I've never been one to collect dolls. If you ask my mother, she'll be the first to tell you how I didn't appreciate my Barbie Dolls (I gave most of them away to my younger cousin when I was a teenager). Looking back, I should have kept more of my dolls. At the very least, I could have sold them on eBay, because I always took great care of my toys.
When I found out Disney Store would be releasing limited edition Disney Princess Designer Dolls, I was intrigued. Right away I was a fan of the concept artwork. They put all the princesses in formal gowns with an old Hollywood elegance.
Originally, Disney Store was releasing one new doll a week. Collectors were in a frenzy, trying to purchase their dolls online, or going in person to a store. The retail value of these dolls is $60, but on eBay you can find these dolls on average for $200 - $400!
Disney decided to release the final 5 dolls all at once. Aurora, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Rapunzel, and Tiana were released in stores yesterday, Monday October 17, 2011. They went on sale online at DisneyStore.com today.
I couldn't see myself spending hundreds of dollars on a doll, but I wanted one of them. So I told myself, if I couldn't buy it from the Disney Store for $60, I wouldn't buy one at all. I thought I'd try to snag a Tiana doll. I loved Belle's dress more, but Tiana is my favorite princess. Since Belle was already sold out, and Tiana went on sale today, I thought I'd try my luck online.
After refreshing the page about a million times, the site finally started working. I was able to get Tiana in my shopping cart, and right at the checkout page, the site CRASH! The page would either go completely white, or give me this lovely image below when I tried to refresh (NOTE: It was well after Noon Eastern).
I was devastated! It wasn't until I got that close to buying it, that I realized I really really wanted that doll. I tried opening a new browser window, and I could still see I had one item in my shopping cart. It wasn't long before the site crashed more and my cart was empty. At this rate, I would never get the doll.
I had my fiancé watch the website while I got ready for work. I was starting to lose hope. It wouldn't have been a major loss, because I'm not a doll collector anyway. But for some reason, I wanted to be one of the 4,000 people to own that doll.
I started following Disney Store on twitter, because they seem to be posting updates about their site maintenance. As soon as I saw the site was back up, I wasted no time to add Tiana to my shopping cart once again, and proceed to the check out window...AND IT WORKED!
I managed to purchase one doll before the site crashed again. It was like I won the lottery! I felt a major sense of pride knowing I wasn't overcharged like so many of the desperate customers on eBay.
After getting the one doll I wanted, I thought about trying to buy another one, so I could sell it on eBay (It was worth a try, people are paying top dollar for these dolls). But the Disney Gods were against me, the site was constantly crashing until it was time for me to head out to work. All five dolls were sold out before I even pulled into the parking lot at work.
Disney Store posted this on their official Facebook Page this afternoon:
All Disney Princess Designer Dolls have now sold out. The popularity of this Limited Edition collection since the first release has been completely unprecedented. We acknowledge that this has been a poor experience for many of you, and we are truly sorry for those of you who were unable to purchase. We value your feedback, and will create a better experience in the future.
I've never been so excited to get a doll in my life. It was one of the most stressful shopping experiences ever.
Releasing these dolls online like this was bound to crash the site. I don't know how they could have avoided the site issues, but Disney should have been more prepared for this. What did they think would happen? I feel bad for those hardcore doll collectors who couldn't purchase the dolls they wanted. But I'm happy to have purchased my piece of Disney history, and I can't wait to get my Princess Tiana doll in the mail.