6 Souvenirs You’ll Regret Buying in Disney World

Yes, Walt Disney World can be expensive. And it can be difficult to decide what’s worth the money when visiting. Do you pay for that meal? Do you buy that toy?

Animal Kingdom Rafiki’s Planet Watch shop

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment. And it’s even easier to buy or spend too much because you’re wrapped up in the experience. That’s why we’ve gathered a few souvenirs that you’ll likely regret buying once you get home from your Walt Disney World vacation. Think about these potential purchases ahead of your trip to decide whether they are really a MUST-HAVE for you and your family before you get to the parks!

1. A Popcorn Bucket

Though we love a good souvenir popcorn bucket these can be a total waste of money. Often times, they find their way into a cabinet or corner and never see the light of day. They can cost upwards of $15-$20, which is a lot of money for something you’re never going to use or look at again.

They are a great purchase, though, if you intend to eat a bunch of popcorn on your vacay. Or if you live in the area and plan to use the popcorn bucket often.

Mickey Balloon Popcorn Bucket

2. Banshees from Pandora – The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Banshees are little toy creatures that guests can purchase when visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar. These are really awesome when you’re walking around the parks. The banshee sits on your shoulder and is controlled by a remote that allows you to manipulate its head and wings. It’s a great conversation-starter, and you’ll get a lot of compliments and questions from curious fellow vacationers.

But these are pricey, and what are the chances you or your little one will play with them when you get home?  At $50 a pop, you may regret buying one.

Banshee Rookery in Windtraders

3. Over-the-Top Merch

We’re talkin’ things that you’ll wear or use for one day around the parks, but will likely never be put to use again once you’re back to reality. This can be silly merchandise like gigantic bows and the crazy, oversized sombreros you’ll find in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion. Really think if you’re ever going to use, wear, or even look at the merchandise before you buy it.

Jumbo Minnie Bow

Just taking the time to slow down and think will likely prevent you from buying loads of souvenirs you’ll never use again!

4. Disney Golf Balls

We used Disney golf balls as an example because though cute, they can be pretty expensive. And, honestly, if you actually intend to use them, they’re going to be lost or beat up after one or two rounds.

Mickey Golf Ball

On the other hand, if you know a Disney fan who is also a golfer, they might make a nice souvenir or collectible.

5. Light-Up Toys

Light-up toys and glow sticks are very popular items and for good reason. They are loads of fun! If your kiddos love these things, and MUST have them, you can always buy them at home or outside of the parks, where they are much less expensive.  Because, let’s face it, they’re not the kinds of things you use back at home every day.

Light up Toys

6. A Disney Balloon

I know, I know. Disney balloons are so stinkin’ cute and make for some adorable photos. BUT if you are flying home, it isn’t likely that your balloon will make it with you. And if you’re going to Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can’t take the balloon there, so you’ll need to give it away. They cost between $9 and $14 each, so really think about whether this is a good purchase! (Note: If you do buy a balloon, remember that Disney may be able to replace it if it pops while you’re in the parks. No sad kids, or kids at heart, allowed!)

Disney Balloons

What purchasing errors have you made while at the parks? Have you bought things knowing you’d regret them later? Let us know in the comments below! 

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29 Replies to “6 Souvenirs You’ll Regret Buying in Disney World”

  1. I think we bought every souvenir cup that was offered at a restaurant. They now reside in a box in my storage shed. Never buying a souvenir mug again.

  2. We bought one of those AT-AT popcorn holders and brought it home. It actually looks pretty good as a prop!

    We also bought a couple of banshees when we first went to Pandora and they’ve been sitting in their boxes since we had them shipped home. Maybe someday they’ll get out on display, but probably not.

  3. This is funny. Once I bought an invisible dog at the haunted mansion, a trick raccoon at the magic shop and a marionette puppet at China in EPCOT but would never waste money on a popcorn bucket….that is just silly.

  4. The popcorn buckets — not the fancy shaped ones — make great yarn holders for knitting.

    A souvenir that is still reasonable and usable is the plastic to-go coffee mug.

  5. I can’t help but get the ballon. Even at $14 it is so completely worth it for us. Especially if you have a large family. We go with multiple families and strollers. The ballon tied to the stroller is amazing when following your family in a crowd. It is a MUST for us. It is also so incredibly helpful when trying to find your stroller which has inevitable been moved from where you left it!
    Yes you juts Deflate to take home. Every time we will get a balloon.

  6. Balloons are the worst purchase ever! A couple of years ago my mom bought 2 for my small children and tied them to the stroller. All day long they were flying back in my face as I pushed the stroller. #Absolutelyhorrible ;).

  7. I have found a way to dismantle balloon and take home to be refilled at a later date. This is after watching my daughter’s very very sad face when we had her let it go before we left.

  8. We always buy popcorn buckets and balloons for us to enjoy and at check out we give them to a family that is checking in and tell them to enjoy. It’s a nice gesture, saves a family some cash and keeps the magic flowing.

