Monday, August 7, 2017

10 Free Walt Disney World Souvenirs Every Guest Should Take Home

by: guide4wdw - Collin

Over the years and across multiple Disney vacations we've been fortunate enough to pick up on a few different opportunities that many first time and returning guests may or not recognize. Along the way, we've found ways to minimize costs and really get the most for your money during a Disney vacation by taking advantage of all of the free offerings available throughout the parks and resorts. Of course, I would never recommend taking towels or anything like that from resorts, but a few simple complimentary items can really help make the trip home a little easier and the souvenir portion of a vacation a bit less expensive. As always, if you're ever in doubt on what is and is not technically 'free,' simply ask a cast member and you may be surprised by their answer. So, here's a few of our personal top free souvenirs.

1. Disney Ink Pens
-Each resort on property places a few Disney ink pens inside of guest rooms for your convenience. Surprisingly, these pens do write fairly well and feature a Disney Parks and Resorts logo. As with any company, pens are a great way to promote free advertising so go ahead and take the pens home with you. While it seems like a simple idea, when you use these pens at home at work or simply writing a grocery list or something similar, it really takes you back to memories of your most recent vacation.  

2. Disney Stickers
-Stickers are handed out everywhere at Walt Disney World and to the surprise of many, they do often very in design form location to location. In our own experience, if you ask nicely, the cast will typically give you a few extra stickers to take home with you to share with friends and family.    

3. Coloring Sheets
-At many Walt Disney World resorts, kids areas in the lobby or on club level floors feature a vast variety of free coloring sheets. If you're flying or driving home, these are great to take with you to entertain kids along the way and take even a small portion of your Disney experience home with you.  

4. Polynesian Leis
-Another great resort perk are leis at the Polynesian resort. Throughout the day, both guests staying at the resort and simply visitors to the property are given flower leis to set the tone for their experience at the Polynesian. It's a simple touch of class and something that guests of all ages can enjoy. Simply head to the lobby near the main entrance and you'll likely find a cast member right outside the door or just inside the lobby passing out this free 'souvenir.' It not only adds a bit of fun to your time at the resort, but also creates something free to take home and one of the many items on this list that travel incredibly well.

5. Trader Sams Cups
-Also at the Polynesian, if you spend any time at the Trader Sam's lounge, be sure to take home the glass your drink comes in (included for specific drinks in some cases... ask a server for details since things on property do change rather frequently). It's not only recommended, but also included in the cost of your drink. Trader Sam's is really more of an 'adult' friendly activity rather than one for families, but it is an incredibly creative concept which was borrowed from the Disneyland iteration. 

6. Celebratory Buttons
-In a similar way to the stickers mentioned earlier on this list, buttons are a small free element from the parks. Buttons are available for a variety of special circumstances guests are visiting the parks for including first time visits, birthdays, anniversaries, and much more. Simply go to guest services or many other retail locations on property to grab a button to commemorate your special event. Beyond simply receiving the free button, it adds a certain element of surprise to your vacation experience. The Disney cast makes a certain effort to watch for and engage with guests wearing these special occasion buttons. If it's your birthday, it's usually your birthday all week at WDW and the cast are glad to wish you a happy birthday throughout your time in the parks. 

7. Mickey Shaped Straws 
-In certain special drinks for both kids and adults on property, you'll often find a Mickey shaped straw (although they are not always free at every location or in every drink). When you're done with the drink, simply head to bathroom to rinse out the straw and take it with you. It's certainly a simple souvenir but they're hard plastic and travel well while bringing a touch of Disney back to your home.  

8. In Room Bath Products
-This is perhaps one of the best items on the list. Bath products at Walt Disney World are surprisingly nice and in virtually unlimited supply if you're nice to your housekeeping staff or ask for them at the front desk. Disney does sell the full size variation of these products online and in many resort shops, but the travel size bath products are incredibly useful. As an added bonus, on club level floors, be sure to take advantage of the greater variety of products offered.   

9. Themed Drink Coasters
-As a rather new phenomenon at Walt Disney World, custom drink coasters created for particular locations have started to pop up everywhere. If you're at a table service location, particularly at Disney Springs, be sure to check out what's under your drink. The coasters aren't reused by the dining locations in most cases, so you might as well take them with you. Personally, we just picked up a few from Homecomin' kitchen, but they are also available in many resort rooms as well! 

10. Kidcot
-For kids, this may in fact be the ultimate free experience. Kidcot allows guests at Epcot to grab a cardboard Duffy the Disney Bear and decorate it as they tour the world showcase. The bear is simply a design on a paint stick to hold onto from location to location, but it really creates a reason for kids and adults alike to dive deeper into the countries of Epcot's World Showcase. I can still remember doing a similar variation of this as a kid and the memories of exploring the showcase and making every effort to get every pavilion specific stamp before we left the park. It was a truly memorable experience that is completely complimentary within the park.    

So, that's our list! Did we leave out one of your favorites? If so, be sure to share it with us on your favorite social media platform (our profiles are above this article). Thanks for reading!   

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