Home » 10 Completely Unoriginal Souvenirs EVERY Theme Park Tries to Sell You

    10 Completely Unoriginal Souvenirs EVERY Theme Park Tries to Sell You

    Souvenir Mugs

    Every theme park has its own niche of licensed characters and signature attractions, but some things remain the same. They’re all filled with overpriced food, awestruck tourists, and an overabundance of souvenirs that give you the chance to take a piece of your vacation home.

    While many souvenirs are incredibly original, others are so predictable that nearly every theme park in the world offers them in one form or another. A quick disclaimer: while these items aren’t overly unique, there’s nothing inherently wrong in purchasing them. In fact, if you want a complete collection of something that you can find in every theme park you visit, many of these will give you great options. Here are some of the top totally predictable finds that grace souvenir shelves.

    1. Mugs

    Souvenir MugsSouvenir Mugs

    Mugs are not only a classic souvenir offering in theme parks, they’re also a popular pick for gifts to give those unlucky friends and family members you left back home. Theme park mugs usually come in two varieties – those with popular characters on them, and those with *gasp* your very own name (as long as you have a fairly common name in a completely traditional spelling.)

    The good thing about theme park mugs, however, is that they usually cover the whole gamut of possibilities, from the grumpy character who hates mornings and has something witty to say about it, to the year mug so you’ll never forget exactly when you visited.

    2. Shot glasses

    Toothpick HoldersToothpick Holders

    Shot glasses, or “toothpick holders” if you’re at Disney, are an essential feature on any souvenir shelf. Granted, the phenomenon isn’t unique to theme parks, because really it’s important to drink from glassware emblazoned with images from all the places you’ve been to. If you don’t have room in your bag for mugs for all your friends, try these tiny portable gifts instead.

    3. Pencils

    Souvenir PencilsSouvenir Pencils

    Pencils are an overwhelmingly popular option at theme parks. You can stock up on simple foil-wrapped pencils with the name of the park written along the side, or get one that’s twisted into a fun shape at the end. You can even find gigantic novelty pencils that are next to impossible to write with, though they sure look fun. Though pencils are cheap and functional, their one big drawback is that if you plan to actually use them, you will eventually sharpen them down to nothing, so this isn’t a souvenir that’s made to last.

    4. Pressed pennies

    Penny PressPenny Press

    Pressed pennies are incredibly popular as a theme park souvenir. So much so that you can get special albums just for storing and displaying them. At 51 cents a pop in most parks, this souvenir is a real bargain compared to your other options. Though hardly an original option, they’re perfect for documenting your travels to different locations.

    5. Giant tubes of sugar

    Sugar SticksSugar Sticks

    For some reason, nearly all theme parks sell gigantic plastic tubes that you can fill with various flavors of colored sugar. Because really, children don’t have enough energy when they’re at a major park to begin with. Available in sizes ranging from “brief sugar rush” to “all night insanity,” these DIY sticks of candy are, admittedly, as fun to fill as they are to eat.

    6. Lollipops


    Lollipops of all sizes, shapes, and flavors, are a big sell at theme parks. This type of candy is really more fun as a take-home treat than something you plan to eat in the park. Before you unwrap one of these behemoths, consider that it will still be about the same size in 20 minutes when you get to the next ride, except then it will be sticky and really, really hard to store.

    7. Gem stones

    Gem StonesGem Stones

    Most theme park souvenirs have a fairly obvious purpose (hold a beverage, satisfy a sweet tooth, tell a story of where you’ve been). Gem stones, however, are in a category all their own. Unlike most items, they don’t include the name of the theme park or an image of a popular character. They’re not even consumable. Gem stones are popular collectibles for kids, and theme parks draw in a lot of kids, but the connection usually ends there.

    Some theme parks will at least attempt to place their bins of gem stones in a spot that’s vaguely themed to this type of item, like the Dino Institute in Animal Kingdom, but others just throw them out there anywhere there’s a cash register nearby. If you’re a collector of these stones yourself, don’t forget to include theme parks on your list of great places to buy them.

    8. Sunglasses

    Souvenir SunglassesSouvenir Sunglasses

    The connection between theme parks and sunglasses is obvious. Even if you do remember to bring yours along, there’s an excellent chance that you’ll leave them on the table when you get up from lunch, or lose them on a ride because they weren’t properly secured. To add a little flair to this classic gift shop option, many parks sell glasses with their own personal touch, like their classic characters emblazoned on the side.

    9. Snow globes

    Snow GlobesSnow Globes

    Snow globes, like pressed pennies and shot glasses, are a popular collectible that you can find at all kinds of vacation destinations. If you have the room to display them, they’re a whimsical way to document your travels. Like mugs, they come in all varieties, from those with the year (it’s very important that you know when you went) to those with frozen cities trapped inside (no, not THAT “Frozen”, but yes you can get slow globes of that too.)

    10. Magic washcloths

    Magic WashclothsMagic Washcloths

    You may not be familiar with the term “magic washcloth,” but you’ve probably seen this gift somewhere before. These simple little souvenirs feature a washcloth that’s pressed into a tiny cube (or other shape) and shrink wrapped. When you take the washcloth home and submerge it in water, it quickly expands into a full size washcloth. These are fun for their novelty value, but are usually somewhat lacking in the soft and supple department. The great thing about magic washcloths, though, is that they’re small and lightweight, making them a great option if you want to bring gifts home to a lot of people without adding pounds to your suitcase or taking up a lot of space.

    Whether you’re looking to start a new theme park collection, or just want to indulge in something oh-so-familiar, you’re sure to find these choices nearly anywhere you go.