Top 5 Best Disney Souvenirs Under $20

Looking for that perfect souvenir at Disney but you don’t want to break the bank?  We’re giving you the top 5 souvenirs for under $20!

1. Silhouettes – You can find these kiosks in Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  They cut the silhouette right there and it’s done in just a few minutes.  It costs $8 per person plus tax.  A frame is an additional $7.95 plus tax.

2. Pick A Pearl – Found in the Japan pavilion of the World Showcase, this is almost a show as well as a souvenir.  You pick your oyster out of a tank and a cast member opens it up to show you the prize inside.  Hint: choose the ugliest, hairiest oyster in the tank for the prettiest pearl.  The cost is about $17 to choose an oyster.  Settings for your pearl are an additional cost.

3. Autograph books – Pick up one of these at any practically gift shop on property so you can collect signatures from all your favorite characters.  My kids love to look back through their autograph books from previous trips so they can remember which characters they met and had a blast with.  Books start at $7.95 plus tax.

4. First Haircut Package at Harmony Barber Shop – Commemorate your baby’s first haircut in Disney style!  You can get their hair cut and styled at the barber shop right there on Main Street.  The package includes a certificate, a bag to keep the lock of hair if you want, plus a set of Mickey ears embroidered with “My First Haircut”.  The cost is $19 plus tax and an appointment is necessary.

5. Pressed Pennies – Looking for a small but super cool souvenir?  Try making pressed pennies!  These machines are everywhere around WDW and each machine has a unique design.  Most of the coins cost $.51 to make: two quarters and a penny.  There are some machines that press different coins and those vary in price due to the denomination being pressed.

What’s your favorite inexpensive souvenir?  Leave it in the comments!

Podcast Episode 71: Our Fall Vacation Trip Reports – Jillian and Shannon

Join us as we talk about our recent Disney vacations!  We talk about the new things we tried, new shows and attractions, and special events like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

We cover Jillian’s and Shannon’s vacations in this part 1 episode, so check back next week for Jamie’s and Tara’s reports in part 2!

Happy listening!

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Refurbishments November & December 2015


Magic Kingdom

Liberty Tree Tavern: July 6-November 25

Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover: December 7-10

Splash Mountain: January 10-14, 2016

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: January 18-Feb 11, 2016

Liberty Square Riverboat: January 18-Feb 22, 2016


Sum of All Thrills: November 30-December 10

Soarin’: January 4-Summer 2016

Re-imagination of Maelstrom: Opens April 30, 2016

Hollywood Studios

Jedi Training Academy: October 4-November 30

Pizza Planet: January 4-Late 2016

Water Parks
Blizzard Beach: October 4-January 2, 2016

Typhoon Lagoon: January 3-March 12, 2016


Bay Lake Tower: Bay Cove Pool February 1-March 18

All Star Sports: Surfboard Bay Pool: January 25-28

Animal Kingdom Villas-Jambo House: Uzima Pool: December 14-16

BoardWalk Inn: Luma Park Pool: January 11-February 2

Flying Fish Restaurant: February 1-September 30

Exterior Painting: August 17, 2015-May 5, 2016

Caribbean Beach Resort: Old Port Royale paths of travel November 30-December 20   and January 3-February 28
Jamaica Pool: January 6-8
Martinique Quiet Pool: January 11-13
Fuentes del Morro Pool: January 13-16
Trinidad North Quiet Pool: January 27-29
Trinidad South Quiet Pool: February 3-5

Grand Floridian: Courtyard Pool: January 16-19

Old Key West: Sandcastle Pool: January 4-6

Polynesian Village Resort: East Pool now-early 2016

General construction now-Early 2016

Pop Century Resort: Computer Pool November 30-December 3

Bowling Pin Pool: December 7-10

Port Orleans French Quarter: Kiddie Pool September 29-December 24

Port Orleans Riverside: Ol’ Man Island Pool: January 11-February 29

Saratoga Springs: Grandstand Pool January 20-22

Yacht Club: Concierge Lounge now- early December

Wilderness Lodge: Resort refurbishment October 2-2017

Hidden Springs Pool: November 1-2017


Please note these are subject to change without notice.  Check back to keep up to date on the latest closures.

Disney’s Polynesian Resort Club Level Room Review

Last week, we stayed two nights at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort in a club level room.  We actually reserved a garden view room but got a surprise upgrade to theme park view!  We had a great time and really enjoyed this resort.

The club level food offerings were delicious.  They offered a continental breakfast with pastries, oatmeal, and fruit each  morning.  Midday was snacks like goldfish, popcorn, and trail mix.  Evenings were hot appetizers like chicken wings, sushi, fruit and cheese, and even wine and cocktails.  We never did make it to the cocktail hour service, but I’m sure it was fabulous as well.


