Magical Disney Souvenirs and Collectibles!

By: Jennifer Romano

Who can resist cute Mickey plush or a super limited edition Disney pin?  I know that I cannot.  I live to collect various and assorted Disney paraphernalia.  Specifically, I try to find the items that seem special in some way or limited in their edition size.  In this article, let’s take a look at the various Disney collectibles that you can fill your suitcases with as you bid farewell to the World and start your journey back home!

First, no Disney trip is complete without some sort of headgear.  You need a hat to shade you from the unforgiving Florida sun as well as look stylish as you tour the World.  There are many types of hats, but everyone knows that the quintessential Disney hat is a pair of mouse ears.  As the years have gone by, Disney has expanded its selection of mouse ears.  If you are a pirate, a princess, a fan of a certain movie or character, you can probably find mouse ears to match.  My favorite place to purchase mouse ears is the Chapeau, which can be found on Main Street right as you enter the Magic Kingdom.  As you enter, look to the right of the flagpole, you will see this small store.  In addition to purchasing your mouse ears, it is necessary for you to have your name embroidered on the back of the hat.  There are many options for such embroidery; many more than previously existed when I was a child.  You can choose your font, color, and placement of your name on your ears. There are even some ears that you can create yourself if you are interested.  In the center of the store, there is a table that contains patches and hat bases.  After you make some selections, then you can choose the types of ears that you would like.  I have made two different hats of this type.  One of mine has glow in the dark ears, which was very exciting to me!  In addition to mouse ears, the Chapeau (as well as many other stores) sells different types of Disney themed hats.  There are so many different hat styles and colors and shapes that you will find one that you like.  After you have purchased your headgear, then it is time to figure out which other treasures will be going home with you.

On every trip, I like to buy the same collectible, just with a different year.  For example, we always buy a magnet that showcases the year of the trip.  These magnets are colorful and fun, and they are a great reminder of your trip.  In addition, I also purchase a little glass figurine of Mickey holding up the year.  I have one from every year dating back to 2006.  The design changes a little bit over time, but they are very nice showpieces and great conversation starters that you can put in a prominent place in your home.  With regard to collectibles, I always purchase a small silver charm that I can add to my charm bracelet after each trip.  I wear this bracelet, and it reminds me of all of the fun that we experienced on our magical vacation.  Disney sells many different types of charms, and these charms do change over the years.

I would be remiss in my discussion of souvenirs if I did not mention two highly collectible items that have become Disney obsessions to many people.  The first is pin trading.  Now, I became interested in pin trading back in 1998, when I was a junior in high school.  I don’t think that the trading aspect of pins was in operation at this time, but Disney did sell pins way back then.  Every since this trip, I have accumulated over 400 Disney pins.  You may think that this is a large number, but serious pin traders have thousands of pins to their credit.  Pin trading is fun because you can purchase pins to commemorate an event or a year or just simply to remind you of your trip.  When you visit Disney World, you can proudly display your pins on a pin lanyard and trade with any castmember who is wearing a lanyard.  Castmembers with black lanyards will trade with anyone; whereas, castmembers with a green lanyard will only trade with children.  The castmembers have to trade with you, and they truly enjoy the guest interaction.  Usually, before I go on a trip, I go online and purchase a group of pins from a website like eBay, where the pins are very inexpensive.  I bring these pins and trade with anyone who is interested.  I always have a great time doing this activity in the parks.

In addition to pins, there is one other highly collectible item that has gained popularity in the parks, and that is Vinylmation.  These little Mickey Mouse figures are works of art that can be found in most Disney merchandise stores throughout all of the parks.  These figures represent rides or characters or just fun pieces of pop culture.  They are also tradable, just like pins.  If you approach a register at most stores, there will be a large black box with numbers on each section of the front of the box.  The way this game works like this: The castmember asks you to pick a number, and then the castmember shows you the Vinylmation that is in that section of the box.  Usually, the castmembers will allow you to choose two different numbers.  You can choose to take one of these Vinylmations, or you can choose to keep your own.  This is another fun way to interact with castmembers and just have a good time!

When you are in the parks, take your time and decide what you will spend your hard-earned cash on because you can usually find similar offerings at all the parks.  With that in mind, here are a few stores that are excellent for your merchandise hunts, the Emporium in the Magic Kingdom, Mousegears in EPCOT, Island Mercantile in Animal Kingdom, and the World of Disney in Downtown Disney.  All of these stores have an excellent assortment of items, and the castmembers will be more than willing to help you find whatever you may be seeking.

Obviously, I could go on and on about all the Disney souvenirs out there in the World, but that would take several hundred pages.  It is safe to say that Disney will have a souvenir item for you, whether it is a t-shirt, a collectible, a hat, a pin, or anything you can conjure up in your imagination.  Until next time, have a magical day, and keep moving forward!

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