As part of the recent TouringPlans Everywhere promotion, I was lucky enough to set sail on my first ever Disney Cruise aboard the Disney Wonder. As a whole, I was blown away by the experience, but one thing that stood out to me was how much fantastic merchandise was available onboard the ship. Last year I sailed on a Royal Caribbean cruise, and despite an incredible sailing, found absolutely nothing in their gift store worth buying. Recently, I have been making my way around various Disney resorts and finding there is very little unique merchandise within the gift shops. Whether at a value resort like Pop Century, a moderate such as Port Orleans – French Quarter, or even a deluxe like The Contemporary, it didn’t matter, everything was pretty much the exact same. This was not my experience on the Disney Cruise Line, and I’m glad to report that the ships have some of the best merchandise I have seen in any Disney store, ever. Below is a look at some of the fantastic merchandise you can only buy on a Disney Cruise.
On the Disney Wonder there are two gift stores on Deck 4, right next to each and directly across from the Walt Disney Theatre. They are Mickey’s Mates and Treasure Ketch. Mickey’s Mates has the products geared mostly towards kids and Disney collectors, with items such as pins, Vinylmation, plush, toys, and shirts. Treasure Ketch targets a different demographic with high end jewelry, designer handbags, and watches but also has a lot of very nice shirts and is also the store you would go to if you forgot anything on your trip such as a toothbrush, batteries, or diapers.
Outside each store are big display windows featuring Disney characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald’s nephews.
I spent quite a bit of money in the gift shops, including buying this Disney Wonder chocolate bar. To me, a simple chocolate bar like this is almost the perfect souvenir. It’s inexpensive, small, and unique, making it something easy to give to friends and family back at home.
Seeing this collection of Disney bath toys is when I knew that the Disney Cruise Line merchandise was playing on a level that I’ve only seen recently at the Marketplace C0-op at Downtown Disney and the new Memento Mori store at the Magic Kingdom. If your family is anything like mine, the younger kids love the Disney bath toys (we call them squishes). The WDW park stores sell sets themed to princesses, Cars, Disney Jr. characters, and Winnie the Pooh, among others. This Disney Cruise Line set fits in perfectly with the others and will tide the kids in my family over until Disney invariably puts out a Frozen set with Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Sven, and Kristoff.
The DCL plush looked great. Characters included the Fab Five, along with Chip & Dale.
The Mickey and Minnie pillow pets look very sharp.
You could buy a child sized version of Mickey’s DCL jacket along with Minnie’s DCL shirt. These are the outfits they wear in a lot of the merchandise like the pillow pets, so they can make for some very cute pictures.
I didn’t actually see too many stateroom doors decorated on the ship, but you could buy magnets at the gift shop.
I thought these magnet photo frames looked fantastic.
After the DCL bath toys, the next biggest shocker to me was seeing DCL branded Magic Bandits. This is something I would have loved to have seen as a limited edition item for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
A nice set of DCL bendable figures.
Here we have a replica of the Disney Wonder, along with the Ariel lobby statue.
They had replicas of the lobby statues of all four Disney Cruise Line ships, including: Mademoiselle Minnie Mouse (Fantasy), Ariel (Wonder), Admiral Donald (Dream), and Helmsman Mickey (Magic.)
One of the shows onboard the Disney Wonder in the Walt Disney Theater was The Golden Mickeys, and in the gift shop you could buy your very own Golden Mickey. Both the Golden Mickey and the lobby statue replicas had a lot of weight to them. This was not cheap plastic.
A selection of cups and coffee mugs.
A Disney Cruise Line sticker book.
There were various Christmas ornaments.
Speaking of holidays, we were on a Halloween on the High Seas sailing, which meant the DCL celebrated Halloween during our trip. So there was a section dedicated to Halloween on the High Seas merchandise, along with generic Disney related Halloween stuff that you see at the parks and resorts.
There were a ton of t-shirts in both gift shops, and it was amazing to see many actual good ones. The Disney Cruise Line has the highest rate of good shirts compared to overall shirts I have seen anywhere, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. That is about the highest praise I can give anything. It was hard not to walk out with 10 or 20 of them. This first shirt brought back memories of the awesome fireworks show on pirate night.
I thought this Little Mermaid DCL shirt was brilliant.
GREAT shirt featuring all four ships. Love the design.
Great tweak to the classic Mickey Mouse drawing.
I just absolutely adore this sailor Mickey shirt.
There were a whole bunch of shirts (and products overall) branded with “2014.” This is where I took a big risk. As someone who covers the Disney Outlet Stores for TouringPlans, I see almost everything that has a date tied to it make its way to the stores eventually. There were several pieces I really wanted to get, but I’m gonna take a gamble and hope some make it to the Outlets. I did buy the purple 2014 shirt for my girlfriend (this shirt is the one on the right at the beginning of this article), and I purchased a 2014 magnet for myself.
There were DCL hats available.
We bought this DCL Pin trading starter kit for a family member.
There were a lot of pins available, many of which you could only get on the ship.
This one isn’t exclusive to DCL, but it’s one of my all-time favorite pins and references the Pixar movie Up.
More 2014 branded merchandise.
This was interesting. The bed on our stateroom had this pillow on it, and you could buy it at the gift shop for $189.95. I liked it, but not that much. Seeing it though reminded me of when Disney introduced Art of Animation and said that guests would be able to buy some of the room furnishings in the gift shop, but I have never seen anything outside of a shower curtain for sale. It’s a shame, too, because there are some things in those A0A rooms that I would love to have in my house.
Several different iPhone cases. Again, this is where DCL showed me something, as they easily could have had just one or two unique ones and that would have been perfectly acceptable. Whoever is in charge of DCL merchandise needs to be brought over to Parks and Resorts ASAP.
Disney Cruise Line Vinylmation.
My girlfriends spotted these Dooney & Burke Disney Cruise Line bags. I don’t understand the big deal about these bags, but I collect the Disney characters/Star Wars character mashup figures (including Rizzo the Rat as Yoda), so I’m pretty much the last person on Earth who can cast judgment on what people enjoy.
Of course you knew there had to be some Frozen stuff, right? What is Disney going to do with all the shelf space now that Frozen Fever is starting to die down?
Here are some DCL photo frames at the bottom of this picture. The princess one at the top of the picture has already shown up at the Outlets.
And we close with a last look at some more 2014 pieces of merchandise.
There are a lot of great reasons to take a Disney Cruise, but if you are a fan of Disney merchandise like I am, you can add a trip to the gift shops as another reason to get you on that ship. I’m still picking my jaw up off the floor. I think it’s clear we should do these DCL merchandise reports quarterly, so I’ll start sending Len Testa a letter every week like Andy Dufresne did in The Shawshank Redemption. Thank you for reading, and if you had fun, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the Pardon the Pixie Dust podcast.