by Soarin’ Diva
Vacations to Walt Disney World and Disneyland can get expensive- we are all aware of that. When you put that kind of money into a dream vacation, you want to get souvenirs, but don’t always want to spend a lot of money on them. Collectibles, especially, can be very pricey. If you roam the shops at Walt Disney World Resorts and Downtown Disney, you can see some collectibles that price in the thousands. I don’t know about you, but Soarin’ Diva’s family is too thrifty to put that kind of money, even if we had it, into a souvenir. We want our kids to have as many souvenirs as they can get, to remember our wonderful family vacations, and to do so without breaking our budget. I’ll offer you some insight into what our family puts our money in.
First and foremost, we have gotten rid of all our credit cards except one, our Disney Visa card. A lot of credit cards offer reward points, flyer miles, cash back and various other promos. Disney Visa offers 1% cash back per dollar (which is only redeemable on a Disney gift card, not a cash card) on all purchases. If you upgrade to the Disney Visa Premium, you can earn 2% cash back on restaurants, gas stations and most Disney locations along with the 1% cash back on all other purchases. There s a $49 annual fee for the premium, but with the rewards, we got our $49 back in no time at all. We tend to pay everything we can with our Disney Visa, but remember to use it wisely and responsibly. We ALWAYS pay it off when the bill comes, we don’t charge what we can’t afford. Please don’t put yourself in debt with a credit card just to earn cash back. When it comes close to time for our Disney vacations, we just call and have our reward dollars transferred over to a Disney gift card. Boom! Souvenirs are paid for already.
The very first souvenir we get is a FREE celebration pin. We have a lot of different celebration pins, including First Visit, Happy Birthday, Happy anniversary and even some that just say I’m Celebrating. You can get these free pins either at your resort when you ask the concierge or in the parks at any guest relations booth. We are usually celebrating one or two birthdays when we go, so birthday pins make up the bulk of what we have.
I’m sure you have all heard of trading pins. Our kids love to collect trading pins and they can be very reasonably priced. Usually, they range from $11.95 to $15.95, though a few of them can be a little more. It’s a cute way to get a souvenir of a favorite character, ride, attraction or park. You can find these trading pins pretty much in every shop and even booths outside in the park areas. Most cast members even have trading pins which you can look at and trade one of yours for, though my boys don’t normally do this, they want to keep all of the pins they purchase.
The next item on our list are Vinylmations. Okay, I’m just going to go ahead and admit, when my husband and I first saw these, we thought they were strange and, dare I say, ugly. Please don’t hate me. The more we saw them though, the more we grew to like them. Our guys have started collecting these as well. At this point, it’s a fairly new collectible for our boys, so they don’t have a whole lot, but I’m sure we’ll be purchasing more. We generally spend about $20 to $25 per Vinylmation. Again, these can be found in just about every shop in the parks and resorts.
Pressed pennies are one of our favorites! Come on, fifty cents for a collectible souvenir? You can’t beat that with a stick! We may actually be a little nerdy about this collectible as well, because we actually just printed off a copy of all the pressed pennies you can find at WDW from here, and checked off all that we already have so we can be prepared for our next trip and know which ones we need to get. Be warned, the list is massively long. We thought we had a lot of pennies until we checked the list, and apparently, we need to get a whole lot more. There are some great tips on how to store your quarters and pennies you will use to purchase and press, as well as what to do with them when you get home here. Disney Diva Tip: If you’re looking for some pressed penny coin books, you can find this generic one on Amazon for a reasonable price, or if you want a more specific Disney book, here are options for Disney World, Disneyland and Tinker Bell.
I’ve started collecting park maps recently. They are free, and as each park expands, changes and upgrades, it’s fun to look back at the old maps and see what it used to look like compared to how it looks now. You can find these maps in your resort lobby or at the entrance of all the parks. I have grand and wonderful plans for what I will do with these maps…one day. There are a few ideas I plan to try one day here.
The final collectible I’ll add is, of course, t-shirts. I know you can get Disney t-shirts anywhere at any time for cheaper than what you will pay in the parks, but we like to get ride specific or park specific shirts. You can’t really find a lot of ride/park specific shirts just anywhere other than at the parks and in the shops at the end of rides and attractions. We usually go to WDW in the fall and attend either Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. During these events only, the shops will put out t-shirts specific to the parties. You literally cannot find these shirts unless you are at the party. Our family ALWAYS gets these shirts. It’s a fun way to remember what a great time we had at the party. The price of t-shirts isn’t sky-high compared to some souvenirs I’ve seen, we generally spend under $30 per shirt.
These are our top favorite inexpensive (or even free) souvenirs to collect when we vacation at Walt Disney World Resorts. They have such a wide variety of souvenirs you can purchase, I’m sure you will find something that calls out to you. It doesn’t have to break the bank just to get a memento of your dream vacation.
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