We all know that saving for your Disney vacation can be a labor of love, and we all want to be able to budget for souvenirs. Souvenirs & keepsakes are one way that we are able to relive & remember our vacation long after returning home. Well… I have good news for you, you don’t need a large budget in order to bring home the magic. There are numerous FREE things offered in Walt Disney World that you are able to bring home with you; some of them might be right under your nose and who doesn’t like FREE stuff?
1. Sorcerer’s of The Magic Kingdom Cards
Location: Magic Kingdom
Register for the Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom game when you enter the Magic Kingdom. You can register at the firehouse, on the left, just as you enter under the train station. Each person will be given a set of cards to play the game. As you make your way around the Magic Kingdom, follow the map, that you are given, and fight off evil villains. If you complete an entire quest, you are eligible for another free set of Sorcerer Cards. These cards make a great souvenir and you can even trade them with other people in the park and in online groups.
If you are visiting the Magic Kingdom for more than one day during your stay, be sure to stop each day and pick up a new pack of cards; each guest is eligible for one set of cards per day in the Magic Kingdom. You can still attempt to complete your quest, even it it takes more than one day. Once your quest is complete, return to the sign up point for a new, bonus pack of cards. Click HERE for more details on this activity
If you have purchased a ticket to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, be sure to stop by the Firehouse, during the party, for your Sorcerer card that is exclusive to that event.
2. A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasure of the 7 Seas Quest
Location: Magic Kingdom
Sign up for the Pirate Adventure, interactive game, the next time you are in the Magic Kingdom. The area to sign up is in Adventureland next to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. When you sign up you will be given a map & a quest. You can begin with any map and on any quest, they are all in Adventureland. You will stop at various places & when you hold up your map props will come to life and you will send you on to your next mission. Once you have completed one quest, you can sign up to do another quest with a different map. In order to get all 5 maps, you will have to complete all 5 of the quests. These are fun, relaxing little activities that don’t take long & are entertaining to watch. If you are a huge pirate fan, you will want to bring home some of these maps for keepsakes from your vacation.
*NEW: Now when you sign up for the Pirate Adventure game, you can earn FREE fastpasses for the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction as well as additional trading cards. For each quest that you complete, you will earn one trading card. At the completion of each quest you will be given a stamp on your map, a trading card and at the end of the 3 through 5th quest every person in your party will receive a free fastpass to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. (If you complete all 5 quests & there are 4 people in your party, you will be given a total of 12 fastpasses.) These fastpasses are usually good until the end of the following month so you will have plenty of time to use them. You can use them the same day or bring them back & use them on a different visit.
3. Resort Activities and Goodies
Location: All Disney property resorts
Don’t overlook the fun activities that your resort has to offer.
My kiddos love collecting & coloring the coloring pages that are often around on tables in the lobby. This always keeps them entertained during check in or even on the flight home.
Art of Animation offers animation sketch classes near or in front of the lobby & you can keep your sketch when you are finished.
Some of the value resorts like Pop Century and Art of Animation have a fun scavenger hunts around the property; just ask for the map & earn a little prize if you complete it.
On Halloween many of the resorts offer Trick-Or-Treat stations where you can pick up candy & stickers.
Pop Century has a fun Scavenger Hunt map & if you complete it, you can choose a special prize.
Caribbean Beach Resort often gives out pirate swords & eye patches for those staying in one of their pirate rooms
Port Orleans French Quarter can be found tossing out Mardi Gras beads and plastic coins
Animal Kingdom Lodge offers participation certificates for kiddos that participate in the bedtime stories activity
All of these resort specific surprises are subject to change and may vary by day
The Disney resorts also typically have a map of where you can find all of the hidden Mickey’s at that resort. Just ask a cast member at the front desk & they will provide one for you. This is a great leisure activity as well as a neat keepsake from your resort.
4. Celebration Buttons
Location: Guest Services, hotel check in
or on Main Street in Magic Kingdom in the morning.
