This may come as a surprise to some, but Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK) happens to be my favorite park in all of Walt Disney World. The amount of attention paid to detail is astonishing and themeing exists at every corner. DAK touts itself as “not a zoo” but a wildlife preserve filled with areas for guests to explore and learn from. Whether your adventure brings you across a 100-acre savannah on Kilmanjaro Safari or hiking along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, one thing is certain: looking the part just became a whole lot easier with the new merchandise on store shelves that celebrates animals in the wild.
Image: New clothing and trinkets of many styles can be found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Animal prints have been all the rage for quite some time now. Leopard, zebra, giraffe – they each add a bit of exotic flair to anyone’s wardrobe. The clothing and merchandise sold at DAK has always been fun to shop. However, it was getting a bit stale over the past year or so, and I was glad to see that new items were being created to keep things fresh.
Image: This giraffe loves animal prints himself.
Right now, one of the larger collections of new DAK merchandise is the ever popular park t-shirt. Now before you jump to conclusions that this is nothing unique, let me bring it a step further. The new collection incorporates more than just the standard theme park logo; instead, fun plays on words and modern designs are the standard. The new shirts are available for both men and women; there’s a few kids’ prints as well. For those looking to buy a logo-specific shirt, Disney has updated that also.
Images: New T-Shirts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
If you’re looking for something a bit fancier, there are options in this area too. The foil-print shirt below would look great with nice khakis and sandals. Hat lovers will enjoy a few new pieces featuring bold prints and soft textures; I love the snow leopard accent on the new gray Cloche. The sequined “Hidden Mickey” tank is my favorite though. It’s available in traditional browns and blacks as well as pinks and purples.
These new pieces can be found in several locations including Mombasa Marketplace in Africa. This is by far the best merchandise location in DAK because it houses more unique items rather than the standard Mickey and Minnie plastered souvenirs. Artwork, clothing, wine, and even authentic African imports all line the shelves. This includes two animal figurine collections: the Beadworx sculptures and tin animals by Mbare. I talked about the first on a recent episode of The DIS Unplugged podcast, but thought I’d mention it again. Each Beadworx animal is handcrafted by someone in Africa or Asia; at least two artists, if not more, contribute their time and effort to an individual piece. The tin animals, some of which are actually made of recycled metal, come in a variety of styles and colors from artisans in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, Niger and Senegal. Both would make for an extra special treat to remember your time at DAK.
Images: These animals are not for playing. Instead display them on a mantel or bookshelf in your home.
I hope you enjoyed our little trek of “what’s new” in Disney’s Animal Kingdom shops. Keep an eye out for these items during your next trip to the wild. And remember, it’s not a zoo!