Kids love souvenirs to remind them of their Walt Disney World vacation. Unfortunately, trinkets, toys, and t-shirts are pricey in the theme parks. Here are three ways to save money on those special mementos:
1) Buy them at a local store instead of at Walt Disney World. It may sound surprising, but all of the local Target, Wal-Mart, Publix, Walgreens, and CVS locations carry a wide array of Disney-themed merchandise at discount prices. Many of the items are identical to those in the theme parks, and often there’s an even wider selection at the off-site stores.
Take an afternoon off from the theme parks to go on a little shopping spree. There are plenty of big box stores and name brand drugstores all around Walt Disney World on Highway 192 and State Road 535. You won’t have to look very hard for the theme park souvenirs, as they’re generally placed front and center. If you’re staying at a hotel like the Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista, Grand Beach Resort at Lake Buena Vista, Grande Villas Resort at Lake Buena Vista, Celebration Suites at Old Town, Holiday Inn Maingate East, Royale Parc Suites, or Baymont Inn and Suites Celebration, you;ll find these stores within walking distance of your hotel.
Off-site stores are also a good place to buy rain ponchos, since the prices are much better than what you’ll pay at the parks. You can opt for plain ponchos or get fancy versions adorned with Mickey, just like those in the Magic Kingdom, but at a fraction of the cost. If you buy too many souvenirs, the big box stores, and even the pharmacies and grocery stores, all sell spare luggage, too.
2) Visit Theme Park Connection. Theme Park Connection is a fascinating store that’s almost a destination on its own. It’s in Winter Garden, about half an hour from Walt Disney World via the 429 tollway, but it’s well worth a visit, especially if you have a family of Disney fans.
This store is more like a warehouse stuffed to the brim with Disney memorabilia. There are commonplace items like pins, toys, books, and figurines, as well as rare and valuable collectibles. The kids will easily find something in their price range, and the adults will marvel at the precious pieces, like ride vehicles or a genuine carousel horse from Disneyland. The most expensive collectibles sell for hundreds and thousands of dollars.
If you’re planning to let your kids do pin trading with the Disney Cast Members, stop at this store first to stock up on cheap pins. Give the youngsters a budget and let them buy a lanyard full of traders. The pins at Theme Park Connection are much cheaper than those in the park, and the kids can trade them away when they see something they like better.
3) Take advantage of free souvenirs. Believe it or not, you can actually get some free souvenirs at Walt Disney World. For example, if you play the free Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game, each member of your party gets a set of collectors cards. You can buy a play-at-home version, but many Disney guests simply use the free cards as a memento of their trip. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the kids get Wilderness Explorers handbooks at no cost and get to go through the park completing activities and earning sticker badges. Even Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure at Epcot might earn you a little keepsake, depending on which missions you do.
You’ll have more money for souvenirs if you book through www.orlandovacation.com. Check the website or call 800-641-4008 to price out hotel rooms, tickets, and package deals for your next Walt Disney World vacation.