Everyone wants to bring home a souvenir of their visit to a park, and Great Adventure has offered a plethora of merchandise locations over the years featuring a wide variety of gifts and trinkets.

In 2006, Great Adventure introduced an expansive new updated area of the park called Plaza del Carnaval.  Anchored by the massive new El Toro wooden coaster, the area featured new rides and shops as well as updated games and food locations.  El Mercado was a brand new structure added with the construction of Plaza del Carnaval and was designed to serve as the gift shop for El Toro. The shop was located at the very center of the Plaza, on the site of the Frontier Adventures Fountain which was removed, and not far from the area's previous gift shop turned shooting gallery, Los Sombreros. 
The Latin themed shop featured an array of El Toro merchandise along with other thematically appropriate items reflecting the new area's story. Colorful tropical decor and vibrant paint colors made this the focal point of the Plaza area.

The shop itself was a hexagonal metal roofed structure with four of its sidewalls open air allowing guests to pass through from one side of the shop to another across the sales floor.  The back two walls made up a facade for hanging merchandise and a small support closet and checkout counter.  The high open ceiling of the stand helped make the small shop seem much larger and several ceiling mounted fans helped keep the store cool during the hot summer days.  Large roll-down canvas tarps on the open sides of the building helped secure merchandise when El Mercado was closed as well as provide protection during summer downpours.
Over the years since opening in 2006, the array of souvenirs and gifts offered in El Mercado has varied, though the primary focus of the shop has continued to be El Toro merchandise. The roller coaster's enduring popularity has led to continued interest in shirts, mugs, and other souvenirs emblazoned with the El Toro name and logo.
Original Spotlight:  February 17, 2020.  GAH Reference#:  SHOP-2006-001