11 Disney Gifts to Purchase in Advance

July 31, 2015

Going to Disney with your family will be an unforgettable experience for you and your children, but we all know that this trip of a lifetime can get quite expensive. That is why we wanted to write this blog post to help you save some money if you plan ahead and do some pre-trip shopping at local retail stores like Walmart, Wallgreens, Target, or even online retailers like Amazon and eBay. Even items at the Disney store online are also generally cheaper than buying the same items in the park. There are definitely certain things that you will want to buy at Disney, and you can check our suggestions for those must-have Disney items on this blog post. But if you are on  a budget and would like to save some serious money, here’s what you can buy prior to your trip:


Poncho- There is no reason to pay top dollar for a poncho bought at Disney that looks exactly the same as a store-bought one. This cute Frozen poncho, for example, is sold at Walmart. Or you can just get plain ponchos at the dollar store for even cheaper. For the environment’s sake, try to re-use your ponchos. Pocahontas says thank you!


Autograph book- these look EXACTLY the same as the ones bought at Disney and are usually a few dollars cheaper than buying in the park.


Stuffed animal- buy your children’s favorite stuffed-animal character and save it to give it to them when they ask for one at the gift shop.


Candy- so many options of wrapped candy you can buy in advance without spending your sweet money on movie theater priced candy in the parks.


Fan- buy a fan if you are going to Disney during the summer. You can find easily Disney-themed ones online or at retail stores in Orlando.


Ears- Mickey and Minnie ears are a classic and not hard to find online.


Sunglasses- when at Disney, dress like it! It’s very hot and bright at Disney World most of the year, so buy the kids some cool Disney shades. Make sure they offer UVA and UVB protection.


Princess crown- you can fix your daughter’s hair at home by watching online videos that teach you how to achieve the same hairdo kids get at the Disney’s Bippity Boppity Boutique and just add the crown yourself. If you are not feeling artsy, you can also try the amazing Reflections Spa at Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa that will pamper your princess at a more affordable price than the Magic Kingdom salon. Plus, you can set up an early appointment before heading out to the park so you don’t miss any minute of your Disney day!


Costume: make the experience whole and buy your kid’s favorite costume to wear to the park. Tip: Make sure you take a change of clothes as costumes can get very hot and uncomfortable as the day goes by.


Trading pins: buy them cheaper online to trade in the parks, but just beware of counterfeits. When you see online sellers selling a bundle of 10+ pins for less than $20, that should tell you it’s too good to be true. Only original pins are tradable at Disney, so don’t buy the fake ones if you plan on trading. You can still find original ones online, but they are usually sold by themselves and not in a bundle. The main criteria to judge whether a pin is trade-able or not is that it must be a metal pin bearing a “©Disney” mark on the back that represents a Disney Event, Place or Location, Character or Icon.


Shirt: buy matching shirts for the whole family, or shirts featuring your kids’ favorite characters.




All of the gifts mentioned above can be saved to be given to your kids sparingly during your trip. Most every ride at Disney lets you out inside of a gift shop, so be smart and pack smaller gifts in your backpack before you head out to the parks. The kids will still want specific gifts they see at the stores, but a few cheaper gifts will distract them a bit and allow you to reason better with them! Disney-themed pencil, coloring books, story books, cups and small toys are also great to take in the backpack!