World Showcase is a park within a park; it’s the back half of Epcot once you pass through Future World, but it’s also accessible through the International Gateway. In fact, Epcot is the only Disney World Park with two entrances.
If you’re planning on spending a day journeying through the eleven country pavilion in World Showcase, chances are you’ll want to have something tangible to commemorate your travels.
World Showcase offers many cool souvenirs, but who chooses what merchandise is available in each pavilion and how does it get there?
That’s what we’re going to talk about today!
World Showcase Merchandise Selection
There is a team of employees called the Disney Parks Merchandise Cast Members whose sole job it is to select merchandise for each of the country pavilion shops inside World Showcase! How is that for a cool job? They want your experience to be totally immersive, so they choose recognizable, authentic products to represent each pavilion.
Selecting just the right products can take several months. The Cast Members research trends not only domestically but also internationally, and they travel to far off locales for inspiration. They’re goal is to support the stories within each pavilion.
In Germany, you might see lederhosen and Oktoberfest wares including das boot! Mexico has a lot of hand-made, colorful items from artisans, and the United Kingdom has decorative teapots and a variety of teas. Every souvenir is hand selected for its authenticity.
But it’s not just the Merchandise Cast Members who have a hand in this selection process. They also work with Merchandise Operations, Location Planning, Merchandise Presentation, and Walt Disney Imagineering to make sure everything is presented well. They even consult Cultural Representatives to get feedback about the merchandise they currently carry and that which they might carry in the future.
What’s more, this is Disney World, so the Merchandise team frequently works with artists in the Disney Creative Group to create character-themed products with artwork inspired by the pavilions. For example, you might see a Frozen-themed item in Norway or a Mickey teapot in the United Kingdom.
Overall, a lot of care, work, thought, and teamwork goes into selecting just the right merchandise for World Showcase pavilions.