Souvenir Shopping at Walt Disney World

Minnie as Rapunzel

How do you handle souvenir shopping with your kids?  {Of course, this can apply to everyone’s souvenir shopping budget.}  We like to let our kids choose what they want…  Within certain limits.

When we first get to Walt Disney World, we purchase each child their own Disney gift card with a predetermined amount on it.  This amount depends on many factors, including the length of the trip.  Shorter trip equals smaller spending limit.  Our main rule is that no one buys any souvenirs for the first couple of days, at least.  This last trip was longer than usual, so there was no souvenir buying for the first 3 or 4 days.

Canadian Goofy

That seems a little harsh, doesn’t it.  Well, not really.  Both kids have a history of buying things the first day and then, running out of money before they have a chance to really see what is available elsewhere.  This is a bigger problem with my son because he is unable to understand the concept of when the money is gone, the souvenir buying is over.  It is just a difficult subject for him to grasp.

Mary Poppins Books

So, how do we keep track of what they want early on in the trip?  iPhone.  When one of the kids decides there is something he wants, we take a picture of it and note where we saw the item, so we can go back to get it later.  Now, this is NOT without risk, and we have been burned with this.  Throughout this post, I’ve put pictures of things that different family members wanted at different points in the trip.  The top two items (plushes) were crossed off the shopping list at some point, but see those Mary Poppins books above?  We saw those in the United Kingdom in EPCOT early in our trip.  My daughter wanted these books!  She is a huge Mary Poppins fan and a voracious reader, but we knew if we bought them early in the trip, she would want to sit and read them instead of doing other things with the family.  So, we put off buying them.  Well, that backfired because when we went back to get them later, they only had two of the four left.  We thought we would never hear the end of that one, but fortunately, Santa found the other two on Amazon and delivered them on Christmas Eve.  Whew!

Twinings Tea

That wasn’t the only thing that we missed out on by sticking with our methods.  I never really thought they would run out of tea, but they certainly did.  There was no “moment of calm” when I went back.  But you know what?  It’s okay!  While some things might have sold out, we stuck to our budget, and that was the most important thing.  The kids got what they wanted, without having buyer’s remorse, and everyone left happy.  Well, after Santa delivered those books…

How do you keep your kids within the souvenir budget?

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