- 20 unique Disney World souvenir ideas we think you will love
- Starbucks “You Are Here” mugs
- Personalized Disney ornaments
- Pick a Pearl
- Resort-specific Merchandise
- Carved rings
- Monorail set
- Painted Keepsake
- Painted Toms
- Customized phone cases
- Personalized Chinese Parasol
- Star Wars Lightsaber & Droids
- Monogrammed Mickey Ears
- Pressed Pennies
- Engraved glass items
- Cool souvenirs that are no longer available
- A haunted portrait
- Mr. Potato Head Parts
- Personalized t-shirts
- 10 Best Must Have Disney Souvenirs
- 1. The “Free Stuff”
- 4. Disney Jewelry
- 10. Pressed Pennies
- 8 Disney souvenirs you don’t want to leave without
- 10 Tips to Stop Splurging on Disney Souvenirs
- 12 Disney World Essentials to Buy BEFORE Disney to Maximize Savings
- Disney World Essentials to Buy BEFORE Your Trip
- 1. Ponchos
- 2. Sunscreen
- 3. Items to Beat the Heat
- 4. Snacks
- 5. Sunglasses & Hats
- 6. Glow Sticks/ Light Up Toys
- 7. Costumes
- 8. Disney Clothing/Pajamas
- 9. Autograph Book
- 10. Disney Pins/Lanyard
- 11. Bring Change
- 12. Discount Gift Cards
- Where to Buy Discounted Disney Tickets
- How do you maximize Disney savings? What things do you buy before Disney that enhance your trip? Share with us in the comments below
- 6 Souvenirs You’ll Regret Buying in Disney World
- 1. A Popcorn Bucket
- 2. Banshees from Pandora – The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- 3. Over-the-Top Merch
- 4. Disney Golf Balls
- 5. Light-Up Toys
- 6. A Disney Balloon
- Click below to subscribe to the AllEars® newsletter so you don’t miss any of the latest Disney news!
20 unique Disney World souvenir ideas we think you will love
There might be a million different souvenirs you can buy at Disney World (and we're convinced 90% of those are located at the World of Disney store in Disney Springs) but for brevity's sake, we've pared it down to a list of 20 unique Disney World souvenir ideas we think you'll .
Some general advice on souvenir shopping:
- buy it when you see it, you may not see it again. There are lots of items unique to a location and there's a chance you won't come across it later.
- If you're staying on-site, you can send gifts back to your hotel for free so be sure to take advantage of that if you buy too much to carry.
- If you think of something after you leave that you wish you'd picked up, check out shopDisney.com.
Now… on to the list.
Starbucks “You Are Here” mugs
We love a souvenir that is useful and these cute mugs totally fit that description. The Disney World versions of the popular Starbucks collectibles are perfect for coffee and tea lovers a.
Locations: Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom, Fountain View in Epcot (this location has closed and a temporary location has replaced it), Trolley Car Cafe at Hollywood Studios, Creature Comforts at Animal Kingdom
Tips: other purchases in the parks, these too can be shipped back to your resort if you don't want to carry them around with you.
Personalized Disney ornaments
Remember your family vacations by buying an ornament from each destination. Disney offers Disney-themed ornaments in a couple of locations and you can even get them personalized if you'd .
Locations: Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe at Magic Kingdom and Disney's Days of Christmas in Disney Springs
Tips: Go early in your trip in case it takes days (usually can be done same day though) to get the personalized ornaments finished. The Disney Springs location has a wider selection than the Magic Kingdom location.
The beautiful Flight of Passage at Pandora lets guests ride on the backs of their very own banshee and now, you can take a miniature version of one home with you. These interactive animals (controlled by your hand) move their heads, wings, and mouths and even make authentic banshee sounds.
Locations: The Rookery inside Windtraders at Animal Kingdom
Tips: Guests go through an entire adoption process where they identify a banshee from 10 unique styles
Pick a Pearl
Pick a Pearl allows you to pick an oyster from a tank, the very enthusiastic Cast Member cuts it open, and then you'll see if you got 1 or 2 pearls. The pearl(s) is/are then measured and put into a baggie.
