Happy Halloween! It's been a while, hasn't it? I promise I've had a good reason for being away: I just spent nine days at Walt Disney World with Keith and his parents. We rode Space Mountain almost every day, ate Dole Whips galore, sampled escargots at the Food and Wine Festival, spent afternoons relaxing at the pool, and took in so much vintage Disney kitsch that I'm still humming the Tiki Room song. But since today is Halloween, I want to tell you about my favorite spooky thing at Disney World: The spirit photography at the new Memento Mori gift shop.
Yes, the Haunted Mansion finally has a gift shop! According to Disney lore, the shop is housed in the former home of Madame Leota. Cute. The store just opened this month, and it's so popular that you have to wait in line to get inside and browse the merchandise. I couldn't get any good photos of the interior because it was jam-packed with shoppers, but this Disney Parks blog post has great pictures.
Disney spent two years designing the shop. The time they spent was worth it; the interior is wonderfully detailed, and the merchandise is really, really cool. From fine art and china to t-shirts and mugs, they offer something for every price point. Best of all, a lot of these souvenirs have classy, subtle designs that don't scream "I bought this at a theme park!" You have to look twice to notice that this damask design is the same wallpaper pattern used in the Haunted Mansion.
|Photo from the Disney Store website|
The fine china is restrained and elegant, too. I bought a single dinner plate to hang on the wall. But somewhere, I bet there is a couple who will put this porcelain china on their wedding registry... and I want to be friends with them!
But the best thing in the shop, by far, is the spirit photography. For $19.95, the happy haunts at the Haunted Mansion will capture your essence and show you your spirit self. I couldn't resist them, and the entire experience was so well-done: Keith and I were taken into a small room inside the gift shop, wallpapered in Alexander Henry's skeleton toile print. A creepy cast member in Victorian garb chatted with us while never breaking character, took our pictures, and ushered us back to the main area of the shop. He advised us to wait until the spirits rang the bell. A few minutes later, when the bell rang, our photos were "delivered by the spirits" and "magically" appeared inside a cabinet.
We received these 8 by 10 inch hologram photographs that change depending on the angle at which you view the picture. I love them so much! I framed them the day after we got home, and I intend to display them every October. My best friend says, "These are going to be heirlooms. Your future children will be terrified of them at first. But someday, they'll fight over who gets to inherit them." If our children turn out to be anything like me, she's absolutely right.
If you want some spooky Disney stuff, but can't make it to Orlando, quite a few of the items in the store are available here at the online Disney Store. You can't buy everything here, but it beats buying a plane ticket to Florida! I hope you enjoyed this post, and have a happy Halloween!