I used to work at Disney World. Here are 10 things I never buy at the parks.

casey clark posing with a drink at disney world
I worked in merchandising at Disney World, and I have an annual pass.Casey Clark
  • I worked at Disney World and visit often, and there are a lot of things guests waste money on.

  • I can't rationalize buying heavy hats in Florida or dropping nearly $4 on a bottle of water.

  • I'm not a fan of buying pricey bubble wands, character socks, or M&M's in the parks either.

I never buy water bottles because I always bring my own.

fridge of water bottles at disney world
Water bottles are pricey at the parks.Casey Clark

If you're on vacation and want to spend $3.50 on a bottle of water, be my guest. But I never buy water at the parks.

It's a waste of money, especially because you're allowed to bring your own bottles in.

The old trick of the trade is to ask for a water cup at any quick-service location, but, frankly, I don't like the taste of that water. Instead, I purchase a few cases of water on my way from the airport and carry them around the parks in a backpack.

It saves me money and keeps me hydrated in the Florida heat.

You won't catch me spending nearly $40 on M&M's.

mickey and minnie m&ms at disney world
There's nothing special about the M&M's.Casey Clark

I'm usually one to justify spending an exorbitant amount of money on anything shaped like Mickey Mouse. But M&M's is where I draw the line.

I was walking through the Main Street Confectionery in Magic Kingdom one day and came across M&M's in a Minnie Mouse container for $39.99.

The price is outrageous, and they're destined to melt in the Florida heat before you can even eat them.

You're better off getting some candy at a gas station on your way home.

Bring your own pen or ask an employee for one.

souvenir autograph pen at disney world
I always have plenty of pens at home.Casey Clark

When I want autographs from Disney characters, I bring a pen from home.

Unless it's a super-fancy ballpoint pen, I can't justify spending $8 or more on one at the parks.

Pro tip: If you ask character attendants (the employees stationed with the characters), they'll usually have a pouch filled with permanent markers you can borrow.

If rain is in the forecast, I bring my own ponchos to stay dry.

panchos and other merchandise on sale at disney world
Everything you can get outside is more expensive in the parks.Casey Clark

I'll never forget a shift I had in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom when there was a storm and poncho-seeking guests flooded the store where I worked.

A kids poncho is $10 and an adult poncho is $12 at the parks — with that said, I'll never buy one at Disney World.

Before my trip, I'll usually go to the dollar store and get a few cheap ponchos or bring a small umbrella.

There are so many delicious treats at Disney World, so I'll never opt for a sugar cookie.

sugar cookie kit on sale at disney world
I prefer some of the more original treats.Casey Clark

You can buy tons of delicious treats at Disney, so a sugar-cookie kit that's been sitting in the Emporium gift shop for days isn't very appealing to me.

If I'm going to buy something sweet, I'll spend the money on a more original Disney treat, like Dole Whip.

Add flip-flops to your packing list if you don't want to shell out $20.

mickey mouse flip flops on sale at disney world
It's not worth the theme-park prices.Casey Clark

Even if my shoes get wet, there's no way I'll spend $20 on flip-flops. Plus, as someone with large feet, I rarely even find my size on the shelves at Disney World.

Before my trip, I'll get a cheap pair from the dollar store or on sale at Old Navy.

It's too hot at the Florida parks to be wearing a bear hat.

bear hat for sale at disney world
Disney sells bear hats in Frontierland.Casey Clark

I don't know about you, but I've never wanted to wear a heavy hat to Disney World with the scorching Florida heat.

That's why I'll never waste money on the bear hats they sell in Frontierland.

A Minnie Mouse headband or Mickey Mouse ears seem like a much more practical accessory in the Florida heat.

Save the bubble wands for a local carnival.

mickey mouse bubble wands on sale at disney world
Some people may disagree, but I don't think the bubble wands are worth it.Casey Clark

I'm an adult, and the Disney bubble wands cost $30, so maybe I'm just biased against this purchase. But even from what I've witnessed with kids in the park, the toy really only keeps them distracted for a few hours until they see the next light-up wand they want.

Plus, they can be super annoying for people around you at the parks (at least I think so).

If a bubble wand is the one thing that saves your child from having their 10th temper tantrum of the day, go for it. But I'll pass.

For me, the chances of wearing funky character socks outside the parks are slim.

graphic socks with disney characters for sale at disney world
I try not to buy too many things that I'll use only in the parks.Casey Clark

Having Chip 'n' Dale on your socks is cool when you're at Disney World. But I haven't found a use for them in the real world.

As a kid, I purchased my fair share of graphic socks to wear in the parks. Then they were just left to sit in my luggage until my next vacation.

I'd rather spend the money — about $10 a pair — on a shirt or piece of jewelry I'll wear year-round.

I'm not sure who's buying the rocks in Frontierland.

rocks for sale in frontierland at disney world
They're just rocks, nothing special.Casey Clark

Inside the Trading Post in Frontierland, you'll find a big crate filled with rocks.

The kicker is they cost $6 each.

I'm not a rock person, but I'm still curious who comes to Disney World and spends money on expensive rocks when there are so many cooler souvenir options to choose from.

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