  9. The balloons are worth the money for our family. We always get one and tie it to the stroller, It makes it easier to find when they move it, and they always move the strollers. On our last day as we are leaving we give the Balloon to another family so they can enjoy it.

  10. Refillable drink mugs at the Jambo House in Disney’s Animal,Kingdom resort.,$20 with free refills. Used in the parks to keep drinks from spilling. Love the $30 Minnie Ears, very chic and fun in every color and style. Hats and sunglasses reasonable and worn for years afterwards.Tote bags for $25 used for swim bags after the trip. Smarter choices can be found.

  11. If you play golf, instead of the ball, buy a ball marker or a magnetic hat clip on. I’ve had mine for five years. Use it every time I play.

  12. It wouldn’t be EPCOT without a small posse of banditos walking around in their oversized sombreros. “Badges, we don’t need no stinkin’ badges”.

  13. Totally disagree with your balloon comment. On multiple occasions our balloons have lasted for weeks, daughter still is able to enjoy it at home. Cheap invest for so much happiness for her.

  14. I learned years ago from really studying up reading various websites dedicated to all things Disney. My girls were 8 & 3 our first trip. #1 they have so much money from us and saved from birthday/Christmas to spend so they think hard. We also purchase Disney clothing before our trips at discount prices so we don’t feel the need to buy in the parks. But my favorite thing is “reusing” souvenirs. We pack any ears and light ups especially when we return. Some of the light ups we bought in 2001. When we whipped them out on our last trip in 2014 during night time festivities, we got all kinds of questions about where we got them! I remember sticker shock paying $12 each back then. 13 years later I felt like a genius! Plus we all have our lanyards and pins. My youngest always saves for pins! Even at 21 years old now!

    1. Be very careful about “whipping things out” during night time festivities, especially with young children about. I learned that the hard way. “Hey, put the taser away lady, I’m just going for my car keys.”

  15. Clear balloons with Mickey inside was a great purchase for our 6, 3, and 1 year olds. Used them for 5 straight days (including a day at Animal Kingdom where they gave us a check ticket and kept them for us). Our last day at the parks the boys gave their balloons to another family to pass on the fun! Completely worth it.

  16. I always tell my son to wait until we are leaving the park to buy anything that way we don’t have to carry it around. By the time we leave the park he’s too tired to think about anything but his bed.

    1. I always tell my kids to to wait till I leave this planet to buy anything that way I don’t ever have to pay for it. That hasn’t worked for my wife though. But I do like your strategy. Kids are sooooooo gullible.

  17. The popcorn bucket is def. worth it if you purchase a simple one for $10. Refills with it are only $2 and its a good snack inbetween meals and while standing in line. Cast members will fill your old bucket too from previous years. Stop at epcot for flavored popcorn like buffalo!

  18. The Christmas ornaments are beautiful but the glass ones have a tendency to break easily. Sometimes it’s better to order them from Disney online and ship to home where it can be replaced for free if it arrives broken.

  19. As for the golf balls, if you enjoy mini golf, you can play a round and at the end they exchange your ball for a souvenir ball at no additional cost.

  20. We bought the clear balloons with the black Mickey Mouse head inside.
    My grandsons loved them.
    We deflated them for the plane ride as they insisted on taking them home.
    Found we couldn’t inflate them again and they were taped to the wall u til they went in the trash.

  21. Don’t buy water/snow globes. Yeah, they may be cool and decorative. But if you’re flying home, be ready for a letdown when TSA confiscates it because it contains liquid— not allowed through security. Sure you could check it in luggage, and let the handlers destroy it. Best bought online.

  22. We are actually the owners of a banshee. my 7 year old son just had a birthday and brought some money to spend on souvenirs. He loved flight of passage and fell in love with the banshees as soon as he saw them. Throughout the day my husband and I tried to convince him it would be a waste of money, but in the end the banshee won. He loved it. He wore it nonstop for a week when we got home, and loved showing it to friends and family.

    That was almost 2 years ago.

    He pulled it out last week for the first time in two years.

    Two years.

    Since it’s been in it’s box and under his bed, it’s still in great shape.

  23. My daughter had to have banshee on our first trip to Pandora. She has NEVER played with it. Unfortunately we bought ours when they were still $80 each. I do get a lot of use out of popcorn buckets though. I buy the ones actually shaped like buckets with the snap on lids and I use them in our pantry for pre-wrapped items like granola bars and hot cocoa packets. Gives me a little shot of Disney magic every time I open the pantry!

  24. Bought my grandson a bubble pistol for $20. Six months later I bought 2 of the exact same bubble pistol, 2 fb or $5.

  25. I definitely do not buy any souvenirs for the kids in the parks. My wife will usually give into some whining. My older son already understands that they are a rip-off, i.e., I tell him that if he does not buy the souvenir that I will let him spend the money on Amazon and that the money will buy much more. As to light toys, just go on Amazon before your trip. You can buy 50 “finger lights” for like $9.99 and give them to your kids at the parks at night. Strangers will walk up to you and say “Where did you get those?”