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View Full Version : Who has the money for Disney souvenirs?


ChattaAlley
03-31-2011, 05:57 AM
Disney merchandise is so expensive. It seems every store in Disney that you go into the kids want something new even when you had bought them something at the last store. How do you go about buying souvenirs for your child? Do you budget money for that? Do you let them have anything they want since it is a vacation?

A friend of mine use to go to Disney ALOT as a child. Her mom was obsessed (still is). She was raising four girls alone. Her mom use to go the Disney store before a trip and possibly order online and buy merchandise there. It was more then likely clearance stuff or cheaper stuff (everything is cheaper in a store not on Disney property). She would take all that she bought and give them something each night. At that time they were none the wiser that the stuff was not bought that day in Disney. I found that to be VERY smart. She wanted her kids to be happy and to be able to give them something but know she didn't have enough money to pay for the stuff there.

MoonFaerie
03-31-2011, 06:01 AM
We budget for souvenirs. Usually $100 each for the week. We rarely spend that. BUT we don't go in many stores, other than in the world showcase, and my kids don't usually ask for many things. The only things DD had to have last time were a balloon & a small stuffed Princess Minnie. DS only asked for some stuffed Star Wars guy, and a 2 sets of Star Wars Lego minifigs. We've never been big souvenir buyers, so my kids don't have that expectation.

n2mm
03-31-2011, 06:02 AM
We go to the Disney outlet during every trip (only about 10 minutes from DTD) and let the kids pick what they want. The prices are at least 50% off, but often much more. It is merchandise directly from WDW and is run by WDW with Disney CMs. I've found WDCC pieces there for myself for 1/2 off. The kids often will pick up dolls or plush, while we get tees, hats and sweatshirts. Our last trip in November most of our stuff was 75% off. I got my granddaughters tinkerbell baseball hats on our last trip for .99 as it was a special that day. They also carry, merchandise from the resorts and cruiselines.

torinsmom
03-31-2011, 06:07 AM
My son has always gotten $80-$100 per trip to spend. When he spends it, it is gone. This is just for souvenirs; I buy him all his food. If he sees something he like early in the trip, he sometimes takes a picture of it and decides later. Some trips, he doesn't buy anything, and saves the money for home.

bellarella
03-31-2011, 06:10 AM
We give each child $20 for souvenirs. If they want something beyond that, they have to spend their own money. I also buy glow sticks before we leave so they can enjoy those in the evenings. It works well for us. My kids are really great about budgeting their money (though they grow into it -- when they were young they'd buy the first thing they'd see -- we'd talk to them about the consequences of that, but let them learn the lesson the hard way).

yakkin' yeti
03-31-2011, 06:23 AM
We actually don't buy my son souvenirs -- we've always told him the trip is his gift from us. He has an allowance from doing chores (shoveling snow, raking leaves, etc.). He gets to make the decisions regarding what to spend his money on, and we don't have to deal with whining or sulking. It makes for a relaxing trip. (Plus, now that he's a little older, he usually comes back with money still in his wallet.)

Now, we don't expect him to buy clothes or snacks -- if I see a cute sweatshirt for him, we cover that, and we're happy to keep him in popcorn and Mickey bars.

eliza61
03-31-2011, 06:35 AM
My kids to also get a budget, even now that they are teens. :goodvibes Actually now they don't really want much of the disney stuff, it's all so generic, same stuff, every store.

Anyway, we usually gave them ~75 bucks each to blow.

Rjsoto24601
03-31-2011, 06:41 AM
What is the name of the Disney outlet in Orlando? Is it at one of the outlet factory stores? Would love to stop by on our first day in a few weeks.

ChattaAlley
03-31-2011, 06:48 AM
What is the name of the Disney outlet in Orlando? Is it at one of the outlet factory stores? Would love to stop by on our first day in a few weeks.

I would like to know also. Might stop in before our trip.

okeydokey
03-31-2011, 06:54 AM
Ours usually have 40 or 50 to spend that we save in change before the trip. They decide how and when they spend it. They are very careful with their own money.

DawnM
03-31-2011, 07:01 AM
The Disney Outlet is called "Character Warehouse."

We go there some.

