The Nine Most Underrated Stores at Walt Disney World
Everybody knows about Emporium Shop, and we’ve spent the last year talking about Creations Shop.
Sometimes you’d like to shop where there isn’t a massive crowd, though. We know just the places.
Here are nine of the most underrated stores at Walt Disney World.
Black Spire Outfitters
Once you arrive on Batuu, you’ll want to dress like the locals. Otherwise, people will whisper behind your back because they’ll be sure that you’re a spy for The First Order.
You must head to Black Spire Outfitters and score a new look. What could be more chic than a 1940s bomber jacket retrofitted for a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
When you’re at Black Spire Outfitters, the last thing you want is an outfit that looks like it has been sitting in your closet since the empire was still a thing.
Bonjour! Village Gifts
You’ll love this place before you ever walk inside. The design is exquisite.
Disney has themed this shop to a delightful Beauty and the Beast backdrop, so much so that you can picture Gaston doing something amazing in the background.
Once you walk inside, you’ll feel like a villager with pockets full of gold. You’ll need it, too.
Disney has recently transformed this shop into home base for ILY 4EVER dolls, which makes it Disney princess HQ.
Speaking of which, they also feature plenty of Beauty and the Beast merchandise, along with other princess items.
The Crown & Crest
My wife is one of those snooty people with roots to the monarchy. She legitimately has lineage that traces back to William the Conqueror. Eek.
This means 1) I try not to pick fights with her, and 2) she loves family crests. We spend a lot of time here, where she bores me to tears talking about various great uncles.
Even if you’re like me and are a mongrel at heart, you can still be the first of your name and choose a Crown or Crest that suits you. I’d pick something with scorpions if I were you.
Frozen Ever After makes you exit through the gift shop because Disney knows we’re all suckers for an adorable ski cap.
At The Fjording, you’ll find a staggering amount of Frozen merchandise (obviously), but this is a sneaky great place to redefine your winter wardrobe.
Yes, somehow, a random theme park shop in the middle of Central Florida sells to-die-for sweaters and hot cocoa that’ll make you yodel with pleasure.
I’d argue that this might be the most underrated store at the World Showcase.
Plaza di Amigo
On numerous occasions, I’ve espoused my love for the Mexico pavilion.
It takes place inside a Meso-American pyramid and has an oddly nocturnal vibe.
Inside the building, you’ll find a bazaar with mini shops serving marvelous, authentic Mexican souvenirs.
Examples include sombreros, carvings, ponchos, ceramics, and jewelry.
These showpiece items will be the envy of your friends, but they’re surprisingly affordable by Disney merchandise standards.
And honestly, even if you don’t want to buy, this is one of the most fun shopping locations for exploration. Trinkets abound.
Sunglass Hut – Adventureland
Don’t laugh. I’m dead serious.
I’ve seen the statistics for lost sunglasses and hats at Disney theme parks. It’ll blow your mind.
If Disney didn’t sell these to cast members on the secondary market, Central Florida would consist of multiple landfills of sunglasses.
This is neither joke nor hyperbole. We get excited, go on rides, and forget to secure our belongings.
Next thing you know, you’re stuck in Central Florida without sunglasses on a blazingly sunny day. Nobody wants that.
What we do love is going to Sunglass Hut, getting a Disney discount as an Annual Passholder or Disney Vacation Club member, and switching from being the laughingstock of the party to the envy of your peers.
Ho, ho, ho. Now you have the new sunglasses.
PS: Yes, this has happened to me.
The Tea Caddy
Confession: If I were the decider, all forms of tea would be vanquished from this planet.
Alas, I don’t get a vote, while the entirety of British civilization does, and they got here before me.
So, you probably love tea and want as much of it as you can get. We won’t let this stand in the way of our friendship.
Instead, I’ll highly recommend The Tea Caddy as the ideal place to track down holiday and special edition teas, not to mention things to make them in.
Here’s another exit through the gift shop scenario, possibly the most recognizable one.
The problem is that everyone is always so tired by the time they leave Avatar Flight of Passage that they don’t always feel like shopping at Windtraders.
That’s regrettable because the signature toy here, the Banshee, is spectacular. We have ours sitting on the shelf right now.
I even wish I had a second one for a matched set.
You’ll also find several eco-friendly products, which we assume reflect James Cameron’s input on the overall design of the World of Avatar.
They’re also appropriate for Animal Kingdom’s overall theme.
Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
When it comes to Christmas, I’m one of “those” people. I can confirm that there is something absolutely magical about this store in Liberty Square.
It feels like a throwback to a simpler time, which means it would also be right at home on Main Street, U.S.A.
Throughout the year, guests can pick out their favorite holiday ornaments.
While many of Disney’s biggest stores offer a year-round supply of ornaments, you’ll find the best ones at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe.
This past Christmas, my family filled two trees with Disney ornaments, and I’d estimate that a third of them came from this store.
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Feature Photo: Disney VISA