We go to Disney for the magic, and let’s be real the shopping is a BIG part of that! Rebecca Bloomwood from Confessions of a Shopaholic describes this feeling perfectly:
“You know that thing when you see someone cute, and he smiles and your heart kind of goes like warm butter sliding down hot toast? Well that’s what it’s like when I see a store. Only it’s better.”
Disney knows us so well! They curate items for our home, wardrobe, travel, holidays, and new collections we didn’t even know we needed!
Take a deep breath. We’re here to help make sure your money is well spent on your next purchase from the Magic Kingdom gift shop. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you purchase your next Disney souvenir!
Have a Budget
Know that you can’t get it all. Create a budget and stick with it. This can easily be done by purchasing a Disney gift card ahead of your trip – and when it’s gone, it’s gone!
Consider skipping trips to Disney Springs if you’re on a tight budget. The entire district is jam-packed with beautiful boutiques and stores that will tempt your wallet, and many of the shops are national chains. Setting a rule to only purchase items that are uniquely Disney themed will help keep costs down. Is that Coach bag cute? For sure! But you’ll likely have another chance to pick up that purse back at home.
Buy Things You’ll Use
What better use of your souvenir money than spending it on something you will actually use in your home! Mugs, kitchenware, throw blankets are useful items to purchase. We are big fans of keeping Disney in our daily lives! There are so many products to keep the magic alive while waiting for your next Disney trip. Prioritize purchasing items you’ll see often in your home or can display. Other ideas are, consider purchasing artwork, frames for your favorite photo pass pics, or even an assortment of smaller items to arrange in a shadow box frame.
Have a Theme
Having a theme for your Disney Souvenirs can help to narrow down your shopping choices and help you create a cohesive collection! Love Alice in Wonderland? Try selecting souvenirs inspired by the film for your next trip! You’ll have a fun “Easter egg hunt” experience browsing the gift shops to find all of the Wonderland merch that brings you joy!
Not stuck on just one film? Set a color theme for yourself instead. A classic Disney color pairing of pink and blue is a fabulous starter! Try hunting the stores for items that fit your chosen palate and be amazed at the adorable collection you create.
Start and Finish a Collection
Completing a specific collection over time from Disney stores can be challenging. It’s often impossible to slowly buy sets on ShopDisney since pieces sell quickly out or change stock. It’s important to consider that ShopDisney does not carry all the items you’ll see in the park. Stores like the boutiques at the World Showcase in EPCOT have unique items that are not available for purchase online. If your heart is set on completing a collection, commit your trip’s Disney Souvenir budget towards finishing the set during your visit.
Consider Your Options
It is a good idea to scope out all of your options before committing a large portion of your budget to an item or set. It’s easy to come back to a store at the end of your day to decide if you really want that new spirit jersey or backpack.
Having regrets? We recommend saving receipts for trips where you’ll visit the same park multiple times. Park shops will gladly accept returns within 30 days with a receipt.
What Not To buy
Don’t waste that precious budget on necessities that can be easily packed. A good packing list will help you avoid getting price gouged on must-haves like sunscreen, a poncho, swimsuit, medications, toothbrush, and other toiletries. These items can be found in resort gift shops, but you’ll pay a hefty markup. If you’ve forgotten any of these, must-haves delivery services like InstaCart can deliver goods from grocery stores to your hotel room. Even with the delivery fees, you’ll still end up beating hotel gift shop prices!
We’d also recommend staying away from items you will only use on your trip – chances are you’ll totally forget about these picks when you get home! Unless you’re excited about displaying a collection of sipper cups or popcorn buckets, these items most likely will end up in a cupboard or box at home.
Follow these tips, and you’ll end up with Disney souvenirs you’ll love, and you won’t break the bank! While it’s easy to scan your Magic Band like Tamatoa collecting all things Shiny, we’d recommend setting a strategy for your purchases before you leave home. Now don’t forget that extra piece of luggage to haul your stash home! Happy shopping!