Thursday, June 05, 2008

Best Orlando Souvenirs

When you vacation in Central Florida at one of the many theme parks in the area, you are surely going to want to take in all of the best attractions during your time in the parks. Likewise, when you leave the parks, you will likely want to take a little piece of your stay home with you to keep the memories alive, whether that be in the form of photos that you will turn into a scrapbook or memorabilia from the parks that you and your family can cherish for a lifetime. We at have scoured the three major theme park destinations in Central Florida to help you decide what the best souvenirs are in Orlando and the best way to attain them – to find what they are, and how to get them, all you have to do is keep reading below!

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At the Walt Disney World Resort, the top selling and most coveted souvenir at the parks is undoubtedly Mickey Mouse ears! While you can pick these up at multiple stores in all of the parks, the best place to purchase your own set of mouse ears (along with any other Disney hat you can think of) is at The Chapeau on Main Street U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom Park. The Chapeau is the only place on Disney property where you can get your name engraved for free on the back of your hat, although we do highly suggest making this purchase early in the day, as this service understandably gets backed up throughout the day and you will have to wait several hours to get yours back (and perhaps not be able to do it at all if you wait until later in the day). Alao at the Magic Kingdom Park, The Emporium located on Main Street is also another great souvenir store with loads of classic Disney merchandise such as stuffed animals, clothes and T-shirts, princess dresses, hats and more.

If you are not at the Magic Kingdom Park but would still like to get your name engraved on your Mickey ears, just bring them with you on your trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Edith & Adrian’s Head to Toe shop on Hollywood Boulevard has an array of merchandise available for personalization, and they will also engrave your Mickey ears here as well for a small fee. Once you have hit up all of the gift shops in the theme parks, you have one more spot to visit for any and everything you missed in the theme parks – the World of Disney at the Downtown Disney Marketplace. This store is one of the largest in the world, with room after room full of Disney merchandise, scrapbook materials and souvenirs. Chances are, if you can’t find it here, or at one of the other shops at the Marketplace, you won’t be able to find it anywhere at Disney!

If you are looking to take home more photos than souvenirs, you may want to think about a couple things. First, look for the Kodak picture spots at all of the theme parks, as those are the places that Disney most recommends for picture taking with your personal camera. And, you might also want to think about taking your photograph with one of the professional photographers that are littered throughout the parks. You no longer have to purchase your pictures right there at the theme parks (although each park has a store with that option), because this service now allows you to take a card with you that each photographer who takes a picture of you will scan. Then, once you get home from your vacation, you can go to the web site on the back of the card to look at your pictures and order them directly online! These are perfect additions to the Disney photo album or Disney scrapbook from your vacation.

The Walt Disney World Resort isn’t the only place to grab your vacation souvenirs, however. The Universal Orlando Resort is known for having specialty merchandise shops, meaning that each shop has its own theme rather than generic Universal apparel and gifts. But, your best bet for finding the best souvenirs from Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are in the Universal Studios Store and Islands of Adventure Trading Store, respectively, as both of these offer the best merchandise from all over the parks.

Sea World also has a plethora of shops to choose from as well, beginning with The Waterfront, a five acre dining and shopping area with stores featuring souvenirs from all over the world. But, if you are after a classic Sea World souvenir, there is only one place for you to visit – Shamu’s Emporium. One of the largest in the entire park, this store is devoted to Sea World’s biggest attraction, Shamu, with a wide range of merchandise available, including T-shirts to toys and even plush Shamus to take home with you!


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