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7 Things They Won’t Tell You About Shopping at Walt Disney World… But We Will!

Chances are that souvenirs will take up a fairly large part of your vacation budget. A Walt Disney World holiday is expensive to start with, and adding souvenirs into the equation will make the costs soar higher. If you’re looking to save a few dollars, here are seven tips that could help.

7. Use Leftover Snack Credits

The Disney Dining Plan is a way to prepay for your meals. You must stay at a Walt Disney World owned hotel in order to be eligible, and other rules may also apply. Snacks are part of all versions of the Disney Dining Plan, and often families have leftover snack credits at the end of their vacations. Use those snack credits to buy souvenirs for yourself or those back home. You’ll be surprised by what is on the plan, and the best part is that you’ve already paid for it! Ask a Cast Member in a store that sells snacks such as crisp rice treats what you can use your credits for. You’ll end up with great souvenirs without paying anything extra out of pocket.

6. Special Event Merchandise

If you’re visiting Walt Disney World near the end of a special event, you might be able to find some deals. If someone overestimated how well a t-shirt design or a mug would sell, there could be plenty left on the shelves when the special event is almost over. You might not find anything at a discounted price, but it doesn’t hurt to look. You could end up saving 30 percent or more.

5. Save Using Gift Cards

Disney gift cards can really help you to keep your spending under control. Budget your souvenir spending, and use the gift cards to pay for your purchases. When the cards have been used, that’s it for souvenirs. This is also a great way to help keep your kids under control when it comes to souvenirs. Give each child a gift card and that is what they are allowed to spend. You can save even more if you purchase the cards ahead of time from home; if you buy them at the right place. Stores such as Target or Sam’s Club will often sell Disney gift cards in packs of three, for a lower price than the cards are worth. This can often be combined with a store loyalty program for even higher savings. You will save money, and you won’t be hit with huge credit card bills when you return home.

4. Discounts

If you’re a Disney fan and you’re looking for a new credit card, you might want to look into a Disney Visa Card from Chase. There are two different cards available, and one of the perks is saving ten percent at select stores (restrictions apply). You don’t have to apply for a new credit card to be eligible for discounts at the Walt Disney World stores. Passholders will also receive a discount of ten percent at plenty of stores. Disney Vacation Club Members can save up to 20 percent. The discounts are available at more stores than you might think, just ask when you check out.

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3. Shop Off Property

If you’re looking for general souvenirs, you’ll find them everywhere off Walt Disney World property. You’ll be able to find merchandise with a Disney theme at department stores, gift shops, restaurants, and even gas stations. If you want something that officially says Walt Disney World, you can still save by going off property. There are two Disney outlet stores not too far away. Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets is located at 8200 Vineland Avenue, Orlando, FL, 32821. The second outlet store can be found at Orlando International Premium Outlets, 4969 International Drive, Orlando, FL, 32819. You just might find some deals.

2. Save Souvenirs Until the End

Impulse buying can kill your vacation budget. You don’t want to buy matching t-shirts for the whole family, only to find something that you like better an hour after you put them on. Don’t buy souvenirs during the day, save them for the end of the night after your last ride. Better yet, buy most of your souvenirs on the last day of your trip. You’ll cut down on impulse buying, and you’ll be happier with your purchases.

1. Use the Shop Disney Parks App

The problem with souvenirs is that they will take up room in your suitcase. They can be a real hassle, especially if you’re flying and have limited space. Pick up a t-shirt or two and a pair of Mickey ears while you’re at Walt Disney World, but save the rest of your souvenirs for home. The Shop Disney Parks App will allow you to do just that. Download the app before your vacation and then if there’s something you decide you need to have, order it from the app instead of in the store and have it delivered to your front door. The Shop Disney Parks App is also great if there’s something that you didn’t buy while on vacation but later wish you had. You’ll be surprised by all that you can purchase from the app. You might even feel like you’re back at Walt Disney World while you shop from home.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.