An Ode to H2O

by on May 1, 2014 7 Comments

Filed under: Merchandise, Walt Disney World (FL)

One of the lovely little perks of staying at the Disney World resort hotels is that you get a supply of H2O brand products in your bathroom. The soaps and shampoos feel luxurious and smell simply divine. The “blushing orange” scent is, to my nose, almost identical to the aroma synchronized to the orange grove scene in Epcot’s Soarin’ attraction, so my shower not only reminds me of my happy place, but also of my happy ride in my happy place. Genius.

H2O products at the Disney resort hotels.

H2O products at the Disney resort hotels.

In addition to the two scents most commonly found in the Walt Disney World resorts (blushing orange and grapefruit bergamot), there are also formulas for Disney Cruise Line (the sea marine line), and a dedicated blend for Disney’s Hawaiian outpost, Aulani, called Hawaiian Sea Salt. Each of these variations has its own cult following. I’m not naming names, but among my pals at the Disney Parks Moms Panel, we have several H2O addicts, including one who begs for Sea Salt lotion from friends visiting Aulani and another who gushed that a bottle of Sea Marine shampoo was a favorite holiday gift. I myself have a not insubstantial stash of the stuff in my hall closet right now.

Typical sale offer on the website.

Typical sale offer on the website.

If you’ve developed your own H2O addiction, I’m here to help you out.

First, you should know that if you’re staying in a non-villa room at any of the Disney World resort hotels, they’ll supply you with as much soap/shampoo/conditioner as you need. Just give a call to housekeeping and they’ll bring you several extra bottles of each.

Products for sale in the gift shops.

Products for sale in the gift shops.

If you want a larger fix, you can find the Blushing Orange, Grapefruit Bergamot, and Sea Marine scents sold in several products in a gift shop at every Disney resort hotel. These are multi-use containers, not the little travel-sized bottles you’ll get in your room.

I’m all for owning your addiction and buying a full-sized supply, but there are some potential problems with buying from the hotel gift shop. First, if you’re traveling with only carry-on bags, then these larger bottles will never make it past the TSA.

The second issue is price. The H2O items are priced like mid-level luxury brands, which is fine since that’s what they are. However, if you’re used to store-brand pricing at home, you my be in for a bit of sticker shock. If you’re an annual pass holder, Disney Visa card holder, or a member of a few other groups, you may be eligible for a 10% discount (always ask). But that still may be a bit more than you’d like to spend.

Full ingredient lists available online.

Full ingredient lists available online.

My alternative is to buy directly from the source. The blushing orange, grapefruit bergamot, and sea marine scented products are all available from H2OPlus.com. I’ve subscribed to their mailing list and regularly (several times per month) receive sale offers like 25% off, free shipping, or gift with purchase.

As fun as it is to buy things while you’re in souvenir mode at Walt Disney World, it simply doesn’t make sense when you can pay less for the same item elsewhere. There is also a frequent buyer membership card that gives access to additional perks and discounts.

Some of the products are also sold at beauty supply retailers such as Ulta and a few H2O stand-alone shops.

Another option is to buy your H2O supply through DisneyStore.com. Their pricing is usually the same as that in the hotel gift shops, but several times a year there are 20-25% off discount coupons available, and you can almost always get free shipping for on a $75 or more purchase. (Be sure to input appropriate coupon codes.)

Disney Cruise Line H2O items.

Disney Cruise Line H2O items.

But back to the website … If you will be shopping there, here are some helpful tips: There is a special section of the site just for the Disney resort items. The site offers skin care tips and they provide extensive ingredient lists so that folks with allergies or sensitivities can choose the products that make the most sense for them. They even provide ingredient lists for products, like the Aulani items, that they make but aren’t actually sold on the site.

Have you developed a passion for H2O while staying at the Disney hotels? Have you ever been prompted to buy a brand after using it in a hotel? Do you find the scents appealing or do they bother you? Let us know in the comments below.

Posted on May 1, 2014

7 Responses to “An Ode to H2O”

  • I love the H2O products too, especially the Disney Cruise Line products! FYI: I have found them at Marshalls and TJ Maxx in my area at a significantly reduced price.

  • I love the H2O products as well, particularly the sea marine line! I have been very disappointed that they are much stingier now on the Disney Cruise Line and won’t automatically give you new shampoos/conditioners every day, even if you are using them (or if they ‘disappear’ from the counter). You have to bribe your steward for extras. Fortunately you can get your fix on H2O’s website (as you mentioned in the article) and they even sell travel sizes there!

    I like to take my DCL sea marine products with us to our local pool in the summer. They have a permanent home in the DCL bag I use to cart all of our stuff back and forth!

  • @Nicole, I’ve also found the products at TJ Maxx in several of the scents. Definitely cheaper!

  • by Janet Sala on May 1, 2014, at 11:44 am EDT

    Erin, this cracked me up! I thought I was the only one who brought home bags of little bottles of shampoo and conditioner from WDW, and actually used them! Friends, who are platinum DCL cruisers brought be a set of the H2O products from the cruise line. I fell in love with the Sea Minerals and bought a full size bottle of the shampoo and conditioner on my March trip. I travel a lot, and these are among the absolute best product I experience in hotels–anywhere!

    There’s a TJ Maxx near my office. I think I will need to stop by on the way home! 😉

  • by Edwina Boege on May 1, 2014, at 12:57 pm EDT

    Anyone in the Chicago metro area should take advantage of H2O’s annual warehouse sale in early June at their HQ (West Loop, downtown Chicago). Massively discounted items (50-90% off) on many if not all of their products – I have gone for the last 5 years. It’s one day (Sat) and people start lining up as early as 4am. I got there at 5am and the line was a block long. Crazy event but I stock up on all their products so I find it’s worth one day of pain. Great way to stock up on Christmas gifts or goodie bag items.

    This event usually coincides with Wilton’s tent sale in Woodridge (theirs is a few weeks long, not just one day) for those who like to bake and craft.

  • Love, love, love H2O+ products!!! I used to be able to survive with just my stockpile of travel size shampoos and shower gels from our annual Disney trips. But lately I have been needing to purchase full size bottles from the “outside” – such as the H2O+ website, TJMaxx, and most recently I found the XL bottles of shower gel at Kohls!
    Everytime I use H2O+, I am transformed back to my Happy Place! The power of scent is very powerful 🙂

  • I do the same thing & order it from H2O+ website 🙂 When I use it, those days are my “Disney Days” & I hope they never stop making it! We are leaving in 24 days for the World (who’s counting?) & I need to get my hands on one of those new bottles with the Mickey Ears for my purse!