Disney may be a magical place to visit, but that magic doesn’t come without a price tag. Disney souvenirs are one of those major expenses every parent must face. Even if you manage to cut corners and find savings here and there, a trip to Disney for a family is going to cost a hefty chunk of change, depending on the length of your visit. Fortunately, there are ways that you can cut costs, and some of those savings can really add up.
When my family travels, we rarely purchase souvenirs. My husband and I never made it a habit to purchase unnecessary items from the many gift shops we’ve entered over the years. If our kids picked up a memento from our trip, it was normally because they had their own spending money.
I buy souvenirs so rarely that when we travel as a family, I don’t even budget for souvenirs. The exception is when we visit Disney. It’s hard to visit the Happiest Place on Earth and not desire some type of trinket to remind you of the trip. If you’re not careful, souvenir photos, t-shirts and princess dresses can wreck havoc on your finances and leave a huge void in your wallet.
We normally don’t spend a great deal of money on Disney souvenirs, with the exception of the year we bought our teens a remote control car from RIDEMAKERZ® in Downtown Disney, which is sadly no longer there.
3 Disney Souvenirs that Won’t Break the Bank
1. Participate in the Pin-Trading Program at Disney
Pin-trading is a big deal at Disney and for good reason. It’s fun, can be relatively inexpensive and allows your child (or yourself) to really think before they act. We learned about pin trading on our first visit to the Disney Parks over ten years ago, but I’m still surprised by the number of people that don’t really know what it is.
Guests at Disney Parks can purchase a lanyard and specially made Disney pins to trade with cast members and other Disney park guests. If you see someone with a lanyard, you can approach them and negotiate a trade. While you can purchase starter sets in the park that consist of a lanyard and several pins to trade, I learned a secret from a cast member AFTER purchasing a starter kit. Visit a Disney outlet store prior to visiting the park, or while taking a break from the park and purchase a discounted lanyard and pins. While they won’t have the selection that the park offers, you won’t pay the prices that the park charges on pins either. Unless you’re a collector, picking up the pins from the previous season to trade isn’t a big deal. This is one of those Disney souvenirs that can also be saved and easily handed down through generations as a valuable keepsake.
2. Save your Pennies and Press them at the Park
I can’t stand to pass by a penny-pressing machine without smashing a penny, but I had to get over it at Disney. There are plenty of machines scattered around- some even press quarters instead of pennies. If you really want to get fancy with your pressed pennies you can purchase a book to store them in but I’ve found that a notebook and packing tape works just as well.
This is by far the most affordable of Disney souvenirs you’ll find in the park, and one of the most fun. I like to get shiny new pennies before visiting the park for the prettiest and best penny press with various designs in the park.
3. Save your Maps, Brochures and Tickets to Create a One-of-a-Kind Wall Decoration
Maps and brochures are free so pick some up and save them until after your trip. You can assemble tickets, postcards, photos and even some pressed pennies in a frame to create a personalized piece of art from your trip. This makes a great shadowbox that can also include a family photo from the park to add to your living room wall!
These tips for saving money while still getting Disney souvenirs for your family to cherish for years to come. Set aside a few dollars to enjoy these 3 top souvenir ideas that everyone will love.