A visit to the Disney Parks is many things, but cheap is not among them. It can cost a sizable chunk of one’s paycheck to plan a trip to Disney, taking into account the lodging, the park admission, the food, and the transportation to the property.
And then, of course, there’s the hardest-to-justify yet most-important-of-all expenses: souvenirs.
Disney souvenirs are a class unto themselves for shopping addicts. There are entire warehouses filled with collectible Disney merchandise — much of it unique to the Disney Parks. For fans, it’s impossible not to find something worth collecting.
But while Disney has managed to corner the market on ornaments shaped like Mickey Mouse and tie-dye t-shirts with the current year stamped on the front, they’re still missing a large chunk of memorabilia that collectors and regular park guests would love.
Here are a few examples of the kinds of souvenirs Disney should offer more of:
The dark ages of resort-specific merchandise are in the past, yes, but that still doesn’t mean we’re in a full-on renaissance.
There was once a time when each resort not only had its own unique souvenirs you could take home, but they all were remarkably different in their aesthetics and concepts. The Caribbean Beach Resort’s collectibles looked nothing like the Contemporary Resort’s. They all had unique styles, color palates, and even kinds of items.
Then, beginning with the 2001 recession and lasting for well over a decade, Disney began phasing that level of uniqueness out. Instead, the company opted for a more homogenous collectible line, mostly bereft of unique resort merch. Now, these unique items are returning, but they broadly follow established templates that make it easier to Disney to produce at scale.
That’s a shame, really. Having unique merch to buy from each resort heightens the special experience of staying at one instead of the other. It helps guests feel more connected to their resort, and makes it more likely they’ll return. And, ultimately, it’s just super cool.