shopDisney Fails Again with Another Limited Edition Merchandise Release, Allows Bots Placing Hundreds of Orders, and Refuses to Address Security Breach

Jason Diffendal

shopDisney Fails Again with Another Limited Edition Merchandise Release, Allows Bots Placing Hundreds of Orders, and Refuses to Address Security Breach

Jason Diffendal

shopDisney Fails Again with Another Limited Edition Merchandise Release, Allows Bots Placing Hundreds of Orders, and Refuses to Address Security Breach

If you were one of the people trying to add to your Minnie Mouse: The Main Attraction collection this past Saturday, I feel for you. But you should have known what to expect, because shopDisney shows no signs of getting their act together with these online merchandise releases.

If you haven’t been following our trials and tribulations with shopDisney, you can go back and read about the broken site charging people multiple times for April’s Minnie Mouse merchandise release, the Joe Rohde Ear Hat fiasco where the coveted set of ears sold out in seconds thanks to bots scooping up all the inventory before you and I even had a chance, and the May the Fourth disaster where a security breach exposed shoppers’ account information to other users.

After the first two merchandise releases, shopDisney put in place a “virtual waiting room” for the May the Fourth release that we hoped would solve the problem. Unfortunately, it seemed to do nothing at all, and shopDisney tweeted almost two hours after the release time that they were aware of the “aware of the technical issues.” That’s pretty ridiculous, as I was aware of the technical issues right at 10:00 AM when the whole site crashed. That it took them almost two hours to acknowledge is problem is pretty poor customer service, to say the least.

Just when you think things were going to get fixed, it got worse. Thanks to a security breach of some sort, logged-in users were able to see other customers’ account information. A number of customers claimed in the comments section of our article as well as social media that they had seen the account information of other users, and shortly afterward we saw several instances where users received an email that someone else had logged into their account. It is worth nothing that this security breach has still not been addressed by ShopDisney at all. Is it even legal to ignore customers notifying a company of security breaches?

So it was with trepidation that I logged on to shopDisney on Saturday to attempt to purchase some of the Minnie Mouse merch. Before the 10:00 AM ET release, I was greeted with another virtual waiting room message. At least this time, the waiting room was open before the site crashed right at 10AM.


Other than a different graphic, it seemed to me that this virtual waiting room was no different than the one that didn’t work on May the Fourth. After I was able to access the site, I still couldn’t add products to my bag without several attempts, and checkout didn’t work at all.

At 10:29AM, shopDisney tweeted that “due to overwhelming demand” they were having technical difficulties, surprising no one.

Perusing the replies to that tweet shows a plethora of angry shoppers, some of whom spent hours trying to buy this merchandise only to find it sold out.

But what makes the situation worse is that part of the issue with all of these merchandise releases is that automated bots are swooping in, bypassing the waiting room, and placing multiple orders for these items, while us humans are attempting to check out in vain. And the people running the bots are doing it purely to profit by reselling the merchandise on eBay. How do we know this? Because they brag about it all over Twitter.

As a Disney collector, this makes me angry that these people are simply reselling their purchases at inflated prices on eBay, while I can’t even click the checkout button. Note also that access to the bots is restricted and costs money, so the bot makers are getting a windfall at the hands of desperate Disney shoppers. At least when there’s a merchandise release in the parks, I have the option of waking up at 3AM to get in line, and the limit of one or two items is enforced. These people are not only evading the waiting room, they are evading the limits and placing multiple orders with fake accounts to get 4, 6, or more of items that are limited to one per person. This has been going on for over a month now and shopDisney refuses to address the problem, refuses to fix their broken shopping site, knowingly allows bots to place multiple orders, and refuses to accept any accountability or responsibility for all of these problems. In this day and age, hundreds of well-known companies run online shopping sites, and none of them are as bad as shopDisney. In fact, Disney is releasing their Year of the Mouse Mickey Plush series on Amazon, presumably because they know shopDisney can’t handle it.

shopDisney higher-ups must know about these problems, as their tweets get hundreds of replies and complaints. But they refuse to do anything to fix it. Why? I wish I knew. Either it’s gross incompetence, managers who don’t care, or maybe they are actively trying to anger their customers. In any case, this is not a very good way to do business, and certainly not worthy of the Disney brand. Unfortunately, the Walt Disney Company of today continues to show that they are not the same as the Disney I grew up with in the ’80s and ’90s, and that makes me sad.

