Monday, November 10, 2014

The Quest for the Haunted Mansion Dooney

If you read this blog, you know that I love handbags of all kinds, but I especially love quirky handbags. I also love Disney, so when Disney teamed up with handbag maker Dooney & Bourke, to make a Disneyland/Walt Disney World handbag, I bought it immediately to celebrate completion of a Disney half-marathon (This was before they started making limited editions for Disney races). 

Over the years, I've purchased a few, mostly to celebrate an accomplishment of milestone, and I've always paid below retail using a Disney Annual Pass discount. If not mine, then a friend's. I knew bags were sold on eBay, but I had already gotten mine so I didn't pay attention. 

Last fall, Disney came out with the holy grail of Dooney & Bourke bags, the Haunted Mansion "Smith" bag (photo above). The original bags had red lining. Immediately Disney sold out on both coasts and online. I wasn't able to secure a bag through the usual means, which shocked me, because I am very good at getting Disney merchandise when I want it. I was even able to secure Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary merchandise, like the Shag bracelet, the Haunted Mansion plates and the Jim Shore Hitchhiking Ghosts light up statue - without buying on the secondary market or going to the 40th Anniversary event. 

Fans begged for more Haunted Mansion bags in 2013, so Disney & Dooney released more - a batch was also put online on Christmas Eve. But that wasn't enough. And now Disney & Dooney are back this fall with not only the Smith bag, but four other Haunted bags, and they are sold out as I write this in October 2014. 

But Disney has said they will release more. So I've compiled everything I know about the Haunted Mansion Dooney & Bourke bags in this post to help you in your search. 

Here are the options to acquire a Haunted Mansion bag as I know them:

1) Directly from Disney

This is always my preferred option because it's the cheapest and most reliable when it works. 

There are three ways to do this:
1) Disneyland - The bags are sold in "Vault 28" in Disneyland's Downtown Disney, inside Disneyland at "Elias & Company" on Main Street near the Emporium and at "Pieces of Eight" in New Orleans Square. (They made be sold elsewhere, this is what Dland merchandise confirmed by phone)
2) Walt Disney World - The bags are sold in the Magic Kingdom near the Haunted Mansion at "Memento Mori"; in Downtown Disney at World of Disney; at the Grand Floridian Hotel shop called Summer Lace; at Keystone Clothiers in Hollywood Studios. They must be sold somewhere in Epcot, but Disney merchandise could not confirm that for me. 
3) Disney Store Online - the bags are usually released really late at night; the best thing to do is watch message boards or to keep trying. I've provided the links to the bags below to make your online stalking easier.

Tip: Call the merchandise line 877-560-6477, menu option 1, during business hours and ask questions. They cannot sell you a bag at the time that I wrote this. They can tell you if there are any bags in the park, which bags they are and which stores. Of course, the bags could sell out before you arrive, if you are not already in the park. 

Advantages: Best price by far; If you get it in a park, you can make sure the placement of the Haunted Mansion wallpaper print on your bag is exactly how you like it
Disadvantages: Can be time consuming, luck is involved, can be frustrating; those who don't live near a park are at a major disadvantage

2) eBay or other online auctioneer

Many people buy as many bags as they can to resell on eBay and some people even make a living at it. These are often Disney Annual Passholders who get the 20% discount and then the auction drives up the price of a popular item. They can get stuck with unpopular items. The best way to gauge a good price is to use the Advance search function on eBay and look and completed listings - that's right - the items that have already sold. This will tell you what the going rate should be for the bag you're interested in. Then you go back to current listings to see which bags you might want to bid on.  

Advantages: Easy and fast because the seller has to have the bag in hand, you have some protection in place if your bag doesn't arrive, you don't have to pay to go to the park
Disadvantages: Price - prices have been known to be double 

3) Independent Disney Personal Shopper

These are entrepreneurs who are independent of Disney. They go to the parks and buy merchandise with their Annual Pass discount and charge a premium for this service and shipping. Some charge 10% and others much, much more. The best way to find them is through message boards on Facebook - search for "Disney Shopper." It's standard for you to pay them before they get the merchandise, so they aren't "stiffed" if you decide you don't want it after they buy it. 

Advantages: Not usually as much money as eBay; if bags are in stock, you get it quickly
Disadvantages: If the bags aren't in stock you have to wait; if you don't buy insurance, you don't have protection if the bag doesn't arrive; a shopper might not mail them fast - it depends on the shopper

Here are the item numbers and the original Disney prices, in case you want to keep stalking them online, or just need a reference point to determine how much you're willing to pay. 


  • Lining: Original bags had red lining and these generally go for more on eBay. Current bags have purple lining. The color switch was made because purple is a Haunted Mansion color. 
  • Disney Store online item number: 7501055880089
  • Disney price: $358

  • Disney Store online item number:  7501055880468
  • Disney price: $248

  • Disney Store online item number:  7501055880470
  • Disney price: $188

  • Disney Store online item number: 7501055880471
  • Disney price: $108

  • Disney Store online item number: 7501055880469
  • Disney price: $88


  1. I love all of these bags, and the list prices really aren't that bad. I was expecting worse. I hope you find everything you want for your collection!

  2. I did not know you stalked this franchise, thought your handbag affections are well-known. The bags look great, and what cool tips for those who crave, but are still out in the cold, crying like that littla lady inside the terrarium : )

  3. I now am the proud owner of the letter carrier, woo hoo

  4. Just visited WDW 4/2-4/5/2015) and small bags remain sold out at all park locations. Any updates on new supply availability?

    1. There has been supply of two new styles - a weekender and a satchel online at the Disney Store lately on and off. There haven't been any reports of HM Dooney's at the parks lately

  5. Do you know if this print was made for the large satchel and the original cost?

    1. The print was recently make for the large satchel. I believe retail was $248. There aren't any available now.

  6. Do you know if this print was made for the large satchel and the original cost?

  7. Just received the the gently used Smith Bag I got on Ebay and am THRILLED with both the bag and the deal I got. It's hard to tell it from new, and I paid a fair amount less than it would have cost even with my annual passport discount...even if Disneyland had them in stock, which they don't. I was wondering about the difference in the red vs purple lining so thanks very much for answering that question. Perfect for traveling to the 60th Anniv. next week! \o/

    1. Hi Nina! The original Haunted Mansion Smith bags had the red lining. The purple lining came out in the second edition because it was more suited to the mansion. Come collectors feel that they need both bags. Typically the red lining goes for more on Ebay. I'm so glad you got your deal.

  8. I recently purchased the "Smith " Haunted Mansion Dooney & Bourke handbag during my May 15 - 18, 2015 Disney World vacation. It has the purple lining. It was the best purchase I ever made.

  9. They recently re-released updated bags to address the quality issues. Disney Store online had the pouchette crossbody, tote, and crossbody bag ( no llonger called letter carrier because it is closer in size to a traditional Dooney crossbody bag) They reinforced the corners with leather to prevent premature corner wear.

    1. I was so glad they re-released the bags with corners. Since I wrote this post I purchased a tote and a letter carrier. Both had to be returned to get the corners fixed.

  10. My boyfriend had never been to Disney so when we decided to go together, I planned a thorough itinerary and made sure his first trip was memorable... my reward was that he bought me this Smith bag!!! It fits so nicely on my shoulder and it's very spacious inside so I can carry everything I need without feeling like I'm carrying luggage. The best part for me is that purple is my favorite color so I'm totally in love with the lining of the bag, it's gorgeous! I just wish they made matching wallets because I'm a wallet junkie and like to have them match my bags but I found a solid black D&B wallet with stitching that matches the straps of this Smith bag so I'm happy. It's a really great collection.