Disney Vacation Planning: Saving for Souvenirs

Everything Pop

photo via http://www.flickr.com/photos/auntie_rain/4191890882/

You know it is going to happen….. You’re not sure when and where you will be, but at some time, your little one will look at you and with those “puppy-dog” eyes give you that “PPPPLEASE – I want this – I won’t ask for anything else – PPPLEASE!!!!!” Now you know as well as I do the abundance of souvenirs and temptations are everywhere in Disney – in the parks – in the hotel stores – Downtown Disney, even as you walk from the bus or car to the front entrances.

Several years ago when I first took my little one, who was 6 at the time, we planned a way to make sure he had his own spending money and was free to spend it as he wanted. Our idea was to let Sean earn money by helping with chores that went into his envelope. He also had to put back at least half of any money received at Christmas or birthdays. Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing, but after some reminders of what he was saving money for, he caught on. The money in his envelope was periodically sold at the Disney store for “Disney-bucks”. This was a great way to ensure money wasn’t spent at other stores or on the way to Disney and was saved for souvenirs.

The only catch was, once his money was gone, that was it. This worked well through the years. The first year we tried this, when he was 6, Sean managed to save $129. He had about 10 months to save, so I was very impressed. The hardest part was the extra time we spend “shopping” at Walt Disney World so he could find just the right souvenirs.

Disney Gift Card

photo via http://www.flickr.com/photos/pennytravelauctions/5419362007/

Another great way to save, not only souvenirs, but also for your Disney trip is to get a Disney gift card. Instead of gifts ask family to instead load what they might spend on the Disney gift card instead for you. Money on the Disney gift card can be used throughout Disney property. I have a friend that was able to purchase her passes, hotel rooms and also pay for several sit-down meals on her trip. Anytime she had extra money, such as tax refunds, over-time, this too was loaded on the gift card. By saving “free” money she didn’t miss it through the year and her trip didn’t put a strain on the budget.

Do you have a secret way to save for your trip to Walt Disney World? How do you handle little ones who want souvenirs?

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Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.

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5 Responses to Disney Vacation Planning: Saving for Souvenirs

  1. Pingback: Disney Vacation Planning: Saving for Souvenirs | DisneyDigest

  2. I think that’s such a good idea – plus, if it’s their own money they’re spending they’re less likely to want EVERYTHING a go for special things they’ll cherish x

  3. Keith says:

    I agree that is a great way to not only teach responsibility but save money as well. We don’t have kids but usually they are my puppy dog eyes to my wife LOL. We did the same thing with the gift cards and it worked great because you can also use them at most of the quick service restaurants also. Also our local grocery store chain (Giant Eagle) gives you discounts on gas if you purchase gift cards from them so it works out good. Just don’t use them to pay for your trip. We were doing that and then had to cancel our trip. Instead of getting the money back we got the gift cards refilled.

  4. Debbie says:

    You are exactly right Scarlett! That is what took us so long to shop – Sean was much more aware that he was spending his money!
    Great idea Keith – any extra money can go on the gift card!

  5. bagsRpacked says:

    The last time we went to DisneyWorld the kids had saved their money. I had also bought things during the year. I would leave them in the rooms so when they got back they would have a special gift from Mickey, a princess, or Donald Duck, etc… I would wrap them up in all kind of left over Christmas paper, birthday paper, and funny paper. (I didn’t do it everyday.) It could be a T-shirt, bubbles, a beach ball ,or a blow up float to use in the pool. coloring books, toys, dollars stores are great for that. If you buy new clothes to take on trip save something for that day. I would leave them little notes so they would have to find them in the room. I use plastic Easter eggs one year. I numbered the eggs and put notes in them, one may had a dollar in it, or candy. I put one on the bed, under pillow, on the table, on chair, in suitcase, etc.. They had to find them in the order. One day i did math. they had to add them up and find the egg with the right number. It was a fun way to get them to leave the park cause they never knew what was waiting in the room.

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