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Heading to Disney soon? One thing you may be surprised at when you go to Disney is the amount of merchandise around the parks. While there are a lot of cool, park exclusive items you can buy, great foods to eat, and unique experiences you can purchase, there are some things you just should never buy at Disney. Check out this list to know what you should avoid purchasing at the parks and why.
- Fruit. I love that Disney has fruit stands so that there are healthy food options in the parks. I hate the price tag they stick on their fruit. At Disneyland the fruit is a few dollars for an orange. Go to a grocery store in the area and you pay 50 cents. (I mean, you are in California where they have plenty of orange groves after all.) Save a lot of money and bring in your own fruit from a local grocery store. Didn’t think you could bring in your own food…wrong! We covered this myth in our 10 Items Banned at Disney Parks (and some that aren’t) post.
- Sunscreen. Sunscreen on property is expensive! If you forgot yours and absolutely can not get off property to purchase, then you may be stuck buying from Disney, but just prepared to spend a pretty penny and also have limited selection.
- Bottled Water. Do not waste your money on a bottled water at Disney. No reason to pay $3 for 16 ounces (totally guessing on the price) because you can get free ice waters at any quick service restaurant. I suggest investing in a good, stainless steel, vacuum sealed water bottle (LIKE THIS ONE – affiliate link) and then pouring your FREE ice waters into it. I love that this one can fit ice cubes in it, it keeps drinks cold and it has an easy flip top.
- Anything you can find at Walmart, Target etc. One rule we have when souvenir shopping at Disney is that if I can find the item (or something extremely similar) at my local retailer, we are not buying it at Disney. That includes clothing with just characters on it (no special wording or mention of the park), toys, and more. Why buy a Buzz Lightyear toy when there is an almost identical one at Target for less? I also like to buy most of our Disney themed clothing at home, though I love buying myself a good park sweatshirt (I am wearing my favorite Disneyland sweatshirt as I type this) or jacket. But a tee with Mickey on it, especially for my kids, is not worth the $10 extra I will pay to get it at Disneyland instead of Target at home. (BTW- I have this same rule anywhere we go, be it the zoo, another theme park, or even the fair.) When at Disneyland one year, the Goof wanted a Buzz Lightyear. I looked it up and the exact same one was way cheaper on Amazon. (And yes, it is the official Disney product) (affiliate link)
- Disney gift cards. They sell Disney gift cards at Disney. These are great if you want to give each kid a certain amount of money. However, you should not buy your gift cards at Disney because you can save 5% by buying them at Target using your Red Card (they have a debit card version). I went in to more detail in the post How to go to Disneyland for cheap in 2017 as well as sharing many other Disneyland saving tips.
- Stroller Rentals. I love renting strollers when going to Disneyland because it means I do not have to take strollers with me in my car or check them when flying. However, I do NOT suggest renting strollers from Disney parks. Both for quality and economical reason. Also, Disney strollers can not leave the parks. If you are heading to Disneyland I suggest renting your stroller from City Stroller Rentals. The quality of the strollers is amazing, the service is even better! In most cases the stroller can be delivered right to your hotel, waiting for you when you check in. They even pick the strollers up for you at the end of your stay.
If you avoid purchasing these items in the park, you can free up some more funds for in park purchases. Splurge on a character meal or that really nice souvenir. Did I forget anything that you really shouldn’t purchase at the parks? Leave a comment letting me know.
*Thanks to my friend Ausha for the photos of the fruit and water stands in the parks.