This is a guest post by my friend Alexia. Alexia is a Disney Vacation Specialist with Destinations in Florida. When she is not helping plan magical vacations, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Click here to contact her and she’ll help you find the best rates for your magical vacation!
If your kids are anything like mine, they want everything they see in every single gift shop at Disney World. This can be difficult, especially when some of the rides exit though a gift shop. Shopping at Disney World also means paying premium prices. I remember seeing Disney Princess dresses for $65.00. The exact same dress sells for $40 at the Disney Store. Buying souvenirs at Disney World doesn’t have to break the bank though. Here are some ideas for inexpensive souvenirs at Disney World:
Character Drawings: A free animation class is held every 30 minutes at the Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A Disney animator will teach you step by step how to draw a Disney character. These drawings are great to take home and frame! Tip: Take an empty paper towel roll with you to roll up your drawing and put it inside. It will keep it safe while you finish exploring the park!
Pressed Pennies: All the Disney parks and hotels have pressed penny machines. My girls had a blast hunting for the machines. Each penny will cost you $0.51. (There are also pressed quarters that cost $1.25.) Clean and empty mini M&M containers make great pressed penny money containers. We used a large container for quarters and a small container for pennies. I have heard of other people using just one container and alternating two quarters and one penny so you have the exact amount already counted out. Mentos gum containers are the perfect size to hold your finished pennies. Most gift shops also sell pressed penny books to display your pressed pennies. These books cost between $7 and $14 depending on the type of book you purchase.
Epcot Passports: These passports can be purchased for around $10 at most gift shops in Epcot. Your children can then have them stamped at the Kidcot stations in each country and have a cast member write them a message in their native language. Each Kidcot station also has fans (usually Duffy and one other character) that kids can color and have stamped for free.
Pins: Pin trading is a big deal at Disney World and Disneyland. You will see most cast members wearing a lanyard with Disney pins on it, along with many guests. You can trade pins with cast members if you see one that you like. All Disney gift shops sell pins starting at $7.95. You can also purchase pins before you leave on eBay and Amazon. Just make sure your pins are authentic. Some on eBay are counterfeit and cast members cannot accept them.
Pick a Pearl: The Pick a Pearl counter is located at the Mitsukoshi store in the Japan pavilion in Epcot. Guests are allowed to pick an oyster from the tank, and a cast member will cut open the oyster for you to reveal your pearl. The pearl is then measured and put into a baggie. You can choose to have it set in jewelry right at the store if you want or take it with you in the baggie. Pick a Pearl is $14.95 and jewelry settings begin at $10. Tip: Rumor has it that the hairiest, ugliest oysters have a better chance of containing two pearls instead of one, so pick an ugly oyster!
Build Your Own Mr. Potato Head: Once Upon a Toy in Downtown Disney has a Build Your Own Mr. Potato Head station with every Potato Head part you can think of, including some Disney exclusives. For $20, you can full your box to the brim! Tip: Buy a Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head body at home. Bigger pieces like the body take up a lot of space in the box. Try to fill the box with smaller pieces to stretch your dollar!
What are your favorite inexpensive souvenirs at Disney World?