Making Sure Your Disney Vacation Souvenirs Don’t Break the Bank
You’ve planned for months, and done everything you can think of to save money on your Disney World vacation. You have a budget, and your transportation, hotel, tickets and meals were all carefully considered to help you have as affordable a Disney vacation as is possible.
And then you get to the parks, and your little princess bursts into tears because she really, really, really wants that exquisite Cinderella ensemble that costs as much as a week’s worth of groceries. How can you resist that pitiful little face? Many parents can’t. A trip to Disney World is supposed to be magical! So….there goes that budget right out the window!
There is a way to combat “buy-me-itis” though…but it involves thinking ahead and planning for souvenirs before you ever leave home. There are a number of ways to make your souvenirs actually quite affordable, and if you can plan your purchases as carefully as the rest of your trip, you may not end up blowing your vacation budget on souvenirs. But ya gotta have a plan!
Everyone has a souvenir budget…including kids.
I am a big fan of setting a daily spending budget…even for kids. On our first trip, our daughter was seven, and we set aside some money each day that was “hers” to spend as she wished. It was not a great deal, but we found that having her own money to use, meant that when she used it up, she was done for the day. There was no complaining, whining, or begging. Once it was gone, it was gone. And it worked.
It’s ok to think cheap
There are a lot of very inexpensive options for souvenirs! Pressed pennies, postcards, pencils and Disney World pins all are quite affordable and can actually be the start of a new collection for a child that gets added to on each vacation. Kids love to collect things, and will enjoy “hunting” for new treasures to add to their collection. And if children already know they are collecting something, they will often concentrate so much on looking for that item, that they pass by the more expensive things because they are so busy trying to add to their collection.
Bring souvenir bargains from home
Consider bringing some “souvenirs” with you, or have a box shipped to your hotel. You can use these bargains from home as gifts for your children at Disney World. Many families have found that kids love to get a surprise from Mickey when they wake up every morning, and these little surprises can minimize the need to beg for things in the parks. Some families actually get quite elaborate with the daily “gift” by including some pixie dust and a note from Tinkerbell (or whoever your child loves). The excitement of starting the day off with something new and special can really reduce the daily begging for something else.
May I have your autograph?
With just a little pre-trip planning, you can turn your kids’ character autographs into a prized souvenir. Character autographs are hugely popular at the Disney theme parks, and there probably is no more affordable souvenir. But make it more exiting and fun by bringing something other than a book, like a tee shirt, or hat and give the character a sharpie to sign with. Your child will have an instant souvenir that will be cherished for years.
A picture is worth a thousand words…but doesn’t have to cost a thousand dollars
Pictures are wonderful ways to capture memories, but they don’t have to cost a fortune. While the Disney Photopass photographers are all over the parks waiting to take your pictures, you can take your own pictures as well. And many people don’t realize that you can also give your camera to the Photopass photographer (or nearby castmember) who can then take a picture of your entire family…on your camera…for free. The souvenir possibilities are endless with your own pictures when you return home, and for far less money than you would spend with Photopass items purchased through the website.
A little creativity can go a long away towards keeping your souvenir budget in check and the begging and pleading to a minimum. Fun does not have to be expensive, and neither do the souvenirs. The best souvenirs you will come home with will be your memories: those don’t cost a thing, but are truly priceless.
When Nancy is writing on Affordable Disney Vacations here she can be found on her site The Affordable Mouse.