It’s no secret that a Disney World vacation costs A LOT of money! There’s the cost of the hotel room, theme park tickets, food, and all the other little things that add up. And of course the kiddos (and grownups) will want souvenirs, leaving you to wonder: How can I make everyone happy and not break the bank on souvenirs?
Believe it or not there are FREE — yes, FREE — goodies all around Disney World that not only make great souvenirs, but will make kids of all ages happy! And today, our good friends at Small World Vacations are sharing their tips and tricks on how to score some FREE (and almost free or at least inexpensive) souvenirs at Walt Disney World.
Where Can You Find FREE Souvenirs at Disney World?
Freebies at the Theme Parks
When you think about Disney World you don’t often think about getting things for free, but you’ll actually find a lot of great little trinkets and surprises that are totally FREE! You’ll find a lot of these items in the theme parks, but a few can also be found at resort hotels.
If you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, engagement, wedding, or anything else be sure to pick up a Celebration button from guest services at each of the theme parks (or at the front desk of your hotel). And be sure to wear your button during your trip — sometimes extra pixie dusted magic happens!
Getting autographs from characters is always a fun part of a Disney trip, but instead of buying an autograph book, bring a T-shirt, hat, picture frame, or pillowcase from home and ask the Disney characters to sign it for a unique autograph. (Of course, an autograph book is a popular option, but they’re not free!).
In Epcot, each World Showcase Pavilion has a “Kidcot” Fun Stop where kids can get a little card and stickers in a cute “luggage” Ziploc bag. A Cast Member from that country will write on the card or stamp it as if it were a passport, and kids can use the markers at the craft station to color their cards. If they collect all 11 World Showcase country cards, they’ll get a Mickey postcard.
As you’re traveling to the theme parks, remember to ask for a transportation card from the bus drivers, Monorail driver, or boat captains. There are 27 cards in total and they feature a different mode of transportation and character on the front. The back of each card is filled with stats all about that particular mode of transportation – try to collect them all!
In Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom, you’ll find a fun scavenger hunt called “A Pirate’s Adventure – Treasures of the Seven Seas.” Pick up a free treasure map and talisman at The Crow’s Nest and follow the clues to solve a mystery. Once you collect all five cards in the game, you’ll get a sixth card signed by Captain Jack! You can also get a a free Beauty and the Beast themed bookmark when you participate in the play at Enchanted Tales with Belle.
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Cast Members at character meet and greets, gift shops, and food stands will also have free stickers available that they’ll be happy to hand out — all you’ve gotta do is ask!
When you’re visiting the the Magic Kingdom, you’ll want to visit the Main Street Firehouse to pick up free Sorcerers of the Kingdom Magic cards and map. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is an interactive scavenger hunt for the entire family — but you can still get the cards even if you aren’t doing the scavenger hunt. And if you’re attending a holiday party at Halloween or Christmas, you’ll want to stop in for a party-exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card!
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, if your young padawan is lucky enough to be chosen for Jedi Training in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, ask for a Jedi Certificate as a keepsake.
If you’re dining at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Hollywood Studios remember to ask your server for a driver’s license! (You can also ask for a license at the Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom).
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom the kiddos can participate in the Wilderness Explorers program and keep the free activity handbook, pencil, and stickers. If they complete the experiences in the handbook they also get a special prize!
And one of our favorite freebies is the Festival Passport you can pick up at the Epcot festivals! You can pick these up at various locations throughout the festivals and track your eats, sips, and more.
Each festival has its own passport filled with booth menus, information on the festival, and stickers, and they make a great souvenir!
Freebies at Your Disney World Hotel
Theme parks aren’t the only places for free stuff — you’ll also find some fun freebies at your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel!
When you arrive at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort you’ll be treated to a free colorful handmade Hawaiian lei which is always fun to wear as you dine at ‘Ohana!
Do you have a collection of pens and note pads from your hotel rooms at Disney World? We won’t judge — they do make fun souvenirs! And, some of the lounges and restaurants also have fun coasters that you can take home — maybe to use at your next get together? Who wouldn’t want to set their drink on a coaster from Oga’s Cantina?
Several of the Disney World hotels also offer free tours and classes, including a free character sketch class at Disney’s Art of Animation and a culinary tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. And some hotels also offer a map of the hidden Mickeys at the hotel — be sure to ask at the front desk! There’s a great hidden Mickey hunt at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge that you’ll want to try!
Inexpensive Souvenirs That You’ll Want to Check Out
While there’s a lot of great FREE stuff at Disney World, there are also some great inexpensive souvenirs that are easy on the budget.
Stop by Ye Old Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square or Disney’s Days of Christmas in Disney Springs and pick out a Christmas ornament that’ll remind you of your vacation. Add a extra dose of magic and get the ornaments personalized with the year of your visit.
In the theme parks, stop by the Pick-a-Pearl stand in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion (or the one located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort). You never know what size pearl you’ll find inside the oysters that the Cast Members open for you — it’s a fun surprise for the whole family!
Want to read more about free souvenirs? Click here to check out more freebies at Disney World!
You can also try your hand at pin trading — which can be inexpensive if you keep your collecting to a minimum. It’s a good idea to bring older pins from home to trade with Cast Members to keep the cost down. Disney also has collectible patches that you can buy to sew on clothes, bags, and more!
There are a lot of Disney snacks that make great (and inexpensive) souvenirs including lollipops, Mickey Krispy Treats, and character cookies. These are also a good last-minute purchase if you have a lot of Disney Dining Plan snack credits to use up! Try not to eat them all before you get home.
Other fun and inexpensive souvenirs include hand-cut paper silhouettes created by an artist on Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom, a first haircut certificate from the Main Street Barber Shop at the Magic Kingdom, and even pressed pennies!
If you’re going to collect pressed pennies, you’ll want to bring a roll of pennies and a roll of quarters so you’re not digging for change when you get to the pressed penny machines.
Those are just a few of our favorite free and inexpensive souvenirs you’ll find at Disney World! What’s your favorite free (or almost free) souvenir at Disney World?
Looking for more freebies on your Disney World vacation? Check out this video!
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