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
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: $15 (settings are separate)
Tips: Pick the hairiest, ugliest oyster to increase your chances of getting 2 pearls
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
Locations: Cart in Downtown Disney near Little Miss Matched (seasonal), cart near Pirates of the Caribbean, Mexico section of EPCOT
Price: $20 and up
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.
Locations: Throughout Disney World
Personalized Chinese Parasol
Locations: Kiosk in the China section of EPCOT
Star Wars Merchandise
Locations: Tatooine Traders at Hollywood Studios (exit area for Star Tours)
Monogrammed Mickey Ears
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
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: $9/each (you can get it framed as well for an additional cost)
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
Locations: Adrian and Edith’s Head to Toe at Hollywood Studios
Price: < $10 per item
Locations: Best selection is at Mickey’s Pantry in Downtown Disney
Engraved glass items
Locations: Glaskunst store in Germany section of EPCOT
Locations: Gift shops at EPCOT (easiest is probably Mouse Gear)
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. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments.
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