60 thoughts on “shopDisney Fails Again with Another Limited Edition Merchandise Release, Allows Bots Placing Hundreds of Orders, and Refuses to Address Security Breach”

  1. Jigged is actually a pyramid scheme in that only a few people are running the bots but make it sound like anyone can access them if they pay $75/month. It’s like the guys on Twitter who claim to be rich off a side hustle but all they really do is try to sell people a $20 book from their mother’s basement. Shop Disney is a mess and bots are buying up the stock, for sure, but giving scammers a platform on WDWNT isn’t a great idea.

    • The fact that this has 452 downvotes when like 10 people read their tweet says everything. You are absolutely right. Huge scam.

  2. “Unfortunately, the Walt Disney Company of today continues to show that they are not the same as the Disney I grew up with in the ’80s and ’90s”

    I think that assuming that issues with dealing with shopping-bots reflects a complete transformation of a company’s culture is very silly. Yes, their shopping site has issues and is overwhelmed with customer service issues (especially now, when it’s the only access people have to merchandise). That doesn’t reflect their excellent customer service in other departments.

    • We deal with all departments, it’s not like the service is radically different for other arms of the company. The park websites have all sorts of issues.

  3. really wish we’d ditch the whole limited marketing ploy altogether i don’t buy because its limited i buy because i like the item. also backorder, avaliablility notifications, or wait list options would be nice.


  5. I was charged 6 times this time for the same mug on Saturday and it took me an hour to checkout. I was charged twice in April for that mug and it took 1hr & 45 mins that time to check out.

  6. I totally feel this because I really wanted this months Minnie too, because I am collecting them and with the parks not being open it has been really hard to get them. To the point I was literally crying Saturday morning, because I wasn’t going to be able to buy this months Minnie (at least not from shopdisney)

  7. This is disgusting. It makes me think Disney doesn’t care, it’s all about the money 🤑 for them. What people need to do is not buy the merchandise from the eBay vultures. I know it’s easier to say that sometimes than to actually follow through. Trust me as a Disney fan, I get it when you really want to obtain or collect specific merchandise. But I don’t see it ending unless something is done about it or parks/stores start to reopen again. Or I think Disney fans need to band together and protest Disney somehow, that’s the only way I see Disney company higher-ups maybe finally “taking notice” and doing something about it. 🙅🏼‍♀️

    • I can’t say enough how much this upsets me too! I completely agree that there must be something all of us Disney fans can come together to do.

  8. Looking at an ebay reseller that has sold 88 Minnie Mouse Tiki Plushes and has 10+ left…at 4x the store price. ALL they have to do is limit sales to physical addresses, no PO boxes. If a second, third, or 89th order for an item that’s already been shipped to a physical address comes in, the order is denied. Or just implement any number of anti-bot measures available to retailers.

    • All Disney needs to do is put a bot checker in, but like old Bob proved all he wants is $$$$$, and right now the cash cow is dry with the parks closed, as over 50% of Disney’s revenue comes from the Parks

    • Simple solutions. It makes you wonder who they favor, their fans, or eBay resellers? Why anger loyal customers like that?

  9. This is no different than the lack of maintenance for the Disneyland ticketing site and the Disneyland app. They do little to no maintenance, and sometimes guests are double charged or the purchases go through hours later, after they have sometimes bought another set of tickets or purchased Maxpass again. They rarely offer refunds for those instances.