My kids have grown up going to Disney a lot so we rarely buy souvenirs now. My kids prefer to spend $$ on legos or DS games these days. We also snatch up any Disney items we find at yard sales or thrift stores. So far in the last couple of years we have found Disney park ponchos for .25, spray water bottle fan (WDW) for .50, a light chaser for $1, and several T-shirts and sweatshirts from the parks for $1 or $2.

Dawn

wtccheermom
03-31-2011, 07:07 AM
What is the name of the Disney outlet in Orlando? Is it at one of the outlet factory stores? Would love to stop by on our first day in a few weeks.

There are two in Orlando oneout by Unversial and the other really close to DTD.

http://www.themouseforless.com/tripplanning/travel/OutletStores.shtml


Here is info on both!!

angierae
03-31-2011, 07:26 AM
My daughter was older, but she had a set amount of money, and when it was gone, it was gone.

For younger kids who don't have a firm understanding of prices, you could tell them that they should look every day, but they can buy stuff at the end of their trip, once they've seen everything there is to offer. Or tell them they can have one stuffed animal, one teeshirt, and one something else. Or any number of things.

But I've never been one to buy my kid something just because she wanted it, at any age, on vacation or at home.

disneyjunkie
03-31-2011, 07:29 AM
When my son was younger, he would have between 200-350 each trip. (money from my parents, his dad and stepmom, some of his savings and what I gave him for the trip). The total was divided by the number of days we were there. That is how much he took out of the room each morning. He was free to spend it as he wished.

figment3258
03-31-2011, 07:40 AM
We used to go crazy and let them buy whatever they wanted but now start them off with a 25$ gift card and let them save and add more to the card as they want.

DisneyCher
03-31-2011, 07:43 AM
When we took the kids back in the 80s, they each got $20 to buy souvies, and sometimes we'd also get them shirts or stuffed animals.

I fully intend to spoil my grandson when we take him, so my DD doesn't have to worry about budgeting for souvies for him.

wenrob
03-31-2011, 07:52 AM
We set a limit before we go and work that into the budget. Each kid gets-an autograph book, ears or hat, a t-shirt, a plush and a key chain or pin. If they want something else they can trade the price of a particular item for what they want. It's well understood that's it and we've never had an issue with them asking for more. We also remind them when they get allowance that we're going and that they may want to save. Our last trip eldest DD wanted a Vintage Disneyland, limited edition hoody badly. She gave up her t-shirt, pin money and paid for the balance herself (and bought Mama a classic Disneyland sign pin :goodvibes). As far as I know she's never regretted and wears it almost everyday. For us setting a limit and realistic expectations beforehand is key.

StephMK
03-31-2011, 08:01 AM
We are doing a budget trip in June & the kids will get some money in their Easter baskets. They will have that money & probably some from the g-parents to spend. I'm guessing about $50 per kid and that should be plenty. When they were little, they picked out one big souvie & a little thing or two and spent about the same.

cam&phoebsmom
03-31-2011, 08:10 AM
my son got $75 from our disney visa rewards to use so he had to budget through the trip. He ended up with about $10 left on it and came home with Legos, a wooden rifle, and a few pins he wanted.

My DD wanted a set of the mini princesses for her castle at home-I think they were $10-15. I think they were both kind of overwhelmed with everything so they did not ask for much.

When we go shopping here we do not buy a lot just because, so my kids are not used to that and don't ask for that much so it makes it easier on us. We have a Disney outlet here not too far from us and I get t-shirts before we go, and then bring glow sticks, flashlights, etc. with us. We also have light up Buzz spinner things we got about 4 years ago and take those with us for the evenings/fireworks.

MoniqueU
03-31-2011, 08:17 AM
We had passes to Disneyland for r about 16 years, We almost never bought the kids souveniers. I do have each of the kids golden mickey ears from the 50th anniversary though. Now with Disneyland doing away with the 99 dollar southern california park pass we don't even have passes anymore. A day ticket is 100 bucks. I have 5 in my family and spending 500 bucks just to walk in the gate isn't happening. If I ever decide to spring for annual passes again which isn't likely I will be darned if they get one more cent from me.

