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7 Things They Won’t Tell You About Shopping at Walt Disney World but We Will

by Brittany DiCologero

1) Shipping services

Items purchased in the park can be shipped either to your resort gift shop or to package pick up at the front of the park. Simply ask to have your items shipped while you’re being checked out, remembering that food items cannot be shipped. It is also important to consider how much longer you will be in the park or at Walt Disney World. In order to pick up your package at the front of the park, you’ll want to be there for another three hours, and to pick it up from your resort gift shop you cannot be checking out the next day.

2) Shop Disney Parks

One of the newest Disney mobile apps is the Shop Disney Parks app, enhances guests’ shopping experiences. This app allows guests to order items to be shipped home when they are not physically at the parks. It also allows them to see where items are sold around the Walt Disney World Resort.

3) It can be expensive

Depending on the item, you might find yourself spending a lot of money on souvenirs during a Walt Disney World vacation. While I would expect souvenirs to be pricey at any tourist destination, a lot of guests do not realize how expensive shopping can be. If you like to shop, I would suggest setting aside some extra room in your budget ahead of time, so that your wallet won’t feel too much pain when you’re at Walt Disney World.

4) Kids will want everything

While it works great in terms of theming, and for people with self control, having attractions end in gift shops can be really tricky for parents of children who are going to want to buy everything they see. As you probably already know, many kids have no concept of how much it costs to buy lots of souvenirs, which can make a Disney vacation difficult as they will constantly want to buy things. If you’re worried about this, try setting aside some money for each child ahead of time so they can learn to budget for themselves, and be a bit choosy about which souvenirs they buy without blowing through your budget.

5) Dining plan snacks can be used at shops

It might not be the best value on the dining plan, but if you do find yourself with some leftover snack credits at the end of your trip, you can use them on certain pre-packaged snacks that are sold at Disney gift ships. Rice Krispie treats, pucker powder, cookies, and more are all examples of gift shop snacks that can be purchased using dining plan snack credits.

6) You should know your discounts

You probably don’t think of shopping at Walt Disney World as any kind of bargain, but there are actually a couple of discounts that are available to certain guests shopping at the parks and resorts. For instance, annual passholders and Disney Vacation Club members are able to take ten percent off of their merchandise purchases at Walt Disney World. Disney Visa cardmembers are also eligible for discounts off of their purchases of fifty dollars or more. While the discounts at Walt Disney World are not really plentiful, they do exist, and it is definitely important to know if any of them apply to you.

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7) The shops are as elaborately themed as the parks

It should come as no surprise that nearly every part of Walt Disney World is designed with such immense detail and attention to theming—and the shops are no different. For instance, the shops in World Showcase offer authentic goods from each of the different countries. Star Wars merchandise can be found in fitting locations such as the Star Wars Launch Bay and Tattooine Traders, and of course there are the sort of flagship shops like the Emporium or Mouse Gear that sell nearly every kind of Disney merchandise out there. My favorite park for shopping is actually Animal Kingdom, as I love browsing through the shops in Asia and Africa, where there is plenty of unique merchandise that would be nearly impossible to find anywhere else in the US.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.