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What Disney World merchandise do you collect?

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If you're a regular reader of AllEars.Net, you and I (obviously) share a love of Disney, and perhaps other theme parks, as well. As my husband likes to say, we're of the same tribe. With so much in common, I'm guessing that you may also share my enjoyment of walking through all the gift shops at Walt Disney World and even the Disney Store at your local mall. You never know if you'll find something new that you really "need," right?

It may surprise you that, although I love to look, I'm not an avid collector of Disney merchandise like many fans. Unlike perhaps many of you, I do not even have a Disney-themed room in my house. Don't get me wrong -- I admire the attention to detail and hours of hard work that other fans have dedicated to recreating their favorite attractions or spotlighting their favorite characters in those rooms and which house their beloved merchandise. The Haunted Mansion seems to be an especially popular theme these days for some Disney fans. And have you seen the amazing Pirates of the Caribbean room Jack Spence has just conceived and created in his new home?

At my house, though, the Disney reminders are subtle yet sprinkled here and there like pixie dust through the rooms. Nonetheless, these items achieve the same effect that I imagine a Disney room would for others -- they make me smile and remember with fondness the occasion during which I purchased or received them.

T-shirts aside, here's a look at some of the Disney-themed merchandise my family has collected through the years that have become part of our daily lives:

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** Fab Five popcorn set. This includes a big metal bowl and four smaller bowls, each decorated with a different character. We've had this set for years -- it wears well! It's our tradition to always use it for movie night at home; each family member uses his or her own bowl with a designated character. I bet you can guess who gets Goofy, right? The set still is for sale at Walt Disney World, and I believe it costs about $35. I love giving this set as a house-warming gift.

** Mickey Mouse-shaped cookie cutter. This is my other go-to kitchen item from Walt Disney World. For the longest time, the baking tools were hard to find, and I used an egg yolk shaper to make cookies and cut out my kids' sandwiches for school. Now, they are readily available at the theme park and sell for less than $10.

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** Wooden Disney-themed picture frames and photos from Disney's PhotoPass. Some of the most cherished souvenirs I have from our theme-park trips are the professional photos of our family we have purchased over the years. My husband has to listen to me deliberate whether we should spend the money each and every time -- especially when we take the same shot on my camera -- but I have never been sorry I purchased the prints or downloads. There have been plenty of times when I offload the photos at home and they are not as I expected. There is no replacing the photos that show each child's wonder at meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time or the sheer joy of standing on the deck of a Disney Cruise Line ship.

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** Mickey and Minnie garden statues and small pots for plants. Merchandise at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival tempts me every year. So far, I have kept my purchases to the garden statues and these tiny green pots. I keep the statues on our covered patio and the little planters in the house so the Florida sun cannot fade them. All of these items are still sold at the festival, though in different versions each year. If I remember correctly, the statues were about $25 apiece.

** Seasonal merchandise. Bring out the Halloween- or Christmas-themed merchandise in the Walt Disney World gift shops, and I have to shop! Halloween is more of a Not-So-Scary affair than a Haunted Mansion ghost-and-gravedigger theme at our house, so we have plenty of lighted Mickey-shaped jack-o'-lanterns -- but there's always room for one more! And, of course, we have Disney Christmas ornaments and mugs for hot cocoa. One of my favorite traditions is giving our son and daughter Disney World-themed Christmas pajamas each year, too.

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** Walt Disney World monorail play set. My son has been receiving pieces of the monorail set for Christmas since he was very little. It began when he was fascinated by the Dumbo attraction, and I found the toy ride at one of the outlets. He finally completed the set this year when he received the retired Mad Tea Party toy. When my son was younger, he would spend many happy hours playing with these toys, which have since become collector's items.

** Disney-themed bags. If I collect anything, it's Disney purses. I have one Dooney & Bourke bag that I carry every day. Best gift ever! I also received each of the three Vera Bradley Disney patterns on hipster-style bags that were released in the fall. These are my favorite bags for a hands-free day in the theme parks.

I'm sure each of you has Disney-themed merchandise that you just can't do without, too. Tell us in the comments, please, so we can all plan our next shopping trips!



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Comments (36)

Steph:

Great post Kristin! The Disney company has gotten lots of my money over the years in merchandise purchases :-) My big collectibles are the usual pins and Vinylmation, but only ones that are actually significant to me. I stopped buying pins (and never did it with Vinyls) just because they are LE and started getting ones that have meaning. I also love anything with the 4 parks icons on it and all the Christmas and Halloween decor too! My family goes to WDW every year at Christmas time and Halloween was the first time I ever saw Disneyland :-) There is no doubt when someone enters my room what one of my favorite places in the world is!

