Tips & Observations to help make your souvenir shopping a snap, from Melissa at Picturing Disney.
When my niece was little she used to carry a picture around of me, my husband, and “tink” from a Photopass magnet I gave to my parents. It was super cute because she would carry us around with her while she was at my parents’ house but this got me thinking… if that little magnet made her happy in a way that generic toys did not how could I pick out something she would love when we were away again?
Here are a few of the secrets I have learned, as a non-parent who loves to bring things home for her niece and nephews, over the years:
1. Be mindful not to buy gifts that will make the kids wish they had come with you.
It seems like everyone in Walt Disney World everything says “Walt Disney World” or boasts pictures of the castle or Spaceship Earth. I found that although I always wanted to splurge on the monorail or Cinderella Castle playset it might be a little enticing to a kid, especially knowing that there are ads for the Parks all over TV and magazines.
2. Be careful of transporting items!
Some of the bigger snowglobes cannot be carried onto planes anymore and same with some of the water filled toys for kids. Check the boxes *before* you buy- they have notices right on the label and shipping home can be pricey. I have now seen people told they could not carry a snowglobe home on the plane twice, and told they had to be gate-checked. On the other hand, I got my niece a super adorable Disney Cuties snowglobe that was on the smaller side, (and conveniently made mostly of plastic which was great for a kid) wrapped it up in my clothes, and was on my merry way.
3. Think like a kid!
Sure as an adult I might think that a really nice print or shirt would be adorable but kids want something fun and even a little exciting! There are toys everywhere in Walt Disney World and even some really cute books with CDs (I got my niece an awesome It’s a Small World book that had the lyrics to the song throughout the book that was filled with awesome drawings and it came with a CD of the music. Now my sister probably hates it but it was a really cute way for me to bring home a book!)
4. Don’t overlook World Showcase!
Some of the best shopping for anyone of any age can be done here! I especially love the shops in Japan and UK! There are unique toys with great learning opportunities attached so you can teach your friend, niece, nephew, grandchild, cousin, or whomever you are buying a souvenir for a little about world cultures.
5. When in doubt stop at Goofy’s Candy Shop!
Filling up a cup with candy on your last afternoon or just picking up some nicely wrapped sweets from Downtown Disney or one of the bigger shops like Mouse Gears in Epcot is one sweet way into the heart of any kid!
Melissa is a World History teacher living with her husband and dog in NY. She is a frequent visitor of WDW and occasional DLR guest as well. Melissa currently shares her love for Disney with her fantastic Photo Blog, Picturing Disney. She also happens to be really nice and an awesome Disney person I hope to meet someday in real life! Thanks again for the cute Mickey watch, Melissa!