How to Save Money on Souvenirs at Theme Parks

How to Save Money on Theme Park Souvenirs

If you have ever been to a theme park, you know that there are very few ways to do it super frugally. The food can cost a lot, getting in the gate can be ridiculous and then, of course, there are all the things kids (and adults) will want from all the gift shops. If you don’t want to spend far out of your budget on these items, here are some tips on how to save money on souvenirs at theme parks.

How to Save Money on Souvenirs at Theme Parks

Look for discounts at area grocery stores. Many times, you will find discount tickets for getting in the gate, but you can also find park “bucks” (some parks offer them) to use in the park with tickets as a package that you can use to buy your souvenirs.

Buy souvenirs before you go to the park. If you are heading to a place like Disney World, you can buy all kinds of merchandise that could be souvenirs if you buy them right before you go to the park. Buy fun T–shirts to wear to the park to help stave off the ‘I wants’ when you come across them in stores and gift shops.

Buy after you leave, online. Often, you can find souvenirs on sites like eBay and even Craigslist. Sometimes, just Googling the name of the theme park and ‘souvenirs’ may bring you to stores that sell discontinued and discounted stuff from the last season.

Go to the park near the end of the season or very beginning of the season. Most theme parks have new merchandise that comes out each season and they will often discount the older stuff to make room for the next season’s items.

Only allow each person to spend a certain amount on souvenirs. While this doesn’t save money on the price of the items, it does set a certain amount you will spend so you can budget better for the trip.

Watch social media. Sometimes, on theme parks’ social media accounts, they will offer a free souvenir with the purchase of a ticket pack. They also sometimes do giveaways for their souvenirs as well.

Do research on what freebies the park offers. Many of these freebies make great souvenirs and free is the best price of all! For instance, some parks offer free stickers, buttons, newsletters pictures and so on. You can also often buy refillable cups for the day at the park that allow you to get discounted or free drink refills all day. This, in turn, turns into it’s own souvenir after the day is over.

Look for season pass deals and ask if they come with any free souvenirs. Sometimes, season passes, early in the season, will offer a bonus of a free T–shirt or some other souvenirs to entice you to buy early.

About Taylor Nikaci

97 comments

  1. Liz Mays

    I often think to buy souvenirs upon my return elsewhere, but I never remember to buy them before I go. I need to do that!

  2. Nellwyn

    Great tips! Buying souvenirs right before is a great idea. I wouldn’t have thought of that!Nellwyn | http://www.thecardinalpress.com

  3. crystal

    We starting giving the kids gift cards to use for their souvenir purchases. It’s hard to say no when I’m in such a good mood, but, man, it can add up quick.

  4. Pam Wattenbarger

    That’s a really good idea. It helps them learn the value of money as well.

  5. Saidah Washington

    We used reward points to buy Disney gift cards to use for souvenirs. We racked up points befor our vacation and cashed in for about $200 in gift cards

  6. crystal

    That’s a great idea! I need to try that for our next vacation. Normally I save them for Christmas but this is another great use.

  7. kraushousemom

    When we go to a theme park we buy one thing (within a certain limit)and anything else the kids want they have to spend their own money. I works out well, they realize they need to do more work around the house if they don’t have enough money.

  8. Michele

    Very good advice! I don’t go to Theme parks anymore–but back when my friends kids were little—-the money all the adults spent was unbelievable. I’m not sure there were ways to save back then–but for all of you who still go–take this advice to heart!!.

  9. Neely (@Neelykins)

    WHat awesome tips! I love having things to remember trips by but it can be pricey!

  10. Theresa

    We give each girl $100 and tell them that when it’s gone, it’s gone. They really do think about spending well that way. Saves us from hearing “can I have this” through the whole trip too.

  11. Lisa Favre

    I didn’t realize that season passes could potentially come with free souvenirs. I may have been missing out all this time! These are really great tips.

  12. Lisa Collins

    These are great tips! We often buy before and pack them to surprise the kids at the hotel too!

  13. Kathy

    Souvenirs can be so expensive, it’s crazy! I agree about having everyone have a spending limit. That is such a great idea.

