One reason I enjoy visiting Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World is the shopping opportunities. But it’s not the standard Mickey t-shirt, which is certainly available, that draws me to Downtown Disney. It’s that many stores offer merchandise to customize and personalize.
Custom and Personalized Gifts at Downtown Disney Marketplace
At Arribas Brothers, guests can watch crystal items being made by glass artists and select from a number of items that can be etched with a personal message. Popular items include Mickey figures and a small Cinderella glass slipper. Engraving for metal jewelry and wooden keepsake boxes is also available.
Create Your Own Ear Hat, a small area located between the shopping spaces for Disney Design-A-Tee and The Art of Disney, offers the custom Disney item. Guests design a personalized set of the iconic Mickey ears. Just select the hat base from several colors, designs and styles, choose some ears, and add some patches and embroidery, and let the Cast Members construct the final product.
Hanes sponsors Disney Design-a-Tee, where guests personalize a t-shirt. Using a touch-screen kiosk, guests select the shirt’s size and color, then choose images from one of the offered themes (e.g. Princesses, Disney Characters, Pixar, Films) and add ready-to-use or custom text. In addition to a personalized souvenir or gift, Design-a-Tee offers an easy way to create matching shirts for your Walt Disney World vacation. Shirts take about a half-hour to make after orders are completed.
Looking for a Christmas ornament that will reflects the spirit of Disney and the holidays? Disney’s Days of Christmas celebrates all year round with its seasonal merchandise, and some ornaments can be personalized.
At the sports-oriented Team Disney, guests can get a custom-made baseball bat (mini or full size) laser engraved with a name, signature or logo. The store can also customize baseballs, helmets, or display cases.
Customized Shopping Experiences At Downtown Disney West Side
For additional creative, customizable fun, visit Ridemakerz and D-Street at Downtown Disney West Side. Both these stores offer shopping as interactive, immersive experiences.
D-Street is the home to the popular and collectible Vinylmation figurines. It’s also the spot for guests to show off their artistic flair at the Vinylmation Creation Station, a table with hundreds of decorated 3” figures for inspiration. Guests can take a blank Vinylmation figure and decorate it with markers, eyes, stickers and small accessories. Artists: Don’t forget to sign your masterpiece.
At Ridemakerz, guests can customize racing cars and other autos, from a slick Corvette to a sturdy ambulance, tricking them out in various ways. After selecting the vehicle type, guests select various add-ons, including wheels and rims, stickers, bumpers and lights. Perhaps the main appeal of the Ridemakerz experience? Adding the remote-control option.
Customized Toys for Kids at Downtown Disney
Generations of families know Legos to be interactive fun. That sense of play exists the Lego Imagination Center, where guests can fill up buckets of mix-and-match Legos to create their own personal set.
Once Upon a Toy Shop is another toy lovers’ must-stop shop. Guests can create their own sets of classic toys, such as choosing a box full of body parts for Mr. Potato Head or a make-your-own Lincoln Log collection. A “Build Your Own Lightsaber” option allows “Star Wars” fans to take the Force home with them.
At the World of Disney, children (and kids at heart) can fill up a treasure chest of pirate’s booty in the Adventure Room. Pretty princesses can make their own tiaras and wands or fill jewelry boxes in The Princess Room.
T-Rex, the themed restaurant, offers a Build-a-Dino, related to the Build-a-Bear franchise, during which kids create a cute pre-historic plush.
More Downtown Disney Create-Your-Own Fun
Adults might like creating their own spice blends at The Spice & Tea Exchange, located inside Mickey’s Pantry, or order custom scents at Basin, the shop for homemade personal beauty products. These store are found at Downtown Disney Marketplace.
For inexpensive create-your-own souvenirs, seek out the Disney pressed penny machines that can be found around Downtown Disney. For $.51 each (one penny, plus two quarters), guests can squash a penny and impress upon it a Disney design. A very portable memento, there’s something about collecting pressed pennies that brings out your inner 10-year-old.
In the mood for tasty concoctions to please your taste buds? Guests can make their own snacks at Goofy’s Candy Co. Apples, Rice Krispie treats, cookies, pretzel rods, or marshmallows serve as the base for assorted toppings. At Disney’s Candy Cauldron, guests can have candy apples made to order by choosing a coating and a topping.
And that’s just a partial list of personalized merchandise at Downtown Disney. Guests can, among other things, have their silhouette captured or caricature created; visit the Hands Arts Memories booth for hand-painted handprints; and get custom jewelry designed at Pick-a-Pearl and other kiosks.
While some of the same customizable items can be found at Disney theme parks, the concentration of such experiences at Downtown Disney helps me focus on shopping as its own creative pleasure. It’s these kinds of souvenirs and gifts that are fun to make, creating Walt Disney World memories that matches the merchandise.
- Disney Pin Trading: Rules and Etiquette for Enjoying the Experience (chipandco.com)
- Top Fifteen Super Cheap Disney World Souvenirs. (chipandco.com)