“I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a’plenty. I’ve got whosits and whatsits galore. You want thing-a-ma-bobs? I’ve got twenty!”
It’s pretty safe to say that our favorite free-spirited mermaid, Ariel, was a collector. For some Disney fanatics, her underwater stash of precious keepsakes looks awfully similar to your own collection of Disneyana. What is “Disneyana,” you ask? This term basically sums up the wide variety of all the Disney paraphernalia that a person can collect, from the souvenirs you purchase to the bags they place them inside. Included in this category is everything from toys and clothing to napkins and Disney resort room keys (which have now been phased out, thank you MagicBands) and pretty much everything else that bears the Walt Disney World fingerprint.
Plush stuffed characters. Gift store key chains. Disney resort soaps. Character coffee mugs. For many collectors, accumulating these specific types of Disneyana is a hobby that is met with both eager determination and a passion that can be quite addicting. Some people collect all things Tinkerbell. Some have every Disney clock or watch out there. Vintage Disney Park brochures? There’s a collector for that. High-end Disney artwork? Yep, that too. Kids collect character signatures. Adults collect Disney postcards. Limited-edition Disney memorabilia, like the ones marking a special event or anniversary, certainly gets collectors’ attention just as much as old relics from Disney of yesteryear. With Disney, there truly is no limit to the things you can collect and it’s never too late to start! Here is a list of just some of the most popular things to collect at Disney.
‘Tis ALWAYS the season at Disney because regardless of the time of year, you will be able to find a Christmas store on Disney property filled to the brim with all the holiday ornaments you can imagine. Mickey jack-o-lantern ornaments, Mickey and Minnie wedding ornaments, and “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments are just a few of the many that take up entire walls in these stores. All unique and beautifully designed, they come in every shape, size, and color imaginable, and there are literally thousands to choose from. And great news for collectors—they are constantly creating new designs and changing up the stock. You can personalize them or buy one that commemorates the year of your visit. I know some people who make a tradition out of getting a brand new Disney ornament for their Christmas tree each year. Some collectors go for a specific theme (i.e. ornaments that all reflect a certain Disney movie) and some collectors simply purchase whichever beautiful bulb catches their eye. If you’re wondering which theme park holds ornaments for sale, they all do! And you don’t need a pass into the parks to get one either—check out the “12 Days of Christmas” store at Downtown Disney.
A mish-mash of the words “vinyl” and “animation,” these tiny Mickey Mouse shaped figurines have been gracing the Disney store shelves since 2008, creating quite the craze for avid collectors! Available in sