One of the big questions that comes up in planning a trip is, “How much money should I bring for souvenirs for my kids?” The answer really comes down to, “As much as you are comfortable spending”, but, that isn’t a very concrete answer that helps in budgeting! There are a few ways that parents can go about souvenirs for their kids….and you will definitely want a plan in place, because, when in Disney, everywhere you turn, you are confronted with awesome things to buy.
    I have heard of a lot of people going to the Disney Store Outlet, or other stores to buy souvenirs ahead of time, and then each morning before going out to the parks, the kids wake up to a “Tinkerbell Gift”. This can be something that fits the theme of the park for the day, or stuffed animals, stickers, Disney themed t-shirts, Mickey ears, etc. Parents report that this is a great way to get the kids moving in the morning, and it helps keep the “I want/need this” at bay when they are in the parks.
    We have found what works best for us is to ask family for Disney Gift Cards for our kids for birthdays and holidays as soon as we start planning a trip. Then, when we surprise them with telling them they are going to Disney, we present them with any gift cards, and tell them who they are from, so they can call and thank everyone who contributed cards. Our kids also earn an allowance, and we encourage them to bring their money that they have saved up to spend on souvenirs. We make it clear before we leave that we will buy one thing for each of them while we are in Disney World, but anything else they want, they have their own money to spend. We also remind the kids that we have X amount of days, and if they spend all their money the first day, they are out for the rest of the trip. This helps them to remember to divide up their money at the beginning of the trip to help spread it out. I personally love this way to buy souvenirs. It helps to teach the kids money management, and I have found that the things they pick out and use their own money on are the things they care about the most when we come home from a vacation. Plus, it is a big help for us, as parents, to not worry about where to fit souvenirs into the budget!       
Three years later, and Stitch is still a very well loved souvenir!

When you travel to a Disney destination, there will be so many buying opportunities, and it is best to go in with a plan, otherwise, you will go way over your budget before you know it. Think ahead of time how you want to plan your spending. Whether it is a certain allotment per day, bringing in your own souvenirs for the kids, or having your kids bring their own money with them, make sure that the plan is in place, and let your kids know the expectations ahead of time. Doing so will save your sanity, and your wallet.

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