Location: Mitsukoshi store in the Japan section of Epcot's World Showcase
Price: around $20 (settings are separate)
Tips: Pick the hairiest, ugliest oyster to increase your chances of getting 2 pearls
A couple of years ago, Disney started doing away with resort-specific merchandise so the gift shops contained generic Disney World items. The resort-specific items have returned.
Locations: all Disney resorts
At a few spots in Disney World, you can have a ring carved to your specifications with various symbols or initials. You can choose between different materials gold or silver.
Locations: Cart in Disney Springs near Little Miss Matched (seasonal), cart near Pirates of the Caribbean, Mexico section of Epcot
Price: $20 and up
How awesome would it be to have THIS under your Christmas tree?
Locations: Emporium at Magic Kingdom, World of Disney at Disney Springs, Test Track Shop at Epcot, The Contemporary Resort, Mouse Gear at Epcot
Tips: There are other pieces that can go with the monorail to form a larger playset. Other pieces include Cinderella's Castle and The Contemporary.
Don't be afraid to ship it home from Disney World if it's too large to transport.
You don't have to be an artist to create a masterpiece. These fun classes are led by instructors that use easy-to-follow steps to guide you through the creation of your very own Disney piece of art.
Locations: Some Walt Disney World Resort Hotels (check your hotels Recreation Guide when you arrive for availability)
Price: Prices start around $35 but can vary
Tips: These classes are perfect for a non-park day
If you a souvenir you can wear, these Toms are not only amazingly comfortable, they are also extremely cute (and VERY unique!).
Locations: in Epcot during the Festival of the Arts
Price: Prices start around $55 but go up depending on style and size (both child and adult sizes available)
Customized phone cases
Phone cases are another extremely useful souvenir. With dozens and dozens of unique styles and the ability to customize your selection with your name, these phone cases are a fun way to remember your Disney World trip.
Locations: D-Tech on Demand inside the Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs
Personalized Chinese Parasol
Pick up one of these beautiful parasols and they'll write your name in Chinese on it to make it even more personal.
Locations: Kiosk in the China section of Epcot
Price: around $15
Star Wars Lightsaber & Droids
For a truly unique experience, Star Wars fans can build their own replica lightsabers and droids.
Locations: Savi's Workshop (light sabers) and Droid Depot (droids) in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Hollywood Studios
Price: varies (lightsabers start at $199)
Tip: Reservations for both of these experiences must be made ahead of time. You can do that online: Savi's Workshop reservations, Droid Depot reservations.
Monogrammed Mickey Ears
What's better than classic Mickey ears? Classic Mickey ears with a monogram added to them.
Locations: The Chapeau on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, the Five and Dime at Hollywood Studios, Mouse Gear at Epcot and DisneyStore.com
95 and up
Tips: Depending on how busy the stores are, it can take a while to get your monogram completed.
Arrive at the store earlier in your visit so you can pick your ears up before you leave (sometimes a few hours later).
Sure, there are lots of places you can buy Lego sets but the Disney Springs Lego Store is a must stop place for Lego fans. Filled to the brim with brightly colored bricks, the fill-a-bucket option is a great souvenir for any Lego lover.
Locations: The LEGO store in Disney Springs
Tips: Check the LEGO site for promotions.
Have a silhouette drawn to remember your child's age at the time of your trip or have one done for a special occasion mother's/father's/grandparents day for a truly unique Disney World souvenir. The artists can do these in as little as 60 seconds.
Locations: Disney Springs, Epcot near France, the Magic Kingdom on Main Street (a cart in an alley about halfway down on the right as you enter the park) and in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom
Price: Prices start around $15
One of the cheapest souvenirs in all of Disney World are pressed coins which you can find just about everywhere and collect in pressed coin books.
Locations: All throughout Disney World
Price: starting at 51 cents per pressed penny, however, some machines are 2 quarters, or even $1.00 (with the penny provided by the machine), and a few use credit cards
Tips: Check out the map on the Disney World website for up-to-date locations
What better way to remember your trip than to make some of your favorite dishes at home? There are several different cookbooks to choose from.
Locations: Best selection is at Mickey's Pantry in Disney Springs
Engraved glass items
This outdoor store sells glass items (including beer steins) and you can have them engraved for a more personal touch.
Locations: Glaskunst store in Germany section of Epcot
You can buy these passports at Epcot and then have them stamped in each country.
