With Christmas just around the corner, I thought it was an appropriate time to talk about one of my very favorite Disney World activities -- shopping! Now, I don't need an occasion to shop, but it's usually more fun when I am shopping for someone else. Believe me when I say Disney World has something for everyone on your list. Here are my Top 5 favorite places for Disney World shopping.
5. Villains in Vogue
It's certainly not the largest or most extensive store in Disney's Hollywood Studios, but this entire shop on Sunset Boulevard is devoted to Disney's beloved villains, including my favorite Cruella de Ville. Unleash your inner villain or pick up a gift or souvenir for the nearest and dearest villain in your life.
4. Disney's Days of Christmas
Stocked with ornaments, stockings and other holiday-related memorabilia, this Downtown Disney Marketplace shop is where you'll find the largest selection of Christmas items inside Disney World. What I especially love is that it offers engraving and personalization on many of its items, which always adds that little something extra.
3. Castle Couture
For the princess in your life, there really is no better place to shop than at the castle itself (or right behind it). Castle Couture in Magic Kingdom Park is stocked with all of the princess costumes and full accessories, plus plushes, toys and other princess-themed merchandise. It's also home to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, which will turn your little one into a real life princess!
2. World Showcase at Epcot
I couldn't possibly pick just one of the World Showcase shops, because they are all so unique. Many of the stores you will find scattered around the World Showcase pavilions offer items that you can't find anywhere else in the U.S. For Tad and Lily, Der Teddybar in Germany is a favorite because of its selection of German teddy bears and wooden toys. Leap loves Sportsman's Shoppe in U.K., where he has picked up a soccer jersey or two. As for moi, I am quite partial to the shops in France, including Plume et Palette and La Signature, which carry an extensive selection of French fragrances and cosmetics. If left to my own devices, I could spend an entire afternoon in there, trying on perfume.
1. Main Street Emporium
My very favorite place for Disney World shopping is at the Emporium on Main Street U.S.A. The Emporium in Magic Kingdom has a little bit of EVERYTHING all in one store, including seasonal and special event merchandise. The shop takes up the whole block, with separate entrances for each of the different departments. While all of the shops on Main Street stay open an hour past park closing, I like to shop when it's less crowded before the parades (have your family save your spot!) and in the evenings. For me, what makes it such a special experience, is that the cast members are all so friendly and willing to help. This is where I picked up Tad's Jack Skellington book bag on our September trip.
You really didn't think I could stop at five, did you? This is Disney World after all! Here are a few of my other favorite places to go shopping at the resort.
LittleMissMatched™ at Downtown Disney -- Perfect for the little girl in your life who doesn't quite "fit," the shop features clothing and accessories that are perfectly mismatched. Socks are sold three to a pack.
Mickey's Pantry at Downtown Disney -- For the foodie in your life, you can find all manner of Disney cooking and kitchenware. Inside the shop is The Spice & Tea Exchange, where you can find fancy salts and custom-blend spices.
Tren-D at Downtown Disney -- My favorite place to find a mix of Disney favorites and other fashion-forward labels with a dash of whimsy and lots of fun accessories.
Mombasa Marketplace at Disney's Animal Kingdom -- You'll find authentic African imports, including wines, toys and art near the entrance to Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Serka Zong Bazaar at Disney's Animal Kingdom -- Remember your trek up Everest at this post-show, funky souvenir shop, which carries Asian gifts and plenty of Yeti-themed clothing, books and merchandise. The shop's decor of Asian artifacts is worth the trip alone.
Chester & Hesters Dinosaur Treasures at Disney's Animal Kingdom -- The kitschy, roadside souvenir shop inside DinoLand U.S.A. houses an assortment of trinkets and souvenirs, including the always popular dinosaur egg.
Crystal Arts at Magic Kingdom -- Watch the glass blower create a masterpiece right before your very eyes. You can find très expensive, one-of-a-kind creations as well as a selection of more affordable keepsakes and gifts. I found a tiny crystal Mickey Mouse with Lily's birthstone that she absolutely loves and keeps on the dresser in her room.
Island Supply Company at Magic Kingdom -- For those on your list who love beachwear, this is the shop. It offers men's and women's clothing, hats and shoes in popular beachwear designers.
Mouse Gear at Epcot -- The biggest shop inside any of the four theme parks, Mouse Gear carries a little bit of everything. This is where Leap bought my fancy Minnie apron, which I'll be wearing next week when I do my holiday baking.
Where is your favorite place to go shopping at Disney World? Share in comments below!
Hoppy holiday shopping!
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