There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that a Disney World vacation is expensive, and coming home with souvenirs is no exception. However, for the savvy visitor there are ways to obtain souvenirs from the park without going broke to do so.
The first step in saving money on Disney World souvenirs is often subscribing to their email newsletter, which provides recipients with notices of upcoming sales. Another way to purchase Disney World souvenirs for less is to perform an internet search for the park’s online promotional discount codes.
Purchasing items branded with the Disney World logo is something that can be done at the company’s online Disney store in order to help guests save money on their souvenirs. Whereas shops in the park itself rarely offer discounts, the same souvenirs can be purchased on the Disney Store website, often at a discount. An alternative to shopping at the Disney Store online is searching eBay for Disney souvenirs.
When guests dine at a Walt Disney World restaurant, café or other eatery, keeping their receipt can also lead to discounts throughout the park as a 15% off coupon is usually included on the bottom of the receipt. The coupons generally only apply to select shops found throughout the Disney World resort.
There are certain circumstances under which a guest can get a discount on their souvenir shopping. Members of the national auto club, AAA can often get a 10% discount at Downtown Disney’s World of Disney store. Anyone who has a current annual Disney Pass can also get the discount as well. In addition, there is a Disney Visa credit card that allows guests to save money on purchases in excess of $50. Members of the Disney Vacation Club can also receive discounts at many of the park’s shops. Cast members (the term every employee of Disney World is referred to as) must be asked by the guest to apply the appropriate discount when paying for their merchandise.
There are very few souvenirs that can be purchased at Disney World for less than $1. The only one that comes to mind is Disney World pressed pennies. There are machines scattered throughout the parks that make up the Disney World resort and each machine boasts different imprints of various Disney characters and attractions. To purchase a pressed penny all a guest has to do is insert 50¢ into the machine to pay for the pressed penny, and then the penny itself.
While it may sound unlikely that anyone could get a free souvenir from Disney World this is simply not true. At the entrance to each park guests can obtain special pins and buttons marking everything from a guest’s birthday to their first visit to the park. These buttons are generally given to children and the park will even put the child’s name on the button. When cast members throughout the park see a child wearing one of these buttons they will often give them a sticker with a Disney character on it.
Many children love collecting the autographs of the various Disney characters. While guests can buy an autograph book in the park it is much cheaper to make one at home and bring it along. Disney character autographs are always free, making this a child friendly souvenir while spending only a small amount of money.
Downtown Disney also provides guests with options for cheaper souvenirs than the park has. For not more than a few dollars guests can purchase Disney World pins as well as their own Mickey Mouse Ears hat, which they can add their own personal touch to.
Sometimes the easiest way to get the best selection of Disney World souvenirs for less is to purchase them outside of the park. Many nearby stores offer an even wider range of Disney World souvenirs for significantly lower prices than guests would pay otherwise. One popular destination outside the park for lower priced Disney World souvenirs is the Orlando Premium Outlets.
One precious souvenir from any Disney World vacation that is easy to get for free is pictures. While guests can pay to have their pictures taken by Disney World cast members these pictures are very expensive. A better option is to bring a smart phone or digital camera to take pictures with for free.
Throughout the park cast members often give out trading cards of Disney characters and attractions. With or without autographs from the characters these trading cards can serve as a souvenir of the park that didn’t cost money to obtain.
To purchase cheap souvenirs from Disney World to take home to family and friends, chocolates and other edible gifts are often a popular choice. And though they are expensive initially, examples of Disney souvenirs that keep on giving are appliances such as waffle makers and toasters that embed Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse into an individual’s breakfast. Both adults and children find it hard to resist a Mickey Mouse shaped waffle or toast with his face seared into it.
Purchasing a Disney World souvenir cup for only a few dollars is also a good idea because not only is it an affordable souvenir it also gives guest access to free drink refills at the restaurants located throughout the Disney World Resort. This is a cheaper option than purchasing a Disney World mug or other type of cup in any one of the gift shops.
Families who are doing Disney World on a tight budget always have the cheaper option of purchasing Disney items at home, taking them to Disney World and then presenting them to the children at the end of the day or the end of the vacation. Younger children likely won’t realize that their much coveted Disney souvenirs weren’t even purchased at Disney World.
Each of these ideas is an effective way to acquire Disney World souvenirs without spending an exorbitant amount of money that really doesn’t need to be spent.
For those planning a Disney World vacation on a budget, click here for additional tips and savings from a former Disney cast member.