Locations: Gift shops at Epcot (easiest is probably Mouse Gear)
You can trade pins with other people (including Cast Members) but you can also buy pins that you want as a souvenir for your trip. For more info on how this works, see this pin trading guide.
Locations: Just about everywhere at Disney World but Disney's Pin Traders in Disney Springs is the largest. You can also purchase on DisneyStore.com.
Cool souvenirs that are no longer available
Alas, all good things must come to an end.
Here's some of our past favorites that are no longer available.
A haunted portrait
Note: no longer available as of August 2019
At the Memento Mori gift shop, you used to be able to get a haunted portrait made of yourself.
Mr. Potato Head Parts
Note: as of 2017 it appears that the Mr. Potato Head parts are no longer available.
At a toy store in Disney Springs, you once were able to fill up a container of Mr. Potato Head parts (many of them exclusive to Disney parks) for a set cost.
Note: the Design a Tee shop is closed as of September 2018
Lots of people make customized shirts themselves now, but at one time you were also able to do it at a shop called Design a Tee in Disney Springs
Do you have questions or other unique Disney World souvenir ideas? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
10 Best Must Have Disney Souvenirs
A thing that is kept as a reminder of a person, place, or event
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that we have more stuff coming back then we did when we left for Disney. We can’t help it. We love our souvenirs.
If you’re us then you love them too! But what are your favorites? Here are our 10 Best Must-Have Souvenirs… see if your favorites are on our list!
We came up with this list by taking a look around and seeing what it is we had brought home over the years.
It’s by no means a complete list of the souvenirs we’ve purchased, but I think it gives a good sense of what we to get. This is our list, yours may be different.By all means, let us know in the comments what you to get!
1. The “Free Stuff”
Guide Maps, Park Tickets, FastPasses, Key to the World Cards, Confetti, Stickers, etc… There are so many things you accumulate during your trip that make great souvenirs and material for scrapbooks or other memory projects.
When it comes to Disney, we don’t throw anything away!
We didn’t get into the Pin trading craze until Bella tried it, but over the years we had quietly amassed a small collection of pins of our favorite attractions and resorts we’d stayed at.
Now that Bella’s got the pin-trading bug, you can be sure we’ll be coming back with a lot more! If you collect pins, check out these projects for your pin collection!
|We didn’t buy all of these, but we can’t resist Disney hats!|
Hats, T-shirts, hoodies… it’s rare that a trip goes by without coming home with something new to wear. As a rule, everyone has to have an ear hat! Aside from that, you are free to find that t-shirt or other piece of attire that says you love Disney and wear it proudly! I have not one, but TWO monorail t-shirts!! “Por Favor mantengase alejado de las puertas!”
4. Disney Jewelry
For now, this is Lisa’s territory, but I’m sure Bella will be following along soon enough. If I wore a watch, I’d be inclined to buy a Disney themed one.
Lisa’s favorite is her Pandora bracelet that she can buy a new Disney charm for each trip! There are also Alex and Ani bangles and plenty of other sparkly souvenirs to choose from.
It certainly is a fashionable way to collect memories!
Even though most of our Disney trips are during spring or summer, we can’t help but stop by the Christmas shop and pick up a few ornaments for our tree! Decorating our tree each Christmas reminds us of all the Disney trips we’ve taken. Can you spot the Mickey on our tree??
This one is obviously for Bella and Jackson… mostly. I’d be lying if I told you that Lisa and I hadn’t picked up a plush character or toy over the years.
In fact, we had several before we even had any kids!! One of the surprise favorites of both our children is Duffy, the Disney Bear.
They both have one and we’re taking Duffy with us on our trip! He even s to tour World Showcase with us!
This is something I have to get each trip. I have a growing collection of items that combine Disney and baseball. It started with the baseballs and a few little sculptures… but it’s now grown to include a lot more!
Speaking of collections, Lisa’s got a nice collection of tea cups and tea pots going. In addition, sometimes you just see something that you have to have in your house… this throw pillow. We don’t have any room that is completely Disney, but you can find a little Disney in every room of our house!
We take hundreds, sometimes thousands of pictures on our vacations. Digital photography has certainly made it easy to accumulate a lot of pictures. In addition to our personal photos, we always take advantage of Disney’s PhotoPass service. And with all those pictures, sometimes you have to pick up a little something to put them in.
