Monday, March 30, 2020

Frozen 2 Limited Edition Dolls

Before I dive into this post, I have a confession.  The past two weeks, I've been holding my breath.  I wanted to post this recap the following week, but at the same time this was right when things were starting to get really serious.  As the days went on, I was terrified that we'd done something stupid and put ourselves at risk.  Thankfully, none of us have gotten sick (so far) and I feel like it's finally time for me to post this recap.

Just over two weeks ago, Eliot and I embarked on another journey down to the Disney Store in Burlington, MA.  As I mentioned before, we had decided to go down and meet up with my brother Jeremy to purchase the Frozen 2 Limited Edition dolls in person rather than try to get lucky purchasing them online.  With all of the news regarding the coronavirus changing by the minute, it was not a decision any of us took lightly.  We all knew what we could be potentially exposing ourselves to, but getting both of the dolls was really important to me.  Plus, the guys were both on board and wanted to go.  

On March 14th, the Disney Store was releasing Limited Edition "Queen Anna" and "Elsa The Snow Queen" dolls both online and in stores.  Worldwide, there were 8,500 Elsa dolls and 8,000 Anna dolls available.  We'd seen both of the dolls on display in the Burlington store when we went down for the Leap Year Tigger key and the Cinderella key.  They were beautiful with absolutely stunning outfits and details.  (I took pictures of some of the details so you can see- they're so pretty!)  Plus, not only were there the dolls, but if you purchased both of them you also got a free Disney Store Olaf key.  A lot of people are Disney Store key collectors and wanted the Olaf key, but I'm also a doll collector so this was a win-win merchandise release for me.

I don't think I've ever talked about it on here, but dolls have always held a special place in my heart.  My Dad's Mom, my Grammie, collected dolls and gave us a few through the years.  I have a few dolls from Grammie, but I also started to collect pop culture dolls when I was in high school.  I have an impressive collection of both Harry Potter and Twilight Tonner dolls that are worth a lot of money.  They mean a lot and are and priceless to me.  I've tried to collect some of the Disney Store limited edition dolls, but it's always so hard to get them.  We've never gone to the store to try before.  The few times I've tried online, they're sold out before I can even get them into my cart.  So this time, I was prepared to change that by going to the store in person.

Late that Friday night, Eliot and I packed up and took off for Massachusetts.  We'd decided to drive down the night before and to stay in a hotel across the street from the mall.  It was closer, and we realized that we'd get more sleep that way.  (We ended up getting just under 5 hours of sleep rather than only 1-2 hours if we stayed at home.)

Early on Saturday morning (at 5:00 am), our phone alarms went off and we bounced out of bed.  Eliot and I got dressed and packed everything up.  Thankfully, we had brought minimal stuff with us so it was quick.  We were in the elevator at 5:20, out of the hotel at 5:25 and in the mall parking lot at 5:30 where Jeremy was parked waiting for us.  I parked next to him and we talked for a few minutes.

The mall was supposed to open at 6:00 am, but more cars started to pull in.  We saw three women get out of their cars and rush towards the doors.  When the main doors didn't open, they headed to another one.  The three of us decided to gather our stuff and head over to the doors so we'd be ready.  Unfortunately, none of us saw where the women went and they disappeared to.  We assumed that they were also going to the Disney Store because no one walks that quickly into work or to go into the mall to walk.

We parked ourselves outside the main doors with our bags full of things to do and out camp chairs.  It was cold and we stood out like a sore thumb.  Thankfully, a nice older lady came over and asked what we were doing.  After explaining about the dolls and how we'd stayed in a hotel, she walked us over to the "back" mall entrance near security.  Before we knew it, we were inside the still technically closed mall, up the escalator and joining the already formed line outside the Disney Store.

We weren't sure what we were going to be up against with fears of the Coronavirus spreading, but it seemed like we weren't the only ones concerned with getting the dolls.  The three women we'd seen outside were there, along with another group of two women with children.  And the most welcome sight, the mall security guard who was talking to the others in line.  (I was so relieved that he wasn't upset with any of us being there early!)  Eliot, Jeremy and I set up our folding camp chairs and prepared to begin our four hour wait to store opening.  Thankfully, it flew right by...

