A great discussion began a short while ago on the You Might Be a Disney Addict Facebook group (YMBADA for short). It revolved around ways to ‘pay it forward’ or spread some pixie dust while at Disney. These are all great things that both adults and kids can partake in. We love to see the smile on someone’s face at Disney when you do something positive that they weren’t expecting, so here are my Top 10 Ways to Pay It Forward at Disney – consisting of a lot of the ideas that you came up with.
- Glow Necklaces/Bracelets – Lois’ story is what prompted the discussion after someone left money with a cashier to help pay for her groceries. Lois then decided to purchase glow necklaces and bracelets to hand out to kids who didn’t have any at night in the parks. Way to pay-it-forward Lois!
- Stickers or Temporary Disney Tattoos – Keli noted that her daughter likes to get extra stickers from the gift shops and then hands them out to kids waiting in ride lines. Penny’s kids do something similar and wear temporary tattoos in the parks and then bring extras to hand to other kids as well. It’s their little way of spreading the Disney Magic.
- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Cards – If you’re like us and don’t play the game very much, you can still stop at the Main Street Fire House and get your pack of cards from a cast member. They not only make a great souvenir, they are also great to pass on if you happen to have a double of a card. Have no intentions of playing the game or taking the cards home? Then pass the cards on to a kid you meet while waiting in line for a ride.
- Balloons – If you travel by plane to Disney instead of driving, then you are often met with the dilemma of what to do with those expensive balloons you purchased in the parks since you can’t take them on a plane. A great idea given by a visitor to our website is that you can give them to another family before you leave so that they can also enjoy having a balloon. They will last for a couple weeks, so why not give them away instead of seeing them thrown away? I personally love this idea!
- Trading Pins – As noted before, we’re big pin traders and we love to spread our love of pin trading with other guests. We always bring extra pins to give away. It never fails that we spot a kid who wants to trade a pin with a cast member, but the kid does not have any pins to trade. So, we swoop in and give the child a few pins to trade. We did this for a Make-a-Wish family a couple years ago and it made my day since we were able to help spread some Disney magic to a family that needed it the most. This is really how we got started with pin trading – a cast member gave my stepson a pin to trade on his first trip and the rest is history.
- Homemade Pin Lanyards – Mary-Lynne posted a great idea on the YMBADA page and even gave everyone instructions on how to make homemade pin lanyards using Disney themed ribbon. She likes to give these to kids she meets throughout the parks that may not have a lanyard yet. What an awesome, yet simple, family craft project that you can work on before your trip. If you want instructions, be sure to visit the YMBADA page and look under files for the how-to instructions.
- Send a Dessert to Someone Celebrating – There are always people celebrating anniversaries and birthday’s, among other things, at Disney, so if you see someone celebrating, send a dessert to their table to help them celebrate their special life event.
- Pressed Pennies – This is also a popular souvenir at the parks since it is relatively inexpensive (unless you’re trying to collect them all). Bring some extra quarters and pennies with you when you visit the parks and give them to the child that you see standing in front of one the machines that maybe doesn’t have any coins to get a pressed penny that catches their eye.
- Gift Cards or Disney Dollars – Laura suggested that you purchase Disney gift cards in small denominations and give them to an unsuspecting family. If you’re able to purchase Disney Dollars, you can also hand those out, as they make great souvenirs or they can be spent at Disney instead.
- Postcards “signed” by the character – You can find postcards in all the stores at Disney World and they’re relatively inexpensive. Purchase some of those postcards, find the character greeting line for the character featured on the postcard and have the character autograph the postcard. You can then hand those out to those special princesses and princes you meet along the way.
Disney is all about making dreams come true and spreading Disney magic. You don’t have to work at Disney World to make that happen, so next time you visit the parks, bring something with you to help spread the magic. What are some other ways that people can pay-it-forward at Disney World?
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