The classic Disney gift card design
As a frequent traveler to Disney parks and the Disney Cruise Line, I’m a huge fan of Disney gift cards. They reduce my need for cash on hand, allow me to sock away money for trips, and make great gifts for people who will be in the parks. As this type of card becomes more and more ubiquitous, you may think you know all there is to know about Disney gift cards. But maybe not. Read on.
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I know that many of you are able to resist the siren song of tee shirts and totes adorned with the image of Mickey, but not me. I find the Disney parks merchandise endlessly enticing, as evidenced by my home office being completely overtaken by Disney souvenirs.
Most of the time, I buy what I want while I’m visiting the parks and then move on, not making any more Disney purchases until my next trip to Florida. Yet every once in a while I think back to “the one that got away,” the perfect Disney memento that I wanted to buy, but didn’t. I call this my non-buyer’s remorse. And sometimes that remorse needs to be salved with an at-home purchase.
I didn't buy a Disney phone case when I was at the parks last week, but I wish I had :-(
Before I discuss how to get Disney merchandise at home, let’s talk about reasons why you might not have made a purchase during your vacation:
- You’re concerned about luggage space. I often fly to Walt Disney World using only carry-on luggage. Because of this, I’m always hesitant to buy large or fragile souvenirs. This rules out big replicas of Cinderella castle, snow globes, mugs, and many Christmas ornaments.
- You’re concerned about price. You have a fixed souvenir budget for your trip and the item you want falls outside your price limit.
- You’re deciding between two items. Do you want the Mickey version or the Minnie version? You finally decide on the Minnie version, but then can’t find it again anywhere.
- The item you want is theme park specific, but you’re not able to get back to that park. This can happen if you don’t have a park hopper ticket or if you run out of time before your departure.
- The item is a gift for someone traveling with you and you don’t want them to see it.
- You simply forget to pick up something you wanted.
Many merchandise items are similar. Be sure note details about exactly which item you want.
Lucky for me, there are solutions – ways to acquire Disney parks merchandise when you’re far away from the House of the Mouse.
In addition to providing a resource for post-trip shoppers, all of the above avenues can also be a source of merchandise before your trip. Guests visiting the Walt Disney World Moms Panel frequently ask for a source of Mickey ears that they can use as an at-home prop to tell their children about an upcoming trip. Similarly, many guests want to have an autograph book in hand before their trip.
While you can usually expect to pay a bit more Disney parks merchandise if you buy it from home, even if it’s just a shipping fee add-on, there may be instances when buying from home is less expensive. In particular, keep an eye out for sales at DisneyStore.com. Their deeply discounted end-of-season closeouts might be the perfect thing to bring to the parks with you as a “souvenir” to distract your children from full-price items during your trip.
What have your experiences been with buying Disney parks merchandise at locations other than the parks? Have you had merchandise sent to your home? What source did you use? Please let us know in the comments below.