If you talk to most people, they have some type of hobby where they collect things. There are millions of people who spend time and money to fill their collections. Some things that are popular to collect are stamps, coins, comic books, baseball cards, antiques and action figures. People sometimes will go to all lengths to get something they desire to own. I know this, because I am that way. Several years ago when Beanie Babies were popular to collect, I used to get up before sunrise to wait on line to fill my collection. After a while this got way out of hand and I had to stop and limit myself to only the ones I loved. To this day, I have all my bears displayed because those were my favorites.
When I think of Disney, I think of collecting. I feel that Disney and collecting go hand in hand. There are so many things Disney to collect. Some of these are figurines, specific park items, pins, animation cels, plush, or something specifically related to a certain Disney character. For example you may collect anything with Mickey Mouse or maybe it’s Cinderella. Whatever it is you desire, you try to get as much as you can! Since there is so much you can collect from Disney, it is smart to pick and choose so you can limit your spending. I thought about all the things from Disney that I have collected over the years and wanted to share it!
The first thing I love to collect is Disney Pins. Disney Pins became a very popular thing to collect around the time Walt Disney World (WDW) had the Millennium Celebration. Pin carts were all over the Disney Parks and Cast Members wore lanyards with pins that guests could trade with them. Pin collecting and trading is still very big at WDW. Cast Members have pins on their lanyards that are Cast Member only pins. These pins are not sold, but there are several sets of these to try to collect and guests can trade any of their pins to try to complete the collection. It is fun to hunt around the parks and look at pin lanyards and complete your collection. I started collecting pins before it became popular. I loved how the pins looked and thought they’d be fun to collect. I am not sure of the first year of the WDW marathon, but I think it was in the early 90’s. I remember I bought the pin and the cast member saying, “hold on to that, it will be a great collectible someday”. Every year after that, I bought the marathon pin so I could have it in my collection. I also have pins from the 15th, 20th and 25th anniversaries of WDW. I also like to collect resort pins, limited edition pins and pins with years such as “Walt Disney World 2012”. If I don’t get to a park in that specific year, I ask a friend to pick it up for me. There are so many different sets and types of pins to collect and it can get quite expensive. You have to figure out what you like and just try to collect those. Maybe your favorite character is Minnie Mouse, so you can try to get all pins with her on it. I have seen collectors with rolling bags with books and books of pins in it. While I would like to have as many pins as they do, I know I have to limit my choices!
The next thing I love to collect is Disney Paper. This includes park maps, hotel maps, park napkins, park cups, park bags (which were at one time paper, but are now plastic), matchbooks, or anything that has the word Disney on it. Whenever I would go to a park, I would get maps and also the entertainment schedule. I liked to have the schedule from all the days I was there. Whenever a friend goes to Disney World, I always ask them to bring me back a park map and entertainment schedule because I like to see what is going on at that time of year. I also like park brochures about special park events like the Halloween and Christmas parties! I like resort maps and will go to a check in desk and ask for one. Another paper item I like to collect is the food service items like cups, plates, bowls or anything with the logo on it. Each time I would go there was always a new design and I thought it was fun to collect!! I would either clean it out good or ask for an extra one. I also like theme park bags. I like to have them in each size they are made! Lastly, I have a large collection of Disney matchbooks. I don’t think these are really made anymore but when I was growing up they were all over. I have theme park ones, all the resorts, restaurants and Christmas ones. I cut all the tips off and just kept the books!
I have a funny story about my paper collection. One year we were staying at the Contemporary. I had collected park maps, schedules, brochures on other things, cups and plates, park bags, admission bracelets to Pleasure Island (which used to be part of Downtown Disney but is now closed) and various other items. Since the collection was growing, we put it into a big paper bag. It was in the hotel room but not near the garbage. One night when we got back from the parks it was gone. I am sure the maid thought it was garbage and tossed it. Well this upset my family and me very much and we called the hotel manager. He asked us to give him a list of what was in the bag and they would do all they could to help us get the items. They were very apologetic and not only were they able to replace the items, they got us more. The hotel also left a gift basket with food in our room and also shipped us some Beauty and the Beast artwork. It’s nice to know that Disney takes complaints seriously even if they are as crazy as what happened to me!
I also love Disney Animation Cels. These are usually found at the Art of Disney stores and they can be quite expensive. Of course I would love them all, but have collected just a few that have the Fab 5 (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto)! My parents bought me them as birthday or holiday gifts. My collection is small, but I love each and every one of them.
Another thing I love to collect is Walt Disney World license plates sold at the parks. This started because my parents bought me one as a surprise with all the Disney characters on it. When I opened the bag I said “what do I need this license plate for?” Well if you could imagine, the rest is history. Now I own more than I care to admit. I have them from different Disney anniversaries, all the theme parks, all the ones with years on them, Disneyland and all the Walt Disney World Resorts!
My last favorite thing to collect is Disney Theme Park merchandise with the year on it. As I mentioned above, I always ask a friend to bring me back a pin with the year on it. However, there are so many more items with the year so it is hard to ask for everything. I limit it to the year I am actually at WDW. These items include keychains, bumper stickers, a plush Mickey Mouse wearing a shirt with the year, magnets, pens and of course license plates and pins.
There are several other Disney things I have collected over the years. These include Disney mugs, Disney shot glasses, Disney kitchen items and Disney picture frames. With so much Disney to collect, how do you decide which collection is for you? It is very hard to decide! I think I collect a very large variety of things but I bet there is so much more out there. I would love to hear what things you collect! Feel free to comment and let me know. You can also find me on Twitter as @franndisney!! Until next time, happy collecting!!Share