Visit WDW on a Budget // Souvenirs

Picture this: you found the PERFECT pair of Mickey ears to add to your collection, you’ve budgeted for your spending on this trip, you’re at the register, you open your wallet and….moths fly out. “It’s only the 3rd day I’m here how did I blow through my spending already?” you think to yourself. Well, let me tell ya, its because souvenirs in WDW are not cheap. And during peak season the prices are even higher than normal. Don’t sweat, I’m here to help!

If you’ve been reading this series then you’re most likely trying to visit WDW on a budget, which means you probably already have a budget and have set aside some money for shopping on your trip. That’s a great start! Now double it. I’m not kidding, double the amount you thought you would need for spending (its better to have some left over than to have 4 days of your trip left and no spending money, or worse having to dip into your food money for a t-shirt you just HAVE to have) I’m not going to tell you to set a ridiculously low amount in your budget because you “really don’t need anything” Lets face it you’re on vacation, budget or not you want to spoil yourself. So double your original budget amount. Keep in mind this is just for souvenirs, your food money and spending money should be separate.

If you cant double your budget there are a lot of other ways you can get free Disney gift cards to supplement your budget. Shopkicks, Swagbucks, Walmart and Sams Club have ways to save money on Disney gift cards. Shopkicks gives you points for walking into your favorite stores. You also get points for buying certain products or scanning the barcode on other products. These points can be redeemed for Disney gift cards. Same goes for Swagbucks. Answer surveys, watch ads, or sign up for select services to rack up points! Walmart and Sams will offer a $5-$10 discount on Disney gift cards all the time. Gift cards are a simple, easy, and my favorite way to build a bigger budget. It’s easy to see the money in your account that’s already set aside and think oh I have plenty! and spend it on something else before you even leave for your trip (been there, done that) Putting your spending money on gift cards ensures that you only spend your set budget and you only spend it at Disney.

In addition to this, I have the Disney Visa from Chase. Purchases I make give me cash back in the form of Disney Dream Dollars. AND I get a discount when I use that card at Disney. The only issue I have with this is that if I use my redemption card to pay for something I don’t get the discounts. It’s kind of a catch 22, either I get the discount or I use the gift card.

Another great tool in saving money on souvenirs is the shop parks app. If you see something in one store and they either don’t have your size or you want to get it the next day when you’re at a different park you can search for it in the Shop Parks app. It’ll tell you where the item is located, how many of each size they have left, and the price. Sometimes items have different prices depending on which park or hotel they’re located in. This is very rare but it does happen. This app is also great if you are flying and don’t want to fly back with all your souvenirs. You can purchase something you see in store from the app and have it sent back to your home. I did this with my moms Christmas gift. she wanted a Kermit the Frog coffee mug but it was already our last day and she was feeling like she had already spent too much money. (They hadn’t visited Disney in 12 years and didn’t exactly have a budget, ya can’t win em all)  So I snapped a photo of the mug, searched for it on the Shop Parks app, and bought it as we were walking out of the store. Fast forward to Christmas morning she loved the mug and was wondering how I purchased it without her seeing.

Lastly, one of my favorite ways to save money on souvenirs is to purchase them outside of Disney property which I realize might not seem like a great tip but hear me out. I’ve done this specifically with t-shirts the past 3 trips I’ve been on. I spend a little less than half my spending money on a few things before I go and then the rest when I’m there. I go on Amazon, Etsy, or even the Disney Store if they’re having a sale, and buy t-shirts from there. There are SO many options plus potential customization and you can purchase them a week in advance, wear them on your trip, and still feel like you went shopping. This actually helps me spend less because if I already have 2 or 3 new shirts I don’t feel the need to buy more.  For things like toys for the kids, find these at the dollar store or even target (5% off your target purchase anyone?) and bring them with you. You can also bring your own glow toys for the parade so the little ones aren’t begging for them when they see the cart with all the pretty light up toys.

 

I hope these tips help! Comment your favorite budget tip below!
Also be sure to follow me on Facebook as I will be doing a very special giveaway for Mickeys 90th birthday!

Thanks so much for reading!

Sam V
travel/vacations
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