Category Archives: Affording Disney

Souvenirs to Collect at Disney

Fun Souvenirs to Collect at Disney World

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You have just spent all your money on a magical trip to Disney World for your family. Everybody is going to want souvenirs from the trip. You can easily walk into any store in Disney and spend several hundred dollars on various souvenirs and gifts. Many which will end up either broken before the end of the trip or buried in the kids toy chest when you get home. 

It’s OK to splurge on some souvenirs. Go ahead and get the large Buzz toy. Why not get them excited about other souvenirs that they can get while at Disney. The best part these souvenirs shouldn’t break the bank. Ok, I say shouldn’t because you can go crazy on some of these souvenirs and amass large collections of them.

There are many souvenirs for your family to collect while at Disney World and the best part is that many of them are free or don’t break the bank. You will be surprised you will probaby enjoy trying to find them and get them while visiting Disney. The kids or yourself may actually enjoy these items more so than that $30 Buzz Lightyear toy you bought them.

The best part about the souvenirs listed here is that they are relatively inexpensive and you can get new ones each time you come.

10 Fun Souvenirs to Collect

Here are 10 fun souvenirs for you and your family to collect while at Disney World. Listed in no particular order

1. Pressed Pennies

51 cents and you can get a penny pressed with a Disney World character or theme on it. Some of the challenge is trying to find the penny press machines. They are located all over the parks. But, many times they aren’t easily spotted because they are tucked in store or at the end of an attraction. 

Disney’s Collectible Pennies

OK, if your like my family this probably won’t end up being a cheap souvenir or hobby while at Disney. We enjoy going around the parks searching for new pennies. There are over 75 penny machines located throughout Disney. Many of these machines have 3 and 4 options to choose from. Additionally, there are several machines that offer up a quarter option.

2. Passholder Magnets

This isn’t for everybody, but if you are an annual passholder this is a perfect souvenir for you to collect. The best part about them is they are free and don’t take a lot of space to store. All you have to do is go to the park that has them at the particular time, scan your magicband and show your ID to get your magnet. Typically they will have the passholder magnets out during special events throughout the year. Our outside fridge is covered in these magnets. If you want to start collecting these magnets, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram to find out when new magnets will be introduced.

3. Stickers

When you are walking around Disney with a toddler chances are a cast member will walk up to your child with a roll of stickers and hand them some. Our son almost always gets a handful of stickers every trip to Disney. Most of the time the stickers will be Mickey Mouse stickers. They do have other ones available you will just have to find the right cast member. This can be a great way to get your kid to go up to cast members and ask questions.

4. Buttons

Whenever you walk around disney you will see people wear buttons on their clothing that say “happy birthday”, “my first visit” or whatever else they want to have on the button. You can get a free button by visiting guest relations at a park or resort. Disney has limited options for the one’s they will give you at guest services, but you can write whatever you want on them. 

Disney Buttons

You can expand this collection by buying buttons. There are all sorts of different buttons that you can buy at the stores. Typically they come in packs of two and cost $9.99.

5. Disney Trading Pins

Of this list, Disney Trading pins will be the most expensive souvenir. However if you frequent any of Disney’s property’s these are a great souvenir to begin collect. At the parks you can get a Pin for between $8 and $15 dollars. The best part of collecting is that you can trade them with a cast member or another pin trader. Many of the Disney Pin Mystery packs have two pins in them, so if there is one you don’t like go ahead and trade it for one you want. The Disney outlet stores in Orlando are a great place to stock on up the pins at a lower cost. Parents if you are wanting a Disney hobby for yourself, get your kids involved in this one and use them to get extra pins. 

Disney Trading Pin Starter Sets

You can get a starter pin set for around $30 depending on the set. The set will come with with 3 to 5 pins and a lanyard for you to start with. 

6. Transportation Trading Cards

This isn’t a very known souvenir and not something many people ask for nor do cast members hand them out readily. However Disney does have a set of transportation trading cards that you can collect. You can collect monorail, bus and tram cards. There are 27 cards for you to collect. The next time you are on a boat, monorail or ferry as the captain/operator if they have any cards. They may or may not have some, they don’t carry a lot with them.

7. Sorcerers Cards at Magic Kingdom

The Sorcerers cards at Magic Kingdom is more of game throughout the park in which you try to defeat the Disney Villains. Each day guests can receive a map and two cards from the firehouse on Main Street. There are roughly 70 different cards for you to collect here. 

