Growing up, my parents were able to take us to Disney World by saving their money from clipping coupons. They didn’t have money left over to spend on souvenirs so we didn’t get to buy anything and always packed our lunches because we couldn’t afford the food in the parks. Now, with my kids, we have a little more leeway, but not too much. So I need to find ways on how to save money on souvenirs at Disney World.
I buy the souvenirs in advance of our vacationat the online Disney Store with online coupons and sales. Sign up for their newsletter to get notice on sales. Or do a Google or Bing search to find online promo codes. When you get to Disney, dole out the purchases! I also buy licensed t-shirts and things at the Super Walmart in Kissimmee, FL, just outside of Disney World. (All still support Disney!) I pack our our lunches to save money on some meals so we can buy ice cream/popcorn, that sort of thing, later in the day. While it is easy get groceries if you have a rental car, and have a kitchen in your room (like at the Disney Art of Animation Resort), you can still do it with a mini-fridge and a taxi ride. Here is my post on how to do that.
Regardless of how to save money on souvenirs at Disney World, I think it is also important to teach my children that while it is understandable to want the balloons, Disney ears, t-shirts, popcorn, it is about the magic of Disney itself that is most important. Plus, the fun is in the rides, the shows, and the characters.
If you want to provide something tangible, however, and you are on a really limited budget (or even if you aren’t!), one idea is to make a handmade autograph book. At Disney, there are autograph books for sale (around $8) and you can have the characters you meet ‘autograph’ the book. Yet, there is no rule that it has to be one of Disney’s books – they sign anything. So find a blank journal at a dollar store or thrift shop for a dollar or two. Then find pictures of various Disney characters online or in books from the library. Print them out or make photocopies them, and paste each character on one side of the journal. One page for Mickey Mouse, one for Minnie Mouse, one for Winnie the Pooh, one for Cinderella, etc. Or just decorate the book with Disney stickers. At the parks, have the character autograph the page opposite from the one with their picture on it! Don’t forget to take a picture while they are greeting your child! Then in future years, use the picture of your child greeting the character in the autograph book!
It is a great memory piece and gives something special to do for, and with, your children. It will keep their focus off the Disney popcorn and Mickey Mouse ice cream when they have a mission to find the characters in their specially made autograph book!
Next up, tips on the Typhoon Lagoon Shark Reef! For my other Disney-related posts, click here!
[Below are links to blogs from fellow Disney Social Media Moms! Give them some love too!]
Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this post.