Walt Disney World is one of the most popular vacation resorts in the world, with thrilling rides, entertaining attractions, magical parades, sensational fireworks displays, unique dining, and extraordinary shopping. In this article, I am going to highlight ten of the most fantastic and amazing shopping opportunities at Disney Springs. Disney Springs (previously known as Downtown Disney) is a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex located near the Walt Disney World Resort, with complimentary transportation provided for guests who are staying at a Disney Resort. There are four distinct areas: Marketplace, the Landing, Town Center, and West Side. Let’s go shopping!
1. The Art of Disney—Location: Marketplace—This little shop is filled with amazing works of art, including paintings, limited-edition prints, cels, sketches, figurines, souvenir post cards, and so much more. Every Disney character or movie can be found in some form of artwork here in this very colorful shop. In addition, renowned Disney artists often make special apearances and sign their pieces. So, if you’re in the market for an artsy gift for someone special or for yourself, this is the place to shop.
2. Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boutique—Location: Marketplace—Step inside this enchanted beauty salon that offers magical makeovers for girls or boys ages 3-12. Young girls will be transformed into beautiful princesses, and young boys will become gallant knights. With the wave of a magic wand and hands-on tricks of the trade by Fairy Godmothers-in-Training, and a lot of primping and pampering, special makeup and a lot of sparkles, young ladies and gentlemen now look as if they just stepped out of a famous Disney Fairy Tale. Special packages may include makeup, hairdo, Princess dresses, jewelry, tiara, etc., depending on how much you want to spend. Photo packages are also available.
3. Disney’s Pin Traders—Location: Marketplace—Disney pin trading has been around for many years but became a Disney tradition with the Millennium Celebration at Walt Disney World in October, 1999. Disney’s Pin Traders at Disney Springs is one of the premier pin-trading destinations, with hundreds and hundreds of themed collectible Disney pins. You can purchase or swap your own personal pins with Disney cast members or other shoppers. Also available at this shop are MagicBands & accessories, Vinylmation, Mickey Ears, and a variety of collectibe merchandise. If you can’t find that special pin here, you probably won’t find it anywhere else in the Walt Disney World Resort.
4. Goofy’s Candy Company—Location: Marketplace—You won’t have any problems figuring out who is in charge of the merchandising of this inter-active, creative candy and treat celebration, and that would be Goofy, of course. First of all, you can’t pass by this store and not be drawn in by the tantalizing aroma of freshly made cookies, cake pops, cotton candy, and other sweet treats. You can see Goofy’s influence all around this colorful confectionery, with hundreds of delectble delights. Here you can design your own frozen slushy, and you get to keep the cup specially designed for you. Stop by the mini treat-making factory, fill out a green order form, and mark off what you would like made especially for you, with all your personal favorite toppings. There are also a huge variety of pre-bagged candies, and a Jelly Belly section, where you can make your own special combination. Finally, there are several candy counters where you can choose from themed cupcakes, caramel apples, fudge, pretzel rods, and rice krispies treats. Goofy’s is the best place to satisfy your “sweet tooth” craving.
5. Tommy Bahama—Location: Town Center—Located in the Town Center district of Disney Springs, this island-themed store offers sylish men’s and women’s apparel, footwear, jewelry, accessories, and home decor celebrating the color and flair of life on an island in the Bahamas. The design and ambiance of this shop, along with the colorful, island-style clothing are so inviting that visitors linger there not only to shop but also to enjoy the beauty and atmosphere of this uniquely designed store.
6. Once Upon a Toy—Location: Marketplace—The name says it all. This delightful toy store is definitely for the child in all of us. Everywhere you look there are toys, board games, action figures, plush animals, and so much more. A giant Potato Head marks the spot where you can design and build your personal potato head figure. The store is quite roomy, so strollers or wheel chairs can maneuver through quite easily. There is an entire room devoted to Star Wars merchandise, and an area where you can “join the force” and build your own light saber. There are also plenty of Disney t-shirts, hats, and other collectibles to choose from. Very few guests leave this store empty handed. You can spend a little or a lot; the choice is yours, but the fun and shopping experience here are priceless.
7. Disney Design-A-Tee—Location: Marketplace—I really like this store. You can design, customize, and personalize your Disney t-shirt right there in the store with the help of one of several user-friendly computers. First you choose your size and color, then choose from over 400 images for your special t-shirt, and the final step is personalizing it with your own words, with your choice of font, style, and color. After you’ve completed your design, you print out your ticket, pay, then come back in about 30 minutes to pick it up. It is so easy and so much fun to watch as your child chooses and designs their own t-shirt, and it’s fun for adults too. This is one of the best Disney souvenirs, especially as a gift or to commemorate a special occasion.
8. Star Wars Galactic Outpost—Location: West Side—The force will definitely be with you as you browse this space-age devoted to “everything Star Wars”. Every inch of this store is filled with “Star Wars” merchandise: action figures, t-shirts, mugs, keychains, light sabers, hats, and every sort of collectible souvenir you can imagine. This is another Disney store where you can spend a little or a lot, depending on what you’re looking for. If you are an avid “Star Wars” fan, this store is for you.
9. Super Hero Headquarters—Location: West Side—While women, young ladies, and little girls seem to have a monopoly on shops catering to designer apparel, purses, and princess merchandise, there is a new store in town, Super Hero Headquarters, which is most popular with the male guests. This store is filled with clothing, hats, toys, action figures, collectibles, books and comics. S.H.E.I.L.D is well represented here, as well as the Marvel universe and its heroes. All the Marvel super heroes are represented in one way or another at this super, marvelous store.
10. The World of Disney—Location: Marketplace—In all of Walt Disney World, this is my absolute favorite place to do some major shopping. Why? You ask. This is the place to go for anything Disney, and I do mean anything. In this huge, colorful, Disney themed store, there are 10 different shopping areas: 1)The Magic Room (photo frames, towels, snowglobes); 2)Princess Experience Room (Princess outfits, dolls, accessories); 3)Enchanted Dining Room (kitchen items, mugs, photo frames; 4)Adventure Room (clothing for boys); 5)Villains Room (Jewelry, watches, clocks, trading pins, and collectibles; 6)Map Room (computer software, CD’s, stationery, Disney souvenirs, including pens, pencils, magnets, key chains, etc.); 7)Carnival Room (plush toys); 8)Bird Room (men’s clothing); 9)Snow White Room (Infant/toddler clothing & accessories; 10)Great Hall (women’s clothing, sleepwear, and accessories. These are the ten best reasons I love this store. Shopping in this ginormous store is like taking items from every shop at Walt Disney World and combining them here. Everywhere you look in spellbinding, with Disney creativity in decorations and animated, moving characters. Just look up as you enter this imaginative store, and you will see Aladdin, Jasmine, Abu, Genie, Donald Duck, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell & the Darling children, the three pigs and the big bad wolf, and other animated characters in magical, mystical flying vehicles. It’s truly an amazing sight and is not just a store for shopping; it is a shopping adventure. Believe me, you’ll love it!
Disney Springs is one of the greatest places to shop in all of Florida, mostly because of its Disney inspiration and imagineering. I believe Walt would have been very pleased with the evolution of this fantabulous entertaining, dining, and shopping complex. I know I am, and I think you will be too. So, shop till you drop!
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