  14. Jessica Harlow

    These are all really great suggestions on how not to break the bank on souvenirs! I like the idea of thinking about it after the trip and finding something online to commemorate the trip!

  15. Ann Bacciaglia

    I think it is a great idea to buy souvenirs before you get to the park. I am planning to go to Disney next year and I am looking for ways to save some money.

  16. Winona Rogers

    I love to collect souvenirs when we travel. These are great tips for saving money.

  17. debra

    Great tips for saving money! I love having a set amount per person because it’s so tempting to spend more when you are there!

  18. Lindsay

    These are great tips! When I lived in Florida, the Publix (grocery store) in Celebration near Disney had aisles and aisles of Disney items for cheap! We all got free buttons (mine for my birthday and the boys for their first visit) at guest services. With the humidity, the drink cups you can refill are TOTALLY worth it!

  19. Tara

    Great tips! i have tried buying a souvenir to give the kids while we were there. It worked great!

  20. carrie@thelavenderhytta

    Great tips! We always got our souvenirs at other places than the parks!

  21. Alli Rutherford Smith

    When we go to Disney, my daughter always buys her souvenirs for the kids before arriving, especially t-shirts and stuff that you can get so much cheaper outside the park. These are all great tips.

  22. chrishelle ebner

    You can spend a ton on souvenirs at a theme park. We went to Disney last month and I swore we were not going to buy anything. I was kidding myself.

  23. Carol Cassara

    Theme parks are way too expensive for the normal family. If there are ways to let kids have souvenirs without breaking the bank, I am all for it!

  24. tina

    I had no idea there were deals like this at theme parks. I’m happy to share this information because I know a lot of people who are going to Disneyland in August!

  25. Paula Schuck

    Thanks for the awesome tips! I love getting souvenirs when we go to theme parks, but I DON’T love paying out the nose for them.

  26. Heather @ Kraus House Mom

    When we went to Disney I got a bunch of stuff at the Disney Store in Wrentham and I ordered their autograph books online. Then each kid got a Disney “credit card” (gift card) for whatever else they wanted to buy.

  27. Claire

    These are great tips to save money when visiting theme parks as it can get very expensive. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    We’ll be heading to a few theme parks this summer. This is great advice. I’m always looking for easy ways to save money and this is really smart!

  29. Sandy Mangis

    Great Ideas. Make it fun and then you do not wind up will all this stuff when you get home.

  30. workoutwithdi

    I have to admit I’m lucky, hubby is a disney employee so we get a discount already (plus free park entry). Funny we don’t go nearly as often we should.

  31. Pam Wattenbarger

    I love the free buttons that Disney has to offer. I got that and a Christmas ornament last time we were at Disney. We collect Christmas ornaments, though.

  32. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    This fits me perfectly. I love to get souvenirs, but I will only get the ones that don’t cost an arm and a leg. The trip is a memory on its own. There’s no way I’m paying $15 for trinkets.

  33. Megan McCoig

    Some great tips that I will be taking away with me! Thanks for sharing, I’m always overspending!

  34. Rachel Mouton

    This is great! The souvenirs are where I lose the most money. Thanks for helping me out.

  35. Jenn

    This is great advice. I can’t believe how much money we have spent on souvenirs while traveling with girls. it’s s in how expensive even the small items are.

  36. Autumn @Mamachallenge

    I love getting souvenirs when we go to a new place! However, I do not like spending an arm and a leg for them. Those are great ways to save some money!

  37. Terri Steffes

    Fantastic tips! Here’s another one: we’d buy a mickey or minnie at Walmart and wrap it up as a gift. When we got back to the hotel, she’d unwrap the gift and have her souvenir. It saved us a ton of money. We also did this: we dumped our change into a big jar all year and cashed it in before vacation. Whatever was in the jar was souvenir money for the family. We’d divide it evenly. Taught a lot of good lessons using the jar of change!

  38. Cindy Ingalls

    I can’t remember the last time I bought a park souvenir. However, when I did, I usually opted for one thing and stuck to it. I find it’s best to have an idea of what you want to buy before you go.

  39. Jeni Hawkins

    These are great tips! I never buy souvenirs because they are always so stinkin’ expensive! I’ll definitely be following some of your suggestions – especially following social media accounts!

