(Article last updated: October 21, 2014)
There might be a million different souvenirs you can buy at Disney World (and I’m convinced 90% of those are located at the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney) but for brevity’s sake, I’ve pared it down to a list of 20 items I think you’ll like.
Some general advice on souvenir shopping:
- buy it when you see it, you may not see it again. There are lots of items unique to a location and there’s a chance you won’t come across it later.
- If you’re staying on-site, you can send gifts back to your hotel for free so be sure to take advantage of that if you buy too much to carry.
- If you think of something after you leave that you wish you’d picked up, contact Kelly Lichtenwalner who is a personal shopper at Disney World.
Now… on to the list.
Personalized Disney ornaments
Remember your family vacations by buying an ornament from each destination. Disney offers Disney-themed ornaments in a couple of locations and you can even get them personalized if you’d like.
Locations: Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Days of Christmas in Downtown Disney
Tips: Go early in your trip in case it takes days to get the personalized ornaments finished. The Downtown Disney location has a much wider selection than the Magic Kingdom location.
Pick a Pearl
Pick a Pearl allows you to pick an oyster from a tank, the
employee cast member cuts it open and inside and then you’ll see if you got 1 or 2 pearls. The pearl is then measured and put into a baggie. You can choose to have it set in jewelry right at the store if you want or take it with you in the baggie.
Location: Mitsukoshi store in the Japan section of EPCOT’s World Showcase
Price: $16 (settings are separate)
Tips: Pick the hairiest, ugliest oyster to increase your chances of getting 2 pearls
At Animation Academy, a class is held every 30 minutes to teach you to draw a Disney character.
Location: Animation Academy at Hollywood Studios
Tip: Classes are less crowded later in the day. After you get home, frame it for a nice memory of your trip.
Mr. Potato Head Parts
At a couple of spots in Disney World, you can fill up a container of Mr. Potato Head parts (many of them exclusive to Disney parks) for a set cost.
Locations: Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney
Price: $20 for the box, $50 for the large potato head container
Tips: Buy Mr. Potato Head at home because it takes up too much space in your box ($5 usually), get plenty of arms as many of them are specific to Disney, each location has pieces that are unique to it but the Downtown Disney location is the biggest, pay for big pieces separately as they can take up too much room in your container, cast members will help you pack if you’d like
Other options for stuffing a container with parts: fill your own Lego cup (at LEGO store in Downtown Disney), Pirate Treasure Chest (World of Disney store in Downtown Disney), Jewelry Box (World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney)
A couple of years ago, Disney started doing away with resort-specific merchandise so the gift shops contained generic Disney World items. The resort-specific items have returned. I like getting beach towels but you’ll find everything from cups to t-shirts to magnets.
Locations: all Disney resorts
At a few spots in Disney World, you can have a ring carved to your specifications with various symbols or initials. You can choose between different materials like gold or silver.
Locations: Cart in Downtown Disney near Little Miss Matched (seasonal), cart near Pirates of the Caribbean, Mexico section of EPCOT
Price: $20 and up
How awesome would it be to have THIS under your Christmas tree?
Locations: Emporium at Magic Kingdom, World of Disney at Downtown Disney, Test Track Shop at EPCOT, The Contemporary Resort, Mouse Gear at EPCOT, DisneyStore.com
Tips: There are other pieces that can go with the monorail to form a larger playset. Other pieces include Cinderella’s Castle and The Contemporary. Don’t be afraid to ship it home from Disney World or buy it online if it’s too large to transport.
You can buy the music from various events at Disney World. And, if you’re like me, you get kind of teary-eyed at Wishes and need to have that music available to cry at home too!
Locations: Throughout Disney World
Personalized Chinese Parasol
Pick up one of these beautiful parasols and they’ll write your name in Chinese on it to make it even more personal.
Locations: Kiosk in the China section of EPCOT
Star Wars Merchandise
Buy lots of unique made-for-Disney Star Wars merchandise including build-your-own light saber and Build Your Droid.
Locations: Tatooine Traders at Hollywood Studios (exit area for Star Tours)
Monogrammed Mickey Ears
What’s better than classic Mickey ears? They’re even better with a monogram added to them.
Locations: The Chapeau on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, the Five and Dime at Hollywood Studios,
Disney’s Days of Christmas in Downtown Disney (Updated 9/10/2012: no longer available there), Mouse Gear at Epcot and DisneyStore.com
Price: $13.95 and up
Tips: Depending on how busy the stores are, it can take a while to get your monogram completed. Arrive at the store earlier in your visit so you can pick your ears up before you leave (sometimes a few hours later).
Lego Mini Model
There are lots of great things to buy at the LEGO store, but once a month the store offers mini models for free.
Locations: The LEGO store in Downtown Disney
Tips: Check the LEGO site for info on this event.
Have a silhouette drawn to remember your child’s age at the time of your trip or have one done for a special occasion like mother’s/father’s/grandparents day. The artists can do these in as little as 60 seconds. Check out this video of how they do it.
Locations: Downtown Disney, EPCOT near France, the Magic Kingdom on Main Street (a cart in an alley about halfway down on the right as you enter the park) and in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom
Price: $12/each (you can get it framed as well for an additional cost)
One of the cheapest souvenirs in all of Disney World are pressed coins which you can find just about everywhere and collect in pressed coin books.
Locations: All throughout Disney World
Price: 51 cents per pressed penny
Tips: Check out PressCoins.com for listings of all of the machines at Disney World.
Personalize any merchandise
Take items you’ve purchased elsewhere and have them monogrammed however you like.
Locations: Adrian and Edith’s Head to Toe at Hollywood Studios
Price: < $10 per item
What better way to remember your trip than to make some of your favorite dishes at home? There are several different cookbooks to choose from.
Locations: Best selection is at Mickey’s Pantry in Downtown Disney
Engraved glass items
This outdoor store sells glass items (including beer steins) and you can have them engraved for a more personal touch.
Locations: Glaskunst store in Germany section of EPCOT
You can buy these passports at EPCOT and then have them stamped in each country.
Locations: Gift shops at EPCOT (easiest is probably Mouse Gear)
You can trade pins with other people (including cast members) but you can also buy pins that you want as a souvenir for your trip.
Locations: Just about everywhere at Disney World but Disney’s Pin Traders in Downtown Disney is the largest. You can also purchase on DisneyStore.com.
From DisneyWorld.com “Select your favorite T–shirt color, size and style, and choose from more than 400 pieces of character art. Add a pre–written phrase, or embellish your shirt with your own words. Then, watch your design as it’s made!”
Location: Design a Tee in Downtown Disney
Price: About $25
Tips: You get to try on shirts in the store so you know which size to buy (very large sizes are available here and not as easy to find in other stores). Depending on how busy the store is, it might take 30 minutes or an hour for your shirt to be finished. No profanity or sports team names are allowed on the shirts.
Hopefully that gives you a good list to get started with your souvenir planning.