When we went to Orlando last time we got very few things. I didn't get a thing for myself or DH and the kids got small trinkets for their friends. Souveniers just aren't imprtant to us and my kids don't expect them. Some of the souvenier budgets blow my mind and I am the first one to spend a fortune on frivolous things in day to day life.

mermaidblue!
03-31-2011, 08:24 AM
Here's how I avoided spending a single dime on souvenirs!

1) When relatives kindly asked what the girls (5 & 10) wanted for b-days and Christmas, we stressed how much they'd love a Disney gift card. This was a godsend!

2) Sounds corny, but I gave the kids an empty bucket to save pennies in. Grandma & Grandpa heard about it and gave them a big jar of change they had laying around. Many months later, they had scraped together around $80!

With very little effort, the girls each had $100 for Disney. We were super clear that they had to pay for their own souvenirs, and they were very lucky little girls to visit Disney World. This worked for them. No whining!

Visited WDW for 5 days and my youngest was able to spend $20 every day in a gift shop buying her favorite stuffed animals, which are her obsession. The oldest loved the luxury of buying stuff everywhere she went. It was fantastic and stress free!

Fantasmic23
03-31-2011, 08:43 AM
Admittedly, I never seem to remember to budget for souvenirs. It's the one aspect that I always blank on during the trip-planning stages. Souvenirs have become almost an after-thought to me: "Oh, yeah! Souvenirs."

On our last trip to WDW in late November, my sister and one of my uncles generously gave my kids some spending money for Disney. We usually save souvenir-buying for the last full day of our trip. By then, the kids have had a few days to see what merchandise is in the shops and have had some time to think about what they really want to spend their money on.

We'll be heading to Universal in 17 days (!!) and for the past several months, we've been making a trip to our local grocery store to redeem any plastic bottles and soda cans that we have accumulated. We usually redeem every two weeks or so. It's not a large sum (Usually about $4.00 - $5.00), but it adds up over time. My kids have been putting the money into a Disney bank on our kitchen counter (DH and I have also been adding change from our wallets/pockets into the bank, too). A few days before our Universal trip, I will cash in the contents of the bank and that will be the Souvenir Money.

eliza61
03-31-2011, 08:46 AM
Here's how I avoided spending a single dime on souvenirs!

1) When relatives kindly asked what the girls (5 & 10) wanted for b-days and Christmas, we stressed how much they'd love a Disney gift card. This was a godsend!

2) Sounds corny, but I gave the kids an empty bucket to save pennies in. Grandma & Grandpa heard about it and gave them a big jar of change they had laying around. Many months later, they had scraped together around $80!


!

Actually not corny at all. My 16 year old complains that since he is only 16 and plays a lot of sports he can't work a part time job like his older siblings. So the entire family decided to take one of our gallon jugs we get for water and fill it with change. We made a bet that every day we would put at least 2 bucks a day into the jug. We started Oct 1st of 2010 and our trip is in August. We calculated 300 days (it's more but we took off a few days for forgetfullness. lol) at 2 bucks a day is 600 dollars. :woohoo:

Let me tell you, it's been fun seeing the dollar bills float up to the top. My husband has been slipping in a 5 every know and then and you should see us turning the jug upside down trying to figure out how many 5's are in there.

Dh also made a plug for the top that is not easy to get open so we stick to it. ;)

twinsplusone
03-31-2011, 08:48 AM
I bought t-shirts/sweatshirts from the Disney store prior to our trip and gave them to the kids throughout the week. That eliminated the want of those. The other items were purchased by them. They saved their money for a few years and ended up taking a little over $100 per child. They were very careful with their money. The only thing I bought them were pins that I thought they "needed." I bought them a pin from each park and one for their favorite ride. Otherwise all of their "treasures" were bought by them. Having their own money was the smartest thing we did. It stopped the "I want" every time we walked into a store.

ssawka
03-31-2011, 09:00 AM
DD has 17 cousins, so we are never in need of toys or clothes, so we ask Friends and Family to give her Disney gift cards for Christmas and Birthdays. We use those cards to buy her souvenirs. We also do not go hog wild, she gets a T-Shirt and a stuffed animal every trip (with years on them). Fortunately, DD never wants very much. I guess it's because we never really bought her much when we travelled.

