If you are anything like me, then you love to save money! Two of my favorite stores recently opened up again in the Orlando area. Read on to learn more!
What is the Character Warehouse?
I will never forget the first time I heard about Disney’s Character Warehouse store located near the parks.
So, what exactly is the Character Warehouse?
The Character Warehouse is a retailer that sells Disney apparel, accessories, plush toys, and other items at a reduced price.
Many of the items have made their way from the parks into the Warehouse.
Additionally, there are items that are still seen at the park being sold at full price whereas they are at the Warehouse significantly discounted.
Prices are much less than full price at the theme parks!
There are two Character Warehouses within the Orlando area.
The first Character Warehouse is located at the Premium Outlets at 8200 Vineland Ave #1252, Orlando, FL 32821.
The store hours are: Monday through Friday: 11 am-7 pm and Saturday and Sundays: 11 am-8 pm.
This is the nearest location to Walt Disney World.
The second Character Warehouse is located at the Orlando International Premium Outlets at: 4969 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819.
Hours are: Monday through Friday: 11 am-7 pm and Saturday and Sundays: 11 am-8 pm.
This location is nearest to Universal Studios.
New System Adapting to Enter Stores
Both Character Warehouses closed back in March 2020 due to the pandemic.
They recently reopened within the last two weeks. However, there is a new set of guidelines for entry.
This past Monday during our visit to Walt Disney World, I took an Uber to the Character Warehouse on Vineland. Here is my experience upon arriving.
I knew that the Warehouse would open at 11 am, but upon hearing so many horror stories of being placed on the virtual waitlist I decided to take my chances and arrive at 10:15 am.
I ordered an Uber from the Riviera (I had just had breakfast at Topolino’s) and for $11.24 and 10 minutes later I had arrived to the outlets around 10:15 am.
To my pleasant service, I was the 14th person to be placed on the virtual list.
The outlet store has a virtual waitlist in place where you check in with a Cast Member upon arrival and then wait to receive a text message to return.
You provide the Cast Member with a phone number and receive the first text message as indicated below.
As it was 10:20 am by the time I had provided my information to pass the time until the store opened at 11 am, I called my mom to say hello and tell her that I had arrived at my favorite store!
At 11 am after they had allowed the first group that had received the second text message, I received the following text message indicating that it was my turn to line up to enter the store.
As with at the parks, face coverings are required. They must have ear loops and cover the nose, mouth, and chin. Neck gaiters, bandanas, and face coverings with valves are not permitted.
One of the differences that I noticed upon entry to the store was how spread out the merchandise was.
In times past, there were many shelves and units filled with merchandise and often times it was a bit difficult to get around the store.
Right away I spotted a handful of merchandise that I had seen both at the Magic Kingdom and at various shops around the parks.
The first item I noticed that was both at the parks and in the Warehouse was the Mix and Match Magnet Set.
Warehouse price: $3.99. Park price: $19.99.
The other items that caught my eye were the Orange Bird and Figment shirts!
At the parks they retail at $59.99. I purchased them at the Warehouse for $19.99. What a deal!
I was able to purchase this Grumpy hat for my father in law (I hope you are not reading this now) for his birthday for $7.99.
For my Goddaughter I purchased this adorable butterfly inspired Minnie ears for $7.99.
Additionally, I purchased this Mickey t-shirt for $7.99.
These adorable Christmas bracelets were $4.99.
A set of the coozies were $3.99. I had to cut them in half for storage space in my suitcase.
These adorable beanies were originally priced at $24.99 and are at the Warehouse for $7.99.
One of the reasons that I love shopping at the Character Warehouse is because of my love for Dooney and Burke purses.
I have definitely taken advantage of purchasing them here as the price drop is amazing!
This purse is selling at the Warehouse for $114.99 regular price of $228.00.
Is It Worth the Trip?
To me it certainly is as it is rare that I purchase souvenirs and merchandise at the parks anymore. I wait until I visit the Warehouse for the amazing prices!
The savings can be quite significant from shopping at the Warehouses rather than at the parks.
Items are first come first served, so just because you may hear that an item made it to the Warehouse does not necessarily mean that it will still be available when you visit.
With the introduction of the virtual queues it can be a bit tricky to say what time of day and week it is best to visit the stores.
I was very lucky to have only waited the time before the store had opened.
However, in the first week that the Warehouse reopened, I had heard of people waiting on the virtual list for up to three hours.
I am also guessing that the popularity was due to the store reopening.
I am eagerly anticipating my next trip to the Character Warehouse! Have you ever shopped at either Warehouses before? What has been your experience? Let us know in the comments on Facebook and in our Facebook group.