10. Pressed Pennies
A great and relatively inexpensive keepsake is the pressed penny. You can find pressed penny machines throughout the parks and resorts. It’s a lot of fun to track them down and get a collection going. There are also some neat things you can do to show them off as well.
Did we leave any of your favorite souvenirs off our list?? Let us know in the comments below!!
8 Disney souvenirs you don’t want to leave without
As you might imagine, I’ve answered a few questions related to Disney travel. The three most common ones I recall are:
- When is the best time to visit?
- What should I do to celebrate a birthday?
- What are the best souvenirs? Or How much should I budget for souvenirs?
During my last trip, I did a little bit of prep work to be able to write a post about that third question. And here’s why: if you’ve ever attended Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ve no doubt seen the vendors who walk up and down the aisles with assorted glow toys.
If you’ve ever strolled Main Street, you’ve been wowed by the sight of a Cast Member holding a ginormous balloon bouquet, framed by the castle. From experience I can tell you that your children will beg and plead for aforementioned glow toys and fancy balloons.
And while both of those novelties have their merits, neither of them will last long. I don’t know about you, but when I take a vacation to a place Walt Disney World, I want to come home with a little memento to remember it by. Somehow a deflated balloon just doesn’t fit the bill.
I prefer to buy my kids souvenirs that will outlast the plane ride home. Here are eight of my favorites:
1. Books ($10-$20) – Books are hands-down my #1 favorite souvenir to buy my kiddos. I love that it’s a souvenir that will be enjoyed over and over again at home.
In my experience, the widest selection of books for kids can be found at the Once Upon a Toy store in Downtown Disney, but the World of Disney store has a fair selection as well. There are picture and story books for both boys and girls that cover a wide reading level.
Board Games (about $45) – Here’s another souvenir that will see a lot of playing time at home, long after your vacation ends. And the fun thing about this one is that you can buy a familiar game with a fun, Disney spin.
Oh, and you just try to tell me that the (never-ending) game of Monopoly isn’t improved by the addition of Disney characters–you won’t convince me.
3. Shirts ($18 and up) – I know, I know, t-shirts are about an original a souvenir as a keychain.
There’s a good reason for that; everybody loves t-shrits! Here’s a fun tip for you, though: at the World of Disney store, I’ve always been able to find three or so styles of men’s Disney-branded polo shirts (about $45) stocked.
I always pick one up for my husband. His company is big on casual attire. Jeff enjoys wearing his Disney polos because they’re always a conversation starter!
4. LEGO toys (prices vary widely)– If you’ve got a little boy at home, you probably know that LEGOs are always a popular gift. If you can relate, you’re going to want to head to the ginormous LEGO store at Downtown Disney.
That place is always a madhouse but it’s the best place to find everything LEGO, including several Disney sets that you won’t find elsewhere.
If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, though, you can also shop a more limited selection at the Once Upon a Toy store, also located in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace.
5. Device carriers and cases (expect to pay close to $30) – Disney-themed iPhone cases and iPad carriers have quickly become a popular souvenir for tech-loving kids of all ages (myself included). This is another of my favorite souvenirs because it’s something that will be used over and over again.
6. Mr. Potato Head (price varies) – I absolutely adore the Mr. Potato Head display located inside the Once Upon a Toy store at Downtown Disney. As you can see, it overflows with Disney-inspired Mr. Potato head accessories.
Guests can purchase either a small box or a large canister filled to the brim with as much as they can cram in there and still get the box or canister to close. Options include Tink wings, Captain Jack Sparrow’s hat, Mickey’s shoes and so many other fun options a Mickey bar or Mickey ears.
We purchased the canister during one of our earliest trips and my kids played with those toys for years before growing them!
7. Pajamas (about $40) – Disney’s pajamas aren’t cheap, admittedly, but if you have a little girl who loves playing dress-up, this is one costume she can even wear to bed. There are nightgowns themed after most of the popular princesses and maybe even a fairy or two.
8. Christmas ornaments (not pictured – prices vary widely) – We have so many Disney ornaments on our tree every year–each one specially selected during a memorable trip.
It’s a lot of fun to be able to reminisce about what we did the year we bought the particular ornaments.