  10. I love how you complain when it has been proven before WDWNT buys bulk and resells. Another article that offers no proof of a security breach Just bots. You’re only mad you cant resell. Tom and his staff are pathetic

  11. Same thing happened on the UK site. I’m sick of these eBay sellers I just wish people would stop buying from them and then they wouldn’t do it. I’d rather not have something than give scum like that my money.

    • I was left out of Small World collection; I spent more $$$ on eBay, that I could have bought everything I wanted for 3+ more months from Disney. Before you get on me, I had never heard of Bots (my son had to explain), not had I EVER bought on eBay in my life. I am just trying to be a loyal Disney fan who wants the dolls, mug & pins to look at & enjoy! They make me happy, just decorating my specific area in my house with them, & rearranging as I desire, or new months dolls are available. When one eBay seller wanted me to put positive “feedback”, I wanted to ask how they were able to get so many of each item. There is someone, who is already advertising the 6th month items. HOW can they have those already unless an insider?

  12. We had a really strange thing happen to us when we ordered our Disney face masks. When we clicked “order” (or whatever the exact phrase is) at the bottom of the order form the website changed our addresses!! The shipping address changed from Hillside New Jersey to Columbus Ohio, and our billing address added Ohio as the state we live in…in Israel. That’s right, all of the sudden it said Ohio, Israel. So we immediately called after freaking out. The woman who answered was very very sweet and corrected it immediately, however for some reason the system doesn’t allow her to send us any confirmation of the change. So we have no written proof of the correct addresses and now have to wait until mid July to see if we actually get the masks.

  13. It happened in the UK with its release too and we have even less numbers to via for There was no virtual queue just a broken website which didn’t load the stock until it was gone. I know several people who had bags and ears taken from their carts.

  14. Please STOP buying limited edition items on eBay. If no one bought from flippers, they wouldn’t be doing this. ShopDisney has had months to fix the problem. All they have to do is require a captcha to ADD any limited edition items to a cart (one that’s more complex than checking a box). Then create an automated system to cancel shipping multiple LE items to the same address. I hope Disney stores will be open and have June’s LE items.

  15. It was an utter disaster. I was unaware of the previous issues with the shop Disney website. As a tikiphile, I wanted to get the Minnie Mouse plush and the cup to add to our collection. I saw a pending charge on my bank account but after reading other people’s responses it looks like this is a common issue with these. Sadly the Disney corporation doesn’t care about the real people that shell out money for products, visit the parks and go see their movies. It’s a shame that people who wanted to get this for themselves couldn’t.

    • This was my first time doing one of these and it was because I love the Tiki Room ever since my first visit in 1969 I really wanted was the backpack it was in my cart until I hit checkout when I got the sold out message at which time I cancelled my whole order and refuse to spend $300 for it on Ebay.

  16. the best thing you can do is round up all of your disney paraphernalia, sell it at high-profit prices on eBay or some Disney swap site, and then walk away. disney is the drug dealer, and the merch is the fix. you’re just a commodity to them and they couldn’t care less if you’re a super fan or not. your only benefit to them is as a walking dollar sign. your addiction to these limited edition items just fuels your dependence on them. break away!

  17. “Unfortunately, the Walt Disney Company of today continues to show that they are not the same as the Disney I grew up with in the ’80s and ’90s, and that makes me sad.“

    They aren’t. I wish more Disney fans would wake up to this.

  18. I was charged twice and when I called after 2 hour hold’s was told they could not see it. Amex had charges. Called for two days and I was told same thing even though I had a confirmation number and time I checked out but NOT the confirmation email. They were very sorry! This was the second month I had this issue! Once more and I give up! I’m not buying off of eBay again at a 3x inflate price!

  19. Same happened to me was on line for 2 1/2 hours trying to check out..never could so unfortunately I did not get my minnie set for my collection..shame on you Disney..

  20. I get asked on 90% of shopping sites to prove I’m not a bot. It CANT be that complicated to add something like that to shopdisney. It’s just gross negligence all around by Disney. You can’t completely stop the price gouges, but you could make it slightly more inconvenient for them.

