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!