I highly recommend stopping by Disney’s Days of Christmas (located near Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney) to pick one up to commemorate your trip.
Hopefully one of these ideas will inspire the perfect souvenir from your next Disney trip!
You might also enjoy:
What to wear to Walt Disney World
Where to find the best salads at Walt Disney World
What to expect at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
10 Tips to Stop Splurging on Disney Souvenirs
You eye that shiny new trinket in the Emporium, the park is closing soon, and you end up caving under the pressure. Another $39.95 down the drain just because you HAD to have it in the moment. And now? It’s just gathering dust at home.
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. If you’re determined to stop wasting your hard-earned dollars in gift shops, here are ten tips to save that cash for something worthy of your souvenir collection.
1. Research before you buy
Start getting excited for your trip by scouting out the latest offerings online.
The Disney Parks Blog often introduces new merchandise collections as they are released, fellow park-goers post new products on social media under hashtags #DisneyMerch, and fan sites ( the DIS!) report on the latest and greatest.
Once you browse around beforehand, you won’t be as overwhelmed by choices at the gift shops and you might even already have those few favorites picked out for your purchases!
2. Trick the kids
A fantastic tip a friend of mine let me in on is surprising your kids along the way to Disney with gifts tucked away in your suitcase. Rather than spend a fortune in the parks, try to find discounted options at the Disney Store Outlet, Walmart, Amazon, or any other spot where you search out lower-priced finds.
You might surprise them with new pajamas on the first night of your stay, sit a stuffed Mickey on the vanity for them to find when they go to brush their teeth in the morning , or bring out a pin you’ve been saving so they can add it to their lanyard.
The hope here would be that this barrage of budget gifts will not leave your kids disappointed (or you feeling guilty!) that they can only pick out a single small souvenir.
3. Download the Shops Disney Parks App
This is a lifesaving tool to have in your pocket.
While it’s a key resource for researching prior to your vacation, it also helps to keep you from making impulsive purchases because you fear the regret of leaving that something special behind.
If there’s an item you’re unsure about, just bookmark it on the app and you can always go back for it once you get home if you make up your mind that it is, in fact, something you need.
4. Get a gift card
Sure, setting a budget is always a great way to control your finances, but it can be difficult to hold yourself to when you spot something that has your eyes turning to hearts.
Force yourself to stick to that reasonable allocation by loading it up on a gift card, this way there’s no chance you’ll exceed your spending limits.
Plus, you get to carry around a card detailed with a fun character, which, let’s be honest, will always be better than a plain credit or debit card.
5. Never make impulse buys
We all know patience is a virtue, but it can be difficult to spend your whole vacation dwelling on that one thing you really want. If there’s one money-saving promise you can make yourself, it’s that you will not purchase anything without thinking about it for a little while.
Most merchandise is available resort-wide, but even if your special something is only sold in a single shop in one park, you can always loop back around before you leave for the day.
This will give you time to decide whether or not you really want to shell out the bills for it, plus you won’t have to lug it around with you for hours.
6. Wait to buy your souvenirs until the last day of your vacation
If you really have the self control, you can wait it out even longer.
Obviously, this may not be possible if you were hoping to pick up a bottle of Geir Ness’ signature Laila perfume in Norway and Epcot is not on the final day’s itinerary, but try to stick to this whenever you can.
Not only will you have time to see all your options and think out your shopping decisions over the course of a few days, but you’ll have something to look forward to for your whole trip.
7. Don’t fall for discounts
Remember, you’re not saving money if you’re spending more than you would without the discount! I am a self-admitted victim to the Disney Visa card’s 10% discount on purchases over $50 and I’ve learned the hard way that it’s usually not worth it.
While Disney doesn’t typically offer gift shop sales, be careful of overcompensating on other spots where you saved.
For example, if you got a significant discount on your hotel room or snagged a free dining promotion, don’t use that as an excuse to stock up on stuff you don’t need.
8. Leave no space in your suitcase
If you don’t have room to bring souvenirs home, you won’t buy souvenirs. Simple as that. Of course, there are ways to get around this roadblock you put on yourself, but if you’re determined to stay on budget hopefully you won’t end up buying a second suitcase or paying to ship your items back home.
