Budget Disney World Souvenirs: Souvenirs & Other Discountsby Sue Kulick, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 4/24/2008
Well, we are almost done! This article is about inexpensive souvenirs, and even more discounts.
Downtown Disney - Taking a Break!
Taking a break from shopping while surrounded by friends!
One of the best free souvenirs you can collect is a map of each park. You can pick these up for free at the entrance to each park, as well as at your resort. Pick these up at the end of the day, so that they are in good condition for the trip home. If you'd like to remember a special meal, you can also ask for a copy of the menu. Most restaurants will give you a copy, and it makes a nice souvenir, as well as a great scrapbook item.
You can also collect pressed pennies. These are typically 51 cents. You provide the penny and pay 50 cents to press it. Each machine will show you the pictures available to press on the penny. Kids love to collect these, and they are easy to find, easy to collect, and easy to transport home. (Bring a little zip-top sandwich bag to transport them safely home in your suitcase). Postcards make great souvenirs, and they are also easy to transport home. You can get some great ones at Walt Disney World, and many others off-property.
There is a store in Downtown Disney called "Mickey's Mart," where everything is less than $10. Check out the World of Disney Store at Downtown Disney. There is usually a clearance rack, and also, there are usually many items that are not too expensive. One of our favorite souvenirs is of the edible kind. There are cookies, candy, Mickey-shaped pasta, coffee, and many other delectable goodies at a fair price. If you really want to bring home a T-shirt or a sweatshirt, try venturing off property. Orlando is surrounded by outlets, and they are much cheaper than the shops at WWalt Disney WorldDW. Try Character Outlet for great deals!
One of the best souvenirs you can bring back is pictures! You can pick up a single-use camera for about $5 (get them at home before you go) and give one to each child. The memories seen through their eyes will be priceless. Bring along your digital camera, and upload the photos to your computer. If you want to share your trip with family and friends, you can send them the link to your memories. This is much less expensive and more personal then bringing them something that they will only display when you come over to visit!
Now that the souvenirs are bought, it's time to return home. If you are driving home, remember to load your cooler up with ice for the trip, and repack your food, drinks and snacks. If you are flying, you will probably not want to transport foods that might spoil, but you should be able to pack your dry food in your suitcase. If you rented a car, fill it up before you bring it back. An empty tank can cost you a fortune, as the rental companies expect the car to be returned full. If you are flying, try to eat before you arrive at the airport. Airport cafes are usually quite over-priced. You can bring some snacks on the plane, but remember that you can't bring water or liquid through the security check point.
And so, our Walt Disney World vacation comes to an end.
There are a few other places to check for discounts. Apply for an Orlando Magic Card online before you make any plans. This card, issued by the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, gives you discounts on dining, hotels and attractions. If you are a member of AAA/CAA, you can check for discounts with membership. For all the latest in discount codes, you can't beat Mary Waring's site, Mousesavers.com. Mary does all the research and comes up with many discount codes. Try Googling "Orlando discounts" to see what you can find. I found the following sites: Orlando Savings, Orlando:About, and Free Orlando Coupons. All these sites offer discount coupons for dining, attractions and hotels. So there you have it -- a Disney vacation that won't have you re-mortgaging the house and a wonderful world of family memories that your children (and you) will remember forever. Plus, it comes with bragging rights -- you did it all and stayed within your budget!
About the Author: Sue Kulick is a resident of the Pocono Mountains and an avid Disney fan. She and her husband, Steve, live in a log home with their Golden Retrievers, Cody and Belle and their cat Tigger.
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