Some people prefer taking a lot of photos, while others want something physical to hang onto. But how many of those precious souvenirs ultimately end up in an attic or storage bin waiting to eventually make their way into a garage sale?

While some impractical souvenirs are absolute must-haves (like your Mickey ears!), there are some great options of things you will actually use and enjoy once you get home.

Clothing

There are few things that celebrate your love for Disney more than fun character clothes. Choose carefully though. Will you really wear a Goofy t-shirt or pair of Mickey shorts when you get home? How about that expensive princess costume you’re sure your child will use come Halloween only to find she changes her mind when the holiday rolls around. Instead, go to one of the trendier stores, such as Tren-D or Marketplace Co-op. They have more subtle options for daily wear that you won’t be embarrassed to don in front of your friends or even co-workers.

Clothing can be tricky. Ask yourself: "Will I really wear this at home?"

Clothing can be tricky. Ask yourself: “Will I really wear this at home?”

Accessories

Let’s face it, Donald the Duck flip-flops are going straight to the back of the closet the moment you get home. When it comes to anything you wear on your body, obvious characters aren’t for everybody. There are a lot of creative accessories for anybody who wants to celebrate, but not shout, their love for characters. Consider a stylish wallet or money clip for men. Women can find high-end Dooney & Burke purses and attractive scarves. Jewelry options range from inexpensive bracelets to watches to even fine jewelry pieces.

Kitchen

Possibly the most useful category of Disney souvenirs is for dining and cooking. While coffee mugs are always great, there are many other options to suit anybody. Consider stylish dishwear from Marketplace Co-op or cut crystal glasswear from Arribas Bros. for higher end options. You can also find useful, whimsical cooking gadgets from Mickey salad tongs to Ursula oven mits. These are excellent daily-use items that will remind you of your vacation on a daily basis.

Kitchen tools make great souvenirs!

Kitchen tools make great souvenirs!

Electronics

Disney is even getting into higher-end electronics these days. How about some Beats headphones with your favorite mouse silhouette gracing them? For something more affordable, there are cell phone covers and tablet cases that are sure to get a lot of use at home.

Toys

How many toys actually make it home in one piece much less last for more than a month or two after vacation? Play things for children are rarely durable. If you really want something special that will last, consider a train set (or monorail play set) that you keep boxed except for special times of year. While this suggestion seems to break the “keep it out of storage rule,” keepsake holiday decorations or toys like this are the exception. They can be the best mementos for years to come.

What was your best Disney Vacation souvenir purchase?

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