  40. Cecile

    Great ideas! I always give my kids a specific budget and that’s what they can spend. Often it is money they earned themselves.

  41. Jeannette

    These are really great tips! The last time we went to Disney we ended up spending way more on each kid than we wanted to and while it was OK since it was a special time, next time I go I’ll be using some of your tips!

  42. Mj

    These are perfect tips for our upcoming trip to Disney. Now to get my husband to follow my lead. He is the frivolous spender when it comes to these things.

  43. Sarah Bailey

    These are some great tips – I wouldn’t have thought of looking at local stores of coupons! x

  44. She Joh

    These are great tips, I would have never thought to get the souvenirs before going to the theme park.

  45. Marcie W.

    These are helpful since souvenirs can become expensive. We actually found a discount store with a ton of great Disney merchandise near the actual park in Southern California. It is the best secret spot!

  46. Reesa Lewandowski

    These are great tips! This is such an easy way to save for your trip and during your trip.

  47. Rebecca Bryant

    Girl you got it ll right. these are the same tips i give everyone asking how I save on trips to disney.

  48. Sarah

    Thanks for some useful tips on how to save money on souvenirs at theme parks!

  49. Taylor

    This is great advice! My family loves going to theme parks and we are always tempted to buy cute souvenirs to remember our trip by. Buying the souvenirs for a cheaper price before hand and wearing/bringing the item(s) to the park makes it special!

  50. Elizabeth O.

    This post is perfect for the summer since most of us will be going to theme parks. I think the season pass is a great way to save money. You just have to look into deals as early as possible.

  51. Val

    These are great tips to share to help others save money on souvenirs, especially since we are now in theme park season!

  52. Christina Aliperti

    Great tips! We have a 1 per person rule, or else it just gets way too expensive!

  53. Amy Jones

    Great tips, souvenirs can often hit your pocket if you are not careful

  54. Michelle Gwynn Jones

    I agree. Everyone needs to know how much they can spend and how many people they want to buy for.

  55. Britni

    These are great tips. Souvenirs can get so expensive! I like the idea of looking once you get home!

  56. LauraOinAK

    I hadn’t heard about park bucks to save you money on purchases inside the park. Of course, I haven’t been to Disney in 25 years.

  57. adriana

    Great tips! I love to splurge on trips like this, but these are great ideas!! Doing things online/before hand for Disney help so much!

  58. Debra

    I usually buy all of our souvenirs beforehand and then bring them out in small waves when we get there. It makes things so much easier!

  59. Jillian Wade

    These are some awesome tips and things I hadn’t thought of before! I have seen discounted amusement park tickets at the grocery store, but I’ve never looked for discount “bucks” for purchases at the park. I’m SO going to look for these during my next grocery shopping trip!

  60. aziel morte

    This is a really good idea, so glad you share this

  61. Rebecca Swenor

    These are great tips for saving money on theme parks souvenirs.The Idea looking the souvenirs up on the computer and getting last years is indeed a great idea. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  62. Seattle Travel Blogger

    Thanks for the helpful advice. I have some family going to WDW this Nov and I will pass on this info. This topic certainly is a challenge though!

  63. Jeanine

    Great tips! My kids always want souvenirs when we go places but that can get so pricey! Never been to Disney but its for sure somewhere I know they’d be requesting some!

  64. Mauie

    Thanks for the tips! Just in time. We’re going to HK Disneyland this weekend.

  65. alissa a apel

    Those are all great tips. I’ll have to let my sisters know about them – they make an effort to go to Disney Theme Parks. I’ve never been to them.

  66. Annemarie LeBlanc

    Thank you for the tips. The refillable cups are a good deal. I agree that the cup alone can make for a great souvenir. I’m passing the information on to my sisters and cousins. They are planning a Disney trip with their kids this summer.

  67. ricci

    I am all for limiting the amount of souvenirs you bring home from trips! There are all great ideas on saving money on them too!!

  68. Lexie Lane

    For me, photos are the best souvenirs to take home. Anyways, thanks for these tips!

  69. Ron Leyba

    Great tips and ideas. Will always keep them in mind.