Sorcerers cards magic kingdom

8. Maps an Brochures

This may not be a fun one for everyone, but it’s a great way for you to keep a great memory of your trip to Disney World. There are lots of different maps and brochures you can collect from your adventures around Disney World. You can collect the standard park maps. Disney will also publish special maps and brochures for various events and new attractions. When they opened up the new Star Wars land, they created a special edition map of the park. Any of the festivals that happen around Epcot always have a pamphlet for you to use and enjoy.  I guarantee if you save your and look at it in 10 years the park will be different.

9. Charactor Signatures

Of all the free souviners at Disney world, this one is will take a lot of patience standing in line to get. Your little ones will probaby enjoy this the most because they do get to see the characters. Grab yourself an autograph book and sharpie then hit up the character meet and greet spots located throughout the parks. The characters will sign the book and you also get your picture taken with the characters. Only downside to this is that sometimes the waits to see a character can last well over an hour. 

Character meet and greets occur at various times throughout the park with the charactor usually hanging around for 15-20 minutes before they have to take a quick break and come back. 

10. Postcards

Another great souvenir I recently have found at Disney World are postcards. You can find all different kinds of postcards in the resort gift shops and at the shops throughout the parks. Postcards can be purchased for either $1.99 or $2.99.

The best thing about Postcards is that you can purchase them at Disney World and mail them back home to yourself or kids.

These are 10 great souvenirs ideas that you can collect during your visits to Disney World. The best part about these are that you can continue to collect them and expand your collections each time you visit Disney. They aren’t just limited to Disney World in Orlando, you can collect and expand your collections if you visit any other Disney property.

What is your favorite souvenir to collect while visiting Disney World?

How to afford your next Disney Trip

How to afford a trip to Disney

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click on a link.

Your kids have been begging you for months now to take you to Disney and wont leave you alone about it. You want to say yes to them and provide them with the trip of a lifetime to Disney World. You know they will make memories that will last a lifetime at Disney regardless of their age. All you hear are people talking about the outrageous costs of going to disney. In fact a trip to Disney can be expensive, especially when you start booking a room at a resort, getting your park tickets and buying meals. The cost of this magical vacation can begin to add up quickly. Spoiler Alert! Once you arrive at Disney, you are going to have a lot of extra costs that you probably havent planned for. We will save all these other expenses for another article so we don’t scare you away from Disney.

The cash register in your head is spinning fast, your sweating as to how can you make your family happy and how you are going to afford this trip. However with a little planning, understanding the costs, and time you can afford to give that magical vacation to your family.

7 Tips to afford Disney World

1. Savings plan

The first step to being able to afford the trip to Disney, is to save up some money. My recommendation for a family of 4 planning a week long vacation to Disney is save between $4000-$5000 for trip. This is for a resort, park passes and dining plan. To go conservative you may want to save even more money for souvenirs and paid experiences at Disney. Not everything will be included in your resort fee or your park tickets

Yes, I just told you to save a large amount of money for the trip. However if you take your time planning and researching when, where and what for your trip to Walt Disney World. You can easily cut this price down and save money on your trip. In the end the trip will be worth every penny

How expensive is Disney.

For a Family of 4 (2 Adults and 2 Kids) Traveling to Disney World for a 6 day vacation could possibly lead to a bill of $4300 with the following items added to your vacation.

Disney Pop Century Resort Standard Pool View- $1166.61
5 day ticket with admission to 1 park each day-    $1979.26
Quick service dining plan- $954.95
Memory Maker- $169.00
Grand Total without Tax- $4269.82

This is a very rough sample of the cost of a trip to Disney in 2020.

There are many ways you can save the money for this Disney trip. You can set up a spare change jar or create a savings calendar. However you do it, get your kids excited and involved in it. Have them save their spare change or the birthday money they got from Nana and Papa.

Here is a savings tracker that you can use to keep track of your progress towards reaching that goal.

Trak your savings for your next Disney Trip

2. Book and Visit during the off season

You may say to yourself Disney doesn’t have an off season, but it really does. The normal off season for Disney is January/February and September. Unfortunately off season is usually when your children are in school. Don’t let the teachers fool you, Disney is very educational. In that case, check with your child’s school and see if you can make it an excused absence. If you can’t go during the off season, and have to go during a holiday or summer, do your research to find the best deals available.

If you end up having to book during peak season, there are many ways in which you can cut your costs and help reduce the financial strain of Disney. When booking consider staying off property at a nearby hotel. Or see if you can crash at a family or friends house near the parks. Take a close look at the ticket options and find the one that best suits your needs and wants for the trip.

Remember you don’t have to do everything that is available at Disney. Do things you want and enjoy to do. There are attractions at Disney that you may not have any desire to see.

For latest crowd level estimates check out Magic Guides.

