Updated for 2017!
You may run out of time on your Disney vacation, but you certainly will never run out of souvenir options. Gift shop after shop, your choices are endless. They are also expensive; sticker shock is a common sight among shoppers. What can you bring home that won’t bust your souvenir budget? This may not sound too original of a purchasing suggestion, but you haven’t seen the pictures yet…
You need a fridge magnet!
Although I would have thought it much longer, Wikipedia reports the first refrigerator magnet patent was obtained in the early 1970s by William Zimmerman of St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Zimmerman patented the idea of small, colored, cartoon-type magnets to be used for decorative display and convenience. So while you can’t say fridge magnets have been around forever, they apparently have been around since just about the time the Disney parks on both coasts were opening and operating.
Why get a magnet?
Disney Parks Authentic magnets are $13.99 before tax. Now standing in Wal-mart, a price like that could cause me to spit out my drink in disbelief. But standing in a Disney gift shop? Well, driving onto property, you’ve just entered a vacation Twilight Zone where anything under $15 is a rare find.
So by WDW pricing standards, the magnet is somewhat of a steal.
A real %100 meat turkey leg is just about the same price as the magnet, but by the time juices dry from the real deal, you’re left with nothing but a tasty memory. With the magnet, you’ll spy that turkey leg every time you open your fridge.
Unfortunately there is no smell, so there’s no need to scratch and sniff.
I was standing at a key chain display in Mickey’s Star Traders near the Buzz Lightyear ride. I overheard a boy, probably ten-years-old, saying over and over, very slowly…
That’s fake too.
I am on the other side of the display and cannot see what he is talking about, but now I am interested. He is too old to think Minnie Mouse is real, so just what is fake? When he walks off, I walk to the other side of the display.
The Fridge Magnets!
They certainly are fake, but they have a fabulous realness to them. Smaller children may actually believe the waffle is real, only smaller in size than the one they might have eaten for breakfast. Older people like myself will love the magnets precisely because of their realness; they remind us of the real apple we purchased from the Confectionary on Main Street and then enjoyed with the kids during Wishes fireworks.
In essence, you are purchasing a memory you can look at every day, so in terms of dollars, that’s a good use of your money.
Several food items people rave about from their trips are immortalized as magnets, like the Mickey waffles just mentioned, which are such a common sight at resort breakfasts. And one of my personal favorites – the cupcakes!
Here’s the real apple and the apple magnet. For $3 more than the real apple, your magnet will last forever.
At $13.99, these souvenirs won’t deplete your budget, and if they remain un-handled, they could last an infinite amount of time.
Plus they would make great gifts for pet sitters or neighbors picking up your mail while you’re gone on your trip.
Notice the warning that this item is not real food.
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you looking over the magnet displays in both the parks and resort gift shops. Six months after your trip is over, you’ll thank me.
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Disney’s Cheapskate Princess
Amanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.
Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches high school seniors Leadership in the almost-costal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast.
We hope we can help save you some some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Princess Travel Experts with Destinations in Florida travel, Julie and Elizabeth. You can also e-mail them at email@example.com.