9. Take advantage of freebies
Shoplifting is obviously illegal, but you can still walk away from Disney with a plethora of free souvenirs! At the parks you can pick up complimentary maps, perfect for tucking away to look at later or even frame as an eye-catching wall accent.
Your resort room (hopefully) provides free individual size H2O toiletries, but there are also notebooks, pens, and coasters you can laminate for repeated use back home.
Plus, you’ll often come across fun handouts colorful buttons and stickers that make non-costly keepsakes you’ll treasure for years to come.
10. Skip the useless junk
In my humble opinion, there are just some things that are way overpriced and should not ever be purchased. Ever. First, is anything under the Goofy’s Candy Company label. This candy, while delicious, is not magical by any means; it’s just your average sugared up treat and you should not be paying a markup on it. Next, plush.
Yes, they’re adorable, but they’re clutter. Plus, they’re not rare by any means; you’ll be able to buy a stuffed Pluto or Simba as long as Disney exists. And finally, anything you won’t actually use.
This is up to your own discretion, but if you’re just going to let that cute Tinkerbell statuette sit in storage, you’re better off saving your money.
No, being conservative with your cash isn’t always fun, but it brings you one step closer to paying for another Disney vacation! What are your favorite money-saving tips when navigating gift shops?
12 Disney World Essentials to Buy BEFORE Disney to Maximize Savings
A Disney vacation is in your future. Maybe this is your first trip, maybe it’s your tenth, but the important question is this: do you know what things to buy BEFORE Disney to save money? Maximize your Disney savings by including these Disney World essentials items when packing for your vacation!
Disclosure: TravelingMom uses affiliate links.
Disney World Essentials to Buy BEFORE Your Trip
You’ve got your resort reservations, your Fastpass+ slots are filled, the magical MagicBand box has arrived at your house and you’ve made the decision between the Disney Dining meal plan or packing lots of snacks. But have you made your list and checked it twice to see if you included some items that will add up to big Disney savings?
The Disney World vacation pixie dust can easily take over and lead to extra spending. When the parade at Magic Kingdom starts and every other kid has a glowing light toy, you can guarantee your toddler will find them fascinating. And you’ll find the price for one mind-boggling,
Some advance planning can yield big savings, with lots of these items available at your local dollar store or through a quick Amazon shopping trip. Here are the Disney World essentials to buy before landing in Orlando, Florida for maximum savings! (And yes, they can also be used for your Disneyland trip.)
Everyone wants to save $$ at Disney World! These are the 12 things to buy BEFORE your vacation that are going to save you a ton of money on your Disney vacation. Get the money saving tips on this buying guide for a budget WDW trip.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
When it rains at Disney, this magical theme park becomes a sea of Mickey ponchos. At roughly $10 per poncho, it would cost $60 to cover our family of 6. But who wants to pay that? There are a few ways to go here: dollar stores typically have ponchos for $1, but they are the thin ones.
I found heavier ponchos with reusable pouches for $3 (kids) and $4 (adults) at Walmart. The bonus was that my family stood out with our red and blue ponchos, making the kids easier to spot.
Buy these before a Disney vacation for uniqueness and savings! Savings: $33-45, depending on the quality of ponchos
TravelingMom Tip: Even if rain isn’t in the forecast, bring the ponchos to Animal Kingdom for Kali River Rapids. You will get soaking wet on it. If that isn’t your thing- wear a poncho! Other water rides Splash Mountain vary on the “soak factor,” so you’ll have to decide how comfortable you are with being damp.
The ‘official’ Disney ponchos are cute but pricey. Buy before to save! Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen
You know what makes your day at EPCOT miserable? A toddler with a sunburn. One essential item on your Disney World packing list needs to be sunscreen. Don’t forget it because it’s a pretty pricey hotel gift shop purchase. Sunscreen has a Use By date printed on it.
This year I scored sunscreen on markdown at the end of the summer at Target, getting three aerosol bottles of it for just $2.99. Buy this before your Disney vacation and score major savings. Heads up – if you’re traveling with only a carry on, this won’t be an option for you.
Savings: around $21
TravelingMom Tip: Pack a few Ziploc bags. Not only do they come in super handy for all sorts of reasons (wet clothes, diaper blowout), you should pack each sunscreen into a Ziploc bag to protect your other items from accidental leakage.
