I dare you to go to Disneyland and not buy at least one souvenir on your visit. Unless you work there or are a season pass holder who drops by whenever you please, odds are you will pick something up to help you remember the “magical” time you had. Me, I’d like to take the entire park home with me, but that just wouldn’t be practical. Instead my family picks up a little this or a little that — some sort of memento — each time we go.
Along with capturing our visit on video (and really, is there any better record of your Disneyland adventure than on film?), splurging on a keepsake is a great way to keep those memories close at hand.
Here are eight things to pick up on your net visit. And the best part? Almost all of them cost less than $10 each. Yes, you are welcome.
Does your family pick up any of these souvenirs when you go to the Magic Kingdom?
Silhouette Studio 1 of 8In our hallway we have five silhouettes, one for each time our daughter has been to Disneyland - we make the pilgrimage once a year. Going to get her profile captured on black paper, carefully cut by one of their well-trained scissor artists has become a beloved family tradition. And it's a deal, it's only $9 for your own custom silhouette making it one of the most unique and affordable souvenirs at the park.
A Mickey Mouse Hat 2 of 8The Mickey ears? They are totally classic and awesome. It's something that is worn with pride while in the Magic Kingdom, but something you rarely see anyone wearing outside the gates. It's a pretty adorable way to embrace where you are. And seriously, what's cuter than a kid grinning ear to ear with Mickey's ears on their head?
The Pins 3 of 8There is an interesting subculture that exists amongst Disney-goers: the pin collectors. There are those who have pins adorning their hats, in rows running down the lanyards hanging from their necks, and the hardcore pinners who have binders filled with hundreds of pins and who swap with others in the dedicated pin trading areas in the parks. While you probably won't embrace it as much as these extreme pinners, picking up one (or two) is a fun exercise in decision-making. There is a ridiculously large selection to pick from at the park gift shops. And if you do happen to get into collecting, Disneyland employees are instructed to trade with you for any of their pins when in the parks, which makes a great practice in the act of negotiation for the kids.
Autopia Driver’s License 4 of 8The first time my daughter ever drove was behind the wheel of a car was at Autopia, Disneyland's vintage (but still awesome) driving ride. She's 6, so Autopia is pretty much the only wheel she will get behind for quite a while And man, was she proud. Even prouder when she got her customized Autopia driver's license. There are kiosks at the end of the attraction where you can get one made for about four bucks. It now lives in her "wallet." And yes, it's the only thing in there.
Autograph Book 5 of 8Have you witnessed this? A Disney character hits Main Street and is suddenly swarmed by a slew of children all brandishing books -- their autograph books. Kids of all different sizes rush to get their favorite character's John Hancock written in carefully executed script. My family broke down and embraced this practice and it's pretty darn cute. In our daughter's autograph book we paste across from the signature a photo of her getting it, so the memories are more vivid.
The Button 6 of 8Above is the button my daughter received on her first visit to Disneyland four years ago. It's a souvenir paying tribute to this big milestone (well, in my family we consider it a milestone). You can also get a button for your birthday (but be warned, everyone will be wishing you a happy b-day all day long), a "just engaged" button, a "just graduated" button, and a "just married" button, among others. And best of all, they're free. They are available at Disneyland's City Hall.
The Ride Photo 7 of 8After you exit a ride like Tower of Terror, Splash Mountain or Space Mountain, there are monitors that flash photos of a pivotal scary faced moment of the ride. These photos are generally pretty hilarious with a mix of genuine shock while some totally ham it up, knowing when the cameras will snap. You can purchase these pics from the sales desk nearby, and sometimes, it is totally worth it.
The Photo Pass 8 of 8Throughout Disneyland you will see the official Disneyland photographers snapping away in front of landmarks like the Matterhorn, Walt's statue, and Cinderella's castle. Odds are you'll have your own camera with you, but if you want the professional touch, and a little added magic, you can get your photos taken by the PhotoPass team. Here my daughter holds Tinkerbell. Yeah, she thinks that's pretty awesome too. Then when you get home you can log in and order prints or downloads, making memory keeping very convenient.
Photos: Sunny Chanel & Disneyland
Want to capture your own family memories on video? We’re giving away two Sony Handycams! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on any Sony-sponsored post (including this one) with an answer to the following question: what’s your favorite family memory? Contest runs through 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 30th, 2012, and you may enter once per post. Contest is open to U.S. residents only.
Want a chance to win weekly prizes like a Sony Handycam or a $200 Disney shopping card? Enter to win here!