  21. What Disney needs to do is put in place the “I’m not a robot” check when you sign in to the site/app. The May Fourth fiasco, I wasn’t able to get in to the app until 6pm and my husband was locked into a waiting room for hours until told sorry you lose.

  22. The whole thing is bizarre as Disney is losing out on money with the current system. They could solve the issue by flooding the website with the item. Everyone who wanted one would get it and then people using the bots would get screwed since no one would buy anything at their over inflated prices. Is there a supply chain issue? Seriously, the whole thing is strange and they could at least restock and screw the resellers that way. Disney wants to make money and selling more would do it so I just don’t get it.

  23. The funny thing, when they redid the site all they did was redo the UI. The backend is ancient technology. Just look at the search option. It is pathetic. This is the only outlet right now to sell their merchandise and they are losing credibility. I don’t think it is just about money since they would sell all their stuff anyways if a bot purchased it or you did. What it is a reflection of is poor investment and lack of vision in 2020 to have a real online shopping infrastructure. At the end, their loyal customers pay the price and begin to shop elsewhere. Very sad. Great article by the way to review the past months experience.

    • Same for the Disneyland ticketing site and app. Patched it and updated the front, but they have not upgraded the actual ticketing system for both.

  24. Disney doesn’t care who buys their merch as long as it gets sold, that’s why the complaints go in one ear and out the other.

  25. I won’t buy if I can’t get it from Disney. That way I’m not supporting crooks! That’s how I think of these sellers. Stop buying from them and then they will go away.

  26. Welcome to the world of sneakers, video game consoles and every other product that is produced in a limited fashion or has a supply chain constraints. Resellers and botting have been an issue for a while.

      • So it’s a bit of a two fold problem. One: bot protection is just a money pit. You do one thing, they find a way around it and that cycle just continues. Two: produce limited products that sell because they are limited in greater numbers just dilutes the limited part and puts you at risk if the product actually flops. Short of uploaded an ID for verification and shipping to only that address, there isn’t much you can do. People have figured out you can just add an apartment number or slightly change their address to get around one per account or shipping address. Raffles are really the only fair way to do drops now, but are still susceptible to cheating in certain ways.

  27. I talked to my dad who is a seasoned network engineer and this is in fact illegal. I reported these “companies” Instagram pages for fraud and I hope others will do so too. It seems like Disney won’t be fixing this problem so it seems like us fans/shoppers have to take things into our own hands. In my opinion they should make more of all these products and release them only in stores with limits to make it up to their shoppers. I’ve been commenting on shop disney posts and some people have the nerve to say that if we’re upset about money getting held “for a few days” we shouldn’t be buying things and that “resellers wait in line too and you’re just bitter”.

  28. They say never attribute malice where incompetence will suffice. But honestly, it does seem whoever runs Disney’s merch REALLY hates their customers. runDisney customers certainly know this well.

  29. I tried to purchase on May 12th the ltd. Edition Nurse pin to give to my daughter who is a R.N. at a local hospital. Website stated there were 3,000 pins limited to 2 per person.. I was logged in before 10 a.m. (7 am pacific) and within 2 minutes the pins were sold out. Now I know why. Karma will get those who take advantage of lining their pockets. Disney needs to address this issue or make 1,000’s more of these items available so the hoarders get stuck with their stock.

  30. What Disney should do is copy what Funko shop did when botters were becoming a problem. Release a link with the keywords for the newly released item but have it link to an item that isn’t selling then update the item to closeout no refunds. Most bots are programmed to just search for keywords but can’t see the actual item, so by the time the botters realize they purchased tons of useless stock it’s too late.

  31. It was a total nightmare. I was at the final page to order and was kicked back out with some sort of glitch. It took me 10 minutes to get back and when I tried to finalize again I kept getting an error message that the payment wouldn’t process. I gave up. Later that night, I noticed a pending charge on my credit card, which disappeared the next day.i went onto ebay and there were 60 pages of merchandise. Unreal!!