Jackie:

Hello!

I collect pirate stuff, in many forms. Pirate Dooney Bags, PLEASE!!! Christmas ornaments are great because they are small & easy to transport. But, cleaning closets & drawers, seems that I own & "collect" clothing. Tunics, sundresses, t-shirts, ears, now Princess leggings! I now pretty much only pack Disney clothes (unless I need others-races, dinner) for my trips. Oddly, people stop & ask where I get certain things from a weird off-the-shoulder Jack Sparrow tee to my purple Dooney bag to my gold Mickey earrings.

Claire Gregory:

I'm kind of more like you. I have lots of Disney "stuff" that's a part of my daily life but I don't have a particular themed room. ( I did however track down a Kohler sink with Mickey and Minnie in it for the kids' bathroom.)
I like the sets of triangular pizza plates with Mickey and Minnie on them, that we "have" to use every time we have pizza. I too have given them as gifts because they are cute.
I don't own a watch that doesn't have some Disney character on it, so I guess you could say I collect them. We do definitely collect the hand-painted cells from the Animation gallery in Hollywood Studios. We love those and have quite a few now.
And every time we go to Disney I think, "I don't need to buy anything this time" but I always see lots of stuff that I just "have" to have!

Ron Stalsberg:

We have many Walt Disney World items around our house. In fact we have 1 room that is all Disney. We have over 200 ceramic coffee style mugs that I built a case to display them. We have hundreds of pins in cases mainly from WDW. We have 15 Ink & Paint cel's from the Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These are displayed throughout our house.

Penny from Vermont:

I too have small collections and stuff around the house, but no real “themed” room like Jack’s (and how cool is that!)
Your Monorail setup is awesome! My brother has 2 monorails from WDW, and I just got him the Disneyland one for Christmas this year. He and my nephew set them up every year under the tree. My sister-in-law has Tinker Bell jewelry and they collect cels as well. As for me, I have 7 (or more) Disney watches, I get a photo mug every year I go, and a large collection of Minnie’s in various costumes. I also have lots of Mickey kitchen utensils, though my kitchen is not "themed". We also all have many ornaments, tree toppers, scarves, mugs, cookie cutters and the like, jewelry, scrapbooks and pins (though I don’t purchase many anymore). My newest acquisitions are the Alex and Ani bracelets…so cute and wearable.
So, yes my family has collected lots of “stuff” over the years, and probably will in years to come.

Patti Langerman:

We started collecting anything "Dopey" several years ago. When we are at the parks we make it our mission to check for anything new Dopey that we can find. It adds extra fun to our vacation as we are hunting for our treasures.

Catherine Canning:

We collect fridge magnets, so they are a constant reminder of our "happy place" whenever we go into the kitchen. Resorts, parks, rides, whatever - it doesn't really matter.

Also aerial toppers as they are not as popular in the UK, so it really does makes the car stand out in the car park. Have quite a few so I can change them with the seasons/holidays.

Richard Pardoe:

Hi there,

I think I must be the "kiss of death" when it comes to choosing items to collect. Disney seem to stop selling them 2 or 3 years after I start to collect them.
Being English I visit once a year and decided upon a single item per trip (amongst the normal merchandise bought).

Year 1: I started collecting the characters that dangle on a wire from a sucker, to put in the car. Got Mickey and Goofy then no more being sold.

year 3: Decided to buy the Goofy themed plushes. After 5 years you seem to be able to get the Mickeys, Minnies, Plutos etc, but know more Goofys!

So I started to collect the die cast theme park vehicles and now they're becoming very scarce.

We tend to buy the odd pin. Vinylmation has never done anything for me I'm afraid.

So for my next trip this coming September, what should I start collecting.......?

Jennifer:

I collect anything and everything Dopey! It doesn't matter if it's something small like "magic" washcloths or super expensive like limited edition figurines, I have to have it all! I do have one room dedicated to Dopey, but over the years the collection has grown so big it's starting to flow into other rooms as well!

MIchelle K:

I collect ornaments, 1 new one a year. Always Disney, there are very few on my tree that are not Disney themed. If I get it at the park I always have the year put on. I also collect bags, purses, totes whatever. Not sure what to do with them. I do try to use them though. At odd times of the year, you will find a Disney themed item somewhere in my home.

Chris A:

We collect ornaments from the World of Disney in Downtown Disney. Each time we go to Disney we pick out a couple ornaments. It is so great in the middle of winter, hanging ornaments from our vacations, brings back great memories.

