Everyone loves souvenirs! And there is so much to look at and choose from at Walt Disney World. You will find something for your whole family, plus loved ones stuck at home. But the many gift shops can seem overwhelming to many guests. Here are eight things to keep in mind as you explore Walt Disney World shopping.
8. Send Your Package to the Front of the Park
Don’t carry your purchases around with you all day! That kind of things just opens up the possibility of breaking something. Instead, simply ask the Cast Member at check-out about sending your items to the designated Souvenir Pick-Up locations at the front of each park. You can find Souvenir Pick-Up at Main Street Chamber of Commerce (Magic Kingdom), the Gift Stop (Epcot front entrance, toward bus stops), World Traveler (Epcot International Gateway), Oscar’s Super Service (Disney’s Hollywood Studios), and Garden Gate Gifts (Disney’s Animal Kingdom). The Cast Member will be able to give you a time estimate on when your package will be ready for pick-up.
7. Send Your Package to your Hotel
If you’re staying in a Walt Disney World resort, you can send your package to your hotel’s gift shop. This service is extremely convenient, since you likely will walk right past the gift shop as you get off the bus at the end of the night. And if your family is anything like mine, you will visit the gift shop every night anyway. This service usually takes 24 hours, so it’s best not to use it on your last day of vacation.
6. Send Your Package Home
Some things, like artwork, won’t fit in your suitcase and can be shipped home. Again, just ask the Cast Member at check-out about this service. Cast Members will handle wrapping and packaging your items for you. But unlike the previous services, this one is not free. It will, however, take the guesswork and stress out of “how in the heck do I get this home?”
5. World of Disney in Disney Springs
The biggest Disney Store in the world is located in Disney Springs. I like to visit World of Disney on my last day to pick up any remaining gifts I need. With approximately 51,000 square feet and so many different themed spaces to peruse, World of Disney is the place to find something for everyone on my list!
4. Gift Cards Work Almost Everywhere
Gift cards make great gifts for friends or family who are heading off to Walt Disney World. That’s because you can use gifts cards work just about everywhere on Disney property! Gift cards are an easy to way to give kiddos a souvenir budget. Let them be in charge of what they buy with their gift card, and once it’s empty, no more spending money!
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3. Check Receipts for Coupons
After eating at a counter service restaurant, check the bottom of your receipt for a coupon! Sometimes, you’ll find a coupon for 10% off your purchase at one of the big stores (like Emporium or Mouse Gear). Often, these coupons are only valid until 1:00pm the next day. Don’t throw away your receipts until you’ve checked for coupons! Even 10% off can make a difference!
2. Make Purchases With MagicBands
In case you’ve been living under a rock since late 2013, Walt Disney World has introduced MagicBands. These silicone smart bracelets do so much: they’re park tickets, room keys, and even your credit card! If you’re staying on Disney property, then you will link your credit card to the MagicBands, allowing you to make purchases in the parks using the bands. For security, you will also assign a PIN number to be used when buying things with the MagicBand. So, if you’re concerned about your kids going wild with the bands, just don’t tell them the PIN.
1. More Than Mickey Knickknacks
Newcomers to Walt Disney World will likely assume that all the souvenirs are emblazoned with Mickey, princesses, or Star Wars characters. While sure, lots of souvenirs do have beloved characters, not all do. And you don’t have to scour the parks for unique and interesting finds. I love shopping in the World Showcase countries. My favorites are Mexico, China, and Italy to find cool gifts for friends and family back home. Or, head to Harambe in Disney’s Animal Kingdom or the Animal Kingdom Lodge to find a huge array of hand carved wooden animal figurines and other hand crafted works of art! Or, visit one of the many locations selling Arribas Brothers creations: even though the glass figurines are characters, they’re handmade so no two are the same.
Do you have a favorite shopping location? Anything you have to buy every trip? Let us know!