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Keeping your hands free with theme parks' package check services

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Published: October 26, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Tomorrow on Theme Park Insider I'll take you on a photo tour of the new Disney Gallery, located in the Bank of Main Street building at Disneyland. But for now, I want to remind readers about a handy service offered by several stores at the Disneyland Resort.

What does that have to do with the Disney Gallery? Well, that's where I blew most of the cash from my Birthday Fun Card. Since my birthday fell on a day not blocked out by my annual pass, I didn't need the free admission offered by Disney. So I got to choose from three options:

  • A Fastpass for everyone in my group (up to five people) for each of the rides at Disneyland which offers FastPass
  • A free one-day, one-park ticket good for any day between now and my next birthday
  • A $72 Birthday Fun Card, good for merchandise, photos, guided tours or an annual pass upgrade.

I chose the Fun Card. (Why? I didn't want the ticket, since I visit the park enough on the days when my AP gets me in. I thought about the FastPasses, but figured that we'd be able to ride all we wanted to ride without them. Why give up $72 in Disney stuff to save an hour or so to ride a few extra C- and D-tickets?)

I suspect that many people have selected the Fun Card and used it for annual pass upgrades, potentially allowing tens of thousands of SoCal Select annual passholders to upgrade to the Southern California AP (which also get you in the parks most Sundays). This way, the "get in on your birthday free" promotion turns into a "get in free on Sundays for the next 12 months" for thousands of Disneyland Resort visitors, driving Disneyland attendance through the roof (and even bumping up California Adventure attendance from what it would have been, too).

Remember that when the TEA/ERA annual attendance report comes out next spring, and Disneyland Park has added more new visits in 2009 than any other theme park in the country.

Anyway, back to the Gallery. That's where I found lovely matted attraction posters from some of my favorite attractions. At $35 each, I could afford two. And if you can't guess which two I selected, well, allow me to suggest that you haven't been reading this site very long.... ;-)

Also, for recently renewing my annual pass, Disney sent me a 20%-off coupon for any merchandise purchase over $50. I used that here, to take care of the tax and knock my total purchase price for the matted posters to $60.90. (I later bought a box of Disney dark chocolates for $10.95, bringing my total spent on the $72 card to $71.85. How's that for coming close to the price without going over, Mr. Barker?)

So now I had two coveted posters, and a half hour until I could use my FastPasses for Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. I didn't want to haul my nice posters around the park. What could I do?

I knew, but the cast members at the gallery didn't hesitate to make the suggestion anyway: Just take your bag to the Newsstand shop, next to the front gate, and check the posters there.

Disney offers package check service at Newsstand, Star Trader (in Tomorrowland) and Pioneer Mercantile (in Frontierland). Just hand over your packages, show your receipt and fill out a short form. The CM will hand back a copy of your form and store your stuff until an hour after the park closes. You pick up your packages at the same location simply by showing the copy of the form that you were given.

(If you forget to pick up your packages, Disney will ship them to address you put on the form, though it'll be at your expense.)

You can't use the package check as a free locker service - Disney wants to see the receipts for what you are storing. (Though, frankly, if you quietly slipped in your jacket with your just-bought T-shirts, I don't think anyone would care.) No storing leftovers from the Blue Bayou, either. Disney won't accept food in package check.

So, with my hands now free, the kids and I hit our final two rides of the day, stopping for a moment on our way out of the park to pick up the goodies I'd quickly and conveniently stashed right there.

Disneyland attraction posters

Readers' Opinions

From Steven Lee on October 26, 2009 at 3:17 PM
Great looking posters and bonus points for the chocolates!

Many parks offer this great service. One thing I was surprised at in June when I visited Disneyland and California Adventures was the fact that you had to take the package to the front of the park yourself. Why don't they offer pick-up from the store? I know Dollywood has offered "Package Pick-up" for many years now. When you purchase any item at a store you leave the package with them fill out two slips of paper and take one and claim your package at the front of the park on your way out right next to the turnstiles. Usually during the summer (when they close at 8) the last pick-up is around 5 to 6. Its a great benefit because you don't have to physically take your package all the way to the front of the park. You just purchase and the park goes around and pick up the packages three times each day from the stores and its waiting for you in a dry climate controlled building near the exit. Very convenient!

From 72.171.0.141 on October 26, 2009 at 6:58 PM
Package delivery to the hotel is one of the best perks of staying on property at Disney World. The only place I wouldn't opt for that would be at the campground because taking the bus to the package pick up building takes about an hour (or more) round trip depending on where you are in the campground.

I once forgot something that I had delivered to the front of the park at SeaWorld before and they mailed it to me for free.

From 4.36.109.30 on October 27, 2009 at 6:38 AM
It's also true at Universal Orlando that if you win one of those big huge stuffed animal prizes in the games, you can take it into any gift shop and have it hauled to the front of the park for you so you don't have to haul Scooby Doo around all day, buy him a meal, and get him his own seat on Dueling Dragons! I suspect other parks with big-prize games have a similar plan for dealing with those things. At UO, you can have your purchases sent to the front of the park at time of purchase, or at any gift shop. They will also ship those smaller prizes if you have a handful of them, along with any of the big stuffed animals or your purchased souvinirs.
From Mitchell Botwin on October 27, 2009 at 8:34 AM
In Disney World we always used package pickup. You buy the items, fill out the form and have it sent to the front of the park. As you leave you swing by and pick up your selections. The only limit was that you had to leave a 3 hour window for the packages to get to the front.
From 130.127.255.239 on October 27, 2009 at 11:01 PM
Are those posters available anywhere online? For DL or WDW?

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