What's the Best Art of Disney Store in Walt Disney World
We love the Art of Disney! In fact, some of the best shops on Walt Disney World property are these hidden gems filled themselves with hidden gems for any Disney fan to enjoy! The Disney Springs official website states this about the stores:
Prepare to be wowed by the dazzling works of art that inhabit this shop—from beautifully framed prints to figurines to souvenir postcards. Plus, renowned Disney artists often make special appearances and sign their pieces.
Art of Disney is actually a brand of stores that are more of a showcase than a full-fledged retail environment. There is a store at every park and one at Disney Springs, so finding something awesome is all about knowing where to go, and which locations are better than the others (because there is a long way in between the best and the "needs improvement" on this list)
Let's build from the bottom, shall we?
Disney's Animal Kingdom (Riverside Depot)
Why is the Art of Disney @ Disney's Animal Kingdom at the bottom? Well it's because it currently doesn't have a home. Yes, they have it set up in the Riverside Depot, but unlike all of the other locations, the DAK version just isn't as built up as a brand. They have a few options with cool park art, but outside of that, there's no real identity (yet). Give it time:)
Disney's Hollywood Studios (Formerly @ The Animation Gallery)
Ok, so the location was at the Animation Gallery, which is no longer there. So why does it even place on the list? 100% because it was such a great location and will always have a spot in my heart. The artists were incredible, the hidden gems around the shop were always evolving and the location itself was a prime spot within the Animation Courtyard...which gave it nostalgic feelings. When the Art of Disney comes back to DHS in a full capacity (instead of a pop-up shop in the Muppets Courtyard), we're expecting huge things based on the previous incarnation.
EPCOT - Future World
Although this is the smallest currently operating location, it's still alive n kicking...which means that you should go and check it out the next time you're in the park. Located right beside Spaceship Earth, this location boasts a large amount of big-figs (the figurines that most people buy for their offices and shelving units) and a lot of hidden gems that allow you to take EPCOT home with you. The cast members are also very knowledgeable about everything parks-related, so stopping in and having a conversation would be a highlight of the day. Oh, and it's air-conditioned....
Disney Springs - Marketplace
I would be lying if I didn't tell you that this is one of my favourite shops on property...because it is. I've bought a number of prints, an assortment of books and had a few memorable interactions with artists and friends within the Disney community at this location. I won't spoil the magic, but this is by far the best store at Disney Springs!
Magic Kingdom (Main Street Gallery)
The Main Street Gallery has to top the list, mainly because it's on Main Street...and it's a portal for the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom!
I was thinking about the right way to describe this location to anyone who has never been into an Art of Disney before, and the words that came to mind include "Magical", "Memorable" and "Eye-opening".
The store itself is packed with books, dvds, original art and prints, crafts, hand-drawn animation cells and a ton of other items that any Disney fan would love to have in their collection. Outside of that, you get the opportunity to Pin Trade with cast members, talk rumors and news with true fans of the parks...and also work on your Disney trivia!
Merchandise-wise, this is the busiest store on the list. This means that they have the biggest selection of in-demand items and the space to have some hidden gems. I would whole-heartedly recommend that you stop into the Main Street Gallery...and when you buy...use Package Pickup and have your purchases delivered to your resort! You'll thank me later;)