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.
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?
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.