Sydney, Australia ... where there is no Magic Kingdom :(
Re: Your favorite on property Disneyland stores
Naturally, World of Disney for the sheer size and range of items available.
However, I really like the Disney Gallery, as my primary interest in Disenyana is the historical stuff, particularly older posters, photographs and history books.
Don't ask me why, but I also liked the way that you entered the Engine Ears Toys in DCA through the oversized toy train. Just tickled my funny. The same way that Hatmosphere had me giggling, but I could never work out exactly why.
Star Traders is a nice specific item store, for things like Jedi Mickey, but I could help but feel that some of the other toys - although park exclusives in some cases - were a little bit too 'samey' compared with what is available at your chain department stores.
However, the shops that appeal to me most are the ones that are perfectly integrated into the 'theme' of their particular land. For example, Le Bat en Rouge is tucked away there in NOS, with the exterior perfectly matching the theme that NOS tries to achieve. To my mind, NOS is the most 'authentic' of all the lands, and shops like this help it to fit all together cohesively.
“I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.” - Bill Hicks
I love the Christmas shop, was in NOS, but now in November I will get to see it at its new location in Fantasyland. Hard to resist all those Disney ornaments!!
I also DO love the Emporium...I guess the memories of looking at all the windows as a child (a LONG time ago), then taking my own children every other summer at least, no matter what state we were in, and the last thing before leaving on the last day, would be picking out a big Disney plush...Big Al is my favorite that they bought! I still have to wander through there at least once during a visit...and yep, I usually still find something to buy!
It's always been the magic shop for me. Seemed like it was so much better when I was a kid, though (late sixties/early seventies). The rubber spiders dropping from the cieling, scaring the hell outta people was awesome - do they still do that? And does anyone know when Steve Martin worked there? I'm sure he made that place great when he was around...