Before we look at my top 5 special Disney souvenirs, here's a few shopping tips too;
- Pull out your camera phone or digital camera and take a picture of the store-front, including name, and then take a picture of the item you're pondering buying. I'm always forgeting where I saw that perfect Disney souvenir!
- Keep in mind that many parks have park-specific merchandise, which means you will only find the particular item in question in that park! If you've got park hoppers you'll be OK to nip back into the park another day and pick it up, but if you don't have that option you might want to ask a Cast Member if it's available in other parks, if not then you'll have to buy it that very same day.
- If you're a Disney Resort Guest have your purchases sent back to your hotel, they'll be with you by the next day and it saves you carrying all those goodie filled bags around all day! For Non-Resort guests, you can have you items sent to the front of the park, but if you're leaving early let the Cast Member know or you might end up waiting around for your purchases!
- Personalized everything and anything. If you ca have a carving, etching or embroidery put on the thing then go for it! Nothing is more unique than a personalized gift! Kids love anything with their names on and anything with a date on is a great way to bring back the memories of your trip. My favorites are; bathrobes, Mickey ears and Christmas ornaments!
- Subtle dinnerware! Not so much a gift for the children but Walt Disney World do some amazing dinner sets that don't scream 'eek-look-at-me-I'm-covered-in-Mickeys' that are both fun and practical. They're also something that's pretty hard to come by back home! I adore the pizza slice plates and the utensils.
- Music really does make Walt Disney World go around, just hearing the opening line to Wishes puts a smile on my face when I'm back home in Ye Olde England watching rain drizzle down my window. All of the music you hear in the parks is available to buy at various locations on CD and I've seen a selection available for download on iTunes too!
- Books, books and more books! If you're a Disney history buff, want to know what makes an Imagineears tick or the truth behind the Evil Queen then you will find a plethora of books all over Walt Disney World. Have a family member keen or architecture or animation? Both? How about cooking? You know you just have to have the recipe for the cinnamon bread at O'Hanas! You'll find some wonderful Disney Editions to suit all tastes and interests.
- Pressed Pennies are the cheapest souvenir next to freebies! Kids love cranking the machines and watching their coins get squished, stretched and imprinted with their favorite Disney characters! Be sure to try and use the shiniest of pennies! There are machines all over Walt Disney World, resorts, parks and even some limited edition machines that come out for special events. My favorite are the ones that imprint the date on - you won't be able to get that the year after! They not only make a great collection but are brilliant embellishments for scrapbooks of those who make their own jewelry or accessories!
Until next time,