New Hotel-Specific Merchandise at Disney World
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!
I really enjoy this kind of post.
I love these kinds of posts, I find Disney hotels so fascinating and enjoy seeing all the new merch!
I just wish that the merch in each hotel was as good as each other, I would have loved a Beach Club jumper like the OKW one but it just doesn’t exist.
I too really enjoy looking for a resort specific item to bring home. Usually, I’m searching for the perfect shirt, preferably a button up or polo type shirt. Last visit to BLT, we tried to find one and were told by the staff that they are not making any BLT shirts at this time. My favorite resort search is the one I bought at the Poly last year. I have yet to wear it, though, because, strangely, it shrunk while hanging in my closet! anyone else experience this phenomena? My wife says I probably should have tried it on before buying, but being a man, I can’t imagine that would have helped a bit.
Love the article. When we were at WDW last month I bought one of the ceramic Mickey head shaped ornament at MK (I buy an ornament everytime we go and write the year on it) only to go back to the resort and find out too late they had one specific to Coronado Springs, which I would have rather had. Lol. We only get there every other year or so now so I love seeing articles like this.
I checked the shopdisney website, but couldn’t find resort specific merchandise other than a few DVC items. Anyone know if there’s any other way to purchase these new goodies pictured in this post? (Besides actually going there – our next trip isn’t for months, unfortunately)
I don’t really know what the personal shopper situation is like at Walt Disney World, but that or eBay seem like the most realistic options.
Most of this stuff isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so I’d probably just wait.
This article is amazing! Thanks for reviewing this specific topic two thumbs wayyy up.
Love resort merchandise. Love posts about all merchandise for sale. Thanks for all you do.
We were just at Old Key West this past weekend and they didn’t have an Old Key West pin, nor did Pin Traders or Worl of Disney at Disney Springs or anywhere else we looked…and I looked everywhere. OKW said they’ve been out of them for a few weeks so I’m assuming perhaps a new design will be out soon. We collect pins from each of the resorts and were bummed no one had this one.
Resort-specific merchandise is my Achilles heel when it comes to overspending at Walt Disney World. Merch from my specific resort makes for a much more special memento to take home. I can no to just about anything in the parks, but then I see that flannel Wilderness Lodge hat and my wallet starts getting leaky.
I would love more posts like this.
Anybody know where one could get Contemporary themed stuff? I’ve been looking for a small A-frame model or my desk for years, to no avail. Something much smaller than the monorail play set.
I know I said I wasn’t as interested in merchandise articles, but I really enjoyed this. Any chance of a Disneyland merchandise update in some of the more interesting and themed outlets? I know they have been homogenizing the stores at DLR to where they are less distinct to the land they are in, but I would still love to see what there is left.
I also LOVE the resort merchandise! I’m happy to hear that Disney World is making more of an effort – in the last few years when we’ve visited, there’s been little-to-no decent resort-specific goods. The only two times I found something I liked was at Coronado – a Tervis-like insulated tumbler with the resort image and name and then at Boardwalk – a cute T-shirt with the resort logo (front) and Goofy juggling (back). Otherwise, I’ve looked and looked (NOFQ, AKL – Jambo, Beach Club, Pop) but never found much – if anything – to purchase). Like many of you, I do not care for the “cheesy” mermaid line on the Beach Club merchandise. I hope Disney realizes that its guests want quality, classic, adult-appropriate (not designed for children) souvenirs (for me, clothing) from the resorts. In general, designers should stay away from trendy quotes (anything mermaid or unicorn) as they end up looking dated so quickly. I prefer a Vineyard Vines or Ralph Lauren classic look – what we used to call “preppy” back in the 80s. Some resorts lend themselves more than others, but for those with iconic images, just stick to depicting those – no cartoon characters or witty sayings needed. As much as guests pay to spend the night on premises, we’d like a blanket/hoodie/baseball T to wear home.
I love resort themed merchandise and I always purchase resort specific pins and magnets when i visit a resort. Wilderness Lodge is my favorite resort merchandise especially with the appearance of a rear classic Disney character Humphrey the Bear. I am also not crazy about the “Mermaid” expression on the Beach Club merchandise because it makes the merchandise too feminine.
I cann’t get to Disney World nearly as much as I would like to. So, I love this article. I get to see a little bit of what they are offering without me having to be there – it does make me want to plan another trip as soon as possible though! I love your articles. Keep up the good work!
I’m so happy to see resort specific merchandise coming back! For awhile it seemed like Disney was moving away from it. I hope you’ll do some more merchandise reports – for both the resort specific ones but also the parks from time to time. We usually only go to WDW every 4-5 years (sad, I know) so I like to read your articles to see what’s changed and the status of works in progress. But the merchandise posts would be helpful too, so I can see what they have and see if there’s anything I love that I’d need to try and find on shopDisney
I really enjoy the resort themed merchandise, and hope you continue featuring it (alternatively, providing links to other sites that go in depth). Ride based merchandise is also a lot of fun. The line between “useless tsotchke that is cluttering my dwelling” and “beloved physical memory of vacations past” is really thin, and the selection of merchandise so overwhelming, that getting your insights into what’s out there is a great resource. Thanks!
It would be interesting to know if the type, quality and price point of the merchandise at each resort is reflective of the resort type (value, moderate, deluxe). You mentioned a $15 or $16 dollar mug at at moderate resort but a mug over $20 at a Deluxe resort.
I would too!
When I stayed at Pop in 2016 I don’t recall them having as much hotel merchandise but when we went back in April 2018 they did seem to have more which I love. I purchased keychains and the magnets and I wish I got a mug too, hopefully will get to go back this year and I’ll grab one.
Neat article. Please keep them up as time allows. I’m a sucker for well-designed coffee cups/mugs. Always hand wash them – NEVER put them in the dishwasher, is my practice.
I LOVE resort themed merchandise! During our last trip we did a split stay at AoA and Wilderness Lodge. I got two souvenirs on the trip: the Nike Golf polo shirt from Art of Animation and an 8×10 frame from WL that looks a lot like the totem in your post. The frame is amazing. Sadly, the shirt strangely vanished after I got home and I haven’t seen it since. Never even got to wear it.
Geez, Tom. Thanks for bringing that up.