I’m so bad when it comes to buying Disney souvenirs because I want everything. Rice Krispie treats? Sign me up. New Minnie Ears? You got it. Loungefly backpacks? Don’t mind if I do. I once bought so many souvenirs on my Disney honeymoon that I had to visit Disney Springs to buy a brand new suitcase just to bring them all back with me.
Whether you share my affinity for buying everything Disney has ever released or not, we can all agree that buying a souvenir during your Disney World vacation is a quintessential part of the experience. But what about buying them BEFORE you visit? Buying Disney souvenirs before you go has a lot of upsides.
Here are the best Disney souvenirs to buy before you go and answers to some of the most common questions about what to get:
What are Disney Souvenirs?
Disney souvenirs are anything that is purchased in the Disney parks. This includes everything from stuffed animals to clothing, housewares, jewelry, pins, Minnie Ears, game boards, and toys. But, truthfully this list can stretch from infinity to beyond and include pressed pennies, footwear, Legacy Lightsabers, popcorn buckets, and souvenir drinkware.
These items can be found in many areas around each park, at hotel gift shops, and at Disney Springs. They can even be found at the Orlando International Airport, not to mention countless “bootleg” stores around Orlando, FL that have discounted Disney items.
Why Buy Ahead of Your Trip
As many Disney fans already know, the demand for popular items has increased over the past few years. I mean, we all remember those wild videos of guests running through the Emporium trying to get their hands on some shiny, 50th-anniversary tumblers or waiting nine hours for a Figment popcorn bucket.
But there’s a reason for this: resellers. Though Disney has done their best to limit how many popular, in-demand items guests can purchase at the parks, many resellers are still able to get their hands on tons of brand new merchandise to flip for profit, leaving little behind for the fans who desperately want them. This is a huge reason why you should try to buy those in-demand souvenirs ahead of your trip. Otherwise, chances are, you’re not going to be able to find them in the parks by the time you visit.
Things Sell Out Fast
Many new items, like the Scarlet Witch Minnie Ears, are available online for a brief amount of time, and Disney doesn’t publicize when their online restocks are – though I’ve heard many people were able to snag those in-demand items around 3 or 4 a.m.
So, trying to do this before your trip can give you the best chance of being able to wear them on your vacation. Or, if you want, you can try to find a personal shopper you feel comfortable with to purchase them on your behalf before you go. You can find many of these personal shoppers in Disney-based Facebook groups. Or, if you have friends that are local to either Walt Disney World or Disneyland.
shopDisney Sales and Coupons
Another reason you should shop ahead of time is that you may be able to use coupons from Disney’s website, or if you find Disney items elsewhere, other discounts that get you the same item for a lesser price. Or, you can take advantage of different sales. For example, as of publication, ShopDisney has the new Dooney & Bourke Disney Cats backpack on sale for $184.98 down from $268.
Less to Carry
Last but not least, buying souvenirs before your Disney vacation means carrying less during your actual trip. I’m sure we’ve all been there: you get to Hollywood Studios and stop in Celebrity 5&10 and find the perfect tumbler or Spirit Jersey to bring home with you. While you don’t want to carry it around the parks, you buy it anyway because you don’t want to miss out on it.
Buying things during your trip used to be a lot easier with Merchandise Pickup and Delivery Services, which used to transport anything you bought at the parks back to your Disney resort. I loved this service so much, as I’m sure many Disney guests did too, but since COVID-19, this complimentary service has been paused. Since this service is gone, buying certain souvenirs that you wouldn’t use in the parks anyway beforehand can save you a lot of hassle during your trip.
Read more: What to Buy Before Your Disney Vacation
Best Disney Souvenirs
The best Disney souvenirs are going to vary depending on who you ask, but these are some of the most popular fan favorites:
- Mickey Ears
- Loungefly Backpacks/Dooney & Bourke Bags
- Pressed Pennies
- Stuffed Animals/Disney NuiMos
- Disney Mugs/Tumblers
- Disney Pins
- Popcorn Buckets
- Clothing and Spirit Jerseys
- Autograph Books
- Christmas Ornaments – did you know you can get your ornaments customized at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe at the Magic Kingdom and 12 Days of Christmas at Disney Springs? Personalizing your ornament with either your name or the year of your trip is only $3.00 per ornament. If you want to add a month, day, and year, it costs $9.00, and every additional word will cost $3.00 after that.
