Walt Disney World Resort

Ten Disney Deals! Bargains Abound at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Mouse ears and plush toys and T-shirts, oh my! How oh how to decide what to buy?

It's easy for guests to have the urge to splurge at Walt Disney World Resort, with exclusive Disney merchandise at every turn.

And while guests can indeed go for the extravagant -- including an antique carnival bumper car, Italian leather handbags, Winnie the Pooh cuckoo clocks or a set of Armani-crafted Seven Dwarf figures -- unique bargains abound for the budget-minded.

Among a treasure trove of finds:
  • For guests who love vacation photos, but hate lugging around a camera, Disney's PhotoPass photographers are stationed throughout all four Walt Disney World theme parks, ready to point and shoot. Photos are stored on a digital card and uploaded to the exclusive PhotoPass Web site where guests can crop, edit and add fun do-dads like character signatures and themed borders. The whole process -- viewing the photos, editing and even e-mailing to friends and family -- is free! (Guests who wish to order photo prints can do so for a fee, with many different packages and options available.)
  • If sweet saltwater taffy brings back memories of afternoons by the boardwalk, the taffy station at Magic Kingdom Confectionary is sure to satisfy. Here, the flavors really have "character" -- like "Mickey Cherry," "Goofy Lime" and "Donald Lemon" (there are a total of 11) -- and guests can create a delectable mix with something for everyone. Taffy is sold by the size of the bag -- not the weight -- and with a small bag holding approximately 80 pieces of taffy ($2.95) it would be a "stretch" for guests to find a sweeter bargain anywhere.
  • Looking for a meal on a budget, but don't want to sacrifice taste? Take a trip to Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney Marketplace, where delicious tossed salads, wraps and gourmet sandwiches are all under $6 a pop. The specialties: the All-American -- a hot, roasted turkey sandwich with buttermilk ranch, cranberries, cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato ($5.75) and The Earl's Cobb Salad -- Swiss and cheddar cheeses, applewood smoked bacon, cranberries, grilled chicken and buttermilk ranch dressing on a bed of lettuce ($5.95). "The Earl" also serves up freshly baked cookies, brownies and muffin crowns, plus fruit, yogurt parfaits and side dishes, all at value prices.
  • Disney pin trading is hotter than ever, but many guests might not realize they can start a collection of these souvenirs at under $7. There are thousands of unique designs -- including favorite Disney characters, theme park attractions, resort destinations and more -- meaning there's a pin for every magical Walt Disney World memory. Pin lanyards, used to both store a collection and show it off to passers-by, come in a variety of colors and are just $5. Even better? Many pins are released in limited or special-edition quantities, which mean the keepsakes might become a valuable, collectible piece.
  • There's a gem of a store tucked quietly between Disney Tails and Goofy's Candy Co. at Downtown Disney Marketplace. The Everything Under $10 store sells literally that -- a huge assortment of Disney products including plush toys, picture albums, electronic games, mugs, hats, ornaments and mouse ears -- all for less than $10.
  • Make a favorite Disney souvenir even more personal with custom embroidery from Adrian & Edith's Head to Toe at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Guests are invited to bring any Disney Parks-purchased item to the store and watch through the glass as specialists customize with a name, phrase or favorite Disney character. Almost all embroidery, including designs on mouse ears, towels and T-shirts, is $10 or less.
  • Most Walt Disney World resort hotels offer length-of-stay refillable drinking mugs for $11.99, good for unlimited free refills of coffee, soda, iced tea and hot chocolate at the resorts' food-court areas. A practical purchase, the mugs also double as souvenirs with colorful resort logos and matching colored lids.
  • Interactive, sci-fi fun flourishes at the new Build Your Own Lightsaber area at the Once Upon a Toy store at Downtown Disney Marketplace. The Star Wars-themed kiosk gives guests of all ages step-by-step instructions to build an electronic lightsaber from their own imagination -- or they can replicate designs used by Star Wars characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. The toys come complete with lights, sounds and vibrations, and no matter how elaborate the completed creation, the cost is just $19.95 (which includes batteries). As an added bonus, guests also receive a store-exclusive Jedi or Sith-themed collector pin with their purchase.
  • At Island Mercantile at Disney's Animal Kingdom, guests can find the Disney Dream Book, an all-in-one autograph book, sticker book, photo album, journal and pocket keeper for mementos of the trip priced at just $22.95. The book, valued at more than $50 if items are purchased individually, also comes with an exclusive pin.
  • "Magical makeovers" reign at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in the World of Disney Princess Room at Downtown Disney Marketplace. Here, Fairy Godmothers-in-Training are on-hand to pamper little princesses and "cool dudes." Girls can receive a hair makeover with choice of colorful clips, rhinestone pins or a tiara, plus a makeup kit, pink princess sash, deluxe princess bag to cart around their goodies and a special photo shoot. Salon services start at $35 with several packages available. The pixie-dusted Downtown Disney salon also rolls out the welcome mat for boys with its Cool Dude treatment. For $10, boys as young as four get their hair spiked with colored gel, glitter and a "hidden Mickey" in the back of their head.

Academy Travel is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
Specializing in Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney Vacations
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