Hang on to your wallets! Here are my favorite places to shop in and around the theme parks. (And yes, it was difficult naming just five!)
1. Downtown Disney
Have you ever wondered where the world’s largest Disney-character store is located? If you guessed Downtown Disney, you’re correct! World of Disney is a whopping 50,000 square feet and carries just about every Disney souvenir imaginable. One of the two Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques, the salons that transform little girls into princesses, is also located inside World of Disney. And the shopping fun doesn’t end there, folks. In addition to more stores that carry Disney-related stuff like Once Upon a Toy , Disney’s Days of Christmas and D-Street, you can find unique non-Disney stores like LittleMissMatched, Hoypoloi and Magnetron Magnetz.
2. Main Street, U.S.A.® (Magic Kingdom® Park)
The mouth-watering smell of candy isn’t the only thing that comes to mind when I think of Main Street, U.S.A.® It’s also the shopping! There’s the Emporium where you can find everything from a Tinker Bell sweatshirt to a cookie jar shaped like Mickey Mouse, Uptown Jewelers where you can find expensive and shiny stuff like one-of-a-kind watches and Armani figurines, and Harmony Barbershop where you can buy unique shaving items while your little one gets his first haircut…just to name a few. And remember that candy smell? It’s coming from another great shop, the Main Street Confectionery.
3. World Showcase Pavilions (Epcot®)
If you want something that is technically a Disney souvenir, but that’s not a standard Mickey Mouse t-shirt or Winnie the Pooh stuffed toy, the shops in each country’s pavilion in World Showcase are perfect. From Animales Fantasticos: Spirits in Wood in the Mexico Pavilion where you can watch an artist sand and paint individual wood creations to Plume at Palette in the France Pavilion where you’ll find more than 100 imports and perfumes by Dior, Chanel, Givenchy and other top names, the unique and culturally-inspired finds are endless. Two of my favorite World Showcase shopping hot spots are Yong Feng Shangdian in the China Pavilion (
4. Sunset Boulevard (Disney’s Hollywood Studios®)
From Sunset Club Couture where I can have any Disney scene painted onto a watch to Villains in Vogue, a store dedicated to Disney’s “bad guys,” I have to be very careful not to blow my budget at the shops along Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. There’s an abundance of traditional Disney souvenirs, but you can also find interesting housewares at Cathaway Circle Theatre and clothing that’s geared a little more toward the teenage crowd at Legends of Hollywood.
5. Orlando Premium Outlets
Orlando is one of the largest outlet locations in the Southeast and these aren’t your average outlets either. My favorite, Orlando Premium Outlets, has two locations very close to the major attractions. With 330 stores between the two, you’ll find everything from designer fashions at Ed Hardy, Michael Kors, DKNY, Polo Ralph Lauren and Burberry to fine leather and luggage at Coach, Dooney & Bourke and Wilsons Leather.
Do you know what else you can find at Orlando Premium Outlets? Disney stuff! There are two Disney outlets which offer discounted or discontinued merchandise; Disney’s Character Premiere is at the Vineland Avenue location and Disney’s Character Warehouse is at the International Drive location.
Happy Planning (and shopping)!