LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — With dozens of unique shops that stretch from the Marketplace to the West Side, there’s no need to hit the mall during the bustling holiday season. Downtown Disney is a 120 acre shopper’s delight with stylish boutiques such as Cherry Tree Lane and TrenD, a shop for sports enthusiasts in the Trophy Room, plus enough toys, games and princess costumes to fill Santa’s sleigh at Once Upon a Toy and World of Disney.
Strolling through the shopping mecca, sweet aromas of the season fill the air at Ghirardelli Chocolates, while scented custom soaps and fragrant bath products invite shoppers into Basin. There’s the new Marketplace Co-Op (a collection of six unique boutiques), LEGO Imagination Center, plus an entire room at Disney’s Days of Christmas—where it’s the holidays 365 days a year – that has transformed into a “Frozen” wonderland overflowing with Anna, Elsa and Olaf merchandise.
To enhance the shopping wonderland there’s strolling musicians, yuletide carolers, toy soldier stilt walkers, and even meet and greets with Santa Claus at his chalet. And for the first time ever, parents can check in at a podium and will be paged when their turn comes to meet Santa.
Tis’ the season for shopping sprees with an endless list of gift options: Custom-painted Tom’s shoes offered at Curl by Sammy Duval. Arribas Brothers’ hand-sculpted creations range from vases to jewelry including a new Olaf-inspired necklace. Sunglass Icon is a perfect stop to score an eyewear gift for fashion-forward friends. And for the canine lovers, a variety of breed-specific dog ornaments can be found at Happy Hound. Two new additions to Downtown Disney, Set the Bar and Sublime, are “can’t-miss” shops featuring an eclectic collection of gifts — from flasks and barware to candles and cards.
“There are many unique shops in Downtown Disney with some that even offer customized gift options,” said Steven Miller, merchandise communications manager with Disney Theme Park Merchandise. “From personalized phone cases, to Star Wars Build a Droid, you really can find something for everyone on your holiday gift list at Downtown Disney.”
Here’s some of Steven’s picks of what’s hot this holiday season:
- Disney Days of Christmas – Shoppers find shelves and showrooms stocked with Disney themed and specialty ornaments and decor, plus it’s a one-stop shop for all things “Frozen,” including costumes and accessories. Located at Downtown Disney Marketplace.
- D-Tech on Demand at Marketplace Co-Op – This boutique is the place to create customized and personalized phone cases, including new holiday designs exclusive to this location.
- Beautifully Disney – This beauty destination for women inside the Marketplace Co-Op features enchanting make-up, fragrances and beauty accessories in a variety of collections.
- Disney Parks Collection By Vera Bradley – Known for their fashionable quilted cotton luggage, handbags and accessories, Vera Bradley created a special line for Disney Parks. At Cherry Tree Lane at Downtown Disney Marketplace.
- Disney Infinity 2.0 at Once Upon a Toy – This massive toy store is the headquarters for all things related to Disney Infinity 2.0. This game, released by Disney Interactive, encourages guests to play in a game universe with endless opportunities to create stories and fun-filled adventures featuring all-new characters and powers. The location contains starter packs, individual figures, and power discs used in the game. At Downtown Disney Marketplace.
- Holiday Minnie Mouse Package at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – The Holiday Minnie Package was reintroduced at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique inside World of Disney. This cheery, limited-time, holiday package includes shimmering makeup, nail polish, a Princess sash, a Princess cinch bag, and choice of hairstyle. The package also includes a festive a Holiday Minnie Mouse costume with a coordinating Minnie Mouse headband. This offer ends on Jan. 2, 2015, or while supplies last. Guests can call 407-WDW-STYLE (407-939-7895) or visit http://www.DisneyWorld.com/Style to make a reservation.
- Retail MagicBands and Accessories – Special holiday themed Olaf or Minnie Mouse MagicBands are a fun way to show your Disney Side during the season. Look for them at Disney’s Pin Traders and DisneyQuest Emporium.
If experiences are on your gift list, pick up a gift card from one of the many Downtown Disney offerings – including Splitsville Luxury Lanes, Raglan Road and AMC Dine-In Theatres. A magical balloon ride offers a bird’s eye view of Downtown Disney with Characters in Flight. A night out at La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil offers a mesmerizing performance featuring an international cast.
Fuel your purchasing power with a bite from the Food Trucks at Exposition Park, featuring up to four Disney-themed food trucks on the West Side. Also open to guests, a portion of the new West Garage, where additional complimentary parking is available. The garage will open in phases; all spaces are expected to be open by late spring 2015.
Guests staying on Disney property can take advantage of complimentary resort transportation for ease and convenience. Local guests can follow signs to the available parking lots, or valet parking for a hassle-free option. Most shops offer complimentary merchandise delivery to Disney resort hotels, or there’s a shipping option for a nominal fee. Marketplace Hours: 10am – 11pm (Sun-Th); 10am – 11:30pm (Fri/Sat). West Side: 10:30am – 11pm (Sun-Th); 10:30am – 12am (Fri/Sat).