10 Disney Souvenirs That Aren’t a Complete Waste of Money

Going to Disney World or Disneyland is a great family vacation, but there are drawbacks. If you don’t know the tricks to make it affordable, visiting a Disney park can get really expensive really fast. Resort hotels, meal passes, and other add-ons are the biggest wastes of money in the realm. Then there are the Disney souvenirs everywhere you turn. You know you’ll have to pay up to get them, but there are some you should avoid and some that are worth seeking out.

Planning a Disney vacation? You’ll have your choice of souvenirs to take home, many of which are a waste of money. These, however, are not.

1. Autographed items

Disney/Pixar's new 3D animation movie "Toy Story 3" character Jessie signs autographs

Have them sign something unique. | Max Nash/AFP/Getty Images

The Disney characters love interacting with fans and signing autographs. Instead of collecting them in a book you’ll hardly look at, TripSavvy advises having the characters sign something useful, like a canvas bag or backpack. Bring your own Sharpie and sign-able item, and you’ll end up with a unique and usable souvenir. As long as you’re not wearing it, characters sign clothing such as hats or t-shirts, too.

Next: What to get instead of the mouse ears.

2. Clothing

Disney sweatshirt

The clothes may be worth your money. | ShopDisney

Forget those novelty mouse-ear hats that are extremely popular Disney souvenirs. You’ll look silly wearing them outside the park, and they’ll go to the back of the closet once you get home. However, some of the clothes sold in the parks are actually worth your money. According to DisneyFantatic, some of the clothes you see at Disney aren’t for sale anywhere else.

Next: Decorate the house any way you want.

3. Disney art on demand

Disney art

You can design your own art. | Disney

Disney souvenirs don’t get any more unique than this. TripSavvy writes that Disney art on demand lets you design your own artwork from an extensive menu. The one catch is the on-demand kiosk is only at Disneyland.

Next: A souvenir you’ll use every day.

4. Disney Tech

Disney tech on demand

Make your own phone case. | Disney

Chances are you or your kids use a cell phone or a computer almost every day. You can remember your Disney vacation every time you send a text message with Disney Tech. You can design your own phone case in a shop at Disney World, or buy one online before or after your trip.

Next: A yearly reminder of your Disney vacation.

5. Holiday decorations

Disney Christmas ornament

You can get them pretty much anywhere. | ShopDisney

As far as Disney souvenirs go, Christmas ornaments and other holiday decorations should last a lifetime. Plus, you don’t have to hunt all over the park for them since TripSavvy reports they’re for sale all over at Disney World and Disneyland.

Next: An entire subset of Disney culture.

6. Pins

Disney pins

The pins have their own rules. | ShopDisney

Pins are just about the only Disney souvenirs you don’t have to break $20 to buy. Prices start at $6.95 and range up to $12.95 per pin, and once you leave the park you can put the pins almost anywhere. Plus, once you have your first pin you’re part of the pin-trading part of Disney culture. Just make sure you know the rules first.

Next: Perfect for watching Aladdin for the 1,000th time.

7. Popcorn buckets

It’s expensive but you can reuse it. | Kitzcorner/iStock/Getty Images

Once you get past the $15 purchase price, popcorn buckets are Disney souvenirs that are actually worth your money. Refills cost $1.75, which is practically free in Disney dollars. When you’re back at home they’re the perfect couch companions when you’re watching your favorite Disney movies.

Next: The best way to relive your Disney highlights.

8. Professional photos

Disney family photo

Memories to last a lifetime. | Disney

Between the selfies and the stranger offering to take your photo, you’ll have a lot of pictures to commemorate your Disney trip. Yet to truly capture the highlights, you should probably leave it to the professionals. The Disney PhotoPass photographers make sure the entire family is in the picture, and TripSavvy writes the photographers like adding little surprises. The best part? You get to preview the photos and there’s no commitment to buy.

Next: The only Disney souvenirs that are truly you.

9. Silhouettes

Disney silhouettes

They’ll make the silhouette before your eyes. | Disney

If you have great peripheral vision, you can watch this souvenir being made before your eyes. Considering how much you have to spend getting into a Disney park, the small fee for a personalized silhouette — at one time it was just $8 for the cut-out and $7.95 for the frame — makes it one of the most affordable Disney souvenirs you’re going to find.

Next: A Disney reminder anywhere you go.

10. Travel mugs

Coffee mug disney

You’ll get some use out of this one. | ShopDisney

If you’re a morning coffee drinker or an afternoon tea drinker, you might already have a travel mug at home. Why not swap it out for a Disney version as a way to remember your vacation? Sure, you can buy travel mugs online, but grabbing one at the park is a sensible and affordable memento.

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