Sometimes I find the idea of going shopping in a theme park foreign. We only get a few theme park days a year or in a lifetime and the days are precious.
However, paying the prices we pay for admission to a Walt Disney World park like EPCOT or Magic Kingdom or even Universal’s Islands of Adventure and spend most of the day shopping?
It’s not my personal top priority when I visit a theme park. But that being said, there are a lot of specialty shops within a place like EPCOT.
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Does Disney have physical stores?
Well, does Mickey Mouse have ears? Between the parks and Disney Springs, Disney has more physical stores than … I’m struggling to think of a good analogy.
Malls don’t really exist much anymore. Downtowns don’t really have THAT many stores these days. But let’s put it this way. I think there are more stores in the Disney complex than there are in the entire country of Latvia. Don’t Google that.
Does Disney have physical stores? Yes. Guests can choose from a stunning array of gift shops selling themed merchandise, gifts, souvenirs, clothes, housewares, art, wine and wine accessories, food or fragrances. Essentially if it can be bought in the world, Disney has a store for it.
Do the World Showcase stores sell items from the featured countries?
An exquisite question. The answer is yes. Basically, the France pavilion sells French stuff. The Germany pavilion sells German stuff.
Are some of the items cheesy tourist-style knick-knacks? I’m not sure. Let me take a long swig from my special stein engraved lovingly with the traditional Bavarian title Der Burgermeister while I ponder the question.
But there are also cool authentic items like you would find at real stores in the country.
It is, after all, an international marketplace. You can find cool crafts, leather goods, baskets, Viking helmets with horns and more.
Which are the best lands to shop in EPCOT’s World Showcase?
It’s difficult to rank them. First of all, several of the shops are “temporarily unavailable” according to Disney. Also, the rankings would depend greatly on your personal preferences.
So, let’s go through some of the most popular pavilions and their shopping options, listed in no particular order.
The House of Good Fortune is one of several EPCOT World Pavilion “department stores” selling traditional items a tourist may like to buy.
In China, that includes fans, lanterns, teapots, statues and clothing.
The related Good Fortune Gifts sells cool puppets as well as parasols. My daughter Sofia got one signed by Mulan years ago – as well as Chinese-style hats and more.
The Italy Pavilion is one of the more serious shopping destinations in the park along with France, Germany and Mexico.
Il Bel Cristallo is home to exquisite Italian wares, including Murano glass, porcelain, crystal, chic handbags, clothing and accessories.
You can also cruise over to La Bottega Italiana to purchase a Venetian mask such as those worn at a masquerade ball. You can also browse cookware, decorative items and Italian foodstuffs.
The Plume et Palette is like stepping out of the Paris Metro – not really – and into a designer shop for French bags and fragrances from Le Tanneur, Dior, Thierry Mugler and more.
The French Pavilion is another key shopping destination.
You have Souvenirs De France – which does not have a sign but is located inside Les Halles at the exit of the Impressions of France show. This shop features French-inspired souvenirs including colorful Eifel Tower replicas and themed apparel.
Les Vins de France is also self-explanatory if you speak French. It translates to “The Wines of France”.
L’Esprit de la Provence sells gifts and houseware items like you’d find in the South of France. And La Signature offers ver 70 different French cosmetics, perfumes and fragrances from Guerlain. You can get a makeup consultation there, too.
The Mexico Pavilion
At the Plaza de Los Amigos, an open-air market, you can buy piñatas, sombreros, ceramics, baskets, leather goods, Latin foodstuffs and more while La Princesa de Cristal allows you to add sparkle to your table with Arribas Brothers crystal and glassware, cut crystal, blown glass and crystal figurines.
At La Tienda Encantada, you will find fine jewelry, tooled leather goods and colorful accessories inspired by the charm and beauty of old Mexico.
I like the marketing people for The Fjording. They get me.
“Put on a Viking helmet, pose with a giant troll and shop for Norwegian imports from fragrances to foodstuffs to fleece”.
Say less. You had me at “put on a Viking helmet”.
I studied French quite a bit and a little Spanish. I learned enough to noodle my way around the romance languages. German? No idea what is happening there.
Apparently, Das Kaufhaus means department stores, which is helpful. I’m guessing Glaskunst has something to do with drinking because that’s the place to get a personally engraved stein.