3. Only have to pay the deposit when booking

When it comes to booking a vacation at Disney you can book the vacation up to 499 days in advance. This gives you a lot of time to prepare for your vacation. The great thing about Disney is that you do not have to pay for your entire trip when you book it. You will only be required to pay a deposit for your trip. The deposit for a vacation is usually between $200-$400 if you are booking well in advance. A last minute booking may require you to pay the entire cost upfront.

4. Pay as you go for the vacation

7 Tips to Afford a magical trip to Disney World
7 tips to afford a Disney trip

You are typically not required to pay the full vacation amount when you originally book it. You will have until a month prior to your vacation to pay for it. Now, that you have booked your vacation, paid the deposit and are counting down the days. Why not slowly pay down the balance between now and the day of your arrival. You can pay a little towards the balance at anytime. Just be aware that the balance of your trip will be taken out of the credit card a month prior to your vacation. Make sure you read the fine print when booking

Take the savings chart from above and use it to track your vacation payoff.

5. Deciding to stay on or off property. One of the most expensive parts of visiting Disney World is the resort. While this is probably one of the top 3 most expensive aspects of your trip, this can also be one area you can save a fair bit of money for your vacation. Disney has over 30 resort options for you to choose from; prices ranging from $50 a night to over an $1000 a night. In addition to all the Disney resort options, there are plenty of non Disney hotels for you look at. The debate of staying on or off property is a never ending debate as to which one is better. Each option has its perks.

Since we live close to disney we only stay on property if we want to spend any length of time at Disney. So we are going to be partial to staying on property. The main advantage of staying on property is the free transportation around Disney world. You park your car in front of your hotel room and let it sit there for the week. Another advantage of staying on property are all the activities that the resorts have to offer. Swimming pools, arcades, nightly movies and numerous kids activities, that you most likely can’t get at an outside hotel. If your main priority are the parks then staying off property could work out since you won’t be using the hotel very much, however you will have to factor in the cost of parking and/or transportation to the parks.

My one recommendation for those that want to stay off property is to try and snag a room at one of the hotels along Disney Springs. This way you can walk to the Disney Springs bus stop and use Disney’s transportation and avoid the parking fee for the parks.

If you want to stay on property and want to go with the cheapest option, you will want to look at camping at the campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. You can sometimes snag a tent/pop-up site for as little as $50 a night, the only downside is you will be sleeping in a tent, which during the summer may not be fun for your family.

6. Which park tickets do I need/want? Spend some time researching what the parks have to offer and what your family would like to do or can do. From here create a plan of what you would like to do during this visit at Disney World. If you are only going to be at Disney for 3 days with a toddler, you may not plan or need to visit all the parks. Or maybe you want to make sure you visit the water park over going to Hollywood Studios.

Therefore, when booking your vacation Disney will give you options for what kind of tickets you would like to add to your stay. The 1 park a day selection is the automatically selected (for each day of your vacation) ticket option, however this may not be the option for you. Check out which ticket is right for you and ride height requirements to get a better idea of the ticket option you want to pick.

One way to cut the cost of the park tickets is to not get park tickets for the day you check-in and check-out. Unless you plan on arriving super early and leaving super late, you may not get your money’s worth at the park for these days.

A perk to staying on property is Extra Magic hours for resort guests to get in early or stay late to parks. This increasing your chances of being able to experience more attractions!

7. Understand all the cost involved with the vacation. You have booked your resort stay and purchased your tickets and now your all set. Wrong. Once you show up to the resort and the parks you are going to incur other costs that you didn’t plan for when you booked your trip.

If you drive your vehicle you will need to pay a parking fee at the resort. If you did not purchase a Dining plan you will need to pay for all your meals. Even with a dining plan there will be times when you have to pull out the credit card and pay for some food.

You are going to buy souvenirs and gifts for the family and they will add up quickly. Check out some fun and free souvenir ideas for the family. If you brought your own vehicle with you to Disney, one great option to get a discount on Disney merchandise is to go over to one of the disney outlets. Unfortunately they are not on disney property, but you can find great bargains on disney merchandise. Check out character warehouse at the Vineland outlets, a short 12 minute drive from Disney Springs.

Pressed Pennies

When looking at the cost of your trip to Disney, it may look expensive, but when you consider everything it entails it is without a doubt worth every penny, especially when it comes to staying on property. Disney goes above and beyond to make sure your vacation is as magical as possible. While I have never stayed off property while visiting Disney. I do spend a lot of time in various hotels and resorts for work. I can tell you that you will be 100 times happier with staying on property for your vacation.

Affording a trip to Disney World
Tips to Afford a trip to Disney World

For more information on how to afford your disney trip or to save some money while at disney, use our search feature and search “affording disney” and you will find many other great articles to help you.