Are Disney Outlets WORTH the Time in Line?

So we all know how incredibly cruddy this last year has been, and it’s obvious that stores needed to go with the flow on policies which meant change. Before the Pandemic, I could run to the Disney Outlets and, if lucky to find a parking spot, peruse the store, see if anything had shown up from the Parks I had my eye on, and head home. It was never “simple” because being a Central Floridian is anything but, but it was simple enough for us. That being said, the post covid policies of the Outlets is a bit hairy, and now having been to both of them in a matter of a couple of weeks, I can say there is zero consistency with the two. Say what Amy? Let me explain.

The Character Warehouse located on Vineland, or “near Disney Springs and the big church,” had people line up before 10 a.m. for the opportunity to give your name for a reservation in line. I was in lineT by 9 a.m., gave my name at 10, sat in the Food Court until I was called a little after 11 a.m.. They text your phone to come and get in the queue outside the Store.  The first bunch of people was around 25-28. So in order for you to get in to see the “new stuff” of the day, you have to be in line at this location probably by 8 a.m. or sooner. 

Now, today, I went to their other location at the Outlets located on International Drive. I parked at 8:30 a.m. where I got in line, but this location had TWO lines. One that filled up fast I guess, the one I was in, that was the “first group” to go in.  The second line was the group that had to put their name in for a reservation and were texted when to come back.  It was a bit confusing, but it worked as well.  There was no rhyme or reason to it until around the 11 a.m. mark when the Cast Members started to come out and prep the lines.  By the way, Cast Members at both locations were great and on top of things. Just a bit confusing as I thought it would operate like the other location. What was nice about the first one was that I put my name in, and I could leave the line and walk around or sit at the food court for an hour and not stand in line.  Today I stood in the same spot for over 2 hours. Yes, to shop in an Outlet Store, you can stop shaking your head at me now.

So is it worth it anymore? Depends on your time and what you are hoping to find. If you are looking for something very specific, I don’t think it’s worth it. Probably invest in a Disney Personal Shopper or look to Ebay.  If you have the time to wait, and the patience that you will need with it, then go for it, it’s definitely an experience. But for how long it takes now, if you are here on vacation, choose a non-Park day to enjoy the Outlets so that you aren’t wasting precious Park time.

I have been asked “Is it really that much cheaper?” Yes. Most items seemed to be knocked down anywhere from 50-75% off their original Park price. It’s a great place to grab some cheaper souvenirs for yourself or the friends and family back home.  Clothing especially can be $64.99 marked down to $19.99 – how can you argue with that? You can get three shirts for the price of one in the Parks, and THAT is why they are so popular!

If you have the time for them, check them out, but not worth trading Park time for them. Hope this helps, have a great day!

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