Celebrating anything special on your next vacation… your fist visit, birthday, honeymoon, anniversary or maybe even meeting a personal goal? Be sure to have your travel agent notify Disney when booking your vacation or tell a cast member when you check in, and you can score one of many special celebration buttons. Wear them around the park for smiles & congratulations throughout your day. If you forget at check-in, you can pick up your button at any quest services location or you can find them in the morning being handed out by cast members on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom park.
5. Wilderness Explorers Handbook
Be sure to stop at a Wilderness Explorer Station for your Wilderness Explorers Handbook. This will be your guide to follow as you participate in activities throughout Animal Kingdom Park. You can become an official Wilderness Explorer if you complete all 30 activities & earn all 30 badges/stickers in your book on the pages. Some of the activities are simple and others take a little longer. This isn’t something that you can rush through; the quickest my kids have finished a book was in 2 days. Don’t have 2 days to spend in Animal Kingdom? Don’t fret, you can take your Wilderness Explorer Handbook home with you & bring it back to Animal Kingdom the next time you return to complete your quest. The activities in the book are wonderful, educational experiences for kids of all ages.
6. Park Maps
Location: All of the Disney Parks including ESPN Wide World of Sports, Downtown Disney and the Water Parks
Yes, that’s right I said, Maps. Something that simple may not seem like a keepsake, but it’s what you do with the maps that makes them special. You can save them just to remember the parks that you visited & what they looked like at that time. Disney is constantly updating and adding new attractions and the newest attractions are usually highlighted on the map for that season. You can also collect maps seasonal maps and from special events such as the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Maps are great for crafts and you can find all sorts of map craft ideas on Pinterest. You can use them to make coasters, Christmas ornaments or scan them in to use in your next scrapbook or photo book that you create online. The possibilities are endless. Now… those don’t just look like plan ol’ maps anymore do they?
7. Kidcot Fun Station Cards, Stamps and Autographs
Location: Epcot World Showcase Pavilions
Another great educational opportunity in Disney World is visiting the various country pavilions in Epcot. Don’t just pass them by, go inside, look around & be sure to find the Kidcot fun station in each one. Each stop will have coloring activities and usually a Duffy Bear, cardboard puppet on a stick. Representatives, native to each country, will be available for questions and autographs. If you do not purchase the Epcot Passport (pictured above), you can bring your own autograph book and have the representative sign your book. They will often write something in their native language to you. Each station will have a stamp to collect. They will put that stamp in an autograph book or even on a coloring page. Just don’t forget to ask. Next time you are in Epcot, see if you can collect all 11 of the stamps.
Along with the stamps and autographs, you can pick up a card from each country that has great information about that country. They list details such as the country’s location, flag, Population, Currency, Language and more. These are very educational and great proof that kids can learn while on a Disney vacation. 😉
Location: Throughout the Disney Parks and Resorts
Keep your eyes peeled and you will find cast member throughout the Disney Parks and Resorts handing out Disney stickers. We love to collect these to add to our scrapbooks and sticker books. Although small & simple, they never fail to bring smiles & memories of when & where we got them.
9. Transportation Cards
Location: throughout Disney at their transportation centers & vehicles
Yes, these are actual trading cards. They are the size & thickness of a trading card & have details about each mode of transportation on the back side. The next time you get on a bus, boat or monorail, just ask the cast member attending that vehicle if they have a transportation card. it is quite fun to see if you can collect all of them. They are great for scrapbooking, but we like to keep ours in the perfect sized, plastic box & go through them when we want to remember our vacation. 😉
10. Epcot Festival Passports
If you are planning a trip during one of Epcot’s three festivals or during the holidays, don’t forget to stop and pick up your Passport. Each Passport contains information about food and activities for each festival or celebration. They have little check boxes where you can check off the things that you have tried & even make notes about them. Maybe the most fun part is collecting a stamp from each Marketplace food booth around the World Showcase. You can easily make a meal out of these samples and it is a great way to use your snack credits if you are on one of the Disney Dining Plans.
