The Walt Disney World Postcard Gift Shop Blunder

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disney world postcard

Quick note: this post was originally published in 2011. Prices have no doubt gone up a great deal since then, so keep that in mind!

You would all be so proud of me.

I was Miss Organization prior to hitting the road for Florida.

Email confirmations and reservation numbers?  Check.

Gift cards we saved up to use on vacation?  Check.

Security code for rental home? Check.

Camera and phone chargers? Check.

Princess Belle dress, shoes, necklaces, bracelets ANDOFCOURSE the tiara? Check.

I was rockin’ and rollin’, ready to go. Let’s face it: we travel.  A lot.  I have packing and organizing and budgeting for trips pretty much down to a no-thinking-required event.  (And who doesn’t love to avoid thinking? LOL)

So I was all prepared for our week, ready to stay on budget and only spend money on necessities and minimal Mickey Mouse shaped splurges.

Day 1: our first of two days spent in the Magic Kingdom.


It was sunny!  It was warm!  We were smiling, giggling, tap-dancing down Main Street!  (Um, okay, there was no tap-dancing.  We would not subject anyone to that sight.)

As we settled down on Main Street around 2:30 pm to snag great spots for the 3 pm parade, I decided this would be a lovely time to stock up on some postcards to send to our doting friends and family back home.  I headed into The Emporium (aka the biggest Disney Store EVER, located on Main Street in Disney World).  I searched high and low.  I found Mickey Mouse sandwich cutters, spoon collections and more snow globes than should be legal.  No postcards.

Hmm.  I remembered that on our last trip to WDW, the Kodak building where you view your Photo Pass pics had a display rack with postcards.  I wasn’t looking for much – a pic of the castle, perhaps.  Maybe the Walt Disney statue in front of the castle.  Much to my dismay, I found no postcards in the Kodak building.  “Oh, they sell postcards over in The Emporium!” I was told by a kindly park employee.

Maybe I missed them?

Back to The Emporium I went (stopping briefly to catch Biker Bob up on the latest happenings and to assure Lily Bean that I would be back in time for the parade).  I might mention that the two of them were smiling their way through an ice cream cone, so clearly my absence was of no concern.

I walked back into The Emporium, assertive, ready to find those secret postcards.  Lo and behold!  I found them!  Not much selection, maybe 5 or 6 different cards to choose from…  but who cares?  I found them!  I looked them over quickly and settled on really the only one that I liked – a lovely scene with the castle, fireworks and Tink thrown in for extra fun.  They would work great.  I rattled off the list of potential recipients in my head, trying not to forget anyone crucial (Aunt Sylvia!  Check.  Nana and Poppy!  Check.  Ava Dee!  Check.  And so on.)  After running through my list a final time, I threw in another card or two just in case.

Now – here’s the kicker…  there was no price tag on these postcards.  There was no sign on the rack with prices.  My brain must have been too stuffed with lyrics from “It’s a Small World” to pay much notice.  I mean, it’s paper and ink – how expensive could they be?  Postcards anywhere else are what?  $.50-$.75 cents or so?  I figured it would be a little more, afterall, this was Disney World.  Okay, maybe $1.

Excited to have found my coveted postcards (before the parade started, no less!), I marched over to the register and waited my turn.  A sweet, elderly cashier greeted me with a grin.  Such a lovely place, this Magic Kingdom.  Everyone seems to have an extra little ZIP in their Dippity Doo Dah, you know?

I handed over my stack of postcards and confidently let her know that I had NINE postcards.

She smiled again, rang them up and said:

“That will be $18.70 please.”

Gasp!  Shudder!  Wince!  <– Insert me about to faint dead away.

And then I did something that I can’t believe I did: I fished in my pocket for a $20 and paid for my nine postcards.  I took the receipt from her and briefly thought there must be some mistake – perhaps she misheard me – perhaps she thought I said, oh, NINETEEN postcards.

Nope – according to the receipt, I had purchased 9 postcards at a whopping $1.95/each plus tax.

