Shopping at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
No trip to Disney is complete without a souvenir or two. And the Animal Kingdom does provide plenty of options for guests. Like other parks, there are many items that can be found at any theme park nook and cranny. Yet, there is a fair amount of uniqueness at the park. This list is not exhaustive. Instead, it is meant to provide an quick overview of the main shopping locations. There are many little kiosks located around the park.
The Outpost Shop: This store is actually not located in the park itself, but instead is located about halfway between the entrance and the bus stops. It has the general Animal Kingdom items but is also a good place to pick up ponchos, sun block, autograph books and batteries before entering the park.
Disney Outfitters: This shop is located in Discovery Island and is to your immediate left as you enter the park over the bridge with the Tree of Life in front of you. This shop, as the name implies, has a lot of clothing with a nature theme, and more specifically, a Animal Kingdom theme. There is not a lot of unique items here although there are some hand carved figurines and other similar souvenirs.
Creature Comforts: The first thing you notice when you enter this shop (also in Discovery Island) is the colors. This place is vibrant and is geared towards kid's items. There are lots of clothing choices and plush dolls here for kids. If you are looking for a stuffed Disney character or animal, this is a good place to look. You also have a nice selection of toys, DVDs and CDs. Typically, there are wall displays aimed at the most recent Disney movie releases.
Island Mercantile: Across the path to Disney Outfitters and adjacent to the Tip Board, this shop is meant to appear as if it is an import company. A lot of the decor, such as crates, is meant to give the impressions that items are being unloaded here from afar for your purchase. However, this is again a fairly typical selection of Animal Kingdom items like t-shirts, toys and the like. The shop does have a solid selection of pins if that is your thing. Also, this store is sort of the Animal Kingdom's version of the Emporium or Mouse Gear (although not as good) as it stays open after the park closes for your shopping pleasure.
Mombasa Marketplace: This is my favorite shop in the the Animal Kingdom and an good example of some of the unique shopping choices to be found. In Harambe, it is named after the largest East African port and there are lots of African inspired items here. Check out the art, clothing, masks, and even African wine. I love the Kilimanjaro Safari shirts found here and bought giraffe and zebra masks that hang on out bathroom wall.
Ziwani Traders: This store is located directly next to Mombasa and many don't even realize they are entering a different shop when they walk in. Instead, most just think this is the children's section of Mombasa. There are a lot of African and animal related items for children here including a nice selection of books and DVDs. There are also musical instruments for purchase and a decent selection of toys, clothing and plushes, although there are better selections for that on Discovery Island.
Mandala Gifts: This store is located right as you exit the Kali River Rapids and can be identified by its aluminum roof. This, too, has some interesting items like home decor, wind chimes and ornaments with Asian flare. You can also find lots of flip flops, which I suppose to is take advantage of the people with soaked feet leaving Kali.
Serka Zong Bazaar: This might as well be called the Expedition Everest shop, because that's what this is. Most people enter the shop by exiting the coaster. There are many yeti and Everest related items including t-shirts for both adults and kids (some very interesting and different), plush yetis, and toys related to the themes of mountaineering and giant hairy ape men. This is also where you can purchase your ride photo from the attraction.
Yak & Yeti Market: Located near the seating for the counter service option of Yak & Yeti, this small store packs a lot of unique items, much with an Asian (mostly Chinese/Japanese) flair. You can buy authentic Chinese outfits and tea sets. My son loved the Japanese figurines of samurai, dragons and ninja, and what kid doesn't love samurai, dragons and ninja. There are also asian styles t-shirts, stationery and beach towels. This shop is relatively small and a tight fit for a large group.
Chester & Hester's Dinosaur Treasures: This is one of the larger shopping areas in the park. It is supposed to be themed like a roadside souvenir shop that eventually sprouted its on own rides. Good old Chester and Hester took advantage of the interest surrounding the nearby Dino Institute to start this roadside attraction and gift shop. The shop itself contains a lot of dinosaur related items. There are toys, action figures, t-shirts and pretty much anything then stick a dinosaur on. They even sell super hero comics as long they contain dinosaurs. There is also candy and many other non-dino items. When we were there we saw Disney Halloween items, toy story toys and star wars stuff.
The Dino Institute Gift Shop: This shop also operates as the exit for Dinosaur. This is where you can purchase your in-ride attraction photo. There also are also dinosaur toys although with more of an educational slant than the nearby Chester & Hester's. For example, you can but little fossil digs, dino eggs and educational books. There are also the typical dino tees and plushes. Make sure you listen carefully, however. Overhead you can hear the continuing banter of security as they try to wrangle the loose iguandon Dr. Seeker and you brought back on your trip.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Johari Treasures: This is the gift shop located in the lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village. The store contains some general Disney items and a few items specific to Kidani and the DVC. As a DVC shop, it also has food like crackers, chips and Entemann's, and has coolers for drinks and cold items. Since there is no counter service option at the hotel, this is where you get your refillable mugs with the corresponding drink station. To be honest, this shop is disappointing especially in comparison to the store at Jambo House. There just simply is not enough space. At least half of the store is taken up by pop tarts and soda for the DVC crowd. There are few "fun" items here.
Zawadi Marketplace: This is the gift shop for Jambo House. Two words best describe this store: massive and fantastic. Its much larger than Johari. Although it contains the same DVC food and drink fare, that only takes up a small corner. Instead the store has a massive amount of fun souvenirs many with a African and Animal Kingdom Lodge flare. There are cool books on safaris or African art. Lots of unique African art pieces and paintings. There are, for example, numerous prints of the Lodge itself for purchase. There are also safari themed pieces like zebra patterned dinner ware or wine glasses with a giraffe shaped stem. Also, make sure you check out all the clothing items with Animal Kingdom Lodge logo. If you are staying at Kidani Village, make sure you take a trip to Jambo House to at least check out this store. Its one of the best in any resort.