7 Things to Buy or DIY BEFORE Your Disney Trip

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One of my favorite parts of a Disney vacation is the shopping. Who doesn’t like a little bit of retail therapy? But, like everything else there, Disney prices can be expensive. There’s certainly no shame in their game, and I’ve spent more than I want to count in the parks. But, there’s quite a few items you should be buying BEFORE you leave for your trip!

Why would you buy or DIY souvenirs before your trip?

First off, to save a ton of money. There’s a lot of things you can buy at Disney that you’ll use while you’re there and never look at again. Sure, in the moment you, or your child, NEEDS a light-up Buzz Lightyear bubble blower for $20! But chances are it wouldn’t even make it back home.

The second reason is to get exactly what you want. Disney resorts are huge, but their not infinite. They can only carry so many spirit jerseys and backpacks, certainly not a version of each cut shirt for every character in the line-up. But…the internet is a wonderful world of options.

Minnie Ears

How adorable are these?!?!

You absolutely have to have Mickey or Minnie Mouse Ears when you visit a Disney park! And finding the perfect pair is half the fun! Disney has released a ton of new designs recently, but they’ve still got nothing on Etsy. Just a quick search for “Minnie Ears” serves you with over 40,000 results!

Seems overwhelming? Add  your favorite character and narrow it down to exactly what you’re looking for!

Can’t find what you’re looking for? You can also easily DIY your own design! Check out how with this video!

Matching Shirts

..also available as a bumper sticker…

The next thing you want to purchase before your trip is Disney themed shirts. They don’t have to be matching, but why wouldn’t you?

Sites like Tee-Public and Society6 are perfect for finding any design you can imagine! If you can’t, you can even upload your OWN design and make some change if someone else also purchases it.

Magic Band Decor

Need it.

Magic Bands are exclusive to Disney World; it’s an electronic ticket stored in a fit-bit like band or keychain. The technology is amazing and it also gives us even more Disney decorating ideas! At the parks you can purchase special bands with popular and limited edition designs, as well as buttons and accessories for them.


You can custom decorate your magic band with anything from nail polish to rhinestones. There’s also a huge selection of themed Magic Band decals you can find online, like the above example from Etsy. Way more options, and way less expensive than if you buy from the mouse.

Autograph Books

Planning on meeting some characters while you’re visiting? You’re going to need an autograph book! (Pics, or it didn’t happen). Of course Disney has a few options available, but these are one of the most overpriced items in my opinion. Plus, there’s so many better options.

You can ask for just about anything, within reason, to be signed by characters. Some of the best I’ve seen are photo mats, pillow cases, character encyclopedias, and Polaroid photos.

Whatever you decide to bring for signatures, be sure it’s an item you can quickly present and a character can quickly sign. There’s a whole lot of people who want to meet Mickey too!

Reusable Water Bottle

There’s certainly one indisputable fact about Disney parks – it’s hot. Doesn’t matter if you are visiting in Southern California or Florida, temperatures certainly rise. Keeping hydrated in these circumstances is extremely important, so you might as well do it in style.

Bringing you own re-usable water bottle will definitely save you a few dollars, particularly if it’s insulated like the one pictured here. You can always get a free glass of water from any vendor in the parks, but  it’s so much easier to refill your water bottle on your own and even better if it stays cold.

You could get a plain water bottle from a department, or even a dollar, store. But, it’s not going to have a sparkly castle. And that’s something we all need.

Mister Fans

Disney Mickey Mouse Red Personal Misting Fan
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06/05/2024 06:30 pm GMT

Buy. Your. Spray. Fan. At. Walgreens. They have these all the time, usually for less than $5 and even with Disney designs. These spray bottle fans are a life safer, walking around in the parks all day. They’ll bring you instant relief from the heat and keep little ones entertained for hours.

Disney sells a larger version, but it’s considerably more. AND if you have more than one child with you, there’s a good chance everyone is going to want to use it. So, grab one for everyone at an affordable price and keep peace on your vacation.

Nighttime Glow Toys

Nothing caps off the day like a nighttime parade or fireworks show. It’s absolutely perfect. Until, the carts start rolling around with everything  imaginable that glows. Glowing ears, glowing bubble blowers, glowing twirl characters, glow jewelry. Yes, kids are going to absolutely want this stuff.

But I’m 29 and…I want glow in the dark stuff too dang-it!

We’re all kids at Disney, so no judging! Stock up on glow sticks, glow bracelets, and glow in the dark tattoos at places like Wal-Mart or Target and you’ll be ready to party right along side the rest of the crowd.

What weird item do you always buy and bring to Disney?

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