3. Items to Beat the Heat
First time visiting the Disney World resort area? In case you hadn’t heard, Walt Disney World is in Florida. Florida is hot. In some months, unbearably so. Preparing for that in advance and packing for Disney in a smart “heat friendly” way will be a lifesaver. A misting fan can go a long way in lowering little ones whining levels during long wait times.
Things we always buy before Disney to help with the heat? Cooling towels, misting fans and more. Check out everything you need here.
Bringing your own food can provide a TON of Disney savings. Yes, part of the experience is eating the food, but find out how we saved at least $50 every day by packing snacks and being selective on dining in the park. Best part? You’re not surviving on granola bars. We’ve got a whole list of varied snack and food ideas.
5. Sunglasses & Hats
As we mentioned before, it can get HOT! Our Disney World essentials include sunglasses and hats for all family members. But buying them on site can really add up. We always include a few extras.
Our teen son has a habit of putting his hat into the mesh pocket on roller coasters and walking off without it.
It seems silly, but if you want to save money at Disney World, you’ve got to be prepared for shenanigans.
Heading to Animal Kingdom with toddlers? The drums are always a hit! Be sure to pack sunglasses and hats. It can get HOT! Photo Credit: Nasreen Stump
6. Glow Sticks/ Light Up Toys
Night descends on Disney and suddenly fireflies, glow sticks and spinning light toys pop up everywhere. Pick up a few packs of glow stick bracelets, wands, and necklaces, and you’ll have your kids covered for $3 instead of twenty dollars. Not feeling the plain dollar store offerings? Head to a Disney Outlet and still save money, even for the fancy light wands. Savings: $17
New nighttime spectacular “Epcot Forever” above Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The show celebrates the past, present and future of the theme park with fireworks, lasers, colorful glowing kites and Epcot music. (David Roark, photographer)
A favorite tradition of ours has become having the girls wake up on their first morning at Walt Disney World to find a dress left for them by a “princess.
” By keeping an eye on Disney Store emails, I am usually able to snag these for an average of $23 apiece.
While at Walt Disney World during our last visit, I spied the exact same Belle dress my girls were wearing for $64.95. Savings: $42
On our things to buy before Disney list? Disney princess costumes. Our Disney savings really add up when we pack these! Photo Credit: Nasreen Stump
8. Disney Clothing/Pajamas
With sales at the Disney Store and the outlets, you can often score Disney t-shirts for $4.95-$9.95 and pajamas for $7.99-9.99. We usually grab a few t-shirts for $4.95 and nightgowns for 9.99. Savings: at least $10 per child
Want it to be even easier? Amazon Prime it to your hotel.
9. Autograph Book
A popular toddler and kid activity at Disney is collecting the autographs of various characters as you wander the parks or attend character meals.Autograph books in the parks average $15-$20. We made our own dollar store notebooks (2 per pack for $1) and Disney princess stickers (also $1). Disney Savings: per child $12.50+
TravelingMom Tip: Feeling a little fancier? Here are 11 other unique ways to collect Disney character autographs!
10. Disney Pins/Lanyard
Pin trading is a great way to interact with the characters and to introduce a new aspect of Disney to kids who may have visited several times already.
Pins need to be Official Disney pins with the original backing on them in order to be traded. I bought several at the Disney Store Outlet for $4.95 each to get each of my kiddos started.
I utilized my collection of conference lanyards (I knew I was saving them for a reason!) for the pins.
Pins in the parks range from $7.95-$13.95 each and you’ll pay around $8 for a lanyard. Savings: $11 per child
Disney pins come in all kinds of shapes and characters for trading. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen
11. Bring Change
Packing pennies and quarters may seem strange advice, but it will save you on souvenirs once you’re there! There are penny press machines in the parks and kids love pressing pennies. This souvenir will cost you a mere 51 cents, but only if you remember to pack the change.
One of our Disney World essentials? Quarters and pennies to use in the coin press machines. These thrifty souvenirs will please kids of all ages. Photo Credit: Kathy Penney
12. Discount Gift Cards
The art of discount Disney gift cards is truly that – an art. Disney gift cards can be used across the parks for everything from dining to hotel rooms to souvenirs. Plan ahead and shop sales to turn your Disney budget up a notch.