I noticed that the woman directly ahead of us in line looked familiar.  I'd seen her at a few other key releases and told Eliot that I thought she was one of our mouse ear customers who I also follow on Instagram.  Long story short, after we saw her and her daughter last release, I was positive it was her.  I asked if she was who I thought and she said yes!  Eliot and I then introduced ourselves and said we ran Happily Ever Hatter.  (It really is a small world.)  I spent the next few hours talking to her and the other women ahead of us in line and making friends.  We talked about Disney closing, the Disney Store keys, collecting the dolls, Disney small shops and so much more.  

Time kept flying by.  At 8 am, Eliot and Jeremy left for a few minutes to go downstairs to get us Dunkin Donuts for breakfast.  When the Disney Store cast members arrived around 9:00 am, we talked to one of them (I think she was the store manager) before she opened the store up to go prepare with her staff.  She showed us a photo on her phone of a store in CA that had people lining up at 2:00 am for the dolls and we joked around with her about how dedicated we all were before she went inside.

Eliot and Jeremy packed the chairs up around 9:40 am and before I knew it, it was time to get our numbers.  The cast members gave us the rules and rundown of how it was going to work.  Due to the virus, they had changed their procedures and they were only taking 10 of us inside the store at a time.  They then handed out numbers for both the Anna and Elsa doll separately.  If you wanted both, they stapled the papers together to signify that we'd also get the Olaf key.  We ended up with doll numbers 4, 5, and 6.

Eliot, Jeremy and I were in the first group allowed inside, while waiting in line, I spotted the Jaq and Gus Cinderella mice plushes that I'd spotted the week prior.  I was having a few regrets about not purchasing them, so they somehow ended up in my hands before I was next in line to purchase my dolls.

Eliot and I went to the register together so I could look both sets of dolls over.  He was getting a set in case his mother wanted some.  (She's in California where you would have had to wait in line overnight outside to get them.)  I checked over all of the dolls and was satisfied.  We also purchased my Cinderella mice and a really nice Steamboat Willie tote bag that was a deal with a purchase.

After purchasing the dolls, another cast member was right outside the checkout area to offer us hand wipes.  We all cleaned our hands off.  Then, we grabbed everything and headed out to our cars to drop the dolls off.

Eliot, Jeremy and I went back inside to check out a few more things.  Jeremy headed towards Newbury Comics while Eliot and I went to the Lego Store.  We'd been waffling back and forth about getting the Lego Cinderella Castle set.  Ultimately, I left the choice up to Eliot and he decided we better get it.  It's been out since 2016 so we've been afraid that it would be retiring.  We've been talking about getting it with some of our tax refund money for years.  Luckily, we also got a few freebies because we purchased it when we did.  We also got a little Lego 40th Anniversary Train and a picture frame kit!

Jeremy met back up with us when we were checking out.  He actually had to put our castle in his car because we didn't have room with all of the dolls in my backseat.  (I'm not too worried about it... he'll bring it the next time we see him!)  We air hugged Jeremy goodbye.  He was afraid to give me a hug because I was going to see our parents and Nana the next day.  (Apparently, the girl behind him in line at the Disney Store was coughing her head off the entire time and he was afraid she was sick.)  

Eliot and I drove back over to our hotel to check-out.  We'd asked for a late check-out at noon in case we wanted a quick power nap after getting the dolls.  I was fully awake so we decided to just check-out and get on the road.  After leaving the hotel, Eliot realized he still had Jeremy's Nintendo Switch in his backpack so we called and told him to turn around.  We ended up meeting up at the mall long enough to drop it off.

After that, Eliot and I made our way back up to Maine.  We stopped at the McDonalds in Danvers (across the street from where I got my Alfred Angelo Disney Ariel wedding gown) and got fries and soda as a snack.  Then, we stopped at Michael's in Biddeford to grab a few things in case they closed due to the virus.  Ironically, Eliot's sister Elissa was coming into the store with a friend while we were checking out.  We talked with the girls for a few minutes before hopping back in our car and heading home.  We arrived at our house about 30 minutes later- totally exhausted but happy with our successful Disney Store Frozen doll mission!  

Eliot and I have had fun going down to the Disney Store over the past few weekends to get the dolls and the keys.  It's been really nice to see Jeremy so much.  But, we're glad that we won't have to drive all the way down to Massachusetts again anytime soon- especially with everything going on right now!  I'm relieved that we're all ok and that I can look back at this trip with fond memories.  Now, I just have to find a place in my office to display my new Frozen 2 Anna and Elsa dolls!  °o°

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