As you might imagine, I’ve answered a few questions related to Disney travel. The three most common ones I recall are:
- When is the best time to visit?
- What should I do to celebrate a birthday?
- What are the best souvenirs? Or How much should I budget for souvenirs?
During my last trip, I did a little bit of prep work to be able to write a post about that third question. And here’s why: if you’ve ever attended Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ve no doubt seen the vendors who walk up and down the aisles with assorted glow toys. If you’ve ever strolled Main Street, you’ve been wowed by the sight of a Cast Member holding a ginormous balloon bouquet, framed by the castle. From experience I can tell you that your children will beg and plead for aforementioned glow toys and fancy balloons. And while both of those novelties have their merits, neither of them will last long. I don’t know about you, but when I take a vacation to a place like Walt Disney World, I want to come home with a little memento to remember it by. Somehow a deflated balloon just doesn’t fit the bill. I prefer to buy my kids souvenirs that will outlast the plane ride home. Here are eight of my favorites:
1. Books ($10-$20) – Books are hands-down my #1 favorite souvenir to buy my kiddos. I love that it’s a souvenir that will be enjoyed over and over again at home. In my experience, the widest selection of books for kids can be found at the Once Upon a Toy store in Downtown Disney, but the World of Disney store has a fair selection as well. There are picture and story books for both boys and girls that cover a wide reading level.
2. Board Games (about $45) – Here’s another souvenir that will see a lot of playing time at home, long after your vacation ends. And the fun thing about this one is that you can buy a familiar game with a fun, Disney spin. Oh, and you just try to tell me that the (never-ending) game of Monopoly isn’t improved by the addition of Disney characters–you won’t convince me.
3. Shirts ($18 and up) – I know, I know, t-shirts are about an original a souvenir as a keychain. There’s a good reason for that; everybody loves t-shrits! Here’s a fun tip for you, though: at the World of Disney store, I’ve always been able to find three or so styles of men’s Disney-branded polo shirts (about $45) stocked. I always pick one up for my husband. His company is big on casual attire. Jeff enjoys wearing his Disney polos because they’re always a conversation starter!
4. LEGO toys (prices vary widely)– If you’ve got a little boy at home, you probably know that LEGOs are always a popular gift. If you can relate, you’re going to want to head to the ginormous LEGO store at Downtown Disney. That place is always a madhouse but it’s the best place to find everything LEGO, including several Disney sets that you won’t find elsewhere. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, though, you can also shop a more limited selection at the Once Upon a Toy store, also located in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace.
5. Device carriers and cases (expect to pay close to $30) – Disney-themed iPhone cases and iPad carriers have quickly become a popular souvenir for tech-loving kids of all ages (myself included). This is another of my favorite souvenirs because it’s something that will be used over and over again.
6. Mr. Potato Head (price varies) – I absolutely adore the Mr. Potato Head display located inside the Once Upon a Toy store at Downtown Disney. As you can see, it overflows with Disney-inspired Mr. Potato head accessories. Guests can purchase either a small box or a large canister filled to the brim with as much as they can cram in there and still get the box or canister to close. Options include Tink wings, Captain Jack Sparrow’s hat, Mickey’s shoes and so many other fun options like a Mickey bar or Mickey ears. We purchased the canister during one of our earliest trips and my kids played with those toys for years before growing out of them!
7. Pajamas (about $40) – Disney’s pajamas aren’t cheap, admittedly, but if you have a little girl who loves playing dress-up, this is one costume she can even wear to bed. There are nightgowns themed after most of the popular princesses and maybe even a fairy or two.
8. Christmas ornaments (not pictured – prices vary widely) – We have so many Disney ornaments on our tree every year–each one specially selected during a memorable trip. It’s a lot of fun to be able to reminisce about what we did the year we bought the particular ornaments. I highly recommend stopping by Disney’s Days of Christmas (located near Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney) to pick one up to commemorate your trip.
Hopefully one of these ideas will inspire the perfect souvenir from your next Disney trip!
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