/ Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

by Emma Godbold

Walt Disney World can be a fabulous place for shopping throughout the year but a visit at Christmas time can find your suitcase bulging at the seams…and if you fly home like us international visitors then you’ll be praying that you haven’t exceeded the weight limit for your luggage!

Guests looking for Christmas decorations outside of the holiday season can head to Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Magic Kingdom, It’s a Wonderful Shop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (love that reference!), Die Weihnachts Ecke in Epcot and Disney’s Days of Christmas at Downtown Disney. There’s enough holiday cheer in those shops to have you feeling festive on even the hottest days in July!!

But if you are lucky enough to head to Walt Disney World during the Christmas festivities you will find seasonal goods filling the shelves in almost every merchandise location.

So what can you buy while you’re there for the holidays? Almost anything you can imagine; decorations, candy, clothing, kitchenware, and not forgetting the ever popular Santa hats with Mickey ears! My favourite items to buy are ones that have the year of your visit. Then each Christmas when you hang the item on your tree, wear the t-shirt or count the days down to Christmas you’ll remember the visit you had when the item was purchased.

My favourite WDW places to shop at Christmas? I love the resort gift shops; you can often find little Christmassy things in here that can’t be found in the parks. I love the Wilderness Lodge Mercantile in Wilderness Lodge at Christmas; I think the log cabin effect makes it feel even more seasonal when it is full of festive goodies!

Another place not to miss is the Gingerbread House bake shop at Grand Floridian. You’ve heard of the huge gingerbread house that appears in the lobby of the Grand Floridian each holiday season? Well inside you’ll find a shop selling all kinds of edible Christmas treats.

My favourite shops within the parks which seem to be full of gifts at Christmas time are The Emporium in Magic Kingdom and Mouse Gear at Epcot. I’ve found larger items in Mouse Gear on previous visits that I haven’t seen anywhere else on property. But as I said before, Christmas merchandise is everywhere!

In my previous post I talked about attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Well, Disney sells event-specific merchandise at the parties which you will not be able to get at any other time. Word of warning…some items sell out so if you see something you like BUY IT!! Oh, and be careful of the crowds heading into The Emporium on a party night to buy those exclusive t-shirts and pins!!!

There is a collection of Christmas gifts which cannot be purchased in the actual parks or resorts but can be delivered to you during your WDW stay. The Disney Floral and Gifts department have some amazing festive gifts in their Christmas and Holiday Magic range. Unfortunately I can’t fit the Christmas tree into my suitcase but I’m dreaming that one day my resort room will have a very special visit from Mickey and Minnie. Here’s how this year’s ‘in room celebration’ is described on the Disney Floral website:

“Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse heard you were coming, so they placed a special Christmas sash, (featuring a fabric wreath on one side and a holiday tree on the other) over the door to your Walt Disney World® Resort room. Then, they slipped inside to create a Disney Christmas to remember!

Once inside, you’ll see the glow from luminaries placed around the room. On a table nearby you’ll find the “Toon Town Times,” a holiday Disney newspaper personalized with your family name, filled with stories and ideas for fun activities. But, on the bed, a plush Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, dressed in holiday hats, wait for you, each holding a special Christmas package filled with memories and dreams. Mickey’s present is a “Memory Making Box” full of surprises and activities to create special memories in the room and the parks. Minnie’s “Disney Kiss Goodnight” has everything needed to wind down your day with a magical moment to cherish.

All these gifts from Mickey and Minnie are yours to enjoy, both in the parks and in your room – and after you’ve filled your hearts with memories and dreams, these gifts are yours to take home!

Inside Mickey’s “Memory Making Box”:

  • An autograph book and pen for your Christmas “meet and greets”.
  • A Christmas red blanket to sit on when you watch the parade.
  • Two holiday light-up lanyards to wear when the park starts to twinkle.
  • Two Mickey Vision Glasses that turn every burst of firework into a Mickey head.
  • For inside the room, Mickey left you felt ornaments to hang on your door sash tree, to create another memory!
  • Two exclusive Mickey Mouse sleepy time pillowcases.
  • A Disney storybook for a cozy snuggle at bed time.
  • A “wish upon a star” activity, which includes a “pixie-dusted” Swarovski crystal star to create special memories.
  • Plus, one more little box filled with cookie decorating goodies for everyone to enjoy!”

Inside Minnie’s “Disney Kiss Goodnight”:

  • Two exclusive Mickey Mouse sleepy time pillowcases.
  • A Disney storybook for a cozy snuggle at bed time.
  • A “wish upon a star” activity, which includes a “pixie-dusted” Swarovski crystal star to create special memories.
  • Plus, one more little box filled with cookie decorating goodies for everyone to enjoy!”

Doesn’t it sound magical?! We all have to have a Christmas wish, right?

I’ll end this post with a confession to you all. The first year I got to visit Walt Disney World during the holiday season I went at the beginning of December. I had planned on completing my Christmas shopping during my two week vacation; treating my family and friends to unique gifts from the World. Know what happened? I spent so much time buying things that caught my eye that I had to go out on Christmas Eve when I arrived back in the UK to finish buying gifts for others! I didn’t make that mistake again; all gift shopping is completed in November before I fly out so that the WDW shopping is all mine!!

Happy shopping everyone xxx

Emma Godbold lives in the East of England and has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was a teenager. In between trips, Emma can be found reading about Disney history or researching and planning her next Disney vacation. She also writes her own blog at www.daydreamingdisney.com.

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