I know this varies a lot from family to family and depending on kids’ ages, but in your opinion, what is a reasonable amount of money to give kids to spend to choose their own souvenirs, either total or per day? (My kids are 4 and 6.)
Gosh that’s so personal.
It probably depends a lot on who your kids are, too. DS couldn’t care less about almost any souvenirs. So when he finds something he wants we are not inclined to say no. DD OTOH well she would put us in the poor house. Lol. So we kind of judged when it was time for her to pay vs us.
I think when they were small we made sure they each had $75-$100 for the whole 7 day trip, whether gift cards, or their own money they’d saved, or just us footing that bill. If they are small people their things will cost smaller dollars in many cases. If they are adult sized people they will have adult sized prices.
Since yours are small I think $75-$100 should be plenty, and they could probably even get by with as little as $30 but I don’t think much less than that would suffice.
The “problem” I’ve always found with comitting to any specific amount is that everything in WDW is pretty expensive. Maybe we agreed on too little
It’s indeed difficult to say an amount for anyone else, but considering the price point of for example toys, plushes etc, I think $30-40 is the minimum or otherwise everything slightly bigger costs more than they have. Last time we gave the kids $50 but we also got them clothing etc so they could spend their money on something less practical.
Regardless of amount, what we always at least try to do is avoid buying anything on the first day. We tell the kids that on day x we are going to, say, MK and the Emporium, which is one of the biggest stores. so it’s good to save and also that if they still want something they saw earlier, we can always find it or go back for it. Surprisingly, they’ve been able to be patient and look around.
… And then my son bought a bubble wand.
sorry for the zillion edits
One thing I read another family do was they had like buckets of things each kid could buy so they all got fairly equivalent stuff, but it wasn’t limited in case the 4yos shirt is $20, but the 6yo is $35. So they each got like 1 shirt, 1 stuffy, 1 hat/ears/etc, and like 1 other thing they wanted. I thought that was a great idea since some kids have way more expensive or impractical tastes.
Look at shopDisney for examples of what your kids might want, and what the prices are. That should help you envision the total amount. For instance, see what a T-shirt, ears, and a toy add up to.
The problem with this - and I do agree it’s a good rule in general - is that it can be difficult to track an item down in other locations. If day 1 = MK, and day last is also MK then I think you can stick to that rule more safely.
We did one stuffy, one T-shirt, and one other thing per kid. Ended up being around $75/kid.
Not a practical answer, but when my girls and I first started driving down for spring break at DLR, we would buy souvenirs at the Target nearby. I was on a severe budget! But, hey! - we got to go to Disneyland!
yea definitely, I had the option of going back to the first park in the case that something there wasn’t available elsewere.
My kids have so much junk I hate getting more souvenirs. So I limit them to about the cost of a regular-sized plush, which is about $40. I let them do one regular item (shirt, plush, barbie), or in the case of my DS, who wanted something from each park, 4 smaller items (keychains, rocks, action figures, etc.).
If my kid wanted a wand or lightsaber or droid, I might make an exception for that once every few years.
What if the “other thing” they want is a $300 Lego set (or something equally ridiculous)? Or they have no interest in any t-shirts? Or plushes? I’m having a hard time anticipating what they’ll want, and my inclination is to underpromise.
My kids have plenty of junk too, but I don’t want to be that mean parent who brings them to the promised land and won’t let them get anything either so… I need a plan!
Well it doesn’t matter if you go to Target or WDW, kids will usually want something ridicilous
I didn’t show my kids those things
I also didn’t tell them my plan, just went in knowing what I would say yes to and what I’d need to steer them away from.
I love that he wanted to do this!
OK I guess there does have to be an upper limit.
I wouldn’t probably say out loud what that upper limit might be but if they really, truly, deeply wanted something more expensive and it was below the upper limit I had in my head, I would probably allow it as the one thing they could get. I think I’m thinking of the upper limit as $150 of my parental dollars; if they wanted to subsidize that with their own money they could have at it.
For a roughly 1 week vacation, we usually give each kid $50 to spend. They aren’t allowed to spend on candy. Usually we end up with some combination of shirts and stuffed animals.
Well, I am an outlier I guess. We rarely ever get souvenirs anywhere we travel, which is all over the place. (they are more likely to get a souvenir when someone went somewhere without them) Occasionally, their Dad buys them a sweatshirt.
We have fun looking at the shops, but not buying anything. Being grateful we haven’t added to our stuff when we get home, but still having fun oohing and aahing at everything. (and laughing at how expensive it is) I don’t think we have ever said “oh I wish I bought “insert item here” on our trip” after we are back home.
I was hanging out in the Space Mt gift shop with my nephew (8) waiting for everyone else to exit the ride. He warned me, “Auntie don’t buy anything. You can get it for half the price on amazon.” Haha, his mom has him well trained.
We always intend to get a few pressed pennies at each park (small, inexpensive, and hard to outgrow). We always forget and some days don’t get any. I think the last trip we got 3 for each kid.
We find we spend less money if there is no budget at all. That way we are not spending just to use up our allotment. We evaluate each purchase separately.
We can shop at home, but we can’t ride awesome rides, so generally don’t waste our time shopping at all.
Works for us, may not work for others.
Kids are free to spend their own money how they see fit. (Which is usually spent at home on candy.)
“Ridiculous” would generate this response on my part: big ceremony of taking a photo of the SKU with my phone since “this is such a big item” so we can order it once we’re at home, instead of lugging it around the park, “if we still want it then”.
Our solution to this dilemma with that age is to amass currently owned Disney shirts and Disney plushies - this is what ours was into.
Before the trip. Inventory what we’ve got. Determine what we need. In our case here’s Lady, but no Tramp. We must look for Tramp.
Or maybe we’ve got Timon but no Pumba.
Or we need Eeyore to round out the set.
We identified about 5 plushies that we were looking for.
We packed every Disney shirt, and plushie - but we drive to WDW.
While at Disney, a friend (plushie) is selected each day to visit the park with us. And of course we’re wearing a Disney shirt. And at that age we were using a stroller (more for haulage of stuff than kids by 6 yo) so the friend had a place to hang out, if necessary.
We rarely bought a shirt. We sometimes found one of the plushies on our to look for list. Had fun looking for them. “Oh well, better luck next time”.
We also highly promoted smashed pennies - more easily transported and maybe cheaper.
Within a few years it was pins rather than plushie but the inventory and identification of what we’re looking for persisted.
By 8 I think we were doing a daily envelope of so much - $10, maybe, at that time. A kid could spend it daily or combine several days for something more pricey.
By 13 or so they had a set amount - $150 maybe - and charging privileges. That $150 was money they had earned.
We were lucky with kids who seemed content with their mountain of Disney stuff without needing to add to it.
Our main difficulty was the adults buying crap for the kids . . .
When my kids were little, we had a lot less money. They were allowed one thing on the last day and that gave them the whole visit to seek out that one thing. I should say the one thing was usually a stuffed animal. It was a BIG deal to them to pick it out on our last day. But as many have stated already it will vary by family. On my last girls trip w/ my adult DDs I bought them each a DB bag… times have changed a lot