Tag Archives: Shopping

Three More Museums and Bond

I am not in London anymore as I start classes tomorrow at University in Northern England.  But, I have a few more London posts to catch up on as my blogging as been a bit sparse the past month or so!  Sorry about that!

We visited the Imperial War Museum, which I actually really enjoyed.  The museum had extensive sections on both World Wars with many artifacts arranged in an easy to follow layout.  This was the first museum that our professor told us we could explore on our own and just leave when we were done as long as we spent a reasonable amount of time there.  I figured I would be done after an hour, but I ended up staying for about two and a half hours.  The Real to Reel exhibit was the highlight of the trip for me.  You had to pay an extra fee to get in, but we had some money to use as an educational fund so I was reimbursed for the exhibit.  I spent almost an hour just looking through the movie artifacts from Casablanca, Saving Private Ryan, and more.  Walking around felt like I was in the Great Movie Ride a little and they even juxtaposed scenes from the Normandy Beach landing on a television screen with the landing scenes in films.  The exhibit was also fairly empty, probably because you had to pay extra and it was a weekday.

img_1135The next museum was the Science Museum, which I actually had to do a presentation on after the field trip.  I visited this museum with my family last summer and this visit was unfortunately not as enjoyable as I had to rush through to see as many exhibits as possible to highlight in my presentation.  You could easily spend a couple of hours here though and the museum is very kid-friendly.

I also took a trip to the Disney Store on Oxford Street this week because I stumbled upon it and had to go in of course.  I was looking for a London Tsum Tsum but unfortunately the cast member said that New York and Hawaii have them but not London yet.  I was very disappointed.  I still ending up buying a souvenir though and so did my two friends because you just can’t walk into a Disney Store and leave empty handed.  I found out that this is the largest store in Europe, but it is nowhere near as large as Times Square (but just as packed).

The other field trip of the week was to the Bond Vehicle Exhibit in Covent Garden.  I went here on a Saturday with a few friends and the exhibit made me really want to watch all of the Bond movies.  I will definitely have to start watching one a weekend of something!  We saw cars, motorcycles, and random memorabilia from the movies.  I saw Q’s ID from Skyfall which was neat but of course the cars were the best part.  And they had the movie scenes playing behind the cars, helping visitors to contextualize when the cars made an appearance.

I have one more week in London to recap and then I’ll almost be caught up to the present!  Plus hearing about a boring orientation week isn’t too interesting and classes start tomorrow so I have to draw out my exciting travel posts from London, Spain, and Germany!

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Take my money, Disney!

Well Disney’s TAG Store has opened.  It is a whole store on travel items!  Head over to one of my favorite Disney news sites, wdwmagic,  here to see the photos.  This store looks awesome…which is great but also means I need to leave a lot of room for souvenirs in my luggage.  If I win the lottery, I will fly to Disney one year and just buy everything I need at Disney stores for the trip, from clothes to shampoo to my suitcase to transport all of it home!

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Fit2Run Store in Downtown Disney

Fit2Run opened a few years ago in Downtown Disney (or what is transitioning to Disney Springs currently). The store is located near Cirque du Soleil, a bit of a far walk away from the World of Disney and the rest of the more popular shops. Keep walking towards the big white tent if you are not sure of which way to go!  But for any runner, Fit2Run is a great stop.

At the store, you can pick up socks, apparel, accessories, or a new pair of running shoes.  I went to Fit2Run last March with my dad and we got fitted for new running sneakers.  We ran on a treadmill for a few minutes as a computer recorded how our feet hit the treadmill.  Two specialists helped tell us what shoes would be best for our running style and then gave us a few different shoes to try.  My dad and I each left with a pair of sneakers and socks which have turned out to be fantastic!  I think part of the reason I was injured last year during basketball season was due to running in my non supportive sneakers.  Since I switched shoes I have not been having problems with my soleus!

Fit2Run has a variety of shoe brands, styles and colors.  The store also has local running programs if you live in the area.  The store is least crowded during the day, as with many Downtown Disney stores, and most crowded at night.  The Fit2Run store is open from 10:30am-11pm Sundays through Thursdays and 10:30am-12am on Fridays and Saturdays.  They have a website and a Facebook page as well if you would like to receive updates or check out some of the merchandise!

Has anyone else visited Fit2Run?  What did you think?

 

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Where to…souvenir shop

Whether you are buying souvenirs for yourself on a Disney vacation or buying them for others, it can sometimes be difficult to find the perfect souvenir.  If you are looking for a souvenir for yourself, you are trying to pick one or two items to remind you of all of the memories and great times on the trip.  If you are looking for a souvenir for a friend or family member back home, you are trying to find something that they will like and use.

Many of the Disney stores have similar merchandise items.  If you are looking to bring back Mickey ears or an autograph book, you will have no problem finding these items in every park and multiple stores in each park.  If you want something different however, you will have to look in specific stores in Downtown Disney or in the stores I highlight below.

 For one stop souvenir shopping: The World of Disney store in Downtown Disney is the most comprehensive store and they will even ship items to the resort you are staying at or back home to save having to carry things around.   This store is great for those who only want to look in one place for souvenirs and want to do all their souvenir shopping at once.  Disney Visa Card holders do get a discount here as well once you spend a certain amount.  The World of Disney store can be very intimidating if you have not been there before and it is easy to get lost.  The store can also be noisy and crowded, especially when it is storming outside.  If you go into the store with family, pick a time and meeting place to meet up within the store.  You might think that you would just call a family member or text them but I have had trouble reaching my parents and sister when they were shopping and couldn’t hear their phones ring.

 For character focused shopping: If you like a character or the person that you are shopping for does, your best bet is to see if the character has an attraction or ride associated with them.  If the character does, then it is extremely likely that a gift shop will be located at the ride exit and will have items related to that character.  I thought this shirt below was a funny gift for someone who likes Dory and I did not see it the rest of the trip after exiting the Seas with Nemo and Friends.  If you see something that you like and it is not a classic Walt Disney World souvenir (like ears or pens or pins), then purchase it where you notice it because you might not find it again.

 

    For unique or different souvenirs: Maybe you have visited Walt Disney World every few years or the person you are buying for goes there more often than you do.  If this is the case, then you know right away that you are not going to buy a “I Got Soaked on Splash Mountain” t-shirt or a Disney scrapbooking kit.  For different souvenirs, I would definitely recommend visiting stores in Downtown Disney such as Tren-D.  I have also found that the stores on the main level of the Contemporary Resort which I believe is the Concourse (you can see the monorail right above you) have great options for souvenirs.  One of the stores has nicer shirts and swimsuits which I had not seen in other stores on the trip.  The other resort store which is a good place to stop is the main store on the Boardwalk.  You have to go through the lobby, down some stairs and then to the left I believe to get there.  Both the Contemporary and Boardwalk stores are way less crowded and less noisy than the Downtown Disney shopping atmosphere.

For non Disney souvenirs: Why would you want a non Disney souvenir? Well maybe you wouldn’t but maybe someone you are buying a gift for is not as big of a Disney fan as you are.  The ESPN store on the Boardwalk has sports related items which are good for sports fans.  Downtown Disney has many shops where Mickey is more subtle on their items, such as soaps with a little hidden Mickey or socks with only the Mickey outline.  Or you could just get the non Disney fan a Cirque du Soleil magnet.

Souvenir shopping is fun but can be challenging, especially when shopping for other people.  Don’t spend too much time shopping though otherwise you will miss out on experiencing your trip to Walt Disney World!

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