One of the best things about vacationing at Walt Disney World is souvenir shopping – they have so many stores with so many different items that it can be hard to pick just a select few to bring home with you. So if you aren’t sure what kind of souvenirs you should buy, then here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
Will you actually use it at home? Many things seem cool when at the Parks, but be practical – think hard and be realistic about if it will be useful once you get home
Is it too big? size is a factor when purchasing souvenirs, and while those giant stuffed animals or balloons are fun, they may not fit too well into your suitcase. Size is especially important to consider when flying, as you may have to pay a fee for an extra bag or overweight luggage
Is it worth the cost? This kind of goes along with “will you use it at home”, an item is ‘worth it’ if it’s useful, practical, or even if you just love it. Some of the items sold at WDW can be pretty pricey, and if you are like me, you set a souvenir budget, so if one item is going to blow your whole budget, you will definitely want to consider if it’s worth it to you, cost wise
So which souvenir items are “worth it” at Walt Disney World? Well, here are a few:
Photos – The photos I take on vacation are by far my absolute favorite souvenir! I will take over 1,000 digital photos on a WDW trip and then narrow it down to a select few that I will print for frames/photo albums etc once I get home. If you aren’t the greatest picture taker, you can always try the Disney PhotoPass
Picture Frames/Photo Albums – kind of goes along with photos, these are both great ways to store and display your favorite trip memories, they have all kinds of frames and albums in all shapes and sizes, including some cute small magnetic frames that are perfect for the fridge or your office!
Pins – Pin Trading can be quite the addiction, and the pins tend to be pricey. BUT, they are great souvenirs as they come in so many styles/designs that you can get one to remind you of your favorite ride, or character, and you can really build a custom collection that you can display at home (personally, I display mine in a shadow box (LINK TO PINTEREST PIN). And the best thing about pins is that they are SMALL – no need to worry about them taking up too much precious suitcase space
Candy/Packaged Snacks – there are plenty of packaged bags of candy and pretzels/other snacks available for purchase at all the Parks and Resorts, and they are fun reminders of your trip and can help cheer you up when you’ve got the “I have to return to the real world after Disney and its a bummer” blues. Bonus – they are all really tasty too – I love the packaged salted caramels and other assorted chocolate goodies
Decks Of Cards – we usually get one of these per trip, and so far they have had a different style every time we went. It’s something we use often, and is inexpensive, and they make a good gift for a fellow Disney lover too
Mickey Antenna Toppers – these come in so many great styles, from holiday/seasonal ones, to a variety of different characters – right now my car has a Minnie cupcake oneon it! They give you a fun little reminder of your trip every time you drive your car!
Souvenir items that aren’t “worth it”:
Silly Hats – The giant Mickey sorcerer hat, the Goofy hat, the Pirates hats – they are fun to try on and laugh at, but seriously – what will you do with that once you get home? Nothing. It will sit and collect dust and take up space. So check them out, have a laugh, take a picture, but don’t waste yor money. There is one exception to this though – classic Mickey Ears with your name embroidered on them are a classic must have souvenir for every Disney fan!
Souvenir Photo Packages – They offer these at some of the character meals, and it’s a posed picture with a character/statue etc, which they then try and sell to you during dinner. These are generally a rip off, and unless the picture is particularly amazing, I skip them. I find that candid photos you take yourself are more fun (and a lot cheaper, too!)
Anything Breakable – This includes wine glasses, snow globes, mugs, plates, etc – I know for us, these are just a recipe for disaster. You may think it’s safe in that checked luggage, but you never know, and there’s nothing worse than getting home after vacation and opening your suitcase to find that the wine glasses have shattered all over your clothes. The one exception we make to this rule is shot glasses, they are small and usually made of thick glass and look great displayed on your bar at home!
No matter what souvenirs you decide to buy, a good tip is to always buy them at the END of your day at the park, so you aren’t stuck lugging them around all day!
Obviously these are based on my experience and personal opinion, so I would love some more thoughts – what do you think, which souvenirs are “worth it” to you?
- Souvenirs: Where to Find Disney Dooney and Bourke Bags (aglassslippervacation.com)
- Do Cheap Souvenirs exist at the Disney Parks? (chipandco.com)