-Location, location, location!  It was so convenient to be right there on the monorail line.

-The club level rooms all being located in the Hawaii building, we were close to both the pool and the lobby.

-Our room was situated three doors down from the club level lounge so we could just pop down whenever we wanted a drink or a snack.  Very easy!

-Ohana is onsite, so it’s very easy to enjoy a great character meal within the resort.

-Amazing pool!  My kids just loved the water slide and the splash pad!


-Price.  The Polynesian is one of the most expensive resorts on property.

Now some photos!

2 queen beds

2 queen beds

sofa converts to single bed

sofa converts to single bed

bathroom with double sinks

bathroom with double sinks

Our view!

Our view!

Club level snacks during midday

Club level snacks during midday

Sodas and coffee

Sodas and coffee

Tea, lemonade, and POG juice!

Tea, lemonade, and POG juice!

WDW Parks Holiday Happenings Overview

Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: separate ticketed event that runs from 7pm to midnight. There is a special parade, fireworks, hot cocoa and cookies, stage shows, and “snow” falls on Main Street!

Nightly castle lighting. Either the fairy Godmother or Elsa (on Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights) bring the castle from it’s normal appearance to completely decked in lights! It really is a sight to see. 

The Jungle Cruise turns into the Jingle Cruise! The boats are renamed in holiday themes and there are some added jokes.

The Barbershop Quartet the Dapper Dans sing Christmas carols instead of their normal tunes.


Storytellers: Late in November cast members tell stories about their country’s traditions and legends. In addition there are some special holiday treats for sale!

Candlelight Processional: November 27-December 30th, 3 shows per night each with a celebrity narrating the biblical Christmas story featuring a choir and orchestra. These shows are VERY popular, lining up at least an hour in advance, if not much more, is a good idea if you want to see this show. One way to guarantee seating is the Candlelight Dinner Package at one of many Epcot restaurants for 2 Table Service credits.

Hollywood Studios

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: Disney has announced this will be the last year due to construction and expansion of Hollywood Studios. Streets of America are covered(buildings, trees, lampshades, everything) in lights that “dance” choreographed to music . You can purchase “Made with Magic” items  Mickey Ear Hat, Minnie Mouse Headband, Mickey Mouse Glove and the Sorcerer Mickey Wand to add to the effect, they are programmed to light up at key points of the show (can also be used at Holiday Wishes and other shows year round).

Merry & Bright Dessert Party at Hollywood Studios is a new event this year. From November 6 through December 30, 2015, you can purchase a separate ticket at a cost of $69 per adult or $39 for children. This includes entry (you can come and go as you please) to dessert party, reserved viewing site and a keepsake stadium blanket.

Will you be able to see any of these special Holiday happenings? Which are you most excited for?

Super Special Extra Celebrations

Going to Disney World to celebrate a special event is already the icing on the cake in my opinion but Disney also gives you lots of options to kick it up a notch. So, is this anniversary super special or this birthday a BIG one. For any ages and events, there is something special to help. I wanted to talk about the Super Special Big Dollar Extras that can be provided to you from Disney Floral and Gifts.

There are lots of ways to do things and Disney Floral and Gifts is by no means the least expensive option but they do have the good, special stuff and the ways and means to get it done.

For example, I spent my 40th birthday at Disney with the best of friends and my husband and they surprised me on the day by decorating the living room of our Boardwalk Villa (awesome and budget friendly – the room decorating not Boardwalk haha do not think I am living under a rock!) and then kicked it up a notch by having a cake delivered that we ate for breakfast every day. It is Disney and I said “Let them eat cake” quite a bit that trip. Then the special extra happened and we came back from a park day and there was a beautiful glitter pink rose with a wonderful special bracelet and note.



It was awesome! And the best part (or maybe?) is it broke, that week at Disney (put my hand in my purse and the heart came off). I called Disney Floral and Gifts and without question sent me a new one and never even asked for the broken one, etc. That is the Disney difference.

So, here are a few of what I think are the craziest, most over the top, super special things!

Presenting Your Royal Princess – $435.00 – so you walk up to your room and on your door is a pink banner letting her know something is up! She then gets to open a big box filled with all princess must haves (tiaras and wands), there are balloons and personalized princess capes and so much more! It is a BIG deal.



Not in the mood for princess and pink? Go Big with Mickey and Pals Big Birthday Wish – coming in at a modest $395.00. You can have all the fun with Mickey and his pals and keep your inner child (or outer child happy!)

MC0001_vlNeed some Super, Special Romance? A Wish Come True – a Two Day Romantic Experience is ready for you at a mere $364.95 but you get two days full of romance. There are roses and crystals and champagne for two days. Sign me up!




