As you can imagine, we’ve bought a few items from Walt Disney World. Some are amazing and find their way directly onto a bookshelf or beside my workstation in the office…while some stay in the packaging or don’t even make it back on the plane.
The most common things that we buy that are memorable are things like pins, vinylmation, art and other items from the Art of Disney.
BUT it’s impossible for every item that we purchase to be homerun!
It rains in Florida, so why not be prepared for it? When you are ill-prepared, you end up spending $12+ per adult to buy a piece of plastic that you’re just going to use on the trip and then discard at the hotel or before. Spend the $1 or $1.50 at the dollar store before your trip and save that money for more Dole Whips!
This is such an important piece of a trip to Disney World that I’m going to do my best to truly allow this to set in.
You need to get a ponchos before you get to Florida. Just have them in your bag because at the minimum…you’ll use them on rides like Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids.
If you’ve walked down Main Street USA, one of the featured vendors are the oversized balloons with a mickey-ear balloon inside. What’s the end game for this item? It’s either going to pop, blow away or deflate…and it’s not like you’ll be able to ride Space Mountain or its a Small World with it.
Just take a nice photo and walk on by:)
I love watching the official Disney produced more than most folks, but the production value pales in comparison to the relevance and fact that the content isn’t at all up-to-date. In fact, if you look on the back of most of the dvds, the copyright dates are older than things like UBER, YouTube or Expedition Everest!
You can get free water at Starbucks or at Quick Service Locations in the parks. There are also water fountains at every bathroom and you could always stop in at Club Cool for free soda. Buying water at Disney World just doesn’t make sense.
Related Article – Where to get FREE Water at Disney
I have a huge collection of Disney shirts, but I didn’t spend full price on them at the parks. In fact, we have a number of ideas on how to get official and parody shirts through our various partners and by using the internet.
Let’s start with the Disney Character Warehouse at Orlando Premium Outlets, where you can buy a ton of merchandise that were in the parks as recently as the week before…at a reduced to clear price!
You can also check out our TeePublic store or any of the other online marketplaces to stock up on fun versions of your favorite parody shirts!
Related Article – What’s in my Disney Tee Collection?
Although Candy (at the time) is always a good idea, there are so many other great food to buy! Cupcakes, Candy Apples…anything that isn’t pre-packaged!
Related Article – Best Snack Credits at Disney
I once forgot that it was going to be a little chilly in the parks when I went to see Fantasmic after work one day that I actually had to buy a long-sleeve sweatshirt because I was freezing. Why was this preventable? It was February!
Lesson learned = Be aware that although it’s warm during the day, Florida gets cold when the sun goes down.
Related Link – TeePublic Long Sleeve Shirts
Most of the content in the parks are out-of-date anyway, as everything is available on iTunes through the official Disney brand. Also, remember when there were services like Napster and PirateBay where folks would upload full cds? Well now you don’t even have to worry about buying Disney music from the parks because there’s a thing called YouTube.
Related Link – Disney World CD’s on Amazon
Unless you are a local, accessorizing a MagicBand is pointless because after you finish a Disney vacation…the band itself just sits on the bookshelf and isn’t re-usable because the batteries die and there is no way to replace them.
MagicBand Hack: Go to the dollar store and pick up temporary tattoos! You can decorate your
MagicBand without spending too much:)
Related Article – Magicband Accessories on Amazon
When we look at the quality of postcards in the parks, the big thing that comes to mind is “who actually sends postcards anymore?” followed closely by “how many years ago were those photos taken?”.
First off, you can buy a Digital copy of PhotoPass images OR you look at your PhotoPass account and get a nice variety of free images automatically added when you visit certain attractions or events. Honestly, in today’s digital age…you can take amazing photos with your phone that will rival most of the postcards that are available in store anyway.
There is a side note to postcards, and it involves a “Disney Hack” of utilizing the cards for character meet & greet autographs. Buying a pack of postcards for autographs are great, but keep in mind that there are characters that you shouldn’t use for this practice – basically anyone with a real “personality”. Let me explain:)
When you’re in a Disney Park, there is only one Mickey Mouse, one Cinderella and one Baymax. However, when you’re talking about a postcard, please keep in mind that Cinderella may have a friend who took that photo and it’s not her that you’re meeting at Princess Fairytale Hall.
My recommendation is to bring the postcards of the Fab 5 (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy), 100 Acre Wood gang (Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, etc), and any of the characters where it’s not a human in the photo. Yes, this is from experience, as I’ve seen first-hand a child start to scream in the middle of a meet & greet “that’s not Belle!” and it was because they were autographing a photo from their last vacation. Just wanted to keep things realistic and to prevent meltdowns:)
I’m taking specifically about Drinking Around the World, as it’s such an expensive thing to take on when you add all of the drinks from the World Showcase. Conservatively, you’re looking at anywhere from $80-200 to complete, and what do you get from it (besides a headache?). Why not have a single drink, and just enjoy it?
Related Article – Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks at Disney
(YEA, RIGHT?!) I’ll never regret buying a Dole Whip….EVER!
Ok, although Dole Whip can be something you may not enjoy, it’s a drink that can be enjoyed multiple ways and in various versions.
- Classic Dole Whip Float
- Dole Whip Soft Serve
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake (served with Dole Whip)
On top of that, you’re able to choose a different flavor of this classic drink…but you’ll have to think outside the box. At Storybook Treats in Fantasyland, you’re able to get a Peter Pan Float! This is a Key Lime soft-serve (different than the Pineapple in a Dole Whip), with Sprite and a chocolate feather. Different, yet similar:)
Related Article – Magic Kingdom Hacks
Hopefully this list will help you think about your hard-earned spending money carefully and you’ll invest in memories and not random stuff that just sits there.