ilovemk76
03-31-2011, 10:19 AM
We buy what we want. It is part of our vacation budget. We go to the outlet but also buy at the parks. We like to get unique things that are not available any where else. We do the same no matter where we vacation.

tlbwriter
03-31-2011, 10:40 AM
We give DD a specific budget. Since we always go right before Christmas, we save money by telling her she gets to buy her own gifts at WDW, and we don't have to buy both gifts *and* souvenirs. :goodvibes (Well, we bought Santa gifts too, but now that we're no longer doing Santa I'm not sure how that's going to play out. :santa:)

Anyway, the "buy the souvenirs at home" trick would never work for me because my DD isn't the kind of kid who just wants "something from WDW." She wants something very specific. If she sees a stuffed animal or a necklace or a t-shirt that she loves, *that's* what she wants as a souvenir of her trip. Not whatever I happened to buy at Walmart back home.

PrincessSuzanne
03-31-2011, 10:41 AM
We don't have children, but DH wants something from every store we go in on Disney Property (worse than any child I have ever seen), but I think I learned something useful from my mom from when I was growing up, the word NO

I do give in occassionally, depending on our Souvenier budget, but our Souvenier budget next weekend is going to be tight, so I may just hand him $25 and be done with it.

Suzanne

FINFAN
03-31-2011, 10:49 AM
I fit into the first part of the thread..."who has money for Disney..." let alone souvee's.:rotfl:

Colleen27
03-31-2011, 10:56 AM
I think I've got weird kids... they don't really get the gimmies at Disney. They're too interested in the next ride, show, attraction, meal, character.

On our first trip we spent a fair bit on souvenirs (thinking it was a once-in-a-lifetime trip :rotfl:) but since then we've settled into a good pattern - each of the big kids gets a pin, usually the year pin unless we're there for a special event/holiday, DD9 gets a charm for her charm bracelet, DS13 gets something from the Lego store, and DD2 gets to add one more Disney Parks plush to her collection. DH & I will sometimes pick something up for the house, a special mug or wine stopper or something along those lines. We spent less than $150 on merchandise last trip, and that's including the Mickey flamingo yard ornament I ordered when we got home because the $10 shipping was better than finding room for it in our luggage.

dntd
03-31-2011, 11:05 AM
My kids get a $5 allowence put in a bank, so by the time aug hit they will have enough for the ridemakerz they want to build and the dress that my DD wants. I don't mind buying 1 or 2 thing oop but they have to pay for the rest;)

Gr8t Fan
03-31-2011, 11:09 AM
We're not real big on souvenirs in our family either and spend most of our time on the rides or watching shows, parades, fireworks, etc. Most trips we don't buy anything at all. We do take LOADS of pictures and organize them into a scrapbook when we get back, and our kids look forward to that, so perhaps it gives them a different focus.

katesorad
03-31-2011, 02:29 PM
I don't remember how much my parents gave us, but DH and I budgeted $600 for souvenirs for our last trip. We spent every penny.. and then some. Without regrets :goodvibes

mommy2twingles
03-31-2011, 02:35 PM
My kids get disney gift cards from the family for birthdays, Easter, Christmas before we go. The family knows we go every few years. For this trip between the 3 kids they have over $1000. We will use this for special things like BBB and PL but the kids also use this as their spending money. They know this is all they have and not to ask mom for anything else. Last time it was great. They wanted the Monorail the first day we were their. Since they only had about $150 each that time I let them know that if they got it they could not get anything else. They each got little things throughout the week and ad the end of the trip pooled their money together to buy it. It helped teach them about money as well.

bigbabyblues
03-31-2011, 05:31 PM
My boys are 10 & 7. We take whatever $ they have saved (we never tell them about the trip ahead of time, DH makes sure he either takes their $ or knows how much they have to spend), plus whatever the IL's give them, if any for that trip. They can spend it however they want, but when it's gone, it's gone, and they know it. DS10 had been saving for a certain soccer jersey a couple of years ago. He didn't know when we were going, but he knew how much it was, and he spent his money on it. That left him with very little money, but he knew that ahead of time.

