I’m not writing this to brag, I just feel like I have to share that not all experiences were awful. First of all I wasn’t even sure I was going to participate, but when I heard the event at Once Upon a Toy at Disney Springs outside Orlando was no longer a $50 ticketed event I decided to drive up after work. I arrived about 11:30 and was ushered into the last of four separate lines. There was already a ton of people there, but I had driven 45 minutes so I was committed.
It was hot and it wasn’t long before Disney cast members came around passing out free mini icees to the crowd. They did this several times throughout the wait, not just once. I got to wait in line with some pretty awesome Star Wars fans and we got to talk and hang out. The cast members working the lines were awesome and super patient. There were games and prizes for kids. Disney knows a thing or two about handling crowds and lines.
After midnight they let about 20 or 30 people into the store at a time. At 2am after a 2 and a half hour wait (longer than I would wait for any ride at the park) I was finally at the front of line number 1. I started chatting up the cast member working the ropes. According to her clicker there were 467 people admitted into the store ahead of me. I was guest 468 and there were atleast 100 more people behind me in line. She assured us that virtually nothing was sold out because they had 50 pallets of merchandise. Anything that appeared sold out would probably be restocked the next day. There were also 30 theme park exclusives that could only be purchased on Disney property and that yes, they were honoring the Annual Passholder Discount. Finally it was my turn to enter.
Despite not expecting to get a BB-8, and not really being able to afford one, I was shocked they still had a 6’ wall stuffed with them. It hurt to pass this up. Instead I went for the action figures. Phasma and Rey for my daughter, Kylo Ren for my son. I bought a nice theme park exclusive t shirt for my wife.
And the limited edition Kylo Ren Magicband for myself.
From what I could tell the only things sold out by that point were a few of the 6” Black Series figures. Only Rey, Finn, and Chewbacca were left. The only thing I left disappointed at not getting was a toy Kylo Ren lightsaber. The store was only carrying the premium ones. Lucky for me my wife picked one up for me at a Target around 5 this afternoon.
All in all it was an awesome experience and I give Disney and its hardworking cast members kudos for making it memorable and fun.