Monday, August 26, 2013

Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 6 - Shop 'Til You Drop!

Last week's posts shared our journey through Downtown Disney on the day after Thanksgiving. While the park crowds were large but manageable, we weren't quite prepared for Downtown Disney's crowds! Since we stayed off property, we had to drive ourselves to Downtown Disney. The traffic lights at the entrances to the parking lots have signs that tell you if the lots are full. Most of the lots were completely full, so Randy dropped us off and went on to find a spot. Turns out it was crazy far away from where we wanted to be most of the night. (That comes into play later.)

We met our parents and a family friend, Sue, in DTD. Finding parking and then finding them was a bit of a struggle, but it worked out. While we waited, the kids played in the outside Lego building area of the LEGO Creation Center. I, personally, leaned on something while they played as even with a short rest before we went out again, I was tired from the day! Really we all were.

This display in one of the World of Disney Store windows was made of dolls!

Once our crews had joined up, we went to my favorite place to eat: Earl of Sandwich. Don't be scared by the long queue in the restaurant. The place is a well-oiled machine, and even with a crowd ordering and obtaining your food is quick.

From there we shopped a while. We got split up easily by the crowds, so we'd communicate which shop we were heading to, go there together, scatter within that shop, and then find each other before moving on. This proved to be a good method, but we had to be careful that we knew where the kiddos were at all times. They tended to trade adults fairly often, so communication was key.

What we got! We traded Vinylmation in Art of Disney. 

My mom & Sue. My mom loves popcorn, so when
I traded and got the popcorn Vinylmation, I gave
it to her to put on her desk at work. :)
I believe our first stop was Art of Disney where the kids and I traded Vinylmations, and I purchased a new Jim Shore Collectible.  (I try to get one every trip.)  We spent some time ooh'ing and ahh'ing over the ornaments in Disney's Days of Christmas. Mom, Sue, and I visited the Spice & Tea Exchange looking at the flavored salts and sugars. Everyone enjoyed shopping in Once Upon a Toy. You can trade Vinylmations here, so of course, the kids and I stopped to trade.  I too way too much time deciding on a new Disney Dooney & Bourke purse in Tren-D, but it's a big purchase, so my crew was mostly patient with me. Finally we made it into World of Disney Store which has 12 rooms to shop through!

I'm telling you, shopping is goooooood at Downtown Disney! I am a big supporter of looking through shops in the parks quickly, only purchasing small items that can ONLY be found in those shops if they're must-have items, and then doing most/all of your shopping at Downtown Disney.  The World of Disney Store has almost everything the parks have, and you can get a discount by showing your Disney VISA.  I prefer to carry large purchases one evening through Downtown Disney instead of through a whole day at the parks.

The Cable Car Sundae
After World of Disney Store, we felt we needed a moment to recharge and visit before we said our goodbyes.  We stopped at LaRae's and my favorite dessert stop: Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop.  This is another location that the queue looks HUGE in, but it moves quickly. It's worth it to stand in line. LaRae and I split a Cable Car Sundae.

The walk to the West Side and Pleasure Island affords
guests a great view of the Characters in Flight balloon!

Custom Santa Mickey
From there we said goodbye to our parents and Sue and headed to D Street, the Vinylmation store on the West Side. Up until this point we'd been on the opposite end of Downtown Disney in the Marketplace area, so this was a long walk for 5 very tired people. However, DTD is amazing at night! There are bands playing, living statues, and plenty of things to look at on the way. Besides, my family had never been to D Street, and we're all Vinylmation collectors, so I didn't want them to miss it! I found quite a few Vinylmation I'd been looking for, so I spent way too much money. The kids got to pick a Vinylmation and color a page creating their own. We all loved the Vinylmation artwork in the store.  I felt like the non-Vinylmation merchandise area has expanded quite a bit since I was there last.  Also, if you trade Vinylmation here, they have more strict rules: one pick and by picking a number, you are obligated to trade. It's worth it sometimes because rumor has it that the blind box here is often stocked with some variants or chasers.
Custom Snowman Mickey Vinylmation - these
customs were on sale. Most were $500+.

One of my favorite things about D Street is all of the Vinylmation they have on display.  The Park Series are the series I usually collect the most of:
Park 1, 2 & 3 series
Park 4, 5, & 6 series
Park 7, 8, and 9 series on display

Remember how I said Randy had to park a ways away?  Yeah... I could feel every step jolting through my body as we walked to the van.  We were all pushing the limit of tired and borderline cranky, so it was good to get back to our beds for the night.  Sure, we pushed it this day, but it was definitely worth it!

So what about you?  Is Downtown Disney a must-do for your family?  What's your favorite store?

Wednesday we're heading to Epcot! 

1 comment:

  1. We LOVE Earl of Sandwich and you are so right - even if the line is long, it goes quickly! They have great sandwiches at a great price. I love the doll display! I had not seen that one, but we love just window shopping too! The displays are just amazing! Downtown Disney is such a fun place and of course, we wouldn't leave without a stop at Ghirardelli's too! :-)