Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Nov 7, 2011
    Christina from NV Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    We are bringing our 6-yr-old daughter & 4-yr-old son for the first time in April. Any tips on how to manage their souvenir shopping?

    Managing spending can be an especially hard concept for little ones. To get started on the right foot, I find it really helpful to visit our local dollar store before we leave home. I like to stock up on those neon glow toys and bring them to Orlando with us. During Fantasmic! when children around us are playing with the loot they've purchased from the wandering vendors, I pass out my dollar store goodies so that my kids have similar novelties that cost a quarter of what I would have paid at WDW.

    I also like to visit the local Disney store in our mall. I've always been able to find some great clearance deals that make for fantastic surprises in our room at the end of the day. By giving my kids little goodies (inexpensive ones at that) at the end of the day I find it really suppresses their desire to buy stuff in the parks.

    Another tip is to give each of them a disposable camera on your first vacation day. Let them know that each of those pictures will be like a souvenir from the trip. Even if the pictures they take aren't all that great in quality, they’ll have a blast taking them. Also, establish a souvenir budget for each child and limit them to that amount. Not only will that help keep more money in your pocket, but it will teach them a little something about budgeting. Lastly, save your souvenir shopping for one specific day towards the end of the trip and try to avoid the shops until then. That way your kids will have had the entire trip to decide what they'd really like to buy and you'll spend the majority of your vacation touring, not shopping.

    These ideas have worked well for us; I hope they do for you to!
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Meet the Panelist: Darcie, Alabama

Given your inclination to plan a magical trip, I can already tell we have a lot in common. I'm Darcie, and my friends would be the first to tell you that Disney trip planning (especially dining!) is my love language. Of course, the vacations my family enjoys today look much different than they did when our kids were little, but while some of our favorite activities have evolved, Disney destinations still top our travel wish lists. Let's work together to plan a downright dreamy vacation for your family! Learn More About Darcie

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