Patchy:

Disney merchandise has been a part of my life ever since my first trip to Disney World in 1979. One thing I have besides the normal ornaments, magnets, T-shirts, etc. is David Doss & Larry Dotson prints. I have about 20 combined! And my daughters have Shag prints.

I also love my MM Waffle iron - don't know what I'll do when that burns out! Wish they sold the flip ones like they have at the resorts.

Every time I use one of the items or just look at the prints all over the house, I smile! And that's what Disney is all about - it makes people happy!

KRISTIN: Should I admit I have two Mickey Mouse waffle irons? One makes full-size waffles and the other makes smaller waffles in the images of the Fab 5. :)

Anjanette:

I collect the Disney Giuseppe Armani figures. I got my first one (Mickey Mouse) while our family was visiting Disneyland. My husband and kids bought it for me (without my knowledge) and hand carried it on the plane back to our home and then gave it to me for Christmas. Since I have collected more at different holidays. I also collect the Disney Dooney & Bourke purses, Christmas ornaments, and anything Pirates of the Caribbean. Really wish we could get a pirate-themed Dooney purse!

Harriet:

I collect Jewish Disney pins - most of them are for Hanukkah, but I do have the one Passover pin and the one Rosh Hashanah pin that came out one year only.

Matt:

I am not much for collecting chachkis, but I like the Hawaiian shirts and wish they would put a new one out each year.

Megan:

Love this blog segment! I always love to see what people buy as souvenirs and collections. I am so jealous that you have the monorail with the buildings set up. I always wanted the monorail!

When I'm at the parks, I try to get beach towels. I also collect (and trade) Disney Pins and Vinylmation at the parks. Another thing we get every year is the photo albums with the year on it.

Also, you can't imagine how many Disney World souvenirs I have found at Good Will. I got many frames, albums and other things.

I love your blog!!!

Jen:

My son Kailen is very proud of his 63 Plush Mickey Mouse collection. However, one is his favorite "Mick's". My dad gave my daughter a plush Mickey on her first trip to Disney. When Kailen was born, she gave that Mickey to him. 10 years and several trips to Disney and his original "Mick" is still his favorite.

Adam August:

Disney ceramic mugs. Early on it appeared that they could produce them faster than I could buy, sell or trade them, so I limited purchases to older, 3 1/2-inch mugs with an image of Mickey or the ears logo on them. That too got to be too wide a field, so now they have to be either black or white. Always looking for special editions, cast-member only, opening day, etc.., finding just one or two a year now that we don't already have. We also have two sub-categories: Epcot-only and 2000 Millennium year. We have about 140 mugs.

Summer:

I collect something Disney that you probably wouldn't think of: The guide maps. It's pretty neat because you can look at all of the changes the parks have gone through and they're free! I have one that says Disney-MGM studios, one with Toontown, and one with old Fantasyland. I also have a few anniversay special editions. I bet in the future, the maps will have symbols for FP+ kiosk locations which would be kinda cool to look at the difference. :)

Josee:

I love your blog. What a great subject!
I am feeling less odd after reading your blog.
I don't have many friends around here (Quebec, Canada) that are Disney "crazy" so I get all kind of comments...
My favorite items from Disney, my cutlery set.
I love to set up the table everyday with them. Also the Mickey Mouse pizza cutter is the best.
Otherwise, like many of you, we get a new Christmas ornament for each (4) kids every time we go (and one for me too!!!)
And somehow i seem to collect theme park maps, FastPass tickets, flyers.
And naturally, anything that has Figment on it!!!

Essie:

Great blog and fun to read through. I collect all types of Mickeys, trading pins, and some various Snow White and the Dwarfs and other classic items. I also love Disney holiday decorations. On each trip I get a new Mickey, some pins and something that is special from that particular trip (like a plush Flounder when we went to the new AoA resort and stayed in the Little Mermaid section).

Andrea S:

We go to WDW each year, sometimes we go twice a year, and each time we go I have to make sure I get an ornament that has a date on it. It could already be dated or I would get the date painted on. I have a Disney Christmas tree that I put up every year and every time I put my ornaments up, it reminds me of our trips from that year.

My 10 year old daughter has to get a Disney Precious Moments figurine when we are in WDW. Even though you can buy them at any Hallmark store or anywhere that sells Precious Moments, she has to buy it in WDW.

My 12 year old daughter gets a Disney water globe each time we go. She has such a huge collection already and I have also given her some of my own Disney water globes that I had gotten when I was a little girl.

Dennis:

I used to collect resort shot glasses, but they no longer sell them. Then I started collecting the die cast ride vehicles. They stopped selling them too. Then I tried collecting watches. It seemed that when I had to have a battery replaced, the watch would never work again. So now we're down to Christmas Ornaments. We try to get one every year we go down.

