Walt Disney World offers many different forms of entertainment for your vacation, and for some people shopping is a major form of entertainment. Whether you are searching for the perfect souvenir to remember your vacation or hoping to buy something more substantial than a plush Mickey, Walt Disney World has an array of shopping locations from which to choose.
10. Mickey’s Pantry
This is your one stop shop for any items on your culinary wish list. Located in Disney Spring’s Marketplace area, here you will find kitchenware with Mickey flair including measuring spoons, mixing bowls, serving ware, plates and coffee mugs. Cookbooks are another great find in this store—you can bring home a Disney cookbook to recreate your favorite vacation meal, or one of the other cookbooks representing several genres of food. Mickey’s pantry also offers some dry goods like Mickey shaped pasta and hot cocoa mixes among other things to bring a little Disney magic to your meals at home. Another gem is hidden inside Mickey’s Pantry, the Spice and Tea Exchange. This nook is home to a variety of specialty spices, sugars, teas, salts and spice blends along with the accessories that go with them. It is a foodie’s dream.
Mitsukoshi Department store is a massive part (10,000 square feet) of the Japan pavilion at Epcot. Mitsukoshi is a Japanese department store—the oldest in the world. Children and adults alike will find shopping here a treat. All types of Japanese pop culture items like Hello Kitty, Pokemon and more can be found here, alongside Japanese snack foods, Sake, sushi serving dishes and more. Other elements of Japanese culture are sold here as well including clothing and shoes. There is a special area with expensive pearl jewelry, or you can pay for the experience of picking your own pearl from an oyster you select. That definitely makes shopping entertaining. All of the World Showcase shops are excellent choices for their unique and authentic items—Japan’s is just the largest.
8. The “General Stores” i.e. The Emporium and Mouse Gear
These substantial retail establishments can be found in each park and contain all of the basic Disney parks souvenirs. The generic year t-shirts, the snow globes, pins, ear hats, vinylmation and plush. As they were designed to do, they give you a place to stop on your way out of the parks to pick up a token of your visit (or 5). You can find some items in these stores that are specific to that park, like an Epcot t-shirt or a Magic Kingdom magnet. Another nice touch to the Emporium and Mouse Gear in particular are the details of the shops. The Emporium has an entire backstory to fit in to the Main Street environment, and as you shop look up and around to see all of the elements of this turn of the century shop. And at Mouse Gear you can even find some vintage Epcot elements—just look up and see if you can find Dreamfinder’s Dream Catcher.
7. Art of Disney
These shops can be found in all of the parks and Downtown Disney. If you are looking for a Disney collectible or piece of art to take home as your souvenir, this is the shop for you. You can find original artworks, character sketches by animators, collectibles like Precious Moments, Jim Shore and Olszewski and framed pieces of art. Sometimes you can also find limited edition merchandise like the 40th Anniversary designs by SHAG. It is fun to come and shop in the Art of Disney shops just to see all of the wonderful artwork—and you can often find something very affordable to bring home too.
6. Once Upon A Toy
If you are traveling with a child this is a must stop shop. Talk about a kid in a candy store. Located in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace, this shop has all manner of Disney toys. Popular board games with a Disney theme. Mr. Potato Head Disney parts. Plush. Star Wars toys (including the build your own light saber). Books, CDs, DVDs, Video Games. And it is suitable for all ages—there are toys for toddlers, toys for kids and toys for those of us who refuse to acknowledge that we are no longer kids. My favorites are the Potato Head parts—and I’ve become quite talented in filling the box to the brim.
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5. The Lego Imagination Center
Another amazing shop for kids in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace, this one is worth a visit just to see the amazing Disney Lego sculptures located outside. There are play stations within the shop to play with Legos, and any Lego set imaginable is available inside. The last time I was there they even had a limited edition set only available there to create the Lego sea monster/dragon in Downtown Disney’s lake. Another fun thing to do here is to fill up a cup with all of the random Legos you can fit.
4. Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
This is the Christmas shop located in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square. There is also one in Downtown Disney, but the one in Magic Kingdom has so much more character. The shop is located in a series of houses that represent different years in American history and different occupations of the house owners. The details are rich throughout the store so take some time to browse and look high and low. The merchandise is also a great option for a souvenir. Many types of Christmas ornaments are sold here, and you can even have them personalized. My family loves to relive our vacations when we put up our Christmas tree each year.
3. Resort Gift Shops
Thankfully some of the resort specific merchandise has started to return over the past couple of years, and this is a great reason to visit your resort’s gift shop (not to mention the convenience). Some of the resort shops also offer unique merchandise. Zawadi Marketplace at Animal Kingdom Lodge offers African artwork and sculpture alongside the Disney merchandise and Animal Kingdom Lodge items. At the Grand Floridian Resort you will find luxurious resort shops like Basin (bath and body products) and designer clothing at Commander Porter’s and Summer Lace. Some resort shops also have fun theming. Visit Fulton’s General Store at Port Orleans Riverside and enjoy all of the props around the store—Disney characters in settings that match the theme of the store and resort.
This “trendy” store in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace sells clothing, accessories and cosmetics for women. This is not your typical “find it everywhere” Disney clothing, but some items that are very different. The new line of Beautifully Disney cosmetics is sold here, along with Dooney & Bourke Bags, Kameleon Disney jewelry, and fashionable clothing with a Disney theme. You can find something cute to wear when you return home from vacation that is in style.
1. World of Disney
This is the Disney Superstore of all Superstores—the (real) world’s largest. Just about any Disney souvenir can be found in this massive 12 room store in the Marketplace at Downtown Disney. The store is organized into sections—boys, girls, men, women, accessories, plush, toys, homegoods, etc. You can even find the original Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique location here for your little Princess’s makeover. Many people save up their souvenir shopping to buy it all in one place & this would be it. I do caution people to buy it when you see it—because not everything can be found in this shop. One good thing about buying most things in one place is if you have a Disney Visa card you can save 10% on a $50 or more purchase here. So, make sure you save time for a stop in World of Disney to get your t-shirt, your Mickey earrings, your Minnie plush and your ear hat.
A trip to Walt Disney World for me would not be complete without some shopping time. Just for the enjoyment of shopping and taking in the details of many of the retail environments, and for finding the perfect souvenir to commemorate my Disney vacation. What is your favorite place to shop at Walt Disney World?