Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Surprisingly Awesome Souvenir at WDW

Most of my trips to Walt Disney World as an adult have been made when the weather was mild to downright freezing. We once stood at the bus stop when it was 32 degrees! On that same trip, we wore hoodie sweatshirts half the time and t-shirts the other half. Mostly, though, we've enjoyed mornings with sweatshirts and afternoons with t-shirts or long sleeves.

Why am I taking time to tell you about WDW weather? Well, most WDW travelers know the weather in Florida can be rather iffy at times. (Bring a poncho!) But the biggest reason is because my last trip was in June, and I was absolutely terrified of the heat and humidity prior to our trip!

For the most part our trip was a lovely time. That is... until you stopped and moved the strap of your bag, and realized there was a beautiful damp area on your shirt. Or you'd be standing in line and feel sweat trickle ever so gently down your back. Or you'd run into someone and slide off of them! (Ok that last one, thankfully, did NOT happen!) I tried not to whine because it was June, and I chose to go to WDW in June, but sometimes the heat really got to me.

Enter Walt Disney World's BEST low-cost, heat reducing souvenir:
I posted this picture on Twitter with the caption: BEST WDW souvenir ever!
I know what you're thinking: really, Joanna? A fan? That's so obvious! (Or maybe you're wondering if that's Kyle tweeting in the corner of the picture there. Yes, for the record, it is. hehe!)

Yes, it's a simple fan, but let me tell you, that fan was a life saver! I bought it our second to last day in the parks, and it rarely left my hand. I grew quite skilled at whipping it open and closed quickly! In lines, walking, on rides... I fanned myself and tried to get Kyle in the breeze too, and the breeze was a beautiful beautiful thing! The best discovery? While the fan helps some when you're outside on a boat or walking, it feels amazing when you're in a pavilion or building because it moves about the air conditioned air! It's like a little bit of heaven when you're at WDW in summer time!

This fan now resides in my classroom for when my 3 windows bring in a bit too much heat, but the China Pavilion in Epcot will now be one of my first stops whenever I visit WDW when it's hot.

You too can own the BEST WDW souvenir! Here are some of the "secrets" of finding a great fan:

  • They have fans in the Japan Pavilion, but there is a much larger selection in the China Pavilion.
  • My fan was only $11, and it wasn't the cheapest one they had to offer, so you can get something for less if you like.
  • I recommend the collapsible fans. They tuck away in your purse (or pocket) easily.
  • I've had a lace fan in the past, but this one was wooden. In my opinion it held up better than a paper fan and produced more of a breeze than a lace fan.
  • I've heard they'll write your name in Chinese on your fan for free, but I didn't opt for that.
There you go: another souvenir that fits my rules for budget vacation shopping. It has a function and isn't going to break the bank! How about you? What random, seemingly hole-in-the wall souvenirs have you found around the World Showcase?

Walt Disney World Shopping Tip #5: Next time you're overheated at Walt Disney World, head to the China Pavilion and pick up a fan! 

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