  32. Companies are legally obliged to notify customers about data breaches 60 days afterwards. I hate to say it but this might be a thing that Disney will only address under threat of lawsuit

  33. The site is simply AWFUL, but even if they overhauled it people running bots would still clear out the inventory before anyone had a fighting chance. Fact is that big corporations simply don’t care about this enough because they’re still making their buck & they know that people won’t STOP buying Disney products, so there is no real incentive for them to address it. 🤷‍♂️

  34. Trying to get the Tiki House merch was the worst. I don’t see any end in sight and they don’t seem to care about fairness and if their customers get their beloved merch.

  35. YES!! it makes me so infuriated that half of the people buying it are just reselling on eBay. I was so bummed about not getting this, I tried emailing them about doing something with these eBay shoppers and of course all I get is a robot email response saying the item I wanted was sold out. No crap!! Peter pan is my absolute favorite, and if I get beat out by eBay sellers next month I’m gonna be so mad😂

  36. I have never seen a site with so many DOWN votes on every comment. are you guys sure you haven’t been botted. As for sales, Australia doesn’t even get a look in. Tried buying clothing that was a no go (they apparently don’t ship to Aust.) I could get the Rose Gold Minnie ears (i was going to buy them when we got there in October) and an an autograph book but it would have cost me more in postage than both the items were worth. I’ll get the autograph book when we get their NEXT October and my daughter will just have to wait until next Christmas for her ear. By then I might even be able to afford the LoungeFly to match.

  37. All the negativity and down voting here shows how toxic these releases have become. The truth is this is disheartening to see since Disney should be all about the magic. The fact is the shopDisney site is not secure and uses ancient coding. That’s why these hackers are able to get in to the site on the backend and see stock levels and links to items a day before they even release. Why Disney is allowing this to happen on their site is beyond me since this is very illegal. The bot problem will continue though as long as people spend the astronomical prices on eBay or use their services. And you can best believe when the bot services are done they will sell your data to potentially dangerous parties that could leave you compromised so I don’t recommend turning to them. This sucks but if we all let those flippers sit on their stock for too long, they will have to lower prices in order to make some form of their money back, so be patient, be kind to one another, quit being negative, and maybe things with these releases will change. We are all Disney fans at the end of the day and should be a positive community!

  38. Nothing will be done about it. This has been happening in the shoe world for 10 years; people haven’t been able to buy shoes on release day for a DECADE. The shoes sell out the very instant they are released because of all the bots. Bots have destroyed the fashion/shoe industry. It is also the reason reselling sites like StockX and GOAT are flourishing.

  39. Hi! I was trying to do the Amazon-Mickey of the year collection, and I haven’t got lucky in three months, no luck for January (it cost me 100$ on Ebay), no luck on February (It cost me $75), March (I paid $60), when I didn’t have luck with April I gave up with that collection. Instead, with Minnie Mouse Main Attraction I have been very very lucky, fighting for two hours with the webpage but until now I could buy plush/mug/pins that is basically my collection, on April I was lucky enough to buy the funny bag… So I’m not agree with you in that part, Amazon for me was a nightmare, they released the plush also on different days… I feel so sorry for the ones that are collecting the ears because that is sold out between seconds; but for plush is easy to do it, pins are the second more difficult and mugs are the last thing to be sold out. I want Disney Store opens again soon because this collection have been very stressful online.

  40. We had the UK release today of June Minnie Mouse collection. It was horrendous. Nothing loaded on either my phone or laptop until 8:14, by which point the only thing left was the plush and mug. I have been collecting the pins since the beginning but I absolutely refuse to pay 5x the price on Ebay and give them the satisfaction. I think the worst part about all of this is that as a lifelong Disney obsessed fan (I even have my house in Mickey wallpaper) – the experience of these releases and in general of the shopDisney website is really starting to taint the image of the brand for me, and their reluctance to even acknowledge that there is a problem is so disappointing. It’s no longer about creating the best possible guest experience. I sent a lengthy email to Disney head offices today, wether or not they even read it remains to be seen.

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