And just in case you think that these must have been oversized, magical postcards, here’s a pic for reference next to a regular old tissue box.  If anything, the postcards were on the small size.

wdw postcard 1

So the bottom line, if you haven’t already guessed, is never ever ever buy something without checking the price first. Duh – sounds like such a rookie rule, doesn’t it?  But we all make mistakes.  We all get caught up in the moment.  We all grab those items once in awhile, make an assumption about the price, and roll with it (only to faint at the register).

But as for me, I am going to blame it on too much excitement and fairy dust and DIDIMENTIONTHEPARADEWASABOUTTOSTART?!  ;)

Oh yes, and FYI – the Wal-Mart RIGHT down the road from WDW has an extensive selection of Disney paraphernalia – including postcards.  For $.58 each.  *Eye Roll*

How about you?  Have you ever found yourself in a predicament (vacation or otherwise) when you grabbed a product without locating a price first?  Did you end up making the purchase or put the item(s) back and walk away?

2022 sidenote: this happened 11 years ago and still makes me laugh. They really were beautiful postcards though. HAHA! 

Make sure you check out the rest of my Disney content. I have been adding lots of Disney Parks and Disney Cruise posts, tips and printables for more than a decade! There is a lot of great info and tons of inspiration for DIYs and more before you head on vacation.

12 thoughts on “The Walt Disney World Postcard Gift Shop Blunder”

  1. Oh no!!! What were you thinking?? LOL!
    I bought Harry Potter postcards ata CVS there to take to Universal, where you could get a special Hogwarts postmark, and my water bottle leaked all over them. I was SO mad! All over a dollar!
    I swore I wouldn’t buy those Vinylmation figures that are all over Disney. Well they looked so cute I had to buy one and then the kids each wanted one, so there went $30.
    But it was worth it. We traded them a couple of times. It was like having a new one every day.
    Our last trip, back in October, I had my eye on these Halloween votive holders that were shaped like Mickey’s head , but they were $25 so I passed. Next day, 50% off!! Woo hoo!!

  2. I kept reading thinking you knew about Walmart… , sunglasses, notepads, pens, stickers… I hate buying souvenirs. Sometimes dollartree has some things like that too. I live in Oviedo (near Orlando), and we went to DW once with some friends. It was May and I wore shorts. The storms rolled in and it was so cold all day. My husband convinced me to buy a sweatshirt…. I spent time looking but spent $58.00 for a ridiculously priced sweatshirt/jacket combo. I was warm and bearable to live with but learned a lesson that day.

  3. Oh my gosh- this is sadly so funny. When I was around 9 my family (Mom Dad, 2 older sisters) went to California to Disney Land. And talk about a Mama Cheaps story (my mom won the tickets from a contest off a box of feminine hygiene product!?!) We drove there from Oregon in the Dodge Caravan, cooler packed with sandwiches & snacks, water/pop so we wouldn’t go broke feeding us. So we check in- go to the park, go back to the hotel & without my dad in tow (this happened a lot w/ us 3 girls + mom) she buys us an ice cream- TO THIS DAY & I am 27, we joke about the Disney ice cream fight. The total came to be OutRAGEous & dad flipped. LOL (SOMETIMES YA JUST GOTTA SPLURGE- right? right?)

  4. My story isn’t quite the same. When I was about 12, my family went to San Francisco and, of course, that included a trip to Fisherman’s Wharf. Lunch time came around, and we found a little restaurant nearby (big mistake going to a restaurant close to a tourist trap).

    After seeing the sky-high prices, it was decided that my dad would order seafood and the rest of us would just get hamburgers. While we were waiting for our food, a waiter or bus boy brought us a big basket of wonderful San Francisco sourdough bread. We were starving, so we dug right in. As soon as we were all munching away, the maître d’ came over to our table and asked to the room at large, “Bread? Who gave these people bread? They are only having ‘amburgers!” Needless to say what we could not eat of the bread came with us when we left! 8^)

  5. Yes Walmart is a good one for souveniers but also at the Orlando Premium Outlets there is a Disney store that is fantastic they even have stuff you can only get in the parks for super cheap.


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