Most families spend a lot of time planning for their trip to Walt Disney World. They work with the Disney web site or a travel agent to plan the perfect vacation. They look at ticket options, room rates, and dining plans/options. One thing many families over look is souvenirs. First time visitors may not realize how easy it is to get “sucked into” the souvenirs at WDW- adults and children alike!
My suggestion is to plan for souvenirs if you are on a budget or money conscious! I could literally spend hundreds of dollars each time I visit if I’m not careful. I’ll share souvenir tips, a list of a few cheaper souvenirs, and some of our families favorite souvenirs too.
Tips for souvenirs:
- Consider saving money to only be used on souvenirs.
- Reward your kids with Disney gift cards found at your local grocery store or drug store or pay allowances with gift cards.
- Give Disney gift cards as gifts for holidays and birthdays.
- While at WDW, make notes (mentally, on a piece of paper or snap a photo with your phone/ camera) of your families favorite souvenirs. Towards the end of your vacation, go back and purchase those “must have” souvenirs instead of buying everything you see the first time you see it!
- Early in your vacation, make a visit to Downtown Disney and visit World of Disney. You will find a plethora of Disney souvenirs for everyone here and it will give you a great idea of what you will see at most of the shops in all 4 parks.
- The Emporium on Main Street at Magic Kingdom and Mousegears at Epcot are two other great options for finding large amounts of souvenirs.
- When you do purchase souvenirs in the parks, you can have them sent back to your resort (if you are staying on property) or have them sent to the front of the park to pick up on your way out. This way you don’t have to lug around your packages all day.
Cheap and Free souvenirs:
- Pressed Pennies. For 51 cents, you can have a penny pressed with the image of your favorite park, character, resort or attraction. These machines are located all over all 4 parks, Downtown Disney and the resorts.
- Buttons. You can get free buttons at Guest Relations at all the parks to celebrate various things: Birthdays, Anniversaries, Family Reunions, Just Married, Just Engaged, First Visit, etc.
- Pins. The pins found at all the parks and resorts can be expensive, but they can also be very affordable too. Some families even purchase pins online (sites like ebay) prior to their vacation for cheap. Then they trade these pins with cast members (Disney employees) for ones they like better.
- Autographs. You can buy a WDW autograph book or bring one from home and collect autographs from characters throughout your trip.
- Maps, napkins, fastpasses, and park tickets can also be fun souvenirs to add to scrapbooks!
- If you are staying on property, you can save the hotel soap and shampoo as a souvenir!
- Another idea is to purchase Disney themed toys, treats and goodies from stores at home prior to your vacation and give them to your kids while at WDW. You can buy Mickey stuffed animals at drug stores or “big box stores” much cheaper than the ones found in the parks.
My 3 year old sons favorite souvenirs:
- Stuffed animals
- figures of Disney characters
- Pirate attire and accessories
- sports “stuff”
My 11 year old sons favorite souvenirs:
- anything sports related
- food- churros, caramel corn, caramel apples, & rice krispy treats
My husbands favorite souvenirs:
- anything history related from Epcot, Liberty Square, etc.
- clothes (golf shirts, t-shirts, etc)
- anything with Mickey and Alabama, Steelers or Red Sox
- kitchen gadgets
My favorite souvenirs:
- pressed pennies
- kitchen gadgets
- Christmas ornaments
Hopefully these lists will help you in planning for souvenirs on your next WDW vacation!