Higher merchandise discounts for Disney World hotspots

Walt Disney World has announced a limited-time merchandise discount increase for Annual Passholders to accompany the rEsort room offer from October to December 2022 which also just fell.

From September 14 through October 14, 2022, the merchandise discount for Annual Passholders will temporarily increase from 20% to 30% at Disney-owned and operated locations throughout Walt Disney World.

Now’s your chance to create your “spooky season” look with items from the latest Halloween collections or find that special must-have gift to celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.

For merchandise discounts, each annual pass holder must present a valid AP and government-issued photo ID at the time of purchase to receive the discount. You can even save time at select locations when you scan and pay for items right on your phone using Merchandise Mobile Checkout on the My Disney Experience app.

Walt Disney World cautions that this discount is “personal use only and may not be used for any commercial purpose, including, without limitation, to obtain or purchase any items or services with the intent of reselling such items or services”.

It comes as Disney has recently cracked down on eBay pirates, with many disappearing from the internet without a trace like ghosts under the night sky, presumably heading for international waters where looting and looting are not frowned upon.

In addition, discounts are not valid on certain items, cannot be combined and are subject to change without notice.

Discount is not valid on prior purchases or on purchases of the following (partial list): ticket holders, Disney gift cards, park admission, arcades, tobacco, alcohol, outdoor vending machines, postage stamps, rentals (e.g. strollers, ECV), personalization, Disney PhotoPass purchases, Memory Maker and other photo shoots/packages, original or consignment artwork, some limited editions, expensive luxury brands sold in gift shops…Yada yada yada…and select premium branded items and experiences, such as those offered at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers and Droid Depot packages. The discount is also not valid on telephone, e-mail or mail-order purchases, shipping costs or taxes.

Discount does not apply to Participating Operator locations at Walt Disney World Resort, including but not limited to: China, Japan and Morocco pavilions at World Showcase at Epcot, Arribas Brothers, Basin, Basin White, LEGO Store, Orlando Harley-Davidson, Wyland Galleries, The Disney Store, Disney’s Character Premiere, Disney’s Character Warehouse, Cast Connection and any other locations or kiosks not owned and operated by the owners of Walt Disney World Resort .

For other exclusions, see the official Walt Disney World website here.

On top of that, Cast Members got a discount on their merchandise and now get 50% off for a limited time. So if you suddenly see more college-aged individuals wearing Spirit jerseys and Loungefly bags in the parks…that’s why!

The increase for the CMs started on August 1st. It looks like Walt Disney World started with them and is now extending the most aggressive discounts to annual pass holders in an effort to eliminate excess inventory.

This last part on “excess inventory” may come as a surprise, as we have highlighted the problems caused by supply chain disruptions. If you recall, this was a big deal with the 50th Anniversary merchandise last fall, and why these product collections were released in phases.

It’s also why “new” Christmas merchandise kept arriving well into 2023, and the real explanation for Walt Disney World selling out-of-season buckets of popcorn as part of its Midway Through campaigns. Halloween and holidays during the summer. There was a big problem with reduced capacity or closed manufacturers, limited inventory at factories, and cargo ships that were not allowed to unload at ports. You’ve probably heard about some or all of this on the evening news.

This is all in the past tense because it’s largely not an issue right now. Granted, there are still shortages and delays that could impact the speed and availability of future releases, but that’s not as pronounced an issue as last fall and the holiday season.

On the contrary, we see what is called the whiplash effect in action. For the past two years, retailers could barely keep items in stock due to record consumer spending and supply chain disruptions. This has led to companies rushing to place orders to avoid empty shelves, ordering extras in the hope that there will be delays due to the aforementioned supply chain chaos. These excess orders continued to arrive as consumer spending shifted from goods to services.

In their last two quarterly earnings calls, retailers such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy and more all said they had a glut of inventory due to the bullwhip effect. Some, like Target, have indicated that they will aggressively discount to eliminate this and avoid the carrying costs of overcrowded warehouses.

Disney did not comment on this phenomenon during its quarterly earnings calls, but there is every reason to believe that the gift shops at Walt Disney World and Disneyland are also affected. No offense to Disney, but I can’t fathom their inventory management and ordering systems being any more sophisticated than those used by titans like Target and Walmart. (When in doubt, just assume that Disney uses Windows 95 and the most archaic methods for anything and everything.)

Another contributing factor was inflation-pressured shoppers making less discretionary purchases due to higher gas and grocery prices. As a result, retailers are reporting a sharp increase in inventory levels from a year ago due to a mix of unsold items and easing supply chain delays. This is great news for consumers looking for bargains – deals are now abounding as retailers look to unload excess inventory!

It would be interesting to know if Walt Disney World notices similar trends in consumer behavior. CEO Bob Chapek boasted of a 40% increase in spend per guest over 2019, attributing that to price increases, reduced discounts and pent-up demand. As consumers are increasingly caught off guard, I wonder if some are starting to spend less on things like merchandise as they struggle to afford the “non-optional” elements of travel.

Another contributing factor here could be Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary merchandise, much of which was (how to say diplomatically…) very specific to taste. It’s also possible that customers are less likely to buy “party” items for a birthday they can’t even tell is happening. Maybe it’s just my own bias, but I didn’t feel compelled to buy much from the 50th collections, even the stuff I really liked.

While I don’t mean to “reward” the company for its paltry efforts to recognize Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, the higher discount might be just enough to entice me to spend a little. Plus, there are some great new items for the Country Bear Jamboree, and I feel like it’s my civic duty to purchase them to demonstrate that CBJ is Magic Kingdom’s star attraction. Spending on goods begets more goods begets the return of Country Bear Christmas and Vacation Jamboree (hopefully!).

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Learn more about the hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotel Reviews page. To find out where to eat, read our Walt Disney World restaurant reviews. To save money on tickets or figure out which type to buy, read our tips for saving money on Walt Disney World tickets. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips article takes a unique look at smart on-the-go items. To know what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride guides will help you. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Travel Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

Your thoughts

Will you take advantage of this 30% discount on AP merchandise? Do you think you’ll end up buying more than you otherwise would, or are you just going to save more money on things you would have bought anyway? What do you think of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, Halloween or Christmas merchandise collections? Have you noticed the whiplash effect in action in the stores around you? Do you agree or disagree with my assessment? Questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback – even when you disagree with us – is both interesting for us and helpful for other readers, so share your thoughts below in the comments!

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