When we were planning our first trip, I remember reading articles on multiple blogs about families bringing gifts for their kids to Disney World. They all went on to talk about the savings on bringing items with them instead of buying items at parks and resorts. Most everyone called theirs “Tinkerbell Gifts” which was awesome. I decided to tell our kids the “Mickey Fairy” was coming. I tried it out our first trip. It worked! Now as we prepare for our seventh trip, we are gearing up again!
Our gifts have evolved a little from what I first read in those blogs. Today our Mickey Fairy brings a new t-shirt, a toy/stuffed animal, or a trinket (i.e. hair bow, candy, pencil) every morning. Sometimes the Mickey Fairy brings a special message inviting us to a special event. The last day the kids usually get new DVD’s for the ride home. Since we drive, we do not have a limit as to what we bring. If you are flying, you might have to adjust a few things.
In our household, the Mickey Fairy is up there with Santa Claus for now. While we are on vacation the Mickey Fairy knows if you throw a fit at the park and will probably not bring you anything in the morning. Our kids have also learned if you are good, the Mickey Fairy might bring a little extra. In order to make the Mickey Fairy appear, your resort room must be kept clean! This is a huge incentive for the kids.
I added a few things to the concept of a small gift. Having gifts and shirts in the room in the morning take care of many of the “I wants” during the day. My kids know when we buy something at the park it will be something special you cannot get anywhere else. They usually get a new ear hat, and some type of keepsake. One year my daughter and I got matching pearls from the Japanese pavilion at Epcot.
I start stocking up gifts as soon as school supply sales start. This time of year is perfect while stocking stuffers are out! There are a ton of options for all age groups. Next, I start looking for t-shirt deals. The Disney Store has great deals on shirts as do Target and Walmart. Most of our shirts cost between $7-$12. Again, while Christmas shopping keep an eye out! This is much cheaper than the standard $20+ you see elsewhere. For stuffed animals I stalk the Disney Store sales, one of my favorite emails of the year is the buy 1 plush get one for a discount. This is a great way to get what your kids want before you go without paying full price. For the trinkets my favorite place to go is Party City, their selection of Disney candy and small party favors is phenomenal! I bought many things for 60 cents each that would surely be $5+ at the park. Also always check the Target Dollar Spot and Dollar Tree for great Disney items.
As my kids are getting older the present have changed in the past 7 visits. But they still love it!
The Mickey Fairy’s delivery would not be complete without fairy dust. In order to make sure we are also being respectful to Mousekeeping they are large pieces that we can easily pick up before it finds its way around the room. A mouse ears craft punch and some sparkly or Disney scrapbook paper make excellent “fairy dust!”
For us, the Mickey Fairy has been a way to add a little bit extra to the day and save money. While we do spend a little up front it saves us so much more than if we were paying full price!