an entire Walt Disney World vacation to coincide with the release date.  I had been collecting Pandora for a while, but I was Mickey and Minnie-less until this happened.  The announcement created quite a frenzy amongst hard core Pandora and Disney fans alike.  The park exclusives sold out resort wide almost immediately on release day.  Many weren’t back in stock for months.  I’ve learned that I don’t have to book a Disney vacation to get the park exclusives (but I certainly wouldn’t discourage it, either!) as there are other ways to get those coveted charms.  DisneyStore.com will usually have availability on release day, at least for as long as stock exists.  There are personal shoppers that specialize in Disney park merchandise that will pick them up for you for a fee.  One of the best ways I have found to get my hands on the hard to find cuties are through Facebook groups.  By doing a simple FB search, you’ll find Pandora groups that will do in park pick-ups for good standing members (pay with your PayPal account) and will only charge you shipping on top of the actual retail costs.

If you are in the parks, the best location for Pandora is Uptown Jewelers on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.  Early this year, a Pandora Boutique opened with this store and has been fairly well stocked each time there have been more designs released.  World of Disney at Downtown Disney also has a great selection available.  Stock varies from location to location, and each time I return to WDW more and more locations are carrying the Pandora merchandise including rings, necklaces and earrings.

Dooney & Bourke Haunted Mansion Smith Bag.  Say those words to a Disney Dooney collector and you will get a serious reaction.
Haunted Mansion Smith Bag
This was THE BAG.  The Holy-est of Holy Grails.  Seriously.  This bag was selling on eBay for well over $1,500 (it retailed at release for $330), and people were glad to pay it.  The bag was originally released in 2013 on Friday the 13th, and it almost immediately sold out.  Speculation on whether it was returning or not only created more frenzy.  It was truly insane the things people would do to get this bag.  I saw a woman sell the one she had to fund her kitchen remodel…my hand to God!

The madness has eased in the past few months with more of the Haunted Mansion and other patterns being released.  There are at least 6-8 new pattern releases a year, and each release creates its own little bit of mania.  Food & Wine Festival usually gets a new pattern release, as well as each runDisney race.  They’re all beauties in their own right.  Each pattern usually has a crossbody, a wristlet and either a satchel or a tote, to suit a variety of tastes amongst users.

The best selection of bags can be found at The Co-op and World of Disney at Downtown Disney and Mouse Gear in Epcot.  Inventory is available around many other locations in the parks and resort hotels, but these locations are my usual ‘go to spots’ when I’m looking for something new.  Again, many of these bags are available online through Disneystore.com or by personal shopper if you’re unable to visit the parks yourself.

Vera Bradley bags and Alex & Ani bracelets.  I stumbled upon both of these accidentally.  I knew Vera Bradley and the soft quilted bags, but I never bought one.  They weren’t my style...I thought.  And then I saw them in World of Disney while shopping one afternoon.  Boom.  Hooked!  Just like that.  I left the store with three pieces of the collection that day—a hipster, a tote and a zip ID wallet.  The collection has only grown from there and I use them daily.  Or at least very frequently.  I love them!  And I can throw them in the wash when they need a little TLC—they wear like iron!  I find the Vera Bradley in the same locations as Dooney & Bourke plus most resort hotel gift shops.

Alex & Ani Bracelets
I was looking through the Disney Parks Blog one day and saw an announcement of a partnership Alex & Ani and Disney.  Cute stuff, and made in the US.  Cool.  During my next trip to World of Disney, I saw a long line at the jewelry case and decided to see what everyone was in line to see.  It was the new A & A collection.  You know what happened next, right?  A & A bracelets are like potato chips—you can’t have just one.  I bought 8 that trip.  I love wearing them all together in a ‘stack.'  My daily stack may include a few of those from the original 8, or one or 2 of the nearly dozen Disney A&A I’ve bought since.  Princesses, Mickey and Minnie, Park Icons.  I love them all!  The Emporium in the Magic Kingdom and MouseGear in Epcot always have a great selection of the current A&A offerings with new designs being released fairly regularly throughout the year.
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Many of you probably think I’m insane with my collecting, and you’re probably right.  But if a little trinket or bauble or bag can bring a smile to my face or brighten my mood on a gloomy day just by reminding me of my little happy place in the Sunshine State, then I say why not?  Money can’t buy happiness, but……..wait.  In this case, it most certainly can.

Mary Ann

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