We all walk through the Emporium some time during our Walt Disney World vacation, and instantly want everything. It's inevitable. The cute new baby Dory plushes are out. ALL OF THE COFFEE MUGS! And don't even get me started on the massive amounts of trading pins. But here's the thing about Disney souvenirs, they can get expensive, and you don't want to have what I call "post-park regret" once you get home and unpack something you bought. Some of my favorite Disney souvenirs are free, some cost less than a dollar, and others are park specific! So if you're going to Disney for the first time, or for the hundredth time but have no idea what you want to bring home, I got your back!
I know you're thinking, "Megan, you're crazy! Nothing at Disney is free." Well, friend, I'm here to tell you that you're wrong. Some of my favorite souvenirs from the parks are indeed, my favorite four letter word: FREE! So what are these magical free things you can bring home?! Buttons. But not just any buttons! Buttons that let people know it's your birthday, that you're celebrating something, it's your very first visit to Walt Disney World (woo hoo!), or even that you and your Prince Charming just got engaged/married/ celebrating an anniversary! You can get these buttons from any of the guest relations in the parks, which are all located at the front by the entrance. Just tell the CM what you want and they will give it too you. If you're having a birthday, or celebrating something, they will write that on the button for you. You can also get these buttons at your resort when you check in. Just let the host or hostess know what you need!
Sometimes when you're at WDW there are special buttons that are also available. These usually correspond with a movie that's coming out in theaters, or a special celebration at the parks! A few weeks ago they were handing out Shanghai Disney Resort buttons to people to celebrate the grand opening of the new park! To find these special buttons, ask any guest relations CM, manager, or you might just magically stumble upon it!
Almost Free Souvenirs:
All over the Walt Disney World Resort there are pressed penny and quarter machines. When I was little I was obsessed with getting all of the pressed pennies that I could. I would beg and beg my parents for coins just so I could put them in the machine and get the pressed penny of my choice. This hasn't changed. Even as an adult, every time I see a new pressed penny I need to add to my collection I ask my dad, who always seems to have a pocket full of change, for coins, and I get a shiny new penny!
Pressed pennies are fun because you can get one specific for the resort you are staying at, each of the parks, Disney Springs, whatever characters you love, and some attractions. They cost a whopping 51 cents, and are easily packed in your wallet to bring home.
Park Specific Souvenirs:
There are a lot of park specific souvenirs, from t-shirts, to trading pins, to household knick-knacks. But my favorite park specific souvenir are the Starbucks mugs from the You Are Here collection. Each of the four WDW parks have one, along with a Christmas mug that's only available during the holidays! My favorite one is Hollywood Studios, because I love the colors on it, and Hollywood Studios hosts my favorite ride, Tower of Terror. You can get mugs only at the Starbucks in each specific park.
Main Street Bakery: Main Street USA
The Trolley Car: Hollywood Boulevard
Fountain View: Future World
Creature Comforts: Discovery Island
I keep all of my Disney Starbucks mugs on my desk and put my Parkbound Buttons in them for safe keeping. And let's be honest for a second, you can never have too many coffee mugs!
It seems that almost every time I go to the parks I end up coming home with a new Christmas ornament. It might be because my family has two Christmas trees and they are both Disney themed. One is in our main living room, and is more classic style ornaments, and the other is in my room, and has Tinkerbell, Rapunzel, Merida, and a few other characters on it. Basically, I have a princess tree.
One of my favorite things to do is to find ornaments that we can display year-round! Right now I'm pretty obsessed with these Mickey Ear ornaments that Disney is modeling after different characters or rides! How cute, right?!
Alex and Ani Bracelets:
I have a lot of Alex and Ani bracelets. It seems that each time I go to the parks I find myself at the A&A counter just looking, trying to decide which one I'm going to add to my collection next. These make great gifts, and great souvenirs to help you remember the first time you met Mickey, saw Cinderella Castle, or joined the Dark Side with Kylo Ren!
Popcorn Buckets/ Drink Sippers:
The last thing on my list are popcorn buckets and drink sippers. This is really my most recent Disney souvenir obsession, because the one's they've been coming out with have been so cute! Now, if you're traveling on a plane to get back home, think wisely about purchasing some of these because they are bulky and can break easily! They are plastic after all.
Hollywood Studios has a really awesome range of Star Wars popcorn bucket and drink sippers right now. I love the massive Tie Fighter popcorn bucket they have! We bought one, and now it's sitting on our fireplace mantle waiting for the deployment commands from Captain Phasma. (That sounds extra nerdy... Sorry not sorry.) We also have the BB-8 sipper, which is the very top picture of this post, and a pearl from Trader Sam's at The Polynesian! My next drink sipper purchase is going to have to be Boba Fett from Hollywood Studios!
Protip: if you want a clean vessel to bring home, purchase the drink or popcorn, but ask that your drink be put in a regular cup, or your popcorn in a regular bucket. Cast Members will usually always do it. Then you have a clean Tie Fighter, or BB-8 to bring home, without having to smell popcorn in your car for days, or deal with sticky soda mess once you get home!
Remember for all of these things minus the popcorn buckets and drink sippers, and the pressed pennies, you can get a discount if you are an annual passholder, DVC, or a Disney Visa card holder!
Well friends, that's it for this week! If you have a favorite souvenir you like to get when you go to Walt Disney World that I didn't list, let me know in the comments! Like this post if you love free souvenirs!
Currently Listening Too: "Lights" by Ellie Goulding