Look what I found in the Tickle Trunk! Some Disney postcards!
Gather round children while I tell you a story from olden times!
Back in the mists of ancient history, before the internet, before camera phones, before Twitter and Facebook, people sent postcards! Quaint but true!
Life was hard back in days of yore; vacationers at Walt Disney World who wanted to send home a picture that said, “I'm here and I'm having fun!” had a much more difficult time doing it! They couldn't just snap the picture and upload it!
They had to buy a postcard, buy a stamp, lick and stick the stamp (there were no peel & stick stamps back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), write a message then address the card (with a pen) and drop it in a mailbox. Often times the vacationers were already back home before the postcard arrived.
Instant messaging with attached pictures was pure science fiction a mere 15 years ago!
Photography was a very expensive hobby and good cameras were complicated to operate. Most people who wanted a quality picture of Cinderella Castle found it easier and cheaper to buy a postcard to put in their photo album!
Postcards were big business, they were sold everywhere! Naturally Disney had plenty for sale and over the years some found their way home with Carol and I!
The Golf Resort - 1983
There were cards for every occasion. Each resort, each theme park and even many of the attractions in the parks were depicted in cards.
Naturally the Disney characters were included!
Postcards are also a way to add a different perspective to your photo album or scrapbook. If you want an aerial picture, a “bird's-eye view” of the Magic Kingdom or a Disney resort, it's much more economical to buy a postcard than to charter a plane!
There were packets containing a number of themed postcards. When you detached the perforated postcard the stub which remained in the booklet showed a smaller version of the postcard image.
There is a wonderful series of “Art of Disney” postcards. These are copies of famous Disney works of art, printed on embossed paper.
They're so pretty you just want to frame them . . . in fact, Carol has framed some!
So many of the cards are bright, colorful and frivolous that I'm surprised Carol hasn't collected more of them . . . but she never really caught the deltiology bug! Yes, that's the word coined to describe postcard collecting, if you have more than a few dozen of them you are a deltiologist!
According to Wikipedia, “Worldwide, deltiology is the third largest collecting hobby after stamp collecting and coin/banknote collecting.”
That explains a lot . . . these days it is extremely easy to shoot a picture and upload it, so hardly anyone sends postcards any more.
Yet the stores still have racks and racks of them! They must be for the scrapbookers and the deltiologists!
One of those postcard collectors is our very own Deb Wills, AllEars Founder & Webmaster. You can see a few cards from Deb's collection in a 2011 blog. Click HERE.
Another avid collector is Brian Martsolf. Brian wrote a very detailed article about Disney postcards for the AllEars.net newsletter about a decade ago. You can read it HERE.
Brian recently told me, “The role of postcards, as Disney World vacation souvenirs, has changed over the years. Digital photography has made quality imagery easy for everyone and as a result the simple, but very professionally taken photo postcards of things around WDW are becoming harder to find. Disney is now focusing more of their postcard production on “specialty” cards of various types. Today postcards come in many forms; there are die cut postcards, cut into the shape of the artwork on the cards, some shaped like Disney characters. There are lenticular postcards with images that change depending on which angle you hold them at, some of these give the illusion of movement, in other examples the effect is used more to give extra depth to the image. There are sticker postcards, and magnet postcards and accordion-style packages of cards."
"The internet is great for collectors of WDW postcards; if you visit EBay, you will probably find any postcard you are looking for, and you can even get some good deals there on occasion. But if you want to get a better price per card check out other postcard sale sites on the web, such as Playle.com, CardCow.com, or one of any number of sites out there. Also don't forget to check out any listings for postcard shows and sales that might come to your area of the country. This is really where you can get the best bargains. A substantial part of the secondary market portion of my collection has come from just a few visits to postcard shows.”
I asked Brian to tell me about a few of his favorite postcards from the extensive collection he owns. Brian said, “Getting down to three favorites is hard so instead I'll give my three favorites from just the pre-opening series of WDW postcards.” The three cards are pictured below, captioned with Brian's comments about them.
“The un-built version of the Polynesian Village Resort”
“The pre-opening art of the side-wheeler "Osceola". It was the inspiration for the Southern Seas, and Ports-O-Call side-wheeler steam ships which sailed Disney waters. I never got the chance to ride them before their retirement”
“The Preview Center promotional postcard (front and back shown above) is one of the rarest of WDW postcards, and is definitely the rarest of the pre-opening cards. A nice tribute was paid to this card during the "Florida Project" pin event in 2011. I bought one of those very cool (and very large) tribute pins!”
Brian has an extensive web site with pictures of his collection and a detailed history of WDW postcards, be sure to take a look at it HERE.
Do you have a collection of Disney postcards?
If you are like most avid Disney fans you are sure to have a few postcards tucked away somewhere!