Is your (or your kids) dream of meeting a princess or Mickey and Friends finally coming through? Have your child proclaimed a princess at Cinderella’s Royal Table or a princess meet and greet with the My Storybook Moment – Princess (143.95) or find out they are about to meet their best pal Mickey using a storybook moment with My Storybook Moment – Mickey Mouse (87.95)

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Yes, going to Disney is SUPER special and no one needs the extras but if you have a few extra dollars and want to go as over the top as possible. These are a few ideas that are easy on you to make happen!




Podcast Episode 70: Christmas At Disney

Have you ever wondered what Disney has to offer for the holidays?  Wonder no longer because we’re giving you the scoop of what you can expect at Walt Disney World for Christmas!  We cover decor, shows, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and other events.

Happy listening

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Club Level Series: The Polynesian Resort

One of the most loved club levels is in the most loved resort The Polynesian Resort. So, after leaving the flagship Grand Floridian Club Level last time, just hop on the monorail and go a few stops down to the Poly. Before you go, you should receive a call or email from their Itinerary Planning Office but better just to let your travel agent handle the planning (maybe biased but contrary to popular opinion these people do not hoard BOG ADRs and can not do more than check once a day for cancellation – so better work with a great TA and get those ADRs!)

After you check-in (at your private concierge check-in desk) and check out your slightly upgraded club room. I say slightly because it is basically a few extra nice amenities like robes and turn down service (same as the other club level resorts). You will be either in a suite or standard room either in Tonga or Hawaii buildings, and after putting your once over on your room head to the favorite concierge lounge The King Kamehameha Club.

Why is The King Kamehameha Club the typical favorite? Well first let’s start with the view. Need I say more?

Poly view


So, stop by to grab a snack before heading out to a theme park or relax and read a book and snack all day looking out the beautiful window and soaking in that view. Whatever you decide, you will love it.

Poly CrackersSo, another reason The King Kamehameha Club is a favorite is their menu. It just fits the bill and always feels more generous. You can make a meal or a heavy snack here for breakfast and even for dinner. You can also get quite a few different drinks in you during the evening, head out for fireworks (or watch from the Poly beach) come back to the concierge lounge for dessert and cognac. All that is included in your fantastic club level room at the Poly resort.

Oh, and what else is there to love about The King Kamehameha Club? Unlimited POG JuicePOG juice and if you are not familiar with it – run to the Poly and try it because you will love it. It is like a dole whip, if you do not love it, there is something crazy wrong with you!

If you want to know the menu they do print one out each week and you can see it has a wide variety of amazing sounding snacks and appetizers from sushi to luau ribs.



So, do I recommend Poly’s Club Level? YES! Check it out for yourself and let me know if you loved it too?

MagicBand On Demand

Have you been itching to create your own MagicBand that fits your personality?  Well now you can!  The creation station is located in the Tomorrowland Power & Light Co near Space Mountain.  There will be 8 different colors to choose from…including the much requested purple!  There will be 40 different graphics that you can choose from to customize your band, including some Magic Kingdom ones that will ONLY be available at the creation location.

In addition to the graphics, you will also have the opportunity to print your name on the outside of the band!  This should be lots of fun!

The printers will use UV ink that dries instantaneously and requires no cooling time.  In addition, you can link them to your My Disney Experience account right away, or you can save them to give as gifts.

The cost for a customized retail MagicBand is $21.95 and a personalized retail MagicBand will be $29.95.  Have fun creating!



Candlelight Processional 2015- Narrators Added

Disney has just released additional names of narrators for this year’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot. From November 27 until December 30 you can catch a lovely retelling of the Christmas story with a full orchestra and choir at the American Gardens Theater in Epcot. Showtimes are at 5:00pm, 6:45pm, and 8:15pm nightly.

  • 11/27 – 11/29 — Gary Sinise
  • 11/30 – 12/3 — Neil Patrick Harris
  • 12/4 – 12/5 — Whoopi Goldberg
  • 12/6 – 12/8 — Joe Morton
  • 12/9 – 12/11 — Ana Gasteyer
  • 12/12 – 12/14 — Meredith Vieira
  • 12/15 – 12/17— America Ferrera
  • 12/18 – 12/20 — Chandra Wilson
  • 12/21 – 12/23 — Daniel Dae Kim
  • 12/24 – 12/26 — Edward James Olmos
  • 12/27 – 12/28 – Blair Underwood
  • 12/29 – 12/30 — Amy Grant

Disney does have a disclaimer that they are subject to change without notice to be sure to check before you arrive.

And you can also purchase Candlelight Processional Dining Packages for lunch and dinner where there is availability.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing?