Souvenir tips for Disney World trips – PREP043

Disney puts gift shops at the exits to nearly all of their attractions, giving you endless opportunities to buy their stuff.

Today, I have tips for souvenir shopping to help you know when to buy and what to get.

I also have a quick tip on using Magical Express on a schedule that works for you.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

Souvenir tips

  • Budgets can vary a lot but I suggest $100 as a minimum for a week-long trip. Playing Tinker Bell or purchasing an in-room celebration can help reduce kids asking for lots of souvenirs during trips.
  • Buy things when you see them because you might not see them again
  • On-site guests can send items back to their resort to avoid carrying. Off-site guests can send items to the front of the park.
  • Focus on exclusive items that can only be found at Disney World such as Star Wars merchandise (in the exit area of Star Tours in Hollywood Studios or Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney), Mr. Potato Head parts, CDs or Vera Bradley bags
  • Cheap/free suggestions include pressed coins and the character drawings at Animation Academy at Hollywood Studios (Update: Animation Academy is no longer open at Hollywood Studios as of July 12, 2015)
  • Souvenirs to help you remember the trip include personalized ornaments (available at the Christmas stores in Magic Kingdom or Downtown Disney), silhouettes (available in the France section of Epcot, a couple of locations in Magic Kingdom and in Downtown Disney), merchandise that has the year on it (such as a picture frame)
  • Other favorite items include Epcot passports, Mickey ears, and pick-a-pearl in the Japan section of Epcot

Quick tip of the day

If you want to take Magical Express at a different time than when your flight is arriving or departing, use a different flight number when making your reservation.

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Do you have any questions or additional suggestions for souvenir shopping? Feel free to share in the comments.

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Summer

Hey! Love your site and your podcasts, but as I was listening I noticed there wasn’t a link mentioned or more information on the Disney Florist part of the podcast. You had said you got the Mickey’s Grand Welcome, I’m not sure if I just accidentally didn’t hear it but could you post a link to more info on the Disney Florist stuff? Thank you!

Hi, Summer! Its there, just hidden a little. You can find the link in the first tip in the show notes up above under “in-room celebrations”.

Hannah

It’s so sad that Animation Acadamy is no longer open I was really looking forward to it on my next trip.

Alaine Goodacre

Hi there!
Loved the podcast! We buy a Christmas ornament each year and love it. I liked how you mentioned to buy what you like when you see it because it is sometimes tricky to find it again. I also love the option of returning things if I, or my kids have a change of heart or find something else… If staying on site you can return almost anything at the shop in your resort, with your receipt and unopened, of course.

Daniel P

We are visiting DW @ end Jan…
Alaine commented “… If staying on site you can return almost anything at the shop in your resort”
Can anyone else verify this?

Nikki

Yes, you can return with a receipt anywhere. If you are paying with a gift card, please be sure to save them. They put the money back on the card you used. I made the mistake of getting rid of it, and had to get a merchandise card. They don’t work in any restaurant (like a gift card does), or even getting a caramel apple at the cauldron. It was a nightmare. GL and safe travels!

Noelle Simpson

Wish I would have got the silhouettes 🙁

Claire

Thank you for this topic! One request or suggestion, could you please consider including a warning for parents who might be listening with their kids in earshot that you will be discussing Tinker Bell gifts? Sometimes my kids are in the room when I listen, and I don’t want to take away from Tink’s magic. Thank you!

Trudy

Try headphones.

Jennifer Fischer

Please explain more about the Magical Express tip… we use ME every time and our biggest complaint is that they want you on the bus WAY too early than is necessary to depart. But doesn’t that mess with your luggage arrangements? Please advise.

Jennifer Fischer

No, just saw the tip on the blog. I’ll check it out, thanks.

melissa

Enjoyed the info. FYI on the Grand Welcome or anything from Disney florist, if you stay club level you can have it there on arrival day instead of following day. I was really torn on this for this trip. My DD15 is bringing a friend and I thought it would be so cool but decided to pass. Her personality may not support it!!!! LOL! I myself would love it….

Carole Dukeshire

I live in Nova Scotia, Canada and I have been to DW six times and I usually buy a fridge magnet each time, some to put pictures into. I also sometimes buy Disney picture frames, one for myself and another one to put in a picture of my family who I am with and I make that an extra Christmas present for them. Since my grandchildren ages 17,16,13 & 6 have been born one of my Christmas presents to them each year is a Christmas ornament so they more or less have a set of ornaments when they start out in their own homes. When I am at DW I get Disney ornaments for them as well as for myself. They sometimes give me Disney ornaments too. I try to keep the souvenirs small in size so I have enough room in my suitcase.

Abby

Love these ideas! We don’t go crazy on souvenirs either. We did pennies last year and our kids loved it. We plan on it again but with 3 kids it is at least $100 between the pennies/quarters and books. Still worth it in my opinion. Can’t wait for the Star Wars stuff next time. Thanks for your tips!

Amber

Try making a display rather than buying the books- something fun to look at rather than a book stashed away. there are some really cute ideas on pinterest. From the Mickey head shape to fixing them onto a matte around trip pictures.

Liv

Another great idea is to make jewelry out of them! There are a lot of ideas for this on the internet!

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