By: Jennifer Romano
When you make a visit to the World, you just cannot leave without some sort of remembrance of your trip. The stores on Main Street beckon to you to purchase something, anything with Mickey Mouse stamped prominently on it. I, of course, being as Disney obsessed as I am, find it very hard to make it through one of these tantalizing stores without purchasing something. Disney knows what they are doing with product placement and every cute collectible that lines the shelves in the many stores that populate the World. However, you do not have to spend your hard earned vacation money on all of those souvenirs if you know how to opt for some inexpensive and sometimes free items of which everyone is not aware. In this article, let’s take a look at the free items that you can collect as you tour WDW.
First, many people grab a park map as they enter the Magic Kingdom or one of the other parks. These maps are not only useful for helping you navigate your journey; they are also great keepsakes from your trip. On your last day, grab a few maps and save them in an envelope so that they stay unwrinkled. When you get home, you can decorate with them, or you can use them for scrapbooking. In addition, if you are a collector, you can keep maps in folders labeled by date, and then as you go on many trips through the years, you can see how the parks have changed as time has gone on. Also, you can see how the maps themselves have changed.
Another free souvenir idea involves the pin on buttons that Disney distributes to guests who are celebrating something. These buttons are free and they can be picked up throughout the parks. In the Magic Kingdom, you can find them at City hall, and the rest of the parks usually have these buttons at Guest Relations. You can even get them when you first check into your resort if you stay on property. These buttons offer you the chance to tell everyone in the World that it is your birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, or that you are just celebrating in general. If you proudly wear your buttons, every castmember will go out of his or her way in order to make you feel special. For example, my husband and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary, and we ate at the Plaza Restaurant on Main Street. Our server saw our buttons and brought bride and groom Mickey ears for us to wear. Not only did we get to enjoy a special dessert as well, we got to keep the Mickey ears! Needless to say, we enjoyed this little instance of Disney magic.
After you procure your celebrating button, you are probably going to want to experience some rides. There are some rides, namely the Speedway in Tomorrowland that will give you a little remembrance of your time in the parks. The castmembers will give a young driver a Tomorrowland Driver’s License. This is exciting for little mouseketeers, and it also makes a wonderful keepsake. Don’t worry adults; you can get your driver’s license too if you just kindly ask a castmember!
In WDW, you can even collect stickers. If you ride watercraft, take a survey, or just wander down Main Street after park opening, you can collect some fantastic, special stickers. I have seen the fire chief hand out really special stickers on Main Street as well. If you trek over to EPCOT and meet Duffy, you can also receive a sticker that says you just hugged Duffy the Disney Bear. These are only a few of the stickers that are available. I have seen prince and princess stickers, Beauty and Beast stickers, as well as many others.
Lastly, this souvenir does not even require you to ride a ride or hunt for anything. Every time you visit WDW, pick a special spot in the park and take a family photo. Whenever you return to the World, take the picture again in the exact same spot. If you do this for a number of years, you will see how your family has changed over the years as well as how the park has grown and changed. When you get home, you can print these pictures and frame them or scrapbook with them. This is a wonderful way to celebrate your vacations!
Overall, there are many collectible items and special moments that you can find in the World that will not cost you anything. These items are fun, and they provide you with a reminder of all of the magic that you created on your trip!