Free(ish) Souvenirs from Disney
It is always fun to come home from Disney with a lot of souvenirs. For me, the souvenirs are something I can look at to remember our fun trip and I love that. However, buying a lot of souvenirs in Disney World can get expensive pretty fast. While it is fun to buy souvenirs, don’t forget about the free souvenirs that come along with your vacation.
Well, considering how much you pay for your vacation, they’re not technically free, but you don’t have to shell out any extra cash for them. So, it feels like they are free and I that works for me.
A couple of these free souvenirs you can actually get before you even book your trip. There is a Disney Planning DVD that is free for everyone to order. It’s pretty nice that you don’t have to pay for it. I order one for every trip and it’s so much fun to see what they have added to each DVD. There is a lot of good information and they take you through planning your trip to Disney World and Disneyland. Also on the DVD is information about Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney. If you are thinking of taking a Disney vacation then I would definitely take advantage of this free DVD.
Another freebie you can get before you book your trip is a customized map for each park. I did this years ago, before they even started building New Fantasyland, but they still have them and it’s a pretty nice free service Disney offers you. Just go to this page to start customizing your maps. You can pick from two different boarder options and then you can pick which attractions you want to include on your map. It’s actually very helpful. Since you don’t have to have all the attractions on there it makes it easier to “map out” your day (see what I did there…insert groans here). I would recommend taking advantage of the free customized maps. You can print them out yourself or they will mail them to you. Like with any mailing or shipments from Disney, it takes a while, but the paper it is printed on is better than the regular printer paper. At least, it was when I ordered them a few years ago. If anything, it’s fun to play around with the maps!
Now, once you have booked your trip there are a couple of things that Disney will send you that you don’t pay extra for. The first is a box, which is actually a very nice little box, with a booklet about your upcoming trip and a flash drive that has a little video on it. We received ours about a month or two before our trip. Once you have watched your video you can delete it and just use the flash drive to store whatever you want. It has a Mickey symbol on it that turns green when it is plugged in. We have two and we use them all the time. A little extra magic added to everyday life!
***Update: We had posted that Disney was not sending the flash drive anymore, but since then we have been told that a family who booked a trip to Disney has received a flash drive. So, it looks like Disney is continuing this very cool free souvenir! Good news there!***
A little bit after the box and flash drive are delivered to your house, the Magicbands will show up too. These are included with the price of your reservation and you keep them after your trip. These make fun souvenirs. My daughter still loves to wear hers and she’s excited to pick out her next band. The Magicbands are a nice reminder of your Disney trip and if you have multiple bands that are different colors, you can choose a color that fits your mood for the day!
When you check-in at your resort make sure to ask for a button if it is a first trip or if you are celebrating something. These buttons are free and they are fun to wear in the parks. The buttons will usually get responses from cast members and, depending on what button you are wearing, some guests. They have birthday buttons, just engaged buttons, 1st visit buttons, and general celebration buttons where you can write in what you are celebrating. Sometimes, the birthday guest will get surprised with birthday desserts (usually a cupcake) at some restaurants. A little extra pixie dust for those celebrating their birthdays. Cast members have been known to do things for people celebrating other kinds of occasions and that just adds to the magic. I’ve seen people use the celebration buttons to celebrate anniversaries, graduations, divorces, and being cancer free (I love seeing those buttons!). So if you have something to celebrate, make sure to grab one of those buttons. As I said, you can ask for them when you are checking in and I believe they also have them at the parks where you purchase tickets.
You can also find some free souvenirs in your room. The most popular souvenirs from the rooms are the bath products that Disney has. Some people even ask mousekeeping for more to bring home. The bottles and soaps that they have now are really nice. A couple of them have Mickey ears on the cap, so cute! The scent is ‘blushing orange’ and it has a nice sweet smell. The other H2O+ bottles have Tinker Bell on them and their scent is ‘grapefruit bergamot.’ Those have a sweet smell too, but neither are overpowering. The other bottle does not have a scent to it, it’s just regular shampoo and conditioner.
The soaps are also part of the H2O+ line. The ones with Mickey’s face have the ‘blushing orange’ scent. The soap in the blue wrapper is bath soap, the orange wrapper is facial soap, and the clear wrappers with Tinker Bell are a sea salt bath soap and a sea salt facial soap. Not bad for something that is included with the room!
Also in the room are pens and note pads with the Walt Disney World logo on them. People like to collect the pens from each trip. They are not that exciting, but they do say Disney on them. The same thing goes for the note pads. There is nothing special about them, except for the Disney World logo, so some people like to collect the pads too.
Something else that comes with the room is a nice folder with all sorts of information pamphlets. These will give you information about your resort and the parks. I like to keep these as souvenirs because it’s fun to go back and look to see how Disney has changed over the years. The information folders that they hand out at check-in are so nice! I couldn’t throw them out. Plus, it’s fun to look through them and relive your time at the resort. Different resorts have different color folders. Below are the folders from Kidani Village and Pop Century.
Kidani’s Information Folder
Pop Century’s Information Folder
Each of the parks, including the water parks, and Downtown Disney have free maps that you can take to find your way around each of the locations. You can keep these maps and make some fun things with them when you get home. I have seen pictures of jewelry, coasters, mugs, etc., where people have decoupaged the Disney maps onto them. I like the way the coasters look and I think I might have to try this project for a future post. Also, you don’t have to stick to the park and Downtown Disney maps. You will get a map of your resort when you check in, so you can use that too. If you like to try different resorts each time you go to Disney, you can make a nice collection of decoupaged items with all the different resort maps. Wine glasses might be a fun project for resort maps or if you have old ornaments that need some freshening up, this project would be perfect.
The free souvenirs do not stop when you leave the resort. After we had been home for a month or so we received a piece of mail from Disney. I thought it was just going to be an offer to try to get us to book again or something along those lines, but I liked what they actually sent much better! It was a drawing of Mickey signed by the artist (a copy, of course, but still very cool!). Along with the picture was a thank you note and a little information about the artist who drew Mickey. Such a fun piece of Disney mail to receive!
There are quite a few souvenirs that come with the price of your vacation, so you don’t have pay extra for them. It is always nice to feel like you are getting something for free! So, on your next Disney trip, keep your eyes open for all the souvenirs that are not an extra charge. They are a great reminder of your time in Disney!
Thanks for reading!
Ross explains the art of hotel freebies (I know it’s not Disney, but it’s my other obsession, ‘Friends’)
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