Sometimes you’re at Disney World and you treat yourself to that awesome Dooney & Bourke bag, diamond Mickey pendant, or custom Disney artwork. Huzzah and glad tidings to your good fortune!
But there will also be times when those big budget items are just not in the cards. There may be many situations where you need to buy something at Disney World, but don’t want to break the bank. A few of these reasons might include:
You need to placate a child. Don’t judge, we’ve all resorted to the occasional bribe.
You need to bring a token gift to someone at home. For example, the neighbor kid who watered your plants merits just a little something.
You have to bring a bunch of small somethings to a group. For example, everyone in your child’s preschool class gets a small gift. Or you’re getting favors for a party.
You’re on an extremely strict budget, but you want just a little something to commemorate your trip.
You’re participating in a Secret Santa or similar gift exchange or game with a small expenditure limit.
It’s all too easy to find expensive Disney souvenirs at the parks, but finding little trinkets can often be a challenge. Here’s a photo tour of some ideas for small purchases in the Disney parks. Each of the items pictured below has been available for about $20.00 or less during spring 2023. Please be aware that the merchandise mix at the Disney parks is constantly changing. The photos below are meant to be a general illustration of the types of inexpensive items you might encounter at the parks, there is no guarantee that any specific item will be available at the time of your visit.
Merchandise items and pricing can obviously change, but some guidelines to consider when looking for cheap treats include:
Consider getting consumables for the folks at home. Your dog walker might not want a Mickey key chain (especially if she’s never been to Disney World), but she might enjoy some Mickey cookies. Eating is better than trashing.
The “impulse buy” bins near the registers are a good source of cheap swag.
Small kids are often enticed by quantity rather than quality. A few small things might be as good, or better, than one large thing for a child in collector mode.
A child who wants to spend just a few dollars of his own money on a souvenir may need to be pointed to items in the correct price range.
The stores in the EPCOT World Showcase countries often have unique trinkets. If you don’t need your souvenir to say “Disney,” this is a great place to look. The Japan pavilion has some particularly wacky items.
Some small purchases can double as an activity as well as a souvenir. For example, pressed pennies and photo booth shots are things to do AND things to take home.
Remember that not everything you take home has to cost money. There are some items available for free at Disney World that can function as great souvenirs. Celebration buttons are a classic example of this.
A few other notes to keep in mind:
If something is Disney branded, there are likely many places to obtain the item. The larger stores on WDW property – those with the largest selections – are the Emporium on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, World of Disney at Disney Springs, and the Creations Shop (formerly Mouse Gear) at EPCOT. Anything Disney branded might also be found at Disneyland, on ShopDisney.com, or even in the Disney shops at Orlando International Airport.
The exception to the idea that Disney-branded items are found in many places is if something is branded to a particular attraction or a particular resort. For example, many Tower of Terror embellished items will only be found at the Tower of Terror gift shop and Saratoga Springs items will only be found at Saratoga Springs.
There will always be merchandise tied to the latest Disney/Pixar/Marvel/Star Wars films. Don’t expect this to be available more than a few months after interest in the production wanes. That said, Disney is always adding to its roster of classics – and those items will stick around.
There are some small items that you might think should be available for $20, but you’d be sadly wrong. Among these items are Mickey/Minnie ear headbands (most start at about $35), baseball caps (most start at about $25), holiday ornaments (there are a few exceptions, but most start at about $25), and tee shirts (there are a few exceptions, but most child’s tees start at about $25 and most adult tees start at $35). Many standard mugs cost about $20, but large, fancy, or insulated mugs cost much more. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
This list is not exhaustive, nor is it meant to be, but it should give you a good general idea of the types of items you’ll find at Disney World at a low to moderate price point.
And now on to the photo tour of souvenirs costing about $20.00 and under …
Click on photos to enlarge. If a location is not mentioned in the caption, assume that you can find it at many locations in the Walt Disney World parks and resorts.
What’s your favorite inexpensive souvenir from Disney World? Let us know in the comments!
Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.