Whenever people I know are headed to Disneyland, I get bombarded with questions. Travel tips, restaurant tips, general first visit tips and the list goes on. You see, a few years ago I moved back to the East coast but for 3 years before that I lived in SoCal (for those who don’t know that’s southern California). I had my annual pass and I would go to Disneyland at least once a week. If I was having a boring day or a blah day, it always made me feel better to be on Disney grounds. I am sure many of you are nodding your head in agreement right now. On top of that, shopping tends to make me happy as well. Shopping at Disney is even better, So when I got asked that question repeatedly I decided it was time to share my wealth of shopping knowledge with my fellow Disney lovers. Today, we’ll take a look at the best places to shop in Disneyland Park, in my opinion.
1. Emporium– Let’s start with, what I think is , the obvious. The Emporium is right there on Main Street when you first get into Disneyland and head towards the castle. People are in such an awestruck state when they enter the Park, especially when they’ve never been, that they may overlook this gem right there near the front of the Park. This store sells almost everything you could possibly want. It’s kind of like a one stop shop, if you will. It’s like Target but for Disney!! I know that’s reaching but you see what I mean. You may not want to buy all your goodies when you enter the Park but think of it in the reverse, it’s the last big store on your way out too!! It’s a must see.
2. The Star Trader– If you are over in Tomorrowland, you need to check out this store. I have found, in past visits, that when other stores may be out of a certain item you’ve been chasing down, this store has it. That isn’t always the fact, of course, but it’s happened for me. I’ve also found hidden treasures in this store. Items that I haven’t seen in any other store including World of Disney. If you are a Star Wars fan, this is also the store for you. You will find all your souvenir Star Wars merchandise in this one location. It’s awesome.
3. The Mad Hatter In Fantasyland– Now, this store is small and doesn’t have a wide range of merchandise, it focuses mainly on Disney themed headwear like it’s name insinuates, but it is guaranteed to make you smile. I love to go in and try on all kinds of fun new hats and then afterwards I head out to the teacup to get my picture taken in it! They have a teacup outside that is one of the attraction “cars” from Mad Tea Party.
4. Gag Factory- Toontown Five & Dime– So you are all the way back in Toontown and have a few minutes? Check out this store. I am not joking when I tell you I have spent 45 minutes in it (it’s not that large) just looking at all the fun merchandise they have in there! Much of it you can find in other stores, like the Emporium, but it’s worth checking out just to be in the fun environment. The settings of some of these stores I am talking about are part of the appeal to shop in them. This one will make you laugh and smile for sure.
5. Candy Palace– I always save the Candy Palace on Main Street for when I am getting ready to leave. This store will make anyone with a sweet tooth’s mouth water. I, personally, am in love with the chocolate covered strawberries. I know I can get them in Florida too but these are magical. They are just so much better to me. You can watch the candy makers work their magic too which is kind of fun to do. It smells like sugar and makes me smile and what could possibly be wrong with that??
6. Disneyana– I am a true lover of Disney and I even collect artwork. This store is where I go to drool and, if I’m lucky enough that day, buy a piece of art. I’ve been here a few times for artists signings because these types of things tend to happen here. It’s quite magical. I like museums and, for me, this store is like a Disney museum but I can buy the artwork!!!
There are many more stores that are worth going into but these are the ones that make my list every time. I can say that, if you have the time, explore Main Street. I know there aren’t any rides but this is where the magic starts for me. Many of the stores are connected and you can walk from one right into another, all the while experiencing the wonder that is Disney.
I know many people also like the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and I didn’t list it. My reason for that is that it can get quite crowded and many little girls are there for the Princess transformations they can undergo. Much of the merchandise in this store can be found at other stores in the Park or at Downtown Disney so, unless I have my nieces with me, I gage my visit to the store based on how busy it is.
I hope this helps some of you on your quest for good shopping at Disneyland. I hope you have a blast exploring and experiencing Walt’s vision. Did this info help you? What’s your favorite store at Disneyland? let me know in the comment box below!
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