Here is a quote from that very article:
From "Bringing Disney Home" by Kevin Yee
Until recently, Walt Disney World had no real outlet for their theme park props, artifacts, and junk. Stuff would either get stored indefinitely, or thrown away. Some small percentage of material would be auctioned off locally (live, not online), and in this context Disney World became aware of a few collectors who seemed to be present all the time. They turned to these collectors and offered to make them official liquidators of old Disney World material. Chief among them: collector Brian Ramsey. After five years of buying old Disney junk, Brian started up a company called MouseSurplus that re-sells the items to the general public.
Many discerning readers who frequent eBay will recognize the name, as MouseSurplus largely uses eBay as the means to re-sell the products. But not exclusively! They do have a physical storefront Ė in a somewhat run-down warehouse section of old Orlando, but still Ė and they are open to the public Mondays-Fridays, 9 to 6. I highly recommend a visit in person. Youíll find a warehouse crammed full of stuff, only tiny fractions of which are represented by their online auctions. Youíll get to skip the shipping charges, and in fact you wonít have to bother with the whole outbid-your-competitor thing. Name a reasonable price, and Iím betting youíll walk out of there with your item. Did I say YOU would take it away? Amazingly, Brian offers to deliver locally within Orlando for free, for those big items hard to stuff into the trunk Ė this is an amazing offer for Orlando residents.
By now, Iím betting the drool is accumulating on your chin and threatening to drip onto your shirt. Admit it. You are dying to know where MouseSurplus is located (version 2.0 of their website was just uploaded this week, but it doesnít have driving directions). Here are simple driving directions from Disney World, ready for printing:
Take Interstate-4 East (well, this part of the freeway heads north, but you know what I mean). Just past Sea World, take 528 (a.k.a. BeeLine Expressway) East. Get off at Orange Blossom Trail, commonly called OBT Ė this is the last off ramp before youíd have to pay a toll. Confusingly, this stretch of OBT is also called 17/92, a reference to two rural roadways that unite for several miles. The off-ramp will wind through an office park; keep following the road until the stoplight, which is OBT itself. Turn left. Soon you will turn right onto Landstreet Road. Follow this for a couple of miles, and turn left at Orange Avenue (which is a stoplight right after you cross some train tracks). A half mile down you will see a RaceTrac gas station on the left; the street you want (called Pine Ave) is directly opposite this station, on the right hand side. Turn right onto Pine Ave and follow it to the end. Just before you reach the railroad tracks you will find 1475 Pine Avenue on your left. The driveway leads through a sliding metal gate, which will be open if itís during business hours. Drive through to the end, and park anywhere. The warehouse should have its door propped open to the front office. MouseSurplus is no fly-by-night operation. Brian employs seven full-time people, who spend time down at Disney doing their own extractions, stripping former rides and locations before Disney moves in with a bulldozer (is that a dream job, or what?) They haul away 2-3 truckloads a day from Disney World, and offer so many auctions through eBay that fifty or more end on every day. Itís a costly operation. They are spending over $50,000 a week buying the goods from Disney, and over $5,000 per month on fees selling the items at eBay.
The net result of all that business, though, is a grand opportunity for the everyday fan like you and me. Canít afford the multi-hundred-dollar animator desk from Disney-MGM? Maybe you can pick up a colorfully-labeled food tray from the Land pavilion instead. Buzz Lightyear ride panels too rich for your blood? Try the Mickey-shaped coat hangers from Dixie Landings. And the list goes on. I would rave for hours on end about the cool offerings at MouseSurplus (I havenít even touched upon the Cast Member costumes!), but you get the point. For several weeks Iíve resisted even mentioning it online, but MouseSurplus canít stay my little secret for long. Itís too good. Drive over for a visit sometime, and tell Brian I sent you. And let me know what you think.