For example, my local grocery chain HEB recently offered an app special coupon to buy $100 in Disney gift cards and save $20. Utilizing my husband and my son’s mobile apps, we purchased $300 worth of Disney gift cards for $240. These deals tend to pop up starting in November through the Christmas season.
In addition, you can purchase Disney gift cards at Target using your Red Card for an everyday savings of at least 5%. Savings: 5-20% of the value you buy.
My biggest TravelingMom Tip? When packing for Disney, use a packing list! Print it out and check it twice for Disney World essentials. Nothing makes the cost of a Disney vacation skyrocket items you forgot to bring. Knowing about things to buy before Disney only works if you actually pack them!
Be sure to check out this post on TravelingMom before packing for Disney. We’ve compiled a master list for you!
Where to Buy Discounted Disney Tickets
We recommend purchasing your Disney tickets through Get Away Today. Not only does the company have the lowest prices, it offers a best price guarantee. If you ever find park tickets cheaper, Get Away Today won’t just match the price, the company will beat it.
If you call to make your purchase be sure to mention TravelingMom!
How do you maximize Disney savings? What things do you buy before Disney that enhance your trip? Share with us in the comments below
6 Souvenirs You’ll Regret Buying in Disney World
Yes, Walt Disney World can be expensive. And it can be difficult to decide what’s worth the money when visiting. Do you pay for that meal? Do you buy that toy?
Animal Kingdom Rafiki’s Planet Watch shop
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment. And it’s even easier to buy or spend too much because you’re wrapped up in the experience.
That’s why we’ve gathered a few souvenirs that you’ll ly regret buying once you get home from your Walt Disney World vacation.
Think about these potential purchases ahead of your trip to decide whether they are really a MUST-HAVE for you and your family before you get to the parks!
1. A Popcorn Bucket
Though we love a good souvenir popcorn bucket these can be a total waste of money. Often times, they find their way into a cabinet or corner and never see the light of day. They can cost upwards of $15-$20, which is a lot of money for something you’re never going to use or look at again.
They are a great purchase, though, if you intend to eat a bunch of popcorn on your vacay. Or if you live in the area and plan to use the popcorn bucket often.
Mickey Balloon Popcorn Bucket
2. Banshees from Pandora – The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Banshees are little toy creatures that guests can purchase when visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar. These are really awesome when you’re walking around the parks.
The banshee sits on your shoulder and is controlled by a remote that allows you to manipulate its head and wings.
It’s a great conversation-starter, and you’ll get a lot of compliments and questions from curious fellow vacationers.
But these are pricey, and what are the chances you or your little one will play with them when you get home? At $50 a pop, you may regret buying one.
Banshee Rookery in Windtraders
3. Over-the-Top Merch
We’re talkin’ things that you’ll wear or use for one day around the parks, but will ly never be put to use again once you’re back to reality. This can be silly merchandise gigantic bows and the crazy, oversized sombreros you’ll find in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion. Really think if you’re ever going to use, wear, or even look at the merchandise before you buy it.
Jumbo Minnie Bow
Just taking the time to slow down and think will ly prevent you from buying loads of souvenirs you’ll never use again!
4. Disney Golf Balls
We used Disney golf balls as an example because though cute, they can be pretty expensive. And, honestly, if you actually intend to use them, they’re going to be lost or beat up after one or two rounds.
Mickey Golf Ball
On the other hand, if you know a Disney fan who is also a golfer, they might make a nice souvenir or collectible.
5. Light-Up Toys
Light-up toys and glow sticks are very popular items and for good reason. They are loads of fun! If your kiddos love these things, and MUST have them, you can always buy them at home or outside of the parks, where they are much less expensive. Because, let’s face it, they’re not the kinds of things you use back at home every day.
Light up Toys
6. A Disney Balloon
I know, I know. Disney balloons are so stinkin’ cute and make for some adorable photos. BUT if you are flying home, it isn’t ly that your balloon will make it with you.
And if you’re going to Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can’t take the balloon there, so you’ll need to give it away.
They cost between $9 and $14 each, so really think about whether this is a good purchase! (Note: If you do buy a balloon, remember that Disney may be able to replace it if it pops while you’re in the parks. No sad kids, or kids at heart, allowed!)
What purchasing errors have you made while at the parks? Have you bought things knowing you’d regret them later? Let us know in the comments below!
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