Shop Disney Adds 'Virtual Waiting Room' to Handle 'Star Wars Day' Merch Demand
Do you know what day it is, my young padawan? That’s right. It’s May 4. “Star Wars” Day.
“May the Fourth be with you” and all that.
This date is pretty much a Gregorian-mandated cash cow for Disney, which now owns all things “Star Wars.”
Ordinarily, the shops at Disney’s theme parks would be bustling like the Mos Eisley Cantina. But, since the parks are still shut down, Disney has had to go online-only. That can present a challenge in itself, as the demand for limited edition merch could cause servers to crash or things to freeze up like a dead Tauntaun on Hoth.
Thankfully, Disney planned ahead by creating a “virtual waiting room” for shoppers to wait until its their turn to buy “Star Wars Day” merchandise.
According to WDW News Today, it also was designed to prevent bots from going in and buying up all the exclusive merch for resale, sort of like how ticket sites make sure you’re actually a human and not some fancy resale droid.
At time of publishing, we couldn’t even get onto the ShopDisney site. The store went live at 10 a.m. Eastern, and hours later it's still clogged up.
This year’s haul includes figurines, LEGO sets and action figures. And, yes, before you ask, it looks like there’s some Baby Yoda stuff, too.
— shopDisney (@shopDisney) May 4, 2020
The moral of this story is that while theme parks remain closed, online sales are going to be the norm. It’s imperative that brands selling online make the shopping experience as painless as possible for customers. No one wants the site to crash just when they’re about to pull the trigger on that Dagobah coffee mug or “May the 4th Be With You” collectible pin.
Are the chances high that we get through to the store today to snag some collectibles? Probably not. But, as a wise man once said, never tell me the odds.