Or, if you’re somewhat classier than I am, you can get some of the finest crystal and glassware in all of World Showcase, where you “may even see a real-life glass blower practicing his craft.”
But Die Weihnachts Ecke – an old-world German Christmas shop – is really cool if you like Christmas, the old world … or Germany.
United Kingdom Pavilion
I sometimes mistakenly call the UK Pavilion the British Pavilion. I’m painfully American and somewhat oblivious to the long cultural and political boundaries of the UK, despite having been there four times to get enough shopping respect.
Sure, I’m a little surprised there’s enough tourist interest in the British tea culture to support the Queen’s Table.
But at The Crown & The Crest, you can get a UK crest on a mug or your family coat of arms on a plaque.
They also advertise Beatles bric-a-brac, Rose & Crown merchandise and more.
Northwest Mercantile, Canada’s department store, offers apparel and accessories, food, pins, toys and plush items.
The American Adventure
This centerpiece of the World Showcase features the Art of Disney store. This shop offers paintings, limited-edition prints, figurines and the Disney Classic Collection.
However, the promotional materials do not say shop. They say “invest.” Hey man, I’m on vacation, I ain’t here to expand my portfolio.
What are the best shops in EPCOT for souvenirs?
This we can rank. Here are some of the best shops in EPCOT for souvenirs:
1. Club Cool
Club Cool sells Coca-Cola products from around the world at World Celebration.
My Aunt Teresa is a huge Coca-Cola collector, so I get the appeal. But, to me, it is a niche market in terms of Disney shopping. It needs more Star Wars toys or Beatles bric-a-brac.
2. World Traveler
This shop at International Gateway – the back entrance to the park – is your passport to EPCOT and Disney souvenirs plus cold beverages for your voyage.
3. Gateway Gifts
This is the last chance for romance if you’re leaving the park or a good spot to stop and pick up everyday essentials if you forgot something coming in.
This shop also features ear hat embroidery – a close second to beer stein engraving in my book – and package pickup services.
4. Disney Traders
This Showcase Plaza shop has Magic Bands, toys and plush items.
We always go clockwise around the World, starting in Canada and ending in Mexico so we find this shop to be a good place to rest, get a little air conditioning and buy a bottled drink or two.
It’s a good shop to regroup after a long hike.
5. Port of Entry
The mirror of Disney Traders – located in essentially the same spot but on the Canada side – this spot is billed as a place to stop by for Disney-themed apparel, jewelry and other souvenirs before or after your trip around World Showcase.
6. Creations Shop
EPCOT’s flagship store is filled with souvenir-worthy shopping items – many of which are exclusive to EPCOT. Items offered include apparel and accessories, gifts and housewares and toys and plush all from a sleek, modern storefront.
Each Disney park has what is essentially the big, main shopping spot for all things gifts and souvenirs. This is EPCOT’s.
Riding an attraction at a Disney park is the real-world equivalent of Googling something and then spending the rest of your days getting sent ads related to that search.
You can’t ride any major attraction in any Disney park without exiting through a gift shop specifically dedicated to that experience. Let’s rank the best.
7. Image Works
Look, you’ve got to give it to EPCOT executives. They don’t give up easily. Is there a great demand for Figment-themed merchandise, toys, games and candy?
I haven’t seen it. But they’re out here peddling purple dragon stuff all day and night.
8. Mission: SPACE Cargo Bay
I think Mission: SPACE merch may be the candy corn of Disney World.
I can’t imagine it is sold heavily. Instead, I suspect it is just moved, repackaged or refreshed in the hope that someday, somewhere, someone will want it.
9. Treasures of Xandar
Discover out-of-this-world merchandise inspired by the Guardians of the Galaxy at this Xandarian trading post.
You can get a trinket for your dashboard like Yondu. I am Groot.
10. The Fjording
The aforementioned Norway Pavilion Shop is the exit for the Frozen Ever After ride. Once you exit the ride, if you don’t buy an Anna or Elsa toy, your little Frozen fan will not let it go.
11. SeaBase Gift Shop
If I had to guess, this merchandise location at the exit of Nemo & Friends with toys, apparel and aquatic merchandise has gotten more of my money than any other EPCOT store.
What is your favorite EPCOT shop within the Walt Disney World Resort? Let us know in the comments.