Tuesday, March 1, 2011

3 Ways to Save Money on Disney World Souvenirs


A trip to Disney World is one of the greatest experiences you will likely ever have, but it can certainly cost you an arm and a leg. There are ways to trim some fat off your budget when planning a trip though and finding ways to save money on Disney World souvenirs is just one way to do that. We leave for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and are staying for a total of 7 nights, I have a plan in place for souvenirs so that the boys get to buy some mementos and I get to avoid a second mortgage.

1. Buy Ahead

This is the absolute best tip for saving money on Disney World souvenirs. While many people do not consider buying souvenirs before they go on vacation, doing so could save you a ton of cash. For example, you can buy Disney trading pins on Ebay at a fraction of the cost that you would pay in the park. I purchase each boy ten pins each year, so if I was paying full price, that would easily be nearly $500. On Ebay, I pay about $50. Use caution when choosing a buyer though, as some sell counterfeit pins. Buy from an experienced seller, with good feedback and who does not give duplicates of each pin.

Places like Walmart, Target and even the Dollar Store also have little souvenirs you can purchase. Last year, I bought some shirts for myself from Walmart and bought things like Disney themed bubbles, paddle balls, jump ropes and board games from the Dollar Store and put them in a Disney fun bag to use while waiting in lines for rides or for the parade and fireworks to start. The Disney Store online has many great sales throughout the year as well, so keep your eyes open.

2. Look for Discount Merchandise

There are usually sales going on in many of the shops both in the parks and at Downtown Disney. Look for these discounted items and see if there is anything you may be interested in. In fact, at Downtown Disney, there is a store called Mickey's Mart that has everything $10 and under.

This is a great place to let the kids go. On several occasions, they have had grab bags that can be purchased for a single price and are full of great items worth much more than what you paid. Some items here are smaller cheaper items, but others are larger items at a deep discount. Last year, I bought a beautiful fleece throw with the castle on it for under $10.

3. Set a Budget for Each Child

Every year, I buy a few things like pins and shirts for the boys before we leave. I also save all their souvenirs such as hats and light up things in a bin in my closet and give them to them before each trip. After that, I give them a strict budget of what they have to spend when we go. Last year it was $30 each and this year it will be $40 each because we are spending less overall.

The boys new that they could buy anything they liked within their price range at any time during the trip, but once the money was gone, they would get nothing else. I never heard any "I wants" or "can I haves" during the trip, because they new what they had to work with. It saves you from spending more than you want and teaches your children about budgeting. It also helps them save the money for that special souvenir that they really want. All my boys picked things last year that they used the whole trip and still use to this day.

Going to Disney World does not have to cost a fortune. With some pre-planning and budgeting, you can have the time of your life at a minimum cost.

Have any Disney World souvenir budget tips of your own? Feel free to share them below!

Kathleen Bunn

17 comments:

Jessica said...

Great advice! Disney souvenirs can add up really quickly. Since I'm a local, I hit the Disney outlet frequently for discounted merchandise (that saves a LOT of money). They always have a nice variety of stuff and I love the prices.

I am all about saving money when it comes to Disney. I am an annual passholder and do not pay for parking; however, always receive questions about how people can save money while on their vacation. Today I shared tips about avoiding parking fees at Disney World, $14 per day adds up quickly!

http://theunemployedmom.com/2011/03/01/avoid-parking-fees-at-disney-world/

Keli said...

We are planning our first trip to Disney here soon I will be stalking your blog for tips!!

Brenda / Mejorando mi Hogar said...

Thank you!! Great tips, see you there!

Sippy Cup Mom said...

Great tips! I will use these for my son when he is older for sure.

Last year I went to the Walmart in Orlando the first night and stocked up on some Disney items to give my son in the parks. Much easier since he was only 2.

I can imagine it will get harder each year!

Kathleen said...

Thanks for the extra tips and comments ladies. Yep, with four boys and a small budget, you have to get creative with the souvenirs.

Anonymous said...

I have three children. We stayed at the Port Orleans last year for 5 nights and purchased the free refillable souvenir cups for $12 each. Each morning before we got on the bus everyone filled up with hi-c or juice (or my DH or I would get a coke since mine don't like soft drinks). Even though you could only refill soft drinks at the resort, we could usually get free ice in the park and you can always find a water fountain (another saving to buying bottled water.)

Heather said...

awesome advice - I can't wait until my kids are old enough to go and I just know I'm gonna break the bank when we finally get there. Buying ahead is a great option!

Nicole said...

Those are great tips. We're looking into going on a Disney vacation either this fall or next year and I'm in the process of trying to budget out the costs. I didn't even think about the extra expense of souvenirs!!

Sharon said...

Great tips, I so want to go to Disney with my kids and these will help.

Rhea said...

I always buy our Disney shirts before we go. That way we can wear them while there! The Disney Store in the mall always has character shirts for cheap.

Good tips K!

Mandi said...

Thank you for these tips! We're hoping to go to Disney next year or the year after!

Jennifer-Eighty MPH Mom said...

These are EXCELLENT tips! It really is so expensive, and the money goes really fast there. I love your idea about re-using the souveniers again and again. Love it!

Kathleen said...

So happy to see so many going to Disney World soon! We go each year and to do that, it means we go without other things. In the end, my kids won't remember that $200 toy they asked for one Christmas, but they will remember the memories we make year after year as a family.

Jennifer, we have done that since we started going. I pack everything up when we get home if it is a reusable souvenir and not just a toy and then we use it each year and it doesn't get destroyed. It has worked we for us. Sometimes the boys will keep the things for a few weeks and then ask me to put them up lol.

Laura @ GotChocolate said...

I've never been to Disney World. My 11-year-old is dying to go too! Fun! THanks for these money saving tips. AWESOME!!!

Cheryl said...

I want to wait until my girls are a little older to go, but I can't wait!! I've never been before!

Lorie Shewbridge said...

This is a terrific article... a must share for everyone going to the Disney Social Media Moms conference.
I'm definitely going to retweet it!!

Katie Kraemer said...

We are taking our son in August for his 3rd birthday. I have already bought some souvenirs and only plan on buying a few things there like the Mickey ears and an authentic t shirt. I hit the Disney store for a few character shirts for $8 and walmart, target, party city and the toys r us outlet for some other small things. Found alot of cheap Disney things at the party store!! we can't wait for our trip. He's so excited already. Any other tips on going to WDW with a 3 yr old like the best things to do/ see would be helpful.

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