Abby:

My family and I collect Christmas ornaments with the year that we go to Disney, on them. So far we have 8, soon to be 9 and we plan on continuing this for a very long time.

Rachel:

I tend to buy anything at WDW that strikes my fancy...but I especially love the Florida Orange Bird - and I'm happy that he's back!

Carol:

I am so happy I came across this blog. We LOVE Disney and over the years each family member has developed their own favorite collections.

My youngest son, 22, collects shot glasses and is especially proud of his Epcot glasses from around the world. He also has quite an impressive pin collection. My middle son, 26, and a former Disney College Program graduate, loves his t-shirts. My husband collects all things "Pirate". Who would think a 63 year old man would enjoy the "Pirates of the Caribbean" so much?!

I have been collecting mugs representing the parks, resorts we have stayed at, favorite Disney characters, and favorite rides. They are hanging across and down one kitchen wall. The fun part is that there is still room for more. I have a similar collection of magnets on the refrigerator.

My favorite collection is all of the Christmas tree ornaments that hang on our "Disney Tree" every December. Around this tree you will also find the monorail train, including all of the resorts, Epcot, and the Castle.

We look forward to adding to our collections with each visit to Disney!

Wendy:

We collect beach towels, and use them when we get home. Our last towel was from Splash Mountain, so cute and very magical memories!

Kelly Skopp:

What a fun subject! I collect the dated Christmas ornaments - each one brings back special memories when I hang it on my tree. My son collects the souvenir popcorn buckets and uses them to hold "stuff" on his desk. On our most recent trip we traveled from park to park collecting paper fast passes. They have been a part of my son's Disney experience from his first visit and he is very sad to see them go.

heather:

hello! I like to collect Disney pins - the trading ones and the ones that are just special to me. also like to collect autographs! I will never grow out of getting them!

Rick:

We collect the popcorn buckets you get at the stands when you buy the larger popcorn. We have about 20 different ones including Halloween and Christmas themes. We always serve our popcorn in them. Its a great way to remember past trips and wish you were there.
We also have the full dinnerware to remind us of better days every day.

Wendy:

Love the blog! I wouldn't call it collecting, but I like to buy key rings, fridge magnets and stickers/plate covers for the car. My favorite key ring right now is the double clasp blue Mickey silhouette. I like to USE the stuff we buy on our trips.
However, I do love to collect OLD stuff from the parks that I can get at flea markets and antique malls. I lean towards used postcards from travelers to WDW and Disneyland and the souvenir guidebooks from the parks.

Joyce Keough:

So glad to be one of the "tribe". Like you, I don't have a room full of Disney or collect anything in particular. However, several Christmases ago our grown children and grandchildren gave us the start of our Disney Christmas Village. We've added to it until they didn't make or offer them anymore. They have such detail with wreaths on the windows that light up and change colors. In total we have the castle, train station, Casey's, fire station, movie house and Emporium. This way we're always guaranteed to see Main St. every Christmas.

Jennifer:

What a fun read! I like to collect small things for around the house - a Mickey waffle maker, wine stopper, mugs and a few T-shirts. I keep a Sorcerer Mickey mug at work, and it always makes me smile to see it waiting for me when I arrive at my desk.

Love the blog! Thanks for all the work you do.

MWeyer:

As a kid, I used to collect those classic figurines of characters as much as I could. My very first trip there, got a figurine from EPCOT of Mickey in an Astronaut suit. First trip to Disney-MGM gave me the characters as Hollywood types and Figment, too. Spread it around to my family as I got my little niece a collection from Animal Kingdom of characters (including Pooh and friends) in explorer gear.

Also, simply loved those souvenir photo books they sold, both thin paperback ones and the massive hardcovers. I always tried to get the new updated versions they put out every few years and I still have them at home to enjoy classic times of the '90's.

And I can't be the only one to still have guide maps from 1990 and upward kept. They always have great stuff for you.

alicemouse:

Pins, Pins, Pins and more Pins!! I can't get enough and I display them on cork boards in my computer nook. I've also got a pretty healthy collection of Jim Shore Disney and I recently picked up a dozen of the ear hat ornaments.

Christine:

Hello. We collect a lot of things Disney. We are starting to frame our free pictures we drew from Art of Animation. We collect Jim Shore and glass figurines that don't seem to be available anymore. We have some antiques. We try to collect vintage Disney. We can't wait to buy a Disney Vera Bradley. Looking forward to visiting in 90 days!

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