If you enjoy the odd bit of retail therapy like me, then Walt Disney World’s 43 square miles might just have the odd shop to tempt you, and if you move away from Mickey Mouse ears and Donald Duck hats and head to EPCOT’S World Showcase, then you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
World Showcase is made up of 12 host countries that consist of rides, attractions, restaurants, and shops, with the countries on offer including France, Morocco, the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, Norway, Japan, Italy, and China, amongst others. Each pavilion, as they are known, offers a wide range of goods from their host countries.
Here are my top five places to shop at EPCOT:
1. The Japanese department store stocks a range of fantastic gifts, from kimonos to postcards, and you can even buy your own pearl as you watch the skilled staff extract it from its shell. The selection of high quality men’s and women’s clothing is also good, as is the selection of up-to-the-minute children’s toys
2. The French perfumery and art gallery are spectacular, although prices are much higher than you find in other parts of the US, but they do offer some nice samples.
3. The Germany shops start with a great wine cellar (only those 21 or over only are able to purchase and try the free samples) that offers a good selection of famous German wines, such as Blue Nun and Riesling, although I’m not sure how many people drink these anymore! Also, check out the Goebel pottery, with genuine artists, as well as the great range of glass ware and the Christmas shops selling great German snacks and Christmas decorations (try the German cake Stollen for a real treat!)
4. Norway offers some great snacks and treats, including genuine Daim bars, as well as warm winter clothing with a great selection of Helly Hansen and brightly coloured woolly jumpers (not like your granny knits, though!)
5. Finally, check out the Chinese marketplace with cheap and almost tacky souvenirs, but it’s worth a browse and a haggle, although haggling on prices doesn’t get you very far at Disney World!!
Points to note:
Shopping at EPCOT is not cheap, as the price of goods is quite a bit higher than you would usually pay in the country of origin. However, with the favourable exchange for Brits at the moment, this does help us somewhat.
Disney World will happily arrange for worldwide shipping for you, as well as free shipping to you Disney hotel.
It’s also a great experience, as you get to see some of the best souvenirs and products of countries and talk to the native staff who are knowledgeable and keen to engage you in the history and culture of their historic lands.