ORLANDO, Fla. - The Black Friday experience started well before anyone made it to the shops. First, they had to find parking.
Before shoppers got a break in prices, they first had to endure break lights.
“We parked really far away. We actually thought about taking the helicopter to the outlets,” said Patty Derk, Black Friday shopper.
At the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets, cars lined up waiting to get into the already jam-packed parking lot.
Black Friday shopping at the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets. (FOX 35 Orlando)
“We did attempt to go into the parking lot, [but] we weren’t able to,” Derk said. “It was madness.”
Inside the parking lot, gridlock. Cars circling, waiting to get lucky and snag a spot.
Sandy Barns is thankful she didn’t have to deal with parking.
“We got dropped off. It’s crazy in there. People are fighting and shouting at one another, nearly fisticuffs,” Barns said.
Shoppers wishing to avoid the headache had the option of valet or premium parking but at a price of course. Others chose public transportation or arranging a drop-off.
The crowds must not be bad enough to keep people from coming back for more, year after year.
Chris Barrett and Paul Redmond say it's all worth it.
“It’s like 70 percent off. You save a fortune,” said Chris Barrett, Black Friday shopper.
“Then, when you go in, they give you more discount as well,” said Paul Redmond.
“It was worth it because we got good deals,” Barns said.
Shoppers say they’re ready to do it all over again next year.