New for 2016: The Epcot Food & Wine Festival passport and the Holidays Around the World passport have stickers that you can place on the page for each country as you tour the World Showcase.
New for 2017: Epcot Festival of the Arts
Autographs are always free and a smart way to preserve Disney memories. Of course you can always get autographs from the popular Disney characters, but don’t forget to ask your servers and other cast member for autographs. You may just be pleasantly surprised with a special Disney animation drawing.
You don’t need official Disney autograph books for your trip. We’ve found that we really like these spiral bound, 4×6 note card books from Staples for our autographs. You can slip a photo in the front cover with a picture of your child, their name or their favorite character. The inside note card pages are perforated allowing us to easily remove them when we return home. Once out of the book, we add them to scrapbooks or even 4 x 6 photo albums next to a picture of my children getting the character autograph. It’s fun to watch the characters interact with the kids during their autograph sessions and that is what creates memories that will last a lifetime.
If you do want an autograph for you next trip to Walt Disney World, you can get a FREE official Walt Disney World autograph book simply by booking through www.PixieDustAdventures.com for your next WDW vacation package and it never costs you any extra over booking directly through Disney.
12. Kids’ Menus
Location: Table service restaurants throughout Walt Disney World
We find that the Kids Menus from the Disney table service restaurant have many memories for us. They offer colorful material for scrapbookers, fun things to look back on and even entertainment for the trip back home. They are filled with puzzles & coloring pages and that gives the kids something to look at on the flight home. If you are a Disney memory hoarder like I am, than you might just want to hang on to those dining menus.
MagicBands and a trip to Walt Disney World seem to go hand in hand. If you book a Walt Disney World vacation package, and stay in one of their 34 on-property Resorts, you will be given one MagicBand per person. If you are not a Walt Disney World Resort guest, you can always purchase MagicBands. These bands are functional as well as a great keepsake. You can save them for fun, put them in a shadow box with photos & other memorabilia from your vacation, or use them again on a future trip.
For 2017 Disney has released a new style of MagicBands and if the regular MagicBands are not exciting enough for you, you can buy specialty bands in the gift shops or personalize them at special tech stores around the park. There is a custom MagicBand for everyone.
Click HERE to read more details about Disney’s MagicBands
14. Luggage Tags
The new luggage tags are here! There are 7 different tags & you will be given the same color luggage tag that matches your MagicBand. So every person in your party could have a different luggage tag. These tags, like the MagicBands, are also Free with your Disney Resort vacation package and are shipped with your MagicBands. I personally hang at least one of them on a lanyard from our trip where I also attach a couple of Disney pins that we have purchased.
Luggage tags are shipped only to the guests that are flying into our out directly from their vacation package. If you are NOT flying in when your package begins or out the day it ends, you will NOT receive luggage tags. So if you fly in a few day early for a cruise & then stay a few days late to enjoy Florida, you will not receive luggage tags.
15. Show Participation Certificates
Throughout the Disney parks there are different entertainment shows that you can volunteer to participate in. Such as, Indiana Jones in Hollywood Studios, Lights Motors Action in Hollywood Studios and the Flights of Wonder show in Animal Kingdom to name a few. If they ask for volunteers and you are chosen to go on stage, you will be given a special certificate, like the one above that says, “Across the mile & over the years, you’ll always remember this magical moment from the Walt Disney World Resort.” At the bottom they will add the information including the date & your name.
16. Enchanted Tales With Belle Bookmark
Location: Magic Kingdom
In the new Fantasyland, Enchanted Tales With Belle is an often overlooked attraction. During this attraction people will be selected from the audience to assist in performing the story of Beauty and the Beast with Belle. After the program is over the audience is invited to come up & take pictures with Belle and receive a bookmark signed by Belle herself. There is a PhotoPass photographer present and if you have already added memory maker to your package, the photos are free too. The bookmarks are a wonderful keepsake that will inspire your child to read & remember this moment on your vacation.
