You probably assume that you’ll bring home some souvenirs, but do you consider your shopping plans like you do your dining and park schedules?
If you don’t, you should!
Planning Your Disney Shopping
What, specifically, are you looking for? How much are you willing to spend? Which store sells the item or items you’re looking for? Will you spend a whole day shopping, or will you shop as you go? If you haven’t thought about these things, the questions below will help you make a plan that works for you!
Before we get into the questions and answers, you should know that all of the gift shops are themed. For example, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge will have very different merchandise than that of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. What’s more, every park will have different selections, and merchandise will even vary according to sections of the parks. As an example, each country pavilion in World Showcase will have country-specific items, and Tomorrowland will have souvenirs that Frontierland won’t have.
With that in mind, let’s get to answering some Disney World shopping questions!
10. During what hours can I shop?
Each store has its own operating hours, but they usually coincide with the park hours. In Magic Kingdom, the shops have the same hours as the park with the exception of the Emporium, which is open one hour after the park closes. Some stores in Hollywood Studios are open from 30 minutes to as late as two hours after park closing. Animal Kingdom stores Disney Outfitters, Island Mercantile, and the Outpost are open one hour after park closing, and all other stores follow park hours. All stores in Epcot follow park hours.
Disney Springs is one of the best shopping and dining areas in Disney World. Stores open as early as 9:30AM and stay open as late as 12AM, but most stores are open from 10AM to 11PM. Resort gift shop hours vary too with most being open from 8AM to 11PM.
9. Do I need a ticket to shop at stores outside of the parks?
Although you do have to have a park ticket to shop the stores inside the parks, you do not need a ticket to shop at Disney Springs or the resort hotels, and there is no admission fee. If you’re doing Disney on a budget, consider saving some money on a park ticket by spending a whole day in Disney Springs. There is plenty to do!
8. What should I do if I’m looking for a specific item?
If you’ve done some research, and you know exactly what you’re looking for or even if you have a rough idea, a Disney Cast Member can be your best resource. Head over to World of Disney where you’ll find one of the largest selections of Disney-themed merchandise in the world. Towards the back of the store, you’ll find a desk exclusively for helping guests find what they’re looking for. The Cast Members who staff this desk are knowledgeable and helpful, and if they don’t have it in the store, they can call the merchandise hotline where another Cast Member can search their entire inventory. If they don’t have it readily available, they can ship it to you! (See below)
7. Where can I find the best selection of items?
As I mentioned above, World of Disney is huge. It is in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs, and it is designed to have separate rooms for each category of items including housewares, men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, accessories, jewelry, etc.
In Magic Kingdom, the Emporium is the largest store, and it is separated similarly to World of Disney only on a smaller scale. In Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Island Mercantile is the biggest, and in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it’s Mickey’s of Hollywood. Epcot’s largest store is Mouse Gear.
6. Is there a limit to how many items I can buy?
Some items have a limit on how many one guest can buy. Things like Disney lines of designer bags may have purchase limits.
Why the limit? Disney knows that these things are very popular and that if they didn’t put a limit on how many a person could buy, they would sell out very quickly leaving nothing for the guests later in the day. What’s more, some people would buy several of one item and sell them online at an inflated rate.
5. Are there any coupons?
It is very rare that you’ll find coupons for anything in Disney World, but it is possible!
If you dine at a counter-service restaurant in any of the four Disney theme parks, check the bottom of your receipt. Sometimes, the receipt will come with a 20% off coupon that is good at World of Disney between certain hours. The hours and locations are limited, so be sure to read the fine print. Disney sometimes prints these receipt coupons during very busy times in attempt to get people to shop during less crowded times in the stores.
If you book through Disney, you may receive a few items in the mail including a book of valuable coupons for dining and shopping discounts and free mini golf among other things. Also, if you stay at a Disney Springs Hotel, you will probably get a coupon book when you check in with discounts for stores in Disney Springs.
Other coupons are available in the back of Birnbaum’s Guide to Walt Disney World. These coupons vary by edition, but past offers have included 15% off at Something Silver, $10 off $75 or more at the LEGO store, and 10% off at Basin.
4. Are there any other discounts available?
Guests who fall into some categories are eligible for even more discounts. If you’re an Annual Passholder, you’ll enjoy 10% to 20% off at specific stores. Disney Vacation Club members get a discount off Disney owned-and-operated stores, and Chase Disney Visa cardholders also get a discount on purchases at World of Disney.
These discounts cannot be combined with coupons from number five, so be sure to do the math to decide which discount is better. The offers also vary from time to time.
3. I don’t want to carry my packages through the park. What can I do?
You already have enough to carry around Disney especially if you’re traveling with kids. The last thing you want to do is carry all of your souvenirs! Fortunately, Disney knows this and has made provisions.
First, you can choose to have your souvenirs sent to your resort hotel as long as you’re not checking out the same day or the next day since it can take up to two days for your items to arrive at your resort. Your purchases will be sent to the gift shop, and you’ll receive a phone call on your room phone when it arrives. You can then head over to the gift shop and show your receipt to claim your purchases.
Another option is to have your purchases held at the front of the park. This is a good option if you’re checking out the same day or the next day or if you’re not staying at a Disney Resort Hotel. You should know that Disney is not responsible for perishable, breakable, or live items including things that will melt like caramel apples or need cared for like the bonsai trees sold in Epcot’s World Showcase.
2. Can I have my items shipped to my house?
If you purchase something that you can’t or don’t want to take on the plane or you just want the convenience of not having to worry lugging your souvenirs around, you can ship them via UPS or FedEx for an additional fee. You can find packaging materials at convention resorts, but the store can also package up your items and ship them right from checkout.
1. I’m back home and I didn’t purchase something I really wanted. What can I do?
Do you regret passing up that coffee mug that you found at the Emporium or the giraffe statue at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge gift shop? Merchandise Guest Services can help you find the item! Just call 1-877-560-6477 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Be as detailed as possible providing a description of the item, in what park and store you found it, the SKU, and the price. The more information you can provide about the item you’re looking for, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to find it. If you find something you think you may want but you don’t want to purchase right away, snap a picture of the item and of the price tag. The friendly Cast Members can find the item and ship it to you pretty quickly!
Have you had Disney ship souvenirs from the park to your Resort room?