There’s new resort-specific merchandise popping up around Walt Disney World. In this post, we’ll share photos of hotel souvenirs from Pop Century, Wilderness Lodge, Beach Club, Old Key West, Caribbean Beach, and Animal Kingdom Lodge.
We should probably disclaim that this merchandise is new to us, and not necessarily hot off the presses. For all we know, some of this stuff been on the shelves for months. Since it’s unlikely anyone reading this makes monthly trips to every single hotel at Walt Disney World, at least some of it will be new to you, too.
Not that you care, but this post is somewhat reverse-engineered. I’m a total sucker for resort-specific merchandise, and when Walt Disney World first reintroduced these lines a few years ago, I was worried that it’d be a short lived thing, so I bought a decent amount.
Since then, the designs have (mostly) improved and become less formulaic, and rather than buying more, I’ve found myself taking photos of what I see for posterity. I then wait until resort-specific items end up at one of the two Character Warehouse outlets near Walt Disney World before buying.
Most resort-specific items released in the last couple of years have not made their way to the outlets, so I’ve found that having the photos is a nice ‘backup’ keepsake–and leads to far less clutter. The photos are also nice reference tools for searching eBay, too.
Anyway, we’ll start with Pop Century:
This is actually the resort that motivated this post. I was debating whether to toss this photo into our Disney Skyliner Gondola January 2019 Construction Update, but figured it’d get lost in the mix and missed by people who are fans of Pop Century but don’t care about construction tracking.
I really like the pop art featured here, and strongly debated buying that mug. To me, it screams ‘Pop Century’ and is perfectly on-theme without being over the top in its design. I don’t recall the price, but it wasn’t too expensive (I want to say $15 or $16). Not really sure why I’m waiting on this to end up at the outlet–when we go back to Pop Century, I’ll probably just buy it if it’s still there.
Some other items also feature the same graphic, but I’m not as into those. At Walt Disney World, you need a water bottle with a filter, and the ornament strikes me as bland. We aren’t really pin traders or collectors anymore, but a couple of those designs are cool.
Next up is Beach Club.
I’m on board with using a mermaid in the design of this mug’s logo, but why did they feel the need to put the “mermaid at heart” line on the mug?
Perhaps I’m a fuddy duddy, but I’m not a mermaid at heart. I love Beach Club Resort and would like to have a mug from the hotel, but that seemingly little thing is a deal-breaker for me.
Despite reading several articles in an attempt to understand this trend, I don’t get the current obsession with mermaids. It seems to me that there’s no consistency in what mermaids symbolize.
Different depictions of mermaids paint them as pretty much everything: beautiful, carefree, deranged, hopeless, and so on. I think there are empowering versions of mermaids, but that’s not how I view Disney’s telling of the Little Mermaid.
The other shirts here don’t do a ton for me in terms of the graphic placement.
While none of the Beach Club Resort merchandise is anything we’ll end up buying, at least Disney is trying different and interesting things here.
Next up is Old Key West Resort.
The selection here is interesting because it’s a mix of the formulaic older designs (left) and newer stuff (right).
Same above, except with the newer design on the left and older shirt in blue on the right.
Personally, I like the older merchandise better at Old Key West. The lighthouse is iconic to the resort, whereas the newer designs seem more generic, even if they are distinct.
I really like this hat, and debated whether to buy it, but I already have the “same” one from Caribbean Beach and Vero Beach.
Many of you reading this are probably seeing this ‘old’ look and thinking it’s far superior to the new styles. I wouldn’t disagree. The problem is that it’s an approach that was repetitive in font and logo layout, so the designs blur together once you’ve seen a few.
…Here’s the old look on an ornament
And the new, unique approach…
With the ornaments, I think we finally have an example of something where the ‘after’ is far superior.
I hope Disney tries to find a way to incorporate the design on the right into other merchandise. It’s a winner.
We already shared some Caribbean Beach Resort merchandise in our last update from there, but we’ll quickly rehash that here.
I like the above logo, which captures the vibe of the resort well in a playful, “Disneyfied” look.
To my knowledge, Banana Cabana is the only pool bar that has its own merchandise.
I’m not surprised to see this–Banana Cabana has an oddly loyal following. I’m not sure that following is sufficient to sustain a piece of merchandise, but kudos to Disney for the deeper cut here.
These shot glasses underscore the old v. new style distinction.
I’ve had the hat on the right for ~4 years now; it was one of the first resort-specific items I saw at Walt Disney World, so I snatched it up.
In hindsight, I far prefer the one from Old Key West. Think they’ll let me exchange my sweaty and faded four year old hat for a new OKW one?!
Moving on to Animal Kingdom Lodge, which arguably has the best and most distinct merchandise of any resort. As it should be.
You can see a wide selection of what’s available in the top photo of this post, but we’ll take a closer look here at a few things we really like.
Starting with these coffee mugs.
They’re vibrant and eye-catching, perfect for anyone who wants something for the office that doesn’t scream “Disney.” Unfortunately, they’re over $20.
There are also a variety of cool t-shirts, tank tops, polos, and even a hooded sweatshirt.
Most of this isn’t my style, but I appreciate it nonetheless. Lots of interesting uses of textures and patterns that give the shirts a surprising amount of depth–very fitting for Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Finally, we’ll conclude with Wilderness Lodge. Much like Animal Kingdom Lodge, there’s a lot of unique offerings here.
Unfortunately, I was obsessed with this one hat, so I didn’t take photos of much else. If this post is popular and turns into a series, I’ll head back to Wilderness Lodge for a more thorough look at what’s available.
Due to the $28 cost, I wasn’t going to buy this flannel hat for myself, even though I love it. Instead, I thoroughly documented it via photos. Sarah’s mom ended up giving it to me for Christmas, and I’ve been wearing it whenever it’s cold.
We’ve been back to Wilderness Lodge a few times since first seeing the hat, and it has been in and out of stock, so I wouldn’t expect it to end up at the outlets. Definitely not a style that will appeal to everyone, but it’s the epitome of Wilderness Lodge merchandise.
In part, we suspect there’s so much Wilderness Lodge merchandise because the new Disney Vacation Club villas just opened, giving the resort a boost from that. We also suspect that since Wilderness Lodge has a ton of character and charm–and a loyal fan following–there’s more of a market for it.
In short, these two lodges are places people want to remember, as they play a pivotal role in the Walt Disney World experience for guests who stay at them. (I wonder if the same will be able to be said for the comparatively charmless Disney’s Riviera Resort.)
Hopefully this was a fun, useful, or interesting post. If so, let us know and we’ll make more of a concerted effort to take more photos of resort-specific merchandise around Walt Disney World. As we mentioned in our recent Epcot update, we’re toying with the idea of doing more merchandise updates, and this was something of a test run for that. Any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated!
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Have any favorite pieces of merchandise from the resorts? Any hotels you think have consistently better items than others? Would you like to see this series continue? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!