Saving money on a Disney vacation may seem impossible, but it’s not! In this month’s Blogorail Red Loop, we are sharing ways for you to save money while you’re at Disney.
When looking for ways to save money when visiting Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort, many people look to the big savings like booking plane tickets on a discount airline, finding inexpensive hotel rooms, and alternate dining options. I applaud all of those, but I want to add one more way to save – souvenir shopping. When traveling to the parks with children (or even adults), souvenirs are so tempting! Unfortunately, they can also be expensive, but you don’t have to forego any souvenir shopping. There are ways to buy souvenirs without breaking the bank.
Buy souvenirs before leaving home. Wait… what? Yes, buy them before leaving home. Your local dollar store, WalMart, Target, and many other stores have Disney products for sale, usually for less than those items sold in the parks. In addition, one can find souvenirs straight from the parks, often on sale, at DisneyStore.com that can be ordered ahead of time. When my son was small, I bought items at home, kept them hidden in my suitcase, and provided little surprises for him throughout our trip. I found that as long as he had a new toy or item, he was less tempted when we walked by a stand or a shop.
Shop outside of the parks. Many stores around Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort sell Disney merchandise for less. For example, I was at a Publix grocery store just outside Walt Disney World and they had an entire section of Disney merchandise. In addition, one can purchase authentic Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line and even Disney Vacation Club merchandise, sometimes at a deep discount, at Disney’s Character Warehouse. There are two locations in Orlando. The closest one to Walt Disney World is at Orlando Vineland Premium Outlet, 8200 Vineland Avenue. While not everything is deeply discounted, I was able to find a Disneyland 60th Anniversary Castle Figurine originally priced at $150 for just $30. That was certainly worth the price of a taxi!
Take advantage of discounts. Most of the shops inside the Disney Parks and many inside Downtown Disney or Disney Springs offer discounts if you are a Disney Annual Passholder, a Disney Vacation Club Member, a Disney Rewards credit card, or a Disney debit card from Chase Bank. Simply show the appropriate card and the discount will be applied at checkout.
Shop with Disney Gift Cards purchased at a discount or with some other benefit. Our local grocery store offers fuel points. I get $.10/gallon off gas for every $50 in gift cards that I purchase. I can also purchase Disney Gift Cards at Target using my Target Red Card for 5% off. I then take these gift cards with me to Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort and use them to purchase souvenirs.
Give older kids a budget. Now that my son is older, he is given a souvenir budget. We give him a Disney Gift Card (that we’ve purchased at a discount ahead of time) and that is what he is allowed to spend on souvenirs. He has come to understand that he can’t get everything so he really contemplates his purchases rather than just asking us for everything in sight.
Some of these can be used together for even greater savings. For example, I purchase the Disney Gift Cards at a discount and then get an Annual Passholder discount, too. Quite often, that ends up saving me 25% on my purchases (5% when I bought gift card and 20% with passholder discount). Suddenly those darling ears are $16.50 instead of $22.00!
For more ways to save money at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Red | Saving Money at Disney Loop:
- 1st Stop – Saving Up for Disney | More Ways to Save Money on Food at Disney Parks
- 2nd Stop – Adventures in Familyhood | Save Money on Disney Dining with Tables in Wonderland
- 3rd Stop – Magical Memories with the Mouse | Buying Disney Souvenirs for the Kids without Breaking the Bank (YOU ARE HERE)
- 4th Stop – Disney in Your Day | Best Uses of a Snack Credits on the Dining Plan
- 5th Stop – Adventurer Mom | How to Save Money on a Disney Cruise