DS7 likes cars, and spent half of his on them one trip; we didn't say anything, but DH did point out that if he bought all of those cars, he wouldn't have any money to spend at the Lego store. When we got to the Lego store, he asked how much money he had left and the said maybe he shouldn't have bought so many cars.

We buy any food/drink items they want, they don't have to spend their $ on that. I usually get sunglasses for them each trip, but after DS10 lost two pair in two days, I made him buy the next ones. The trip that it rained the first two days, I bought each of us a ball cap. They spend their $$ on the "toys".

C.Ann
03-31-2011, 07:17 PM
Whenever we went anywhere (not just Disney) where there would be souveniers, we gave each child "x" amount of money to spend - with the understanding that when it was gone, it was gone.. It worked out well for us - they never asked for more - and believe me when I say that it wasn't a "large" amount.. It also made them stop and think about if that cheap plastic toy was worth the money - or if they should hold out for something of a better quality.. It was a good learning experience for them and we - as parents - were spared the begging and pleading..:thumbsup2

PrincessSuzanne
03-31-2011, 08:38 PM
I don't remember how much my parents gave us, but DH and I budgeted $600 for souvenirs for our last trip. We spent every penny.. and then some. Without regrets :goodvibes

The first big trip we took after my mom passed away (4 mnths after), I think I probably spent $2000 on souveniers and it didn't bother me one bit. There were 4 adults and 3 children on that trip and while I didn't buy everyones souveniers, some of that money was spent on other people.

Suzanne

MrsPete
03-31-2011, 08:44 PM
We realized long ago that with kids, buying souveniers isn't a rewarding activity. When you spend time in the shops, the whole trip seems to take a consumer-based turn and the kids focus too much on "stuff". They take loads of time choosing something, and they frequently have buyer's remorse over the things they didn't choose. Allowing X amount per kid was worse than just buying things for them; the choosing took forever.

The real upshot of the whole thing, of course, was that the kids didn't care about the stuff once they got home. With a very few exceptions, the souveniers became yard sale fodder or went into the trash.

So years ago we stopped buying souveniers. We don't spend any time in the shops at all, and it wasn't a hard transition. The kids didn't whine and fuss.

I never really think about souveniers these days -- nor do my kids seem to do so -- but when we go on a trip with scouts, church group, or whatever, my kids seem irritated by their friends who take SO LONG to pick out this or that. They genuinely aren't into souveniers, and they prefer to spend their time doing something rather than shopping.

Jaden'smommy
03-31-2011, 10:27 PM
my son was 6 the last time we were there, his first time. and he actually never really asked for anything. i spent maybe 100 on us both. and thats because i kept on asking him if he wanted something:lmao: my son is my one and only, you would think he would be spoil, he gets a lot of things but hes just content with what he has. This year im budgeting about 300 for us both.

WheelCEO
03-31-2011, 10:28 PM
im selective with my buying.. but i think some sellers are outrageous. I was trying to buy the HM tapestries, offered the guy $1400 his ebay ad was $1500 and he said no

rangermom
03-31-2011, 10:32 PM
Since we go regularly, we bring a lot with us. We always bring our ears with us, so no wanting that we get there. Tinkerbell visits our kids our first night there and gives each of them $50 in Disney dollars or gift cards. That is their spending money for the trip. Sometimes we will splurge and give them something, but they are very good at staying in their budget.

daisyduck123
03-31-2011, 10:44 PM
Do you let them have anything they want since it is a vacation?



Pretty much.

But my kids are older now. During our last trip (January) DS12 didn't ask for anything except $$ for his arcade card.

I usually spend about $200 on DD for clothes, a purse, stuff like that.

During our summer trips I usually spend about $400 in MouseGear, World of Disney, & Animal Kingdom on souvenirs. This includes stuff I buy for both sets of grandparents.

Mrs.Malone
03-31-2011, 10:48 PM
We go to Disney once every 1-2 years.
Our first trip, we brought home scads of junk that went straight to the bottom of the toybox at home.
After that, we started letting each child have ONE item of their choice around $25, and one cup/mug/plate. The $25 toy usually soon ends up in the toybox, but the cup/mug/plate is always a hit and these items are used and enjoyed as reminders of our trip nearly every day. I'm really big on helping the kids choose souvenirs that are WDW-specific or that remind them of some favorite part of the trip. I don't like to buy stuff at Wal Mart or Dollar Tree ahead of time, because those things are just for the sake of *Having Stuff* and generally don't hold memories like true "souvenirs."

