Like most visitors to Walt Disney World, I love choosing my vacation souvenirs. I even have a method for how I make my selections. During the early days of the trip, I take some time to scope out the options at all four parks, Downtown Disney and more than a few resorts. I typically do not purchase anything until I feel I have perused the places offering the sort of items I prefer. After having done so, it is not uncommon for me to spend the morning of the last day making my all purchases. The reason behind my patient pursuit is that I do not want to spend my set-aside money only to find something amazing in a store not yet visited. I tend to gravitate toward unique items, especially ones that cannot be found on the Disney Parks online store. I so enjoy bringing home a great Walt Disney World souvenir. It is like bringing home a piece of the magic, and it adds to the memories of wonderful experience. With those reasons in mind, there are five types of souvenir items I would like to see become available at WDW merchandise locations:
#5 – Sportin’ the Gear
As recent as five years ago, or so, WDW resort, restaurant and attraction-specific tees were virtually nonexistent for purchase on property. Attractions with designated gift shops, like Pirates of the Caribbean, were the exception. Gradually, over the past two years, Disney, via disneystore.com, has made strides by offering limited quantities of attraction poster and anniversary tees. While they have made progress, I would still like to have the opportunity to buy attraction, pavilion, land and or resort tees while on vacation at WDW. Personally, I would love to sport a tee proclaiming my love of Peter Pan’s Flight, Adventureland, the Emporium, ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and others.
#4 – Bring Home-Away-From-Home to Your Home
Several years ago, in select Deluxe WDW Resorts, there were small catalogues offering guests the opportunity to purchase various decorative items like those found in the resort guest rooms. Offerings were relatively generic such as the particular brand of white sheets found on the beds. I wish this idea would be expanded to allow guests to purchase the decorative bedding, lamps, side tables, furniture, and wall art. I would especially like to own the long roll pillow and bed runner found on the beds at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
#3 – Homemade Bliss
Disney has released a few cookbooks over the years: Cooking with Mickey, Delicious Disney, and the annual Disney’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival Cookbook(s). While I love these recipe page-turns, most of them offer instructions for particular menu items found in various restaurants throughout WDW. As I have shared with readers many times before, I thoroughly enjoy fine food, but I am also mad about the classic foods available at the food carts and kiosks. I wish that Disney would publish for purchase a “Snack Cart Cookbook” dedicated solely to helping guests recreate WDW versions of beloved foods such as the corn dogs, popcorn, Dole Whip, eggrolls, funnel cakes, and more.
#2 – What was that song?
If you are like me, long after your vacation has ended, you find yourself humming attraction songs as well as background music. I have often wondered if Disney Imagineers, utilizing today’s technological advancements, could create an app allowing guests to hotspot download music while moving throughout the various parks and resorts. How great would it be to pull out your iPhone and quickly download the background tracks and the soundtrack for Festival of Fantasy as you stroll down Main Street, USA, or add “How Do You Do?” to your music library while you wait in line for Splash Mountain?
#1 – That Smell Takes Me Back
In my mind, this line of items is so ingenious; I cannot believe the Disney Design Group has not sent it to production yet! Imagine entering your kitchen and being greeted by wafts of waffle cones and vanilla ice cream as if you stepped into the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, or as you open your front door to welcome guests, they are greeted by the refreshing floral scent of the Polynesian lobby. This could be accomplished by means of a line of Walt Disney World candles. Other fragrance recommendations include: Buttery Main Street Popcorn, Sweet Soarin’ Orange Groves, Magic Kingdom Rose Garden, Smoky Rome Burning, PhilharMagic Apple Pie, Aloha Isle Dole Whip, or for the really adventurous – Musty Water or Big Thunder Sulfur Springs.
What about you? What item would you like to be able to purchase at WDW? Which attraction or location do you wish you could sport a tee from? What WDW smell do you wish you could buy in a candle? Let us know in the comments section below!
(Disney’s Polynesian Resort Guest Room photo from the author’s personal collection. Other photos ©Disney.)
Kendall is an editor and contributing writer for WDW Radio. She began visiting Walt Disney World in 1991 with her family and has continued to visit the resort with her husband. Her home-away-from-home is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and she believes a perfect day at WDW includes a dip in the Lava Pool, a ride on Splash Mountain and a Pineapple Dole Whip. Follow her on Twitter @kl_foreman.