HOW TO SAVE ON SOU­VENIRS

WDW Magazine - - How To Save At Wdw - BY JEREMY LEICHTENBERG

Mickey Ears! Au­to­graph Books! Pins, pressed pen­nies, princess dresses, and pop­corn buck­ets! The list of sou­venirs at WDW is end­less, just like the magic. You can spend all day walk­ing in and out of gift shops, be­ing in awe of the amount of things you could pos­si­bly see Dis­ney char­ac­ters faces on. You don't need to spend all of your money on sou­venirs to have a me­mento of your trip. There are many cost ef­fec­tive ways to get your sou­venirs, and not break the bank as you do it.

While there may be no way around buy­ing your first set of Mickey Ears, to­day they come in lots of de­signs. Sim­pler Ears are usu­ally less money than ones cov­ered in extra bling. And if you are plan­ning a re­turn trip, make room in your suit­case to be­ing your ears from a pre­vi­ous va­ca­tion so you can avoid mak­ing a sec­ond pur­chase.

Pin trad­ing is a pop­u­lar Dis­ney ac­tiv­ity and booths sell­ing them are ev­ery­where, but you can save sig­nif­i­cantly on col­lectible pins by know­ing what to look for. If pin trad­ing is some­thing that you or your lit­tle ones are in­ter­ested in, check into pur­chas­ing a "lot" of pins from an on­line re­tailer. The price per pin goes from around $8-$10 per pin like you’d find in the parks (and those are the CHEAP pins!), down to around .50 cents per pin.

First, de­cide how many pins you are want­ing to trade while at Dis­ney. We fig­ured an av­er­age of 5-7 pins per day. Sec­ond, you can pur­chase in many quan­ti­ties, from 10-100. Odds are, in any lot you pur­chase, you will have some right away that you will want to keep. Be sure to buy from a cred­i­ble seller as well.

This is a fun, and in­ex­pen­sive ac­tiv­ity for kids and adults to en­joy to­gether. Cast Mem­bers through­out the park will have lan­yards with pins on them. It is a great way to start up a con­ver­sa­tion with a Cast Mem­ber. Even your Dis­ney Re­sort gift shop will have a pin board for you to take a peak and trade with.

Get­ting char­ac­ter au­to­graphs is a rite of pas­sage at WDW. There are many au­to­graph books avail­able for pur­chase in WDW. There are ones that just have blank pages, and some that have spots for pho­tos and au­to­graphs. All of th­ese are great choices, but do add up. You can eas­ily find a cute note­book at your lo­cal dol­lar.store that will do the trick – jazz it up with some Dis­ney stick­ers!

grade in school. She be­gan to en­joy do­ing chores, and saw it as the more she helped out, the more she earned for her trip. She con­trolled her own spend­ing money. Emma knew how much she had earned in Dis­ney Dol­lars, and how much she could spend while in Dis­ney. Once her money gone, she was done buy­ing sou­venirs. It’s been a great way to en­cour­age good be­hav­ior, teach the value of money, and build work ethic.

Lots of fam­i­lies wear match­ing tee-shirts in the parks, but have you con­sid­ered mak­ing or buy­ing your own at home be­fore­hand? Re­tail­ers like Tar­get or Hot Topic of­ten have Dis­ney apparel for cheaper than you’ll find in the parks. Or get some bright col­ored tees and iron-on trans­fers and make your own unique sou­venirs to sur­prise the kids with!

Not ev­ery­thing you buy has to be Dis­ney themed. On our most re­cent trip with our kids, we brought glow sticks from home. Emma had fun putting them around her wrist, and head and any­where else they would at­tach. You can also have your kids pass glow sticks to nearby kids, and make a new friend while in the parks while spread­ing a lit­tle magic of their own.

Set­ting a bud­get for sou­venirs and stick­ing to it can be hard. Ev­ery time we go to WDW, we plan out our bud­get. We al­ways have out "must buy" sou­venirs, such as a new Christ­mas or­na­ment each year or a new pin from that year. It is easy to get car­ried away. Just re­mem­ber, all the things you buy while on va­ca­tion, need to come home with you as well!

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