Tips about Kids and Souvenirs

No room for your refillable mug in your suitcase? Clean it out and put small gift items (or even clothing) inside to save room. - Kristy B.
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I always loved purchasing the antenna toppers -- I must have at least 50 for all the seasons. But our cars no longer have antennas. So I found a new use for them. I purchased a package of inexpensive pens and put them into the toppers. Presto! A cute Disney pen for every season. - Barb Carpenter
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If you're like me, you might collect a Christmas tree bauble (or two) from the World each time you visit -- perhaps with a year on to commemorate a trip. Trouble is, we now have too many for our Christmas tree to easily support! As an alternative, I got some cheap curtain rods -- the telescoping sort -- wrapped them in tinsel, and mounted them along wall shelves, then suspended the baubles from them. It spreads the Disney all around the room, and hey, there's room for lots more! - Matthew
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In a recent newsletter a reader asked where to find Disney apparel in larger sizes. I have had REALLY good luck at the gift shop in the Beach Club Resort. It's worth a special trip or visit the shop while having a great meal at Cape May Cafe. - Debbie Wilk
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The My Disney Experience app now can show you where the pressed penny machines are located. Launch the app, click on the magnifying glass at the top to search. Type in: coin press. The map will now show you all the coin press machines in Walt Disney World. - Jean
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A great way to tote around your umbrella strollers is to use a "camping" or "sport" chair bag from home. Put the stroller in the bag when you are about to board the bus and easily store the bag in/on your stroller throughout the parks. It will make holding your stroller so much easier while toting those little ones around, too. I would love to take credit, but this is a tip someone else shared with me that I know everyone could use. - Jessica Stahl
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Just got back from our first trip to the Magic Kingdom with a toddler. He goes down for a nap each afternoon and after not getting him to nap while going around Fantasyland/Tomorrowland in a stroller (probably too much noise and visual stimulation), we were going to go back to the hotel. On our way back toward the exit we strolled through the Tomorrowland Terrace. Less noise, no visual stimulation and protected from the sun, it was the perfect place for our son to finally fall asleep! It was also a good place for an adult to rest. It probably saved us an hour round-trip to the hotel and back. - Doug Chen
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One of the things we always bring is a folding stepstool for the room that fits nicely in our luggage. Great for the little guys to use the toilet, wash hands and brush teeth without Mom and Dad's help. Also serves as a time-out chair when necessary. Yes, the resort may have some available for guests, but I don't want to be the 100th person asking and find they are already all loaned out. - Melanie Drake
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I just wanted to share a tip for those who may be visiting Disney World as part of a graduation trip. If you want a really unique and affordable Disney keepsake, have Disney characters sign your graduation cap! Metallic silver and gold markers work really well for making their signatures stand out against a black cap. Also, make sure to bring more than one marker because they tend to dry out quickly. Many of the characters I met had a lot fun playing around with my cap during the meet and greet, especially the Mad Hatter! Based on my experience, I would suggest scheduling at least one character dining experience. This way, you don't have to carry around your cap all day. Even if you do decide to carry it with you, at least it is a very light item to keep in your travel bag. My college graduation was a very memorable experience, but now, each time I see my graduation cap, I feel that extra Disney magic that makes it even more special. - Chiara
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When our daughter, Megan, was small, she loved receiving Mickey Mouse stickers from cast members in the parks. When she was 5, we bought her some brightly colored sticker sheets of her own: love hearts, flowers and smiley faces. Every time she received a sticker, or any sort of attention from a cast member, she gave them a sticker in return. They loved it, and so did she! By the time our holiday was finished, she was giving out stickers to most of the cast members she met. It was so lovely, for us and for her, to see their faces light up, and she got lots of attention from cast members in return. - Alison
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Start saving all your and your kids' old clothes -- the ones that are stained or a little torn, clothes that you don't wear any more or don't let your kids wear to school. Rather than discarding them, keep these clothes. For your trip to The World, take these clothes -- especially for the children. No one cares or pays attention to what you wear in the parks, and that way you won't have to stress out when eating meals or snacks. Spill away! Stain away! No being careful! When you get back to the room, throw that tee shirt or pair of shorts away. When you get home: Hurray! No laundry to do! - Andrea Fisher
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We just returned from a Disney World vacation. We purchased packages of MagicBand "bits" for our children on our first day there. The second day both boys had lost some of their "bits" from their Magic Bands. We asked a cast member at the Emporium if we were doing something wrong. We were sure we had pushed them all the way in the holes. She got a manager who told us you need to be careful, as they easily catch on things when getting on and off rides. He replaced one son's by opening a new pack, but he did not have my other son's, so he brought out a box of open packs and let him pick the two he wanted. - Jolene
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A tip for UK visitors: In shops, kids struggle to work out the cost of something in British pounds, as they have to add the sales tax and then do the currency conversion. When ours were younger I made little conversion charts with the GBP equivalent (with sales tax added) of up to $20. As long as they can add up, they can then work out what things are going to cost from their spending allowance without having to ask Mum or Dad all the time. - Juli Williamson
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Magic Kingdom - A not-well-publicized event that is fun to see for the little kids (and those kids at heart such as myself) is the opening ceremony at the Magic Kingdom. It occurs about 10-15 minutes before what Disney refers to as the "rope drop" (the time that they let people through the arches and into the park). The train arrives at the Main Street station above the floral displays with all the characters on board, with Disney music playing. They stop and wave to everyone waiting to enter the park. They let people through the turnstiles into the queue area about 20-30 minutes prior to the park opening. So get there a few minutes early if you want to see it. I believe it is worth seeing. - Mike
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My tip is for fans of the trading pins. I have a lanyard and pins that I wear daily at school (I am a teacher). I had the problem of the pin backs coming off and losing my precious pins. I've solved the issue by using an eraser from a mechanical pencil. They can be purchased cheaply at local stores and I have yet to lose a pin that is backed by an eraser. - Angela
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