Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

Gifts for a Theme Park Vacationer

by on December 19, 2016

Christmas Minnie Ears

If you’re searching for a last-minute holiday gift or a little something special to add to your own holiday wish list, TouringPlans is here to help! I compiled a list of what I think are some of the best gifts for those planning to visit the parks soon. And while holidays present the perfect gifting opportunity, most of these will work year-round for other celebrations like birthdays or anniversaries too.

Accessories for a Minion fan

Wearable Gifts – For a truly impressive gift, put your knowledge of their favorite character, attraction, or movie to good use. From custom t-shirts and mouse ears to lanyards and pins, there is an endless supply of fun things they can wear to the parks. Even better, there is an endless supply of online or local stores that sell these too, so finding something perfect while staying on budget shouldn’t be too hard.

Disney themed day-bags

Gear – There are certain items that almost every theme park vacationer likes to pack: poncho, day bag for the park, refillable water bottle, portable phone charger, hand sanitizer, and so on. Other items, like a toiletries bag, suitcase, or travel friendly snacks, are great ideas for travelers in general. Depending on the budget, you could pick just one item or put them together into a gift basket that will please any theme park vacationer.

Photo Package – Both Disney and Universal offer photo packages to capture those special vacation memories. Plenty of vacationers on tight budgets question whether the package is worth it, but receiving it as a gift can alleviate those worries. The price is discounted when purchased in advance, and they receive photo memories to cherish for years to come. It’s a definite win-win.

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Gift ideas for your own little (and no so little) Disney Princess

by on May 7, 2015

Wal-Mart Mickey Mouse Purse

Wal-Mart Mickey Mouse Purse

Hello again. Having just returned from a fortnight in Florida, I followed my own tips from my last blog and used the flight time to write this blog. As I had spent all of my holiday money, and a lot of my Dad’s hard earned money, during numerous shopping sprees, I thought I would come back with another inspirational, witty and award-winning blog on age appropriate Disney gift ideas for girls (catchy I know but I will think of a better title soon I promise).

My plan is to uncover a range of ideas that you have never really thought of before. I am going to split up my blog into age ranges and then list and explain a few presents that you might be interested in bringing home for your princess/daughter/niece/family friend etc. Being the quintessential Mother’s Daughter that I am, I was born to shop but when I was smaller, I had to rely on my cute smile and good behaviour to get the things I have highlighted. Also, please bear in mind fashions change and I cannot see any Daddy letting their Princess follow Miley Cyrus now; I know mine won’t!

Let’s begin with younger girls and work up my current status of teenage girl.

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Personalized Souvenirs of Walt Disney World

by on May 30, 2014

As a child with a strange name I longed to find personalized key chains and pencils when souvenir hunting. Even though it was never there, I always hunted through the racks hoping against hope that one day my name would magically appear. Maybe that’s why I’ve scoured Walt Disney World to find the best personalized souvenirs to remember your trip! If you, too, have a weird name, then have no fear, we’ve got you covered.


Mickey Ears to fit every style!

Mickey Ears: This is an easy one, but anyone can get their his or her name embroidered on a pair of Mickey Ears. Disney has also lightened up on the policies about what can be put on ears these days. I’ll never forget a few years ago when a cast member actually said she had to see my drivers license to put my name on my hat! Locations are available to personalize hats in all four parks and Downtown Disney. Remember, now that fancier fonts available, you normally have to come back later in the day to pick up your personalized hat.

Parasols: While this option can get pricey fast, what little girl doesn’t want one of these? Not only can they be personalized with names, but I’ve even seen art work from Frozen starting to appear on these cute, little umbrellas. Several colors are available. Be sure to stop by early in the day to allow time for the paint to dry on your unique and personalized work of art. You can find these for sale in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom and France in Epcot.

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Holiday Gifts for the Disney Traveler

by on November 13, 2013

If the music playing in my local grocery store is any indication, the holidays are right around the corner. (What the heck is a calling bird, anyway?) And that means lots of folks will be taking a family trip to the Disney parks or giving a Disney trip as a holiday gift.

Stuff their stockings with gum, because they won't find it at Disney World.

Stuff their stockings with gum, because they won’t find it at Disney World.

