by Pin Trading Diva
After your Disney vacation has come to a close, it is only fair that you bring a little Disney home with you. Many fill their suitcases with mugs and ornaments, but all that magic comes with a price! Here’s a list of some FREE souvenirs that you can bring home without breaking the bank.
- Buttons: The most common free thing you can get in a Disney park is a celebratory button. They’ve got buttons for your birthday, anniversary, engagement, graduation, and even an “I’m Celebrating” celebration button! While you can ask for a Birthday button (customized with your name) almost anywhere in the park, stop at City Hall or the Chamber of Commerce for the chance to get any or all other buttons you may need. Cast Members are also known to make magic and give out Honorary Citizens of Disneyland buttons to special guests. And CMs in Cars Land sometimes pass out buttons with each of the different Cars movie characters on them if you ask for them. Restaurants with character dining give out buttons too for those in your party. Buttons are kind of a big deal now a days. Make it your goal each day to get a different button and watch your collection grow! By the end of your vacation you will have over a handful of special souvenirs to take home with you.
- Leftovers: It’s the little things that I like to hold onto the most from my vacation. That’s why I keep EVERYTHING that I get while I’m in the parks. This includes tickets, park maps, parking passes, fast passes, I mean everything! I have even been known to smuggle napkins with Mickey and Minnie prints on them into my bag. Not only are these fun mementos to look back on, but they are also neat collectibles. I use my mom’s and my old fast passes for scrapbook decorations – they go great with the ride photos we have. And there are tons of DIY projects you can do with park maps! Magnets, hair bows, and jewelry are just a few things park maps can be used for. Check online for different ideas on how to use these seemingly “leftovers” from your vacation. The possibilities are endless!
- Newspapers: California Adventure makes its own edition of the Buena Vista Bugle for guests. That’s right,each season a new paper comes out that talks all about the parks! From the 60th Anniversary to Halloween time – this paper covers any and all park topics. The infamous Citizens of Buena Vista Street even have their own articles they write in. (Molly the Messenger is always happy to show you). Check the newsstand in the Chamber of Commerce for your free paper. It’s one blissful morning when you sit on a park bench (or even your dining room table) with your cup of coffee reading this season’s edition of the Buena Vista Bugle, so relaxing!
- Park Recipes: Don’t you wish you could make all the amazing foods you have in the park at home? Turns out you can! There is a recipe for every food item made in the park located at City Hall, all you have to do is ask for it. Cast Members will happily print you a copy to take home with you. My favorite to make at home is Walt’s Chili from Carnation Cafe – it tastes just like I’m in the park!
- Jungle Cruise Maps: If you are lucky you just might navigate the jungle on your own with a map from the Jungle Cruise! Early in the morning typically, you can ask the Skipper at the exit of the Jungle Cruise ride for a map. While supplies last you can get your very own printed map of the ride – make sure that you ride the ride first! It’s actually a really detailed map printed on opaque paper making a great old timey looking souvenir. You could frame it or scrapbook it or “play” Jungle Cruise with your kids! Either way it’s a great take away.
- Stickers: Everyone loves stickers, especially little kids or little kids at heart. Sometimes Cast Members give out special stickers throughout the day – you just need to ask. The driver of the fire truck on Main Street hands out Fireman’s badges – so cute! Custodians hand out Mickey sweeper stickers as well. If you want to brave the Travel Co. booths they also give out stickers. Plus if you agree to participate in their room walk through you can get free drinks and snacks as well as fast passes for your time. (a couple hours might be worth it!) And as you exit take the time to talk to the survey takers for a couple minutes for a Mickey sticker. At the end of the day you will have a multitude of stickers to ooh and ah over!
- Character Drawings: My favorite souvenir of all time has to be Disney artwork I’ve created myself! Make sure to head on over to Animation Academy in California Adventure for a great family friendly activity to do in the park that leaves you with a take home drawing of your very own. My mom and I have drawn Tigger, Oswald, Steamboat Minnie, and much more. So many in fact we have filled a binder full of our souvenirs! Try getting the character you drew to sign your artwork as well – it’s priceless!
- Wilderness Explorer Badges: Way hidden in Grizzly Peak in California Adventure, Russel and Dug from UP have set up a play area where everyone in the family can earn their very own Wilderness Explorer Badges. It’s really fun completing all the challenges, but even more fun taking home your badge! After you earn your badge, there is a ceremony and everything, you get to take home your fond memories as well. Your badge and challenge pamphlet make great scrapbook souvenirs and would go great with a picture with Dug and Russel.
- Autographs: Tight budgets can’t take away from this all time Disney souvenir – Character autographs! You can’t put a price on an autograph from a princess and they are all so nice to look through after you get home from your vacation. Whether you scrapbook, frame, or simply flip through your autograph book they are such a special and FREE takeaway from a Disney park.
- Photos: You don’t need a photo pass or Memory Maker to get a great souvenir photo from a Disney park. Hand your own device to any Cast Member of Photographer in the parks and they will gladly use them to capture the magic for FREE. This way you can have all the pictures you want with no high price tag. This gives you more money to spend on printing your photos your way.
All 10 of these Disney souvenirs are available to you in the parks for no cost at all! So leave some room in your suitcase as you cherish not only the free items but they magical memories that come with them!
***Disclaimer – We at Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos hope you enjoy reading our articles, and encourage you to share any you feel may be of interest to someone else. We do ask, however, if you choose to share the photographs attached to our articles, you give credit to the photographer. Thank you for your cooperation and sharing our love of Disney!