What to Do When the Disney Souvenir You Want is Gone
Walking into the Emporium only to discover that the item you’ve been itching to buy is sold out is horrible. I’ve been on the hunt for one of those Disney ghost pillows for years now and can never seem to get my hands on one no matter what time of year I visit. The same goes for those Tower of Terror mouse ears that always seem to be restocked at Hollywood Studios AFTER I leave.
You have several options when the Disney souvenir you want is gone:
Ask a Cast Member
First and foremost, go ahead and ask the Cast Member if the item is going to be restocked. Even though they may not know the answer every time, it never hurts to ask. Likewise, you can ask them if they’re aware of any other stores on Disney property that sell this item.
This applies to any company that collaborates with Disney. A few months ago when Vera Bradley launched their Little Mermaid collection, I waited too long to buy the duffle. I reached out to them on Instagram and asked if they were doing a restock. While they initially responded and said, “no,” I got a message from them the next morning saying they were restocked and I was able to buy it.
Visit Multiple Stores
Disney souvenirs are so popular that chances are, you’ll find a lot of the same items throughout Disney property. While Figment items may be more concentrated in Epcot than Disney Springs, it never hurts to go check out as many stores as you can to increase your chances of finding those in-demand items.
Case and point: when Galaxy’s Edge was first announced, they said that all the souvenirs in that land would be exclusive to that area, however, as we’ve seen with the Legacy Lightsabers, that’s not the case, as they’ve popped up throughout Hollywood Studios and even briefly at Disney Springs.
Check Back Before You Leave
If you browse the store in the morning, be sure to check it again before you leave. Items are constantly being restocked throughout the day, so check back often to maximize your chances.
Visit the Disney Character Warehouse
If you have time, go ahead and check out the Disney Character Warehouse at the Orlando Premium Outlets. There are two locations close to one another and they have park-exclusive merchandise available at a discounted rate. Most recently, we’ve been able to score some much-coveted Stoney Clover Lane Disney pouches and duffles.
While the Disney Character Warehouse is not going to have the hottest in-demand items, they might have them after the lust for them has calmed down.
Read more: Disney Souvenirs Under Ten Dollars
Like the parks, ShopDisney is always restocking items. The best way to stay in the know about new releases is to sign up for their emails or follow them on social media for merchandise updates. Though they don’t offer a waiting list at this time, staying on top of the website to see when popular park items pop up online is going to be one of your best options when you arrive back home.
Buy Them From a Reseller
I have a lot to say about resellers at Disney – mainly that they buy up a lot of products and make it impossible for other fans to get their hands on what they want. BUT, if you want those sold-out items, it may be your best bet. My advice is to wait a few weeks.
For example, the new Figment popcorn buckets that came out a few months ago were being flipped on eBay for several hundred dollars. Now, I’ve seen them sell for as little as $88.00. Yeah, it’s still a lot of money, but it’s a huge price drop to where they were a few months ago.
How Much Money Should You Bring for Disney Souvenirs?
The average family of four should bring anywhere from $200-$300 for souvenirs during their vacation. Granted, this is just a starting point that could comfortably get everyone in the party a t-shirt, pin, stuffed animal, or coffee mug. Loungefly backpacks, of course, are going to cost more money, so you’ll need to budget more.
My best tip is to take a look at how much these items cost online before your trip so that you can better budget for them.
Read more: How Much Does it Cost to Go to Disney World?
Getting Disney Souvenirs Can Be Stressful, But You Do Have Options
Remember, Disney is constantly restocking fan favorites. So if you can’t get your hands on the item during your visit, I promise you’ll be able to get your hands on most items at a later date. Limited items like the Figment popcorn bucket are going to be more difficult since they’re so exclusive, so you’ll have to plan ahead but these items are more of the exception than the rule.
Trying to get your hands on souvenirs at Disney can be very stressful, but keep in mind that you do have options. I hope this list helps you out!
As a self-proclaimed Mouseketeer, Courtney Dercqu is a fan of all things Disney. Between decorating her desk with souvenirs from the park, to making unique mouse ears and having a dedicated Disney Instagram, Courtney is a true believer in the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation. Having had more than 200 articles published on various content, Courtney’s excited to share her knowledge and experience with everyone! Be sure to follow her on Instagram for all the Disney magic.