In addition to the big “Ta Daaaa” of Disney trip gift, there are many smaller items that can serve as an adjunct tangible under-the-tree present to enhance the vacation and make you a hero to the Disney travelers in your life. You might also consider using some of these items as part of a scavenger hunt surprise trip reveal or combining several of the smaller items into a Mickey-tastic gift basket.

Any of the things below would make a great gift for someone planning a Disney vacation.

Happy shopping …

  • Luggage: You’re going to need a suitcase or two for almost every Disney vacation. My go-to travel bags are from the LL Bean Quickload Luggage collection, mostly because their soft sides are quite forgiving when I have to squeeze in just one more souvenir. But there are plenty of options if you’re looking for Disney-themed suitcases or totes.
  • Disney Gift Cards: Disney gift cards can be used to pay for everything from your hotel room to a cupcake. They’re accepted at the vast majority of resort, retail, and restaurant locations at Walt Disney World (as well as at other Disney related locations). A little mad money would surely be appreciated.

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Custom Souvenirs: Don’t Come Home With The Same Thing Everyone Else Has

by on August 24, 2011

The shops at Walt Disney World move a lot of merchandise. But if you spend time in the parks, you’ll start to notice some serious repetition on the racks; there’s that Mickey shirt, there’s that Mickey shirt again, and again, and again. If you’re the type that wants to stand out from the crowd or put your own spin on things, that same old, same old might not hold much appeal. If that’s the case, there are plenty of options for you to get personalized, unique, or self-created souvenirs at Walt Disney World. Here’s a tour:


Well, my first custom item, the Mickey ear hat, isn’t exactly unique (it’s been a Disney classic for decades), but you can customize it to make it uniquely yours by having your name embroidered on the back. In recent years, fully customizable ears had been available, with choose-your-own beanie, ears, and patches, but the make-your-own product was discontinued this summer. You can still choose among different embroidery fonts and thread colors. Ear hats are available throughout the Disney parks and resorts, customization is at select locations.

Even Duffy needs customization.

If the tees available throughout the World are not for you, stop by the Hanes Design-A-Tee store in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace area. This dedicated shop is filled with computerized kiosks where you can design your own shirt. You have a choice of hundreds of images and you can add any (G-Rated) text you want. If you’re traveling with a group, this is the perfect place to make a shirt that commemorates your travel.

Design-A-Tee kiosk start screen.

If you want to go off the beaten path a bit, check out the newly relocated and expanded Harley Davidson store at Downtown Disney. Here you can have a motorcycle vest (leather or pleather) personalized just for you. Both child and adult sizes are available and most customization is completed within the hour.

Make a vest your own.

Younger princesses will no doubt be fascinated by the many charm jewelry stations throughout Walt Disney World. These typically offer both bracelet and necklace bases to which guests can add charms of their choosing. Among the hundreds of choices, you’ll find letters of the alphabet, flowers and stars, as well as Disney characters.

Charms galore.

Slightly more mature royalty can also create charm bracelets and necklaces with designer systems featuring precious metals and genuine gemstones. These charms are generally found behind a jewelry counter display case.

Designer charm systems.

If leather is more your style, each park has a station in which you can have leather bracelets customized with your name. This is a great treat for children with unusual monikers.

A great option for boys too.

Another type of custom jewelry is suitable for either you or your pet. Hey, Fido needs to have some personalized love too. Check out the Disney arcades for these ID tag creation machines. Although they may move around, these stations can also be found in some in-park locations.

Engravable ID tags for two legged or four legged creatures.

Still another jewelry option is the custom rings for sale outside the Mexico pavilion at Epcot. On-site artisans will stamp your name or initials into a metal ring. The results are surprisingly lovely.

Ring carvers.

Many folks have Mickey watches, but if you want your own spin on this classic product, look for the custom watch stations. Such style!

Watch designs of your choosing.

If you want to display a family crest in your home (and really, who doesn’t), you can have one made at either the England pavilion at Epcot or at Raglan Road at Downtown Disney. This is a cute gift for an engaged couple – showing a merging of the family lines. Many names are available, not just those of Anglo descent.

Your family crest as artwork.


Once ubiquitous throughout the parks, you can still find Mr. Potato Head stations at Downtown Disney’s Once Upon a Toy shop. Grab a potato base and fill a box with some of the hundreds of eyes, ears, arms, hats, feet, and other accoutrements of potato living. As a bonus, the store has a table where junior can spend a moment playing with the spuds while Mom shops nearby.