17. Jedi Training Pin and Pirate Tutorial Certificate
Jedi Training Pin
Location: Hollywood Studios
A Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple Pin of completion from the Jedi Training Academy, is the perfect souvenir for any Star Wars fan and it doesn’t cost a cent. There is a trick though… you must get signed up first, and return to participate in the stage show during your assigned return time. Once the show has completed, you will be given a certificate. This show also creates wonderful photo & video opportunities and there will be a PhotoPass photographer there taking pictures & handing out cards with your photo claim number on them. If you have purchased the Memory Maker photo package, these photos are included. Once you get home, you can add decorative Star Wars boarders to your photos before you download them. Click HERE for more details on the Jedi Training Academy including how to sign up.
Pirate Tutorial Certificate
Location: Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom Park
This is another show that you will may to be chosen to participate in. The stage for this show is just opposite of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in Adventureland. You can find showtimes on your daily times guide or posted near the stage. if you don’t see them, just ask a cast member. I suggest that you arrive early & sit right in front of the stage. Children should be willing & eager to participate and if they are not chosen for one show, you can always return for another. This is an adorable show where Jack Sparrow takes recruits & trains them for his crew. Again, wonderful photo & video opportunities here. There is usually a PhotoPass photographer available so you can get your photos if you’ve purchased Memory Maker.
If you are not chosen for the show, don’t despair, as long as you stand & take the pirate oath at the end, you will also be sworn in & given a certificate to join Jack’s crew.
18. Tomorrowland Speedway Official Speedway License
Location: Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland
After taking a lap around the Tomorrowland Speedway, you can get your official Speedway License complete with the signature of Mickey Mouse himself. All you have to do to score this adorable little card is ask a cast member for one when you exit the attraction. If there is not a cast member at the exit, just talk to the person at the Fastpass entrance.
19. Pressed Pennies
Location: Throughout the Disney Parks, Downtown Disney and even other destinations
First off, these are not really free. The cost is exactly .51 cents for each pressed penny. They are practically free, and definitely fun souvenirs worth the investment. You can choose to press pennies that have your favorite characters on them, just outside of your favorite attractions or you can try to collect them all. There are hundreds of penny designs throughout the Disney parks and you can purchase special pressed penny albums to display your pennies in.
Tip: We like to carry our pennies in M&M tubes where we can stack 2 quarters & 1 penny, 2 quarters & 1 penny. This way when you find a machine, you will easily be able to grab out 2 quarters & 1 penny. 😉
20. Resort Soaps, Lotions and Shampoos
Location: Your Disney Resort Room
If you are staying at a Disney owned Resort hotel, they leave wonderful soap items in your room on your bathroom vanity. Depending on if you stay at a value, moderate or deluxe resort will determine what type of soaps that you get. At the deluxe resorts we have received the spa quality products. If you pack up your soap every day, mousekeeping will leave more for you when they clean the room. Once we arrive home we put our Disney soaps in a basket in our guest room. They are useful and make great conversation pieces. Don’t forget to tip mousekeeping for their hard work on keeping your room beautiful.
BONUS: Travel Agent Goodies
last but not least, some of the best souvenirs can come from your travel agent before you even leave home. I always send various things with client travel documents such as, Disney autograph books, Disney gift cards, coloring books, autographed character photos and more and these are all on top of any special offers by Disney. The cost of booking through myself and booking directly through Disney is exactly the same. So why not take advantage of some expert planning assistance & goodies that your agent can provide? Don’t hesitate, it all starts with a free quote.
My 2017 freebies and promotions, these are on top of any Disney promotions
Book a 4 night, 4 day package at a Walt Disney World Resort and get:
A Free Walt Disney World autograph book for the kids (1 per room)
A Free $15.00 Disney gift card to use on a special treat of your choice
All extra goodies will be sent with final travel documents 1 – 2 weeks prior to start of package. One autograph book and gift card per room, based on double occupancy of the room.
Thank you for reading!
My name is Melissa and I am a travel agent. It means the world to me to share with you what I love. You will find me in the Disney World parks almost every weekend with my family; I am always trying out new experiences in person so that I can help you plan your dream vacation.