In Defense Of The Frivolous Disney Souvenir

WDW Trip Report - Art of Animation Ink and Paint Shop

As Disney fans go, I consider myself to be among the more fiscally conservative. Sure, by this point I’m sure I’ve spent a solid five figures on Disney parks, but that’s over the course of a good decade and a half and more. Call it discretionary spending, but never debt. I mean yeah, I could have a nicer car or a down payment on a house or whatever, but then I’d have to figure out the car insurance and/or mow my own lawn and who wants that? I like to think of it as investing in having fun!

Still, I try to keep things reasonable. I stay at Pop Century more often than I don’t. I think carefully before buying Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes. One pair of Minnie ears per trip max – with occasional exceptions, of course! It’s not about never splurging; it’s about splurging thoughtfully, and not too much at once (see “never debt” note above).

New sweatshirt with surfer Goofy

With this ethos in mind, I try to be practical when selecting souvenirs. Is it unique? Does it commemorate a moment? Is the value proportionate to the cost? One might argue at times I’m a little too pedantic (and inclined to agonize and hem and haw, which is probably a mere one of the reasons I have so many friends 😅) about these questions, and yet it serves me well in standing between me and Buying All the Disney Things!!!

Because no one is immune to buying all the Disney things. And yet now I would like to take a tentative new tack against the financially responsible wind: perhaps, sometimes, a spontaneous, frivolous, impulsive Disney purchase is just the right thing to do.


If you read my Princess Half Marathon Weekend trip report, you will recall the story of how the Magic Kingdom’s Emporium got me good. You may safely skip the next thousand paragraphs. If not, I will explain. In the immortal words of “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,” it’s a long story, and even longer when I tell it:

We had a Tony’s Town Square advanced dining reservation for that evening, and arrived just a touch too early to check in. The Emporium gift shop was right there on Main Street, so we decided to kill a little time browsing its wares. Browsing! Browsing! Browsing…?

Okay, I can’t hit up a Disney store without checking out its Minnie ear selection. Amongst the current offerings, I was shocked to discover a pair of purple floral ears that I had wanted on a previous trip but missed out on. (Tangentially related but a separate point: if you do decide to buy a Disney souvenir, just buy it in the moment lest it sell out while you’re away!) So I picked those up, because clearly they had stood the ratio test of Wanting vs. Time, right? Fine.

We walk deeper into the store, and soon find ourselves in an area dedicated primarily to plush toys. Now, I am not ashamed to admit that I remain, in the back half of my thirties, a stuffed animal enthusiast. I sleep with multiple stuffed animals, and it is AWESOME. This is one of them.

Mitsukoshi Shiba Inu stuffed animals

I don’t purchase a lot of Disney stuffed animals, as they tend to be comparatively expensive and difficult to pack in a carryon. Also, a lot of the newer ones are kind of weird, right? Take the Munchlings line, for example. Why would you design an entire line of plushes representing a bizarre The Fly-style hybridization of Disney characters and food? No, seriously, why? Is that what children want?

I’m inclined to say no, it isn’t, and I have evidence to back this up. Firstly, my own niece once told me she did not want one (“It would just make me hungry”). Secondly, there was a sizable assortment of the large Munchlings on sale in the Emporium that day: a French hot chocolate Remy, Stitch’s girlfriend Angel combined with what the internet informs me is meant to be an acai bowl, and a Mike Wazowski donut.

Original price: $34.95. According to the sign, they were marked down… to TEN DOLLARS.

But wait, there’s more! The fine print stated that additional discounts applied. Like, say, a 20% Annual Passholder discount? Could these plushes truly be had for $8???

Of course, these were those wonky Munchlings no one wanted in the first place… but hold on – is hot chocolate Remy actually kind of cute…?

Reader, I bought hot chocolate Remy. He was cute. And he really did cost me, in grand total, eight bucks before taxes. By Disney standards, that’s the deal of the century.

Magic Kingdom Emporium souvenirs - Minnie Ears and Remy Munchling

Did I need a stuffed animal? No! Was it an impulse purchase fueled partially by my love of a good deal? Yes! Did I come to regret it in time? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Like I said, I normally sleep with a couple stuffed animals. I like having something to hug. At Disney, however, I am bereft of a hugging buddy, as suitcase space is a precious commodity and it’s not like I need the plush, right? I’m not an addict.

But hey – remember how sometimes I suffer from pre-race panic attacks? While I’ve cultivated a bunch of brain hacks that have kept my panic in check for the past couple races, I can never consider myself truly safe.

Yet I was able to drift off in reasonable time and didn’t wake up in a cold sweat with a racing heart ONCE the night before the Princess Half. I’m not unconvinced that the comfort and familiarity of my odd new Remy friend wasn’t a part of that. I might start bringing a stuffed animal to WDW after all. For race trips at least!

And there’s more. I brought my Remy/beverage home and popped him on the couch to serve my cuddle-based needs while movie watching and similar. Every time I look at him, I’m reminded of the Magic Kingdom, and how I had a good race and a good trip. He makes me happy.


I’m not a Gilmore Girls enthusiast as such, but I watched the show sometimes in college. I vaguely remember a scene in one of the episode where Rory and Emily are on vacation in Europe, and Rory asks Emily why she keeps buying stuff she could get for way cheaper at home. “Oh,” Emily says, “but then I can’t say, this is a little something I picked up in Europe.”

That’s sort of the thesis of this post, I suppose. This is my French Hot Chocolate Remy. He’s just a little something I picked up in Walt Disney World.

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!


  1. 1000000% agree – just buy it if you like it! I just got home from 2 weeks in Orlando and put off buying a pair of ears I saw on the first day. Then for some reason I couldn’t find them anywhere – they had been replaced by the white bow with black dots in every store in Magic Kingdom. We finished with a half day at EPCOT and luckily I found them on a cart near Moana’s Water Show (as I call it!). In the same way I bought a Tower hoodie when I saw it then decided I didn’t actually like it… returned no problem!
    I saw my mantra on a t-shirt ‘life is short, book the trip, buy the ears, eat the whip’.

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