My children are still pretty young. As they get older we may re-assess our souvenir strategy but for now we are setting a precedent for not just buying up everything that catches their eye.

akayek31
03-31-2011, 11:29 PM
When we went back in 2009 I still lived at home with my mom so my kids got $200 each to spend. We moved out on our own in Feb 2010 so when we went this past Feb we did not spend so much. My son has a job so he spent his own money. I bought most of our souvies at wal-mart. I got a tshirt with the year on it that they were selling at WDW for $12 where it was $25 at Pop. The only difference was it said Florida on it. I think the only thing we bought at WDW was a stuffed stich.

DVCBELLE
03-31-2011, 11:34 PM
We ask for gift cards for the kids for Christmas and birthdays for our trips...which they can use.

But honestly - I have never set a budget. If we want something we usually get it. But my kids go to Disney once a year - so they don't ask for a lot. Typically they each want a Disney Baby - and then maybe a couple of extra little things here and there. They usually have planned out before we leave home what they want and stick pretty closely to that.

NYEmomma
04-01-2011, 07:09 AM
This is why grandma & grandpa are coming on vacation with us! ;)

(kidding -- they're coming because I love my family and am excited to have them & my brother with us, but seriously, they know no limits when it comes to spoiling DD)

kaddjr
04-01-2011, 07:45 AM
When we go, my kids each get a t-shirt of their choice and a few pins. They take their own money to buy whatever else they want. Once they run out of money, that's it. At some point in the trip, we hit the outlets and WM to see what's there. They usually wait until the middle of the trip to spend anything and usually come home with some of the money.

kstgelais4
04-01-2011, 08:53 AM
We go to the Disney outlet during every trip (only about 10 minutes from DTD) and let the kids pick what they want. The prices are at least 50% off, but often much more. It is merchandise directly from WDW and is run by WDW with Disney CMs. I've found WDCC pieces there for myself for 1/2 off. The kids often will pick up dolls or plush, while we get tees, hats and sweatshirts. Our last trip in November most of our stuff was 75% off. I got my granddaughters tinkerbell baseball hats on our last trip for .99 as it was a special that day. They also carry, merchandise from the resorts and cruiselines.

We go here too. This is where we let each of the kids choose one thing, and I usually get things for the people who are feeding our cat/taking in our mail/etc. We also give each of our kids like $20-$25 that they have earned at home to spend however they wish. It is usually spent on one thing. My dd was 2 on out last trip and all she wanted was a balloon. so that's all we got her. We have SOOOO much stuff, that really we don't need any more. We are not souvie people either.
As for the pins, we buy them beofre we go from disneystore.com or reputable sellers on ebay. We also pick some up from the character warehouse, because sometimes they will have them for $.99. We have about 100 for this trip that we will give them in the mornings to trade.
Otherwise we bring our light spinny thingies, and mouse ears from home.

luvsJack
04-01-2011, 09:19 AM
Our agreement with dd has been one item from each park. Last trip it somehow got stretched to one time each day but still not too bad. She loves the stuffed animals (and they are all displayed in her room) and that is usually what she picks. For the last two times (2006 and 2008) we were there they were around $28 a piece.

She has never been one for t-shirts but I expect that to change next trip.

My plan is for her to get a gift card in her Easter Basket and then she can continue to add a bit out of her allowance each week, but if I know her father that will end up being in ADDITION to the "one item in each park" deal. :laughing:

SoonerSarah
04-01-2011, 10:41 AM
My girls had Disney jars. Anytime the older two got money from a relative (MIL and Aunt send them all $5 for each holiday such as halloween and valentines), they asked for money as part of Christmas presents to spend at Disney World, etc. MIL & FIL collect their coins into a jar (they do this whether there is a disney trip or not) and the girls got all of that, which ended up being a good amount. The older two ended up $120 I think. One came home with $30, the other came home with $10. The baby ended up with $75 and she came home with less than $20.

This was our first trip, and we don't plan to be able to go back for 3 or 4 years.