Odds are if you’ve been to Disneyland more than once, you’ve probably passed by this cart and may have even taken a brief glance at the beautiful parasols hanging from it. But it wasn’t until my daughter Emma and I were spending time together at the Park that I really noticed this true gem of personalized souvenirs.
Location: New Orleans Square at Disneyland next to Cafe Orleans
Type: Parasol Cart
Specialty: Personalized parasols of different colors
Cost: From $12 to $40
Craig’s Favorite: Making my little girl happy
Now, there are other personalized souvenirs in the park – Mickey ears being the most recognized and leather bracelets and keychains in Frontierland, but I can’t think of one where your name is printed by the artists themselves anymore. Back when I was a cast member, I was trained in most of these areas. I used to hand stitch names on the hats using a special sewing machine made just for the job. Now it’s done by a computer. I used to hand carve names into leather bracelets and keychains using a special leather writing tool, now done by a machine. I even used to make decorative hats in South Seas Traders with a glue gun, ribbon, and decorative pieces which don’t exist any longer. This is one of the few souvenirs particular to Disneyland that is still done by the cast member (along with the silhouette portraits on Main Street). They use stencils to guide them in the drawing of the pictures, but the names, flowers, and hearts are all done by hand.
There are two sizes to choose from, small (which is really decorative only and cannot be used unless the person is VERY tiny) and large. My daughter, who wanted one for those bright sunny days, got the large one – plus the images look great on it. You can choose from among different color parasols and choose the color of the flowers / hearts you want. For an additional cost per panel (I believe it’s $5 per panel) you can add one of any number of hand-painted pictures – a Disney princess, the castle, Mickey balloons, as well as non-Disney pictures like cats and dogs and birds. They have a large variety of combinations of colors and choices to make your child happy.
The best part was watching the children come up who got one. You do have to wait about 30 minutes to an hour to get your parasol because it does have to be crafted and the paint must dry a bit so take that time to go ride Haunted Mansion or Pirates of the Carribean. Go grab a bite to eat and come back. Your parasol will be waiting for you. They warn you also not to get it wet for at least 3 weeks and even then to really only use it in sunny weather for best use. When we were ordering ours, we saw another little girl come and get hers and she was so excited. And when we came back to pick up Emma’s she was simply delighted at this beautiful piece of functional art made just for her. There are lots of great souvenirs at Disneyland, but to come home with a piece of the magic made just for you is pretty special, too.