Disney on the Cheap: How I Avoided Those Hefty Gift Shop Price Tags
It doesn’t seem to matter where we go – from Disney World to the Philadelphia Museum of Art… attractions seem to have this uncanny way of just magically dropping you right smack dab in the middle of a gift shop after visiting. In Disney, for example, not only are there gift shops galore, but many of the rides dump you into souvenir shops specifically aimed at the ride itself. One that sticks out in my mind is Pirates of the Caribbean (my fave ride!). Climb out of your boat, walk up the ramp, BOOM! You find yourself surrounded by many things pirate and Johnny Depp.
Several months before our trip to Disney, I realized that I could potentially have quite the situation on my hands… Lily Bean is just 2.5. She wants everything with a Disney Princess or Woody or Buzz splashed on it, and doesn’t necessarily understand the “we do not always buy souvenirs” speech. The last thing that I wanted to do was end up at the parks and succumb to various impulse purchases that cost an arm and a leg.
So I planned ahead.
I started to keep my eye out for nice sales and discounts on Disney related merchandise – things that if we were in the park, we just might be tempted to buy. (And yes, I will say straight up that we do sometimes buy souvenirs. I always budget some spending cash into our trips – little splurges here and there are really OKAY!)
Since we are driving to Florida, space is not the issue that it might be if we were flying. I will be able to bring a bag of previously purchased Disney souvenirs (unbeknown to Lily Bean) and we will leave them for her to find – maybe on her bed, in her chair, etc. We will play that, “Oh… I wonder if Mickey Mouse (or Belle or Cinderella, etc) left you a special present back at our house?!” and race from the gift shop.
Here’s what I ended up getting for her:
:: Buzz Lightyear : On clearance at Walmart for $13 (was $27)
:: Mickey Mouse Plush: On clearance at Disney Store for $4.99 (was $20)
:: Personalized Fleece Blanket: On Sale at DisneyStore.com for $12 + free shipping + cash back (Ebates!)
:: Tangled T Shirt: On Sale at DisneyStore.com for $7 + free shipping + cash back (Ebates!)
:: Disney Princess Hardback book + CD: $5.99 from Zulily (was $15) + cash back (Ebates!)
Grand total: $42.98 + Cash back
Tell me – what are YOUR favorite ways to save money on souvenirs (obviously besides not buying them)?