Mr. P is ready for a day in the parks.

No one should be expected to combat the Dark Side without a custom light saber. Luckily you can make your own at several spots at Walt Disney World, including the shop at the exit to Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (natch) and at Once Upon a Toy at Downtown Disney.

Light saber components.

Not really a toy but more a way of life (maybe that’s just me :-)), Vinylmation figures have taken Disney by storm. One of the cornerstones of this product is the create-your-own product. Grab a blank Vinyl and make him your own!

Viylmation creation.

For those with an automotive drive, Ridemakerz vehicles are the perfect custom take-home. Choose a body, wheels, and tons of bling to create the car of your dreams. Many of the offerings are related to the Disney Pixar Cars films, but other styles are also available. The Ridemakerz store will soon be moving to a new location at Downtown Disney, so keep your eyes peeled.

Make the robo car you've always wanted.

Dinosaur lovers will be in heaven at the T-Rex restaurant at Downtown Disney. The popular Build-A-Bear chair has a Build-A-Dino outpost here. Create your own fuzzy prehistoric creature!

Sports fans should head over to Team Mickey at Downtown Disney to find a spot to make engraved baseball bats and helmets. Often ready within the hour.

Art and Art Display

The Arribas Brothers counters and shops at Walt Disney World give you a number of custom framing options in wood, glass, and crystal.

Crystal photo displays.

Engraved wood frames and display cases.

For one-of-a-kind old time art, a silhouette is a nice option. While these are fairly inexpensive throughout Walt Disney World, you should be aware that the pricing at the silhouette stand at Downtown Disney is slightly pricier than the stands in the parks.

Custom silhouettes.

If you like your art a bit more realistic, there are portraitists in the parks and in several of the resorts. Each artist has a slightly different style, so spend a few minutes watching before you decide which to go with. You can choose pastel or charcoal at different price points.

Portrait station in the Magic Kingdom.

A faster, and less pricey, custom art option is the caricature. Despite the humorous spin on these portraits, many of them really capture the essence of the subject. Again, spend a moment watching before you decide which artist to choose.

Caricaturists can be found in the parks and some resorts.

Always wanted your mug on a magazine cover, or wanted to look just like Princess Leia? Then there’s trick photography counters that can help you with your dream. You pose for a photo and then you’re magically inserted into a special scene. Now available in poster size!

Hundreds of options available.

Other photo products are available at machines and kiosks throughout the World, but many of these items can be found in one place at the Imagination Works area in the Imagination pavilion at Epcot. I should note here that the laser-etched glass photo cubes that were a mainstay of the Imagination pavilion for many years are now gone.

Photo cubes.

Photo stickers.

Photo puzzles.

If you want to watch Disney-themed art being made, you can get a character sketch made for you while you wait. And as a bonus, you can talk with the artist while he or she works – it’s a souvenir and a learning experience in one.

Artist at work.

A fun, and free!, souvenir for kids is the Kidcot Fun Stop stick puppet. Currently these stick puppets depict Duffy the Disney Bear. Color Duffy however you choose and take him to each of the countries at Epcot for a special stamp.

Kidcot Fun Stop.

Another nice option for kids is custom handprint art. As they grow, they’ll never believe that their hands were once that little. Kiosk at Downtown Disney’s Marketplace.


Is the Florida sun beating down on you a bit too strongly? Then a nice souvenir is a custom-decorated parasol. These are also waterproof and can be used as umbrellas. Available in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom, as well as near the France pavilion at Epcot.

Many of the shops that sell custom frames also offer custom-engraved glassware. This is also an opportunity to watch an artist in action. Fascinating!

Want to pass down the memories of your trip to future generations? A nice option is a hand-painted Christmas ornament. Available at the Christmas shop at Downtown Disney.

Other souvenirs with a personal spin include Pick-A-Pearls, fill-your-own pirate treasure chests, custom combination Lego buckets, dressable Duffy bears, watches with a band for each holiday, real Disney art with custom framing, and even build-your-own soy candles at Downtown Disney’s Basin stores. And I’m sure I’m missing several others.

What have you found to customize at Walt Disney World? How have you made your souvenirs your own? Let me know in the comments below.