No trip to a theme park is complete without that trip to the souvenir shop on the way out. You’ve got to pick something up that will remind of your great day at the park. How about a t-shirt reminding you that you survived The Beast or a stuffed animal to take the place of the one that you couldn’t win. Here are my Top 3 Theme Park Souvenirs in no particular order:
I have no idea how theme park shot glasses became so popular. I doubt it’s because there’s some correlation between theme park goers and hard liquor. Regardless, you can find them at most gift shops. I suppose it’s because they’re like small chotchkies that you can put up somewhere and proudly display. I’ve taken to them over the years and have quite a few.Unfortunately, they’ve spent most of their time in a kitchen cabinet because I have no place to show theme off. I’m getting better at fighting the urge to buy them, because they’re pretty much a waste until I build my roller coaster den!
I love taking pictures while I’m visiting theme parks, but I’m no expert. There are professionals and others with great sites (like CoasterImage!) that do a much better job than I could ever do when it comes theme park photography. For that reason I’ll usually grab four or five post cards featuring the park’s best roller coasters to hang up in my cube at work. I’ve never actually mailed one to anybody. I wonder if anyone else uses them like I do or actually sends them in the mail. Who am I kidding? No one actually uses mail for anything anymore, do they?
Shirts are another popular amusement park souvenir. But, changes in park ownership, bankrupt parks, and re-named roller coasters can make your t-shirts suddenly obsolete. I remember a few years ago Carowinds was slashing prices on their ’Paramount’s Carowinds’ gear as the park transitioned to its new identity as a Cedar Fair park. T-Shirts can get kind of expensive which makes the decision to buy one a tough call in my book. I’ve learned that it might be best to buy one that can kind of work any where you wear it. My bright blue comic-book styled Alpengeist shirt doesn’t get a lot of run but, my Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom and Kings Island Beast shirts do because they’re a little more subdued.
Honorable Mention – On-Ride Photos
On-ride photos are great especially when you’re with a group and can get everyone in one picture. Since I do so many solo trips, I rarely buy on-ride photos. In the last few years, parks have started to sell on-ride DVDs. Soon the on-ride media game is about to be taken to the next level with Hollywood: Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Orlando. Riders will be able to cut their own on-ride & off-ride music video with all kinds of effects and shots from different angles. No word on how much they’ll cost, but I bet these will be very popular this Summer when the ride opens. Read more about Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.
What’s Your Take?
Which souvenirs are your favorite to get when you visit amusement parks? Do you have a collection of stuffed animals, t-shirts, or something else? It’s okay, you can own up to it. Leave a comment below.