The running joke is that every Disney attraction exits into a gift shop. While somewhat true, it’s worth noting that Disney’s heavily themed park shops are a fun destination on their own. Here are my top 5. Please share your own in the comments section below.
#1 Memento Mori—Magic Kingdom
Are you surprised that my favorite gift shop is attached to my favorite theme park attraction? Memento Mori is as hilarious and spooky as the Haunted Mansion itself. (In Latin, Memento Mori is a phrase to remind us that we are mortal and will someday die. Creepy, isn’t it?) As you exit the Haunted Mansion, Memento Mori is just past the pet cemetery, on the left. There is also an entrance where Fantasyland and Liberty Square meet.
My only complaint about this store is that it’s TOO SMALL! Memento Mori carries everything from fancy table settings to comic books. A lot of items are exclusive, too. Most macabre are the portraits you can purchase of yourself. I won’t spoil the surprise, but just know that they are “haunting.”
#2 Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe—Magic Kingdom
Just around the corner from Memento Mori is a shop quite the opposite of scary, the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe. This place dazzles me every time. After I check out the countdown to Christmas, I dream of one day having my own all-Disney Christmas tree. You can pretty much find an ornament to fit anyone’s Disney taste. And you can have lots of the items they sell personalized. My favorite aspect of this shop? Each morning one lucky family is picked to decorate the shop’s Magical Moments Christmas tree.
(Extra: If you don’t have a theme park ticket, you can still get a Christmas fix at Disney’s Days of Christmas shop in Disney Springs.)
#3 Tatooine Traders—Hollywood Studios
If this place had a bench, I’d sit here for hours while my kiddos make droids and lightsabers. The exit to Star Tours brings guests down a ramp and right into Tatooine Traders. Here you can have your photo taken as Princess Leia or Han Solo, purchase Storm Trooper handcuffs, or get the latest Star Wars t-shirt (pew…pew…pew). The shop’s façade is a spot-on tribute to the desert climate of Tatooine—Luke and Anakin’s home planet.
(Extra: Disney Springs has a shop with similar merchandise at the Star Wars Trading Post.
Over in the World Showcase, my favorite place to shop in Epcot is the Mitsukoshi Department Store, located in the Japan Pavilion. This place is like no other Disney shop. Its shelves are lined with both the traditional and the cute. It’s my favorite place to purchase candy in flavor combinations I’d never dream of, and don’t neglect to drift all the way to the back. I love the Zen of the bonsai, parchment and water art, and windchimes (or maybe it’s the sake).
#5 Everest Cart—Animal Kingdom
Even though the Expedition Everest Yeti Animatronic hasn’t moved in years, it still scares the Mickey Bar out of me. However, when I enter into Everest Cart, I want to snap up an adorable Yeti plush for every kid I know. This shop has some of the best t-shirts and sweatshirts on the property, perfect for the park guest who wants some souvenir apparel that doesn’t scream Disney and may suggest they actually climbed a mountain on vacation.
So, there you have it. Five great park shops that will trick you into emptying your wallet. I’d love to hear about your favorite spots and Disney souvenirs.facebook