Favorite theme park merchandise purchase?

March 28, 2023, 12:18 PM

Just a question to folks on what their favorite piece of theme park merchandise they bought was. Either for themselves or someone else.

For me, a score of stuff from Disney, usually T-shirts and figurines but guess favorite a Pooh doll I got on my very first trip in 1984 and still in my apartment for sentiment.

For others: Disneyland trip in 2003 a Pooh dressed as Indiana Jones doll for my nephew and last trip, a "100 years of wonder" photo frame for my sister.

Anyone else?

Replies (7)

March 28, 2023, 12:28 PM

I'm not normally all that into theme park merch, but since we're talking, I have a hold grail piece of merch that I wish Disney would revive.

It's an EPCOT T-shirt from the early '80s - a long-sleeved tee with a design that was a total rip-off of the Ocean Pacific T-shirts that were wildly popular at the time. This one had an image of Spaceship Earth framed by palm trees on the back, if I recall it correctly.

I lost mine somewhere in all the various moves I made during the 80s, but it was my all-time favorite theme park T-shirt, and I would love to buy a throwback reproduction of it.

Otherwise, Duffy the Disney Bear and a small Buzz Lightyear soft action figure remain the two iconic keepsakes from my kids' childhoods. I was always a Snoopy kid myself, but that predates Peanuts as a theme park IP, so it doesn't count for this discussion.

What I did love when I was a kid was the felt Robin Hood hat from Disneyland. My loyalty to the Robin Hood hat may have contributed to my lifelong aversion to the rival headwear that easily outlasted it - Mickey ears.

And here's a TIL for you - the Robin Hood hat is why Theme Park Insider uses "Lincoln green" as its main design color, since that was Robin Hood's color.

March 28, 2023, 12:55 PM

I had forgotten at my parents a huge pack of Disney t-shirts from over the years, many of them with year numbers and such. Too small for me but my nephews liked them.

March 28, 2023, 1:54 PM

Does Butterbeer count?
Is so, Its ButterBeer.

March 28, 2023, 3:42 PM

I absolutely love my classic Jurassic Park t-shirt and from IOA the Thing 1 and Thing 2 t-shirts my parents got me and my brother. We wore it throughout our first trip to the Universal resort and whenever I come across it brings back nice memories.

From my first trip to Disneyland I still have the classic magnet "Disneyland" spelled in multi-colour. So simple but such a nice souvenir to have on the basement fridge.

March 28, 2023, 10:36 PM

A Scooby-Doo plush from Universal Studios Florida at the exit of the now-closed Funtastic World of Hanna Barbara ride. I took it everywhere with me and still keep it in my closet.

March 28, 2023, 10:39 PM

This is a tough one. The first theme park merch I ever bought with my own money was a grey t-shirt from Six Flags Marine World (as it was at the time) with Roar's first drop on the front. That was the coaster that got me into really loving theme parks and it was a surprisingly understated t-shirt compared to what Six Flags has done with merch both before and since.

That said, I'm a big pin and magnet dork — any time I find a good Stitch pin, it's probably coming home with me.

Edited: March 29, 2023, 8:37 AM

I'm pretty particular when it comes to theme park merch. I usually like to buy a coaster shirt when I go to a park with a top roller coaster. However, I prefer t-shirts that include some stats (or at least state what makes the coaster unique), an image of the track/train, and the park where the coaster is located (nothing worse than having a Goliath t-shirt if there's no way to know which Goliath you're promoting - FWIW the Goliath shirt I own is for the one at SFGAm and includes a clear image of the RMC and includes the park name, but there were plenty of plain Goliath shirts when I bought mine that would be indistinguishable from other identically named coasters). I probably have over 2 dozen coaster shirts with the most recent addition being for Velocicoaster, and will probably buy some on our upcoming visits to Alton Tower and Thorpe Park.

When I go to theme parks that don't have iconic coasters, I typically look for something unique and/or collectible. Long ago when visiting WDW, I'm probably dating myself here, I would deliberately seek out limited edition or other unique merchandise (I have a really cool Walt Disney framed pin set and a cool Mickey Mouse minted coin), but with the advent of eBay resellers, the interesting and unique tchotchkes I used to seek out are not available (because people have stripped the shelves clean) or are overstocked to the point where that perception of uniqueness is no longer there. WDW gift shops are just so loaded with cheap plastic junk these days with the "nice" stuff either requiring a small fortune to afford or just not there because of eBay traders.

I am a HUGE sucker for Star Wars, so I have plenty of cool stuff from Galaxy's Edge (Savi's Lightsaber with extra Kyber crystals and Droid Depot build with an extra personality chip). Pre-Batuu, I used to make it a habit of grabbing the most recent series of Star Tours action figures at Downtown Disney/Disney Springs, though recent iterations of those collections are not as appealing to me. Given the increase in prices, we found ourselves at the outlet store on I-Drive at the end of our trip last fall where we grabbed a bunch of cool stuff including an interesting Resistance zip-up shirt, a Black Spire Outpost luggage tag, and plenty of other more reasonably priced souvenirs that we saw in the WDW gift shops. Occasionally you can even find a great sale in the parks, which was the case on our recent trip where we bought a Ratatouille animatronic chef's hat for our son, which he ended up using for his Halloween costume the week after we got back from Orlando.

My wife was really into pin trading over a decade ago when it wasn't the billion dollar enterprise it is today, so we have tons of interesting Disney pins. However, our best ones are our collections of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire pins from both DHA and DCA (we got into the Hot Seat on both coasts - we never won the Disney Cruise though).

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