Germany has one of the best gift shops in World Showcase for a couple of reasons. One is the glassware sold there, that even though it is the same items sold in other parts of the Walt Disney World resort, many of the items can be personalized to commemorate your visit to Germany. In addition to glassware, the gift shop in Germany is one of my favorite places simply to window shop. There are a lot of interesting items here that are fun to go and look at, but I would never (at least in the foreseeable future) actually buy because of the price. Some of the beer steins and clocks for instance are beautifully designed and so I always make it a point to head into this shop to look at them, though so far I have not come home with one. Germany’s gift shops also have some variety in that there are children’s toys, classic fairytale items, things for beer enthusiasts, some food items, drinks, and the glassware. There is also a Christmas section, which is one of my favorite places to purchase Christmas ornaments at Walt Disney World. While sometimes you might end up skipping a shop because only a couple of family members are interested in going inside, you really shouldn’t have this problem in Germany as there is generally something for everyone.
While one portion of the Italy gift shop does feature some typical Italian items that are easy to find in other places in the U.S., the Venetian mask section of the shop makes this one of my favorites. Even if I don’t plan on purchasing one of the masks, it’s a great gift shop to wander inside and look around. The other gift shops in Italy feature wine and cooking items, along with perfume, gold jewelry, and some standard Italian brands like Fendi and Ferrari. My other must-visit part of Italy’s shops is the wine and cooking section, as there are some beautiful items there that you can use to decorate your kitchen, along with things like espresso makers, pasta makers, olive oils, cookies, and sauces.
China has one of the larger gift shops in World Showcase, and features just about any Chinese souvenir you could think of. This shop includes everything from clothing, hand bags, jewelry, tea sets, chopsticks, swords, Zen gardens, statuary, and bonsai trees, just to name a few. This is one gift shop that I can very easily spend a lot of time in, and I very often come out of here with substantial purchases instead of simply going in to window shop. Though there are some very high end items, that are way beyond my budget, there are plenty of things that I often do come here to purchase. This store is also a great place to shop for gifts for friends or family at home who you might want to buy something for, but they’re not huge Disney fans.
Japan has one of the most unique gift shops at Walt Disney World. The Mitsukoshi department store is very unique in that instead of focusing on the more typical, touristy items one might find on a visit to Japan, it works as an actual department store and brings in items that are very popular among people living in Japan today. This is the place to find your favorite Nintendo and Sanrio merchandise, in addition to dinnerware, tea, incense, cosmetics, clothing, footwear, grocery items, and jewelry. One of the most interesting parts of the shop is the oyster pearl station, where guests can choose an oyster with a pearl and purchase it in an exciting, and entertaining, ceremony of sorts. This shop also includes a pearl jewelry section as well as a sake bar.
Mexico gets my number one pick for the best gift shop in World Showcase due to its authenticity. When you step into the gift shop inside the pyramid at the Mexico pavilion, it appears as though you’ve stepped right into a Mexican marketplace. Where the other gift shops are essentially just shops with country-specific merchandise, Mexico’s shop succeeds at immersing you into the environment of what would make shopping in this specific country unique. Morocco’s gift shop is another one of my favorites for this reason—instead of simply being a shop that sells Moroccan merchandise, this shop makes you feel as though you’re actually walking through the streets of Morocco. Morocco would be my pick for runner up for this list, as it loses some points for me where most of the different little shops in the pavilion sell the same merchandise.