A couple of months ago, the billboards started appearing: American Girl Opening at the Stanford Shopping Center. (If you need a primer as to what that means, read this post from two years ago in which I describe the franchise and my visit to its Manhattan store.)
It was a foregone conclusion I’d be there on opening day. Indeed, there was a special pre-opening benefit at $50 per ticket which allowed a person the privilege of going Friday night, November 15th, to buy stuff. I actually tried to get two tickets, but they sold out quickly. So I figured, meh, I’ll just show up well before the store opened and keep the $100.
The night before, I took a glance at the web site to confirm the opening at 9 a.m., and I noticed an admonishment: that people would not be permitted to camp overnight. Ummm. Camp? Overnight? Perhaps I underestimated to what lengths people would go to get into this place.
So I woke up at 6:30, got my little girl up, and zipped off to the store. I figured that I, SuperDad, would face a few dozen people also wanted to get a ticket early. I got into the parking lot, and it didn’t seem too crowded. I look at the entrance to the store, and indeed, there seemed to be about thirty people or so there. I figured I’d wait in line a few minutes, get my ticket, and return at 9 a.m. for the grand opening.
So I parked and got out of my car and approached the store. A guard said the place to get the tickets was “just to the right of Starbucks”. OK, fine. So I walk over there and see a somewhat larger line of about 50 people. Meh, well, OK, that’s still not too bad. I’m about to get to the back of the line when I notice that, about twenty feet away, there’s yet another line of people. And they are queued up to get into the line to get tickets.
I started walking. At the end of the line was another gap, and then the start of another line. And that ended, and there was another gap, and then yet another line. So before long, I was looking at a line waiting to get in line waiting to get in line waiting to get in line to get tickets so that, later in the day, they could get in line to get into the store and buy things.
Here’s just one of the lines……..
The “mega-line” stretched on and on and on, numbering into the thousands. And remember, this is at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Not only that, these girls weren’t empty-handed. They had in hand the one or more American Girl dolls that they already owned. They were just there to get…….more stuff.
After more than two hours in line, we were finally awarded our tickets. I am showing them to you here, for your viewing pleasure, because I know they are awesome:
Of course, being a good social media monkey, I checked in via Facebook to the store. Glancing at some of the other check-ins, some people are really into this stuff.
Indeed, some people had driven for hours to get there, which meant that the five-minute drive for me was nothing to gripe about.
Anyway, I’ve got the entirety of my afternoon devoted to Driving Kids Around, but tonight we will make our glorious return to American Girl to actually have the privilege of buying some things. So, errr, remember that I’m having a special through the end of this month to get Slope+ free for 30 days if you use the coupon code thanks. I’m going to need all the help I can get!