Everyone likes a nice souvenir to take home from their vacation, especially if that vacation is to Walt Disney World! Back in the day, before everything was at our fingertips on the internet I used to purchase postcards and one of the theme park souvenir books so that I could relive my vacation once I returned home. Things have changed a lot these days (do I sound like the Dad on Carousel of Progress?), and now with social media certain souvenirs become must-haves before they even hit the shop shelves. Here are a few of the recently trending souvenirs at Walt Disney World.
8. The Annual Pass Magnet
This is not something you purchase, but a freebie for Annual Passholders only. The trend started with the magnet you receive after you purchase your Annual Pass—with the welcome packet Disney mails you. It is a round, orange magnet with a Mickey Mouse head in the center that states “Walt Disney World PASSHOLDER.” Then it grew popularity as Disney released special “limited edition” Annual Passholder magnets in the parks for special events. First it was the Christmas version distributed at Hollywood Studios, then there were 2 Flower & Garden versions (one with Mickey & one with Minnie) given out at Epcot during the Festival, and then Donald Duck at Hollywood Studios. You do have to show proof of being an Annual Passholder to get these . . . and they are very popular. While I love the official ones, I’ve also favorited an Etsy shop, PassholderPride who makes Annual Passholder magnets with all sorts of characters (Figment, Orange Bird, Princesses, etc.).
With all of the hype over Disneybounding and Dapper Days, the dresses (& accessories) created by The Dress Shop found in the Cherry Tree Lane shop in Disney Springs’ Marketplace Co-Op are on point. The dresses have a retro feel with the silhouettes, cut and design, and the fabrics feature creative patterns that highlight favorite Disney attractions or characters. From past collections I love the Main Street USA, the Mary Poppins, and the Orange Bird dresses and accessories. They also sell a really cute skirt inspired by the Tea Cups! These dresses are really popular and a very cute way to dress up your day at Disney.
The adopt-a-Banshee in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora was all the rage last year when the land opened—they literally flew off the shelves (imagine the Cabbage Patch craze of the 1980s). There were periods of time when they just could not keep these guys in stock. And they continue to be popular today. The Banshees come in a variety of color patterns, including a couple of special limited edition colors that commemorated the 20th Anniversary of Animal Kingdom and the 1st Anniversary of Pandora. They are found in the gift shop in Pandora where you go through a process to choose and adopt your Banshee from the Rookery. The appealing factor here is that your Banshee will perch on your shoulder (via a magnet) and move—you control the movements through a tethered hand-held device. The Banshee is an experience as well as a souvenir, making it twice as cool!
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5. Toy Story Land Merchandise
Toy Story Land is the place to get the very popular Toy Story merchandise! The Slinky Dog Head band and Alien head band are proving to be very popular souvenirs, but I think the Light Up Slinky Dog that can both be worn as an accessory or played with as a toy is the most trendy souvenir to come from the new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
4. Dooney & Bourke
It is now hard to remember a time before Disney partnered with the popular Dooney & Bourke brand to bring us magical hand bags, but now they are some of the most popular (& pricey) souvenirs on property. And they keep bringing us back with new patterns and limited edition bags. For the Epcot Festivals there are special Dooney & Bourke prints like the recent International Flower & Garden Festival. For the RunDisney Races there are special prints. There are theme park and character related prints—including the very trendy Princess line that releases a few styles of bags themed around one princess at a time. One my current Disney dream list are the Orange Bird Tote, something in the PIXAR pattern and a Disney Cruise Line bag.
3. Limited Edition Merchandise
It doesn’t seem to matter what it is specifically, but the limited edition merchandise that Disney Parks offers always seems to trend in social media, and sometimes sell out quickly. Sometimes it is the Epcot Festival Merchandise related to Flower & Garden Festival, Food & Wine Festival, Festival of the Arts or the Festival of the Holidays. With all of these you can count on t-shirts, Magic Bands, pins, Tervis Tumbers or Mugs and more covered in the Festival artwork, and they become so popular as a memento of visiting the Festival. The Magic Kingdom parties always have on trend merchandise as well. . . themed pins, shirts, ornaments and more from Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. When parks celebrate an Anniversary like Animal Kingdom’s recent 20th Anniversary celebration and Epcot’s 35th before that, the merchandise always proves popular. There is holiday merchandise that is limited edition that people go crazy over; limited release Magic Bands; even limited release popcorn buckets trend. If you see something limited edition or release pay close attention if you love it because it may not be there when you come back it is so popular!
2. Spirit Jerseys
One of the most recent trending souvenirs are the park spirit jerseys. They first made their way onto the stage over a year ago, but Disney keeps adding colors and options (maybe even taking a design note or two from some smaller designers/companies). Most recently the Spirit Jerseys took center stage when Disney released them in the super trendy “Rose Gold” and “Millenial Pink” colors. The rose gold flew off the racks at first and became very hard to find. The good news is that Disney is doing better keeping these stylish (& comfortable) souvenirs available so you have a better chance of scoring one to take home with you.
1. Minnie Ears
Like the Spirit Jerseys, the Minnie Ears really hit their stride as Disney began designing and selling more unique & sparkly designs. My personal favorite are the “retro” style with the blue & white polka dot ears with Minnie’s signature daisy sticking up in the middle. Again, all you have to do is whisper the words rose gold or millennial pink and the Disney social media world goes crazy . . . so when Disney released rose gold ears, and later a millennial pink version, they again had trouble keeping them in stock for their fans. Recently, the rainbow Mickey ears for Pride Month became the hard to find ear item. My philosophy is that if you find your favorite ears (Mickey or Minnie) early in your trip buy them then—that way you have plenty of time to wear and enjoy them on vacation & you don’t miss out if they happen to be one of those trendy products that sell out.
What trending Walt Disney World souvenirs are your favorite?