Top 6 Shops at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Unique, Themed Merchandise
A vacation to Walt Disney World wouldn’t be complete without a souvenir to commemorate the trip. Many of the stores throughout the Disney parks and resorts offer many of the same items, usually of nostalgic value or featuring the annual logo for the year’s celebration. In fact, many shopping locations throughout property are veritable shopping malls for Disney merchandise, such as the World of Disney at Disney Springs, the Emporium at the Magic Kingdom, and the Creations Shop at Epcot.
While a generic photo album or lapel pin is a fun reminder of the vacation as a whole, there are also stores throughout the resort that carry specialized merchandise that reflects the unique land in which the store is situated or the overall theme for the store. Purchasing something from these stores becomes part of the experience offered by the attractions and lands of the Walt Disney World theme parks, such as Memento Mori, and its merchandise being an extension of the Haunted Mansion.
Interestingly, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a number of unique shops which provide merchandise that allows guests to bring the story home with them and continue to experience Disney magic long after the conclusion of their vacation. Learn more below.
6 – Frozen Fractal Gifts
One of the best things about visiting Walt Disney World for children is to not only meet the characters from their favorite Disney animated or live-action film but to step inside the world of those characters. Disney’s Hollywood Studios provides an opportunity for children of all ages to relive some of their favorite moments from the 2013 animated film, Frozen, in its live show, “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Adventure.” At the conclusion of the show, guests can peruse through Frozen Fractal Gifts, which sells everything from plush versions of Sven to the dresses of Anna and Elsa, allowing for the youngest royals to participate in their own Frozen adventures from home.
5 – Stage 1 Company Store
At times, general merchandise is offered in incredibly unique shops alongside unique and themed merchandise. The Stage 1 Company Store, located in the Studios’ Grand Avenue, is one such location. While guests can purchase Disney shirts and MagicBands to commemorate their trip, this shop also offers unique Muppet merchandise. What makes this store so fun and unique is that it is located amongst scenes, props, and references to a number of Muppet films, including 1984’s The Muppets Take Manhattan. Near the back, entrance sits a set of lockers in which the Muppets live in the 1984 film, while above the heads of guests is a set piece that resembles the balcony of hotel rooms from the “Happiness Hotel” number from 1981’s The Great Muppet Caper. These, and the numerous other references, make a great shopping location for fans of the Muppets, carrying the subtle and not-so-subtle references to The Muppet Show and its corresponding films over from the conclusion of MuppetVision 3D.
4 – Rock Around the Shop
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is a must-do attraction for thrill ride and music enthusiasts. As guests climb out of their super-stretch limo, they find themselves in Rock Around the Shop, which sells merchandise specific to both the attraction and rock-and-roll culture. Set up like a pop-up merchandise location present at a rock concert, guests can purchase concert tees, guitar picks, and sling bags shaped like guitars, emblazoned with band logos or that of the attraction. The merchandise at this location is not only a great opportunity to commemorate one of the most exciting rides at Walt Disney World, but also a great place to purchase gifts for the most avid music lover in your life.
3 – Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost
Located next door to the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost is situated inside a salmon-colored stucco structure with clay tiles, both at home in the Middle Eastern world of Raiders of the Lost Ark and the southern California of Echo Lake. A number of props and references from the film, including a jeep and tank, are scattered around the shop, helping to immerse guests even more in the story of the beloved archeologist. The interior of the store resembles one of the Cairo shops from Raiders and sells merchandise unique to both the film franchise and the nearby attraction, including rubber snakes, plastic swords, wooden cork rifles, bags of rocks and jewels, and shirts emblazoned with Indiana Jones. Once again, this shop is a great opportunity for the young–and young at heart–to recreate the adventures of Dr. Jones, Sallah, Marcus Brody, Jock Lindsay, and Marion Ravenwood.
2 – It’s a Wonderful Shop
Editor’s Note: It’s a Wonderful Shop is temporarily closed. We hope it will return soon!
Walt Disney World has a number of Christmas shops, as well as generic-merchandise locations that sell Disney-themed ornaments for one’s Christmas tree. However, Hollywood Studios’ It’s a Wonderful Shop is a small but charming store tucked away in the back corner of Grand Avenue. Outside the store, decorations help to set the stage for the yuletide theming, with snowdrifts piled against the walls and a snowman standing sentry alongside a lamppost wound with garland. Upon entering the store (whose facade identifies its location inside Parkside Antiques), one finds themselves inside a shop from the 1940s selling tree skirts, mantle decorations, blown glass ornaments, and other Disney-themed Christmas items. Upon closer inspection, one soon realizes the shop is not all that it seems: the walls seem to lose their detail eighteen inches from the ceiling, while black film production lights dangle from wires to light the room. It soon becomes obvious that this shop is thematically meant to represent a movie set: as a camera might pan past or peek into the window of Parkside Antiques, the building’s interior would provide a realistic view of a store in the 1940s, perhaps even for its namesake, It’s a Wonderful Life.
1 – Tower Hotel Gifts
After climbing out of one’s seat in the magically-undestroyed service elevator of the Tower of Terror, guests arrive at a wrought-iron gate announcing the gift shop of the 1930s-era Hollywood Tower Hotel. Looking much like many of the gifts and sundries shops at the various Walt Disney World resorts (including Coronado Springs, the Boardwalk, and Port Orleans: Riverside), Tower Hotel Gifts sells attraction-specific merchandise, including outfits resembling the costumes of the Hotel’s bellhops; towels, robes, and mugs emblazoned with the logo of the Hollywood Tower Hotel; and the requisite “I Survived the Tower of Terror” tee shirts. All of these pieces of merchandise and more are sold in a shop that continues the story of the attraction on solid wood shelves carved in art-deco style, while the carpet appears extremely faded (it is 1939, after all!) and lit by Tiffany-style lamps hanging from the ceiling. And surprisingly, the cashiers take your 2022 money; because while the haunted hotel has been sitting abandoned for the past eighty-three years, your money is still accepted by ghosts only in…the Twilight Zone.
Honorable Mention(s): Any Shop in Galaxy’s Edge
Altogether, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to more than thirty individual shops which sell both generic and unique themed merchandise. Some of the most unique shops at the park, however, are the number of small stores, kiosks, and merchandise stalls in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The items one can purchase at these stores are not merely souvenirs, but help to place guests in the midst of the story taking place on the planet of Batuu. Off-worlders can purchase local outfits or Stormtrooper armor. Those training to be Jedi can build their own lightsaber, while Resistance pilots can build their own droids. Guests can even purchase their own pet from the Star Wars universe, a toy hand-carved by a Black Spire resident, or load their own money onto a Batuuan Spira gift card. Not only do the products purchased throughout the Black Spire Outpost make for cool gifts and souvenirs, but they help off-worlders to feel like they belong–not only amongst those living on Batuu but also in the universe that they love so much.
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