Auntie Tip: Bringing the Magic Home

Although Vacationearing is about planning Walt Disney World vacations around the things you love, unfortunately, vacations don’t last forever. To help ease the transition, make sure you bring some of the magic home with you.

Disneyland WALL-E Pressed NickelYou might assume this means buying souvenirs, but there are a lot of free and almost free alternatives to what you find in the gift shops. Here are some examples:

  • Digital photos
  • Guide maps and times guides
  • Information packet from your resort
  • Tickets
  • FASTPASSes
  • Character autographs
  • Pressed pennies (only 51 cents!), nickels, dimes, and quarters
  • Birthday and other celebration buttons (request them at Guest Relations)
  • Confetti (be sure to bring a baggie to keep it in)

If you do want to buy souvenirs, you have a multitude of options. Many of the stores in Walt Disney World carry similar merchandise, so if you spot something you like and don’t have time to buy it right then, chances are you’ll see it again. The exception is if the merchandise is clearly tied to your current location (e.g. Tower of Terror merchandise in the gift shop you exit through after riding Tower of Terror). We usually save our souvenir shopping for a trip to the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney on the day we leave. I advise taking pictures of souvenirs you’re thinking about buying so you can remember them later.

Erica the VacationearThe classic souvenir is, of course, Mickey ear hats. Those can be found in many locations, such as The Chapeau on Main Street, U.S.A. or MouseGear in Epcot. I finally got my first pair of classic Mickey ears in Magic Kingdom in 2010. If you are getting a first pair of ears for your child, remember you get free “first haircut” Mickey ears when you get their hair cut at Harmony Barber Shop. If you want to get Mickey ears before your trip so you can wear them from the second you get on property, you can order them from the Disney Store online. Or, if you’re reading this before March 28, 2012, you could get free ears from your local Disney Store! They’re giving them away to the first 250 guests in each location; check here for details! (Thanks to Ashley, of One More Disney Day Sweepstakes fame, for this tip!)

Now, once you get your souvenirs home, you have to figure out what to do with them. I’m of the philosophy that you should only have things in your home that you either use or enjoy looking at. If your souvenirs are in a box in a basement, they don’t fit in either category! But if you find a way to display or scrapbook them, you can look at them whenever you want, and all those delightful memories can come flooding back.

I like to display my Disney stuff all together. It makes the collection look more impressive, and it keeps my entire house from turning Disney (not that that would necessarily be a bad thing). I moved a few months ago, so I had to plan a new place for the collection. I used blue painter’s tape to mark where I would hang the multitude of posters.

Using painter's tape to mark where to hang posters

Here it is finished!

How I display my collection of Disney memorabilia

I love being able to work surrounded by Disney magic! How do you bring the magic home with you from your trips?