It’s a pretty big expense when you start to add up the cost of going with your family on a Walt Disney World vacation. Once you run the numbers for hotels, transportation, theme park passes, and meals, you’re probably thinking the air in your lungs that you breathe while you’re at the Magic Kingdom is the most expensive souvenir you can afford!
Not so. This is, of course, a theme park built on a mouse; overrun with dwarves; and with the incessant beat of “It’s a Small World” acting as the soundtrack. That seems to indicate quite a fondness for the little thing.
So when your kids are looking all around at the gift shops, souvenir kiosks, and merchandise markets, fear not. You won’t have to say no to every souvenir they find! Steer them in the direction of these fabulous finds – souvenirs that won’t break the budget, cause Dad to keel over, take up too much room in the luggage that has to go home – oh, and that might inspire a love and a lifelong collection!
VINYLMATION: Well in reach of the range Grandmom might slip into an envelope for the kids to take on their trip (around $10 – $15), these are currently all the rage. Shaped like The Mouse, but created to be almost anything but, kids seem to love these things – but adults will hunt you down and murderize you for one they need to complete their collection. You’ll find Vinylmations that are themed on Disney villains, occupations, theme park treats, Muppets, and even the theme parks themselves. Some are just differently colored, others are a total surprise until you get the package home and open it up. Best of all, they’ll fit easily into carry-on luggage!
PINS: Do you remember Chicken Man? He’s Everywhere! He’s Everywhere! So are the pins at Walt Disney World. You can find pins that start in the $7 price range and go up from there, but talk about something for everyone – and everything! There are pins that commemorate seasons, events, attractions, characters – you name it, there’s a pin for it. Pin trading became so popular, that Walt Disney World cast members are often seen wandering the parks with their own collection, so you can stop them and trade with them as you go through the theme parks. For a relatively small chunk of your souvenir budget, you can buy a pin starter kit, which usually includes a lanyard to put your pins on and four pins – two each of two different pins – one to keep and one to trade. Some starter sets are geared more toward girls (princesses), some toward boys (Cars), but there are several gender neutral sets, and kids love them. This is definitely a lifelong hobby you can get your kids started with for less than $20.
BACKPACK CLIPS: Currently the souvenir du jour in my house, these also come in all shapes and sizes! They are pretty self explanatory – they are clips that you can attach to your backpack, and hanging from the clip you’ll find a character or something Disney-fied. Some are plush (Duffy the bear), some are icons (Minnie hat, hands, and skirt), some are hard rubber. You can clip them to your backpack, handbag, diaper bag, lanyard, or even (with some of the smaller ones) onto a zipper. These sweetly priced souvenirs can be had from about $7.
PRESSED PENNIES: Probably the best souvenir for moms and dads who want to spend the last few dollars of their vacation money on the important stuff – like getting home. And you know that weight limit your airline imposes on your suitcase? This is no more than pocket change – literally!
For the bargain basement price of only 51 cents, you’ll get this great souvenir – and you’ll find them throughout the theme parks. Collect them all! These smooshed, mashed, squashed pennies commemorate your visit to various parts of the Walt Disney World theme park, and if your kids are seriously loving them, for less than $10 more than the cost of the pressed penny (oh yes, I said only 51 cents!!), you can get a binder in which you can store your pennies. Best. Cheap. Souvenir. Ever!
I know in this economy, it’s harder to stretch your vacation dollar as far as it needs to go. But these reasonably priced souvenir options add a little spandex to the budget – and put smiles on your kids faces. And THAT is what vacation is all about!