Editor’s Note: I am pleased to introduce you to Tina who is joining us on The Affordable Mouse! Tina will be sharing the Thrifty Thursday column with Melissa Sue and is looking forward to sharing her tips for saving time and money at Disney World. We are thrilled to welcome Tina to our family!
One of my favorite souvenirs from our trips to Disney is my photos! There is nothing like having a great collection of pictures that remind us of how fun and special our trip was.
I always grab a Photo Pass from one of the many professional photographers stationed at the front of every park, and usually at key spots. Here is a list of places you can find them. You just need one pass for the whole trip (if you have a big party than you may want to get two.) To be honest, I don’t think that Disney’s professional pictures are a superb deal…it’s a whopping $149.95 for your professional memories on CD. You can order this online when you get home. One good thing about these pricey photos is that photographers can do really cool things with them like put Tinker Bell in your little ones’ hands or Mickey balloons behind your family, fun stuff! Only buy the CD if you think it’s worth it, some people say you can’t put a price on good memories! You can save money by pre-ordering your Disney Photo Pass CD before your trip; it’s a better deal for $99.95.
So how can we save money on great Disney pictures? Take your camera!! As long as you have a decent one, your own pictures will turn out wonderful. What I like to do is have the photographer take a picture for the Photo Pass, and then I will hand them my personal camera and have them snap a shot with that. We get the same picture, on our own camera, for free! The photographers never mind doing this, we’ve never had any issues asking them for this favor. This way you have pictures of your whole family or group! Then, you can upload YOUR pictures onto the Disney website and create an archive CD. You can play around on the site and add the same great borders and stickers that you would be able to do with your Photo Pass pictures.
Kids love taking pictures too. If they don’t have their own camera, buy each of them a disposable camera before your trip (buying before will save you at least $10 or more! Remember everything is more pricey in the World) and have them try their hand at photography. It’s a fun and free activity for them to do, especially in those long lines or those times where everyone needs a break and is sitting down. Disney does offer scrapbooking materials in the park, but I never bother buying them there. First of all, they are way more expensive! Second, you have to find room to pack it all on the way back home. Wait until you get home, grab the Sunday paper in your home town and see if there are any coupons for craft stores. In my town we always have a set of Michael’s coupons, and a set of Joann’s coupons. I use these and buy Disney themed scrapbooking materials that are just as nice as the ones you can get in the parks. Scrapbooking your trips is such a fun, family activity too. The kids can make a scrapbook from their photos while you make the family album. It is such a sweet keepsake to have – I’d rather spend money on pictures and scrapbooking supplies than any other souvenir, they really are priceless! If I can save some money while doing this, well that is just magical!
Tina works full time as a school counselor in an elementary school. She lives close to Baltimore, MD with her husband Dave and her 13 year old stepdaughter, Ashley. They also have a furry family member, a cat name Frodo, that keeps life interesting in their house! Tina began visiting Disney World as a child with her family, and now her, Dave & Ashley take a trip to the World every year. She considers herself a Disney “fanatic” and once her family is finished one trip, she is already planning their next one. Tina loves to find the best deals, even in the busy seasons (she can only go when schools are off!) and loves sharing those deals & tips with anyone and everyone! What Tina loves most is the magic of WDW, it makes her feel like a kid again. She hopes that every family has the opportunity go to the World and experience the magic for themselves because it has a way of reminding its visitors that dreams do indeed come true! Read more of Tina’s work on her blog A Not So Bland Life, where she writes about home decor, cooking, couponing, traveling, and and of course, Disney!