  70. sparkofsouthernmoms

    I always take a lot of pictures when I go. Souvenirs are great too! These are really great suggestions on saving money on them!

  71. Nicole Escat

    I love going to theme parks and have something to treasure. Souvenirs are expensive, thanks for the tips.

  72. Toni | BoulderLocavore.com

    I totally echo your first suggestion. We found fantastic souveniers at a local grocery store when visiting Disney World and much more affordable.

  73. cinny

    That is so true. Buying souvenirs outside of the park is always so much cheaper!

  74. Yvonne

    Buying it right before is a great idea! Usually I try to wait till the last. We’re generally pretty good at not overspending. But definitely good tips to help have a good time still! And would be totally great to be wearing the souvenirs thought the park!

  75. Enricoh Alfonzo

    Awesome tips. I really like the idea of park “bucks.
    Saving money is always a plus, especially in my family of indians lol

  76. Maya | Wholesome Yum

    Some great tips here! Theme park souvenirs are expensive!

  77. Agnes Dela Cruz

    Who wouldn’t want savings when going out with the family. I can use some savings for a weekend theme park.

  78. Bonnie @wemake7

    These are really great ways to save money. Normally we can’t afford to do the extras when we visit places but using these tips we should be able to now. =)

  79. Mary Edwards

    These are great tips. I live near disney, so I never buy souvenirs IN the park. I tend to grab them at the nearby Target

  80. Colette S

    I love your tips.
    When we do travel again, I will love to remember these!

  81. Nicole Haas Etolen

    I like taking home a free souvenir from a theme park. I don’t usually buy one.

  82. Amanda Love

    Buying souvenirs from theme parks can be a bit pricey, I think it’s better to buy them outside, that way you can focus on the rides instead of shopping as well. There are many ways to save money, like waiting for a season pass and I agree most season pass tickets also include a free item!

  83. Nikki Jenner

    Thanks for these tips. I like looking for freebies so I have something to take home.

  84. Lisa Thompson

    It’s amazing how quickly souvenirs can add up! I try to pick up some really cool things before we go to the theme parks to keep them from wanting everything we see! I love these tips!

  85. Toughcookiemommy

    Souvenirs can get so expensive. Although I hate spending so much money on them, the kids enjoy them so I think it’s great to be able to save some money on them.

  86. Kathy Kenny Ngo

    I like your ideas. It does make sense and you are so right, I never knew that you could even save money for theme parks.

  87. Jennifer Kearney

    These are great ideas to save money in theme parks especially because the fun can add up quickly. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  88. CourtneyLynne

    Being from central FL I’m always telling people when visiting Disney to shop the discount stores! Even the gas stations are cheaper than Disney lol

  89. Lisa Rios

    Theme Parks are always fun, but I agree you have to spend a lot as everything is going to be on the expensive side. And these are some great tips to save money & watching social media would be a good think as we spend a lot of time on it these days!

  90. becca

    I can only think of 2 things we bought during our last Disney trip. We tend to do pretty well with not buying souvenirs (unless it’s just something we CAN’T pass up), but I think it’ll be harder to resist with kids!

  91. Carolyn

    Souvenirs seem to be so expensive at Disney these days. Such great advice. Thanks!

  92. Inspiring Kitchen

    These are all great tips. I always buy them outside because the souvenirs at the park are too expensive. I should remember to buy them before we go though.

  93. Ana De Jesus

    Buying theme park souvenirs sounds perfect on paper but the expenses do add up so its great that you are so savvy and check discount stores before and after visiting the theme park.Good shout.

  94. Shannon P

    These are great ideas! Between tickets, food, and souvenirs, theme parks have gotten so expensive!

  95. ana fernandez

    Great idea! A couple of years ago I spend more money that I was prepared to haha

  96. jill conyers

    I’ve never been a souvenir kind of person. I like photograph memorabilia. Except for the occasional t-shirt my kids are the same way. They keep the money they’re given to spend on souvenirs.

  97. Mhaan Arambulo (@momyrockinstyle)

    Thank you for sharing these helpful tips! I remember my mother gave us a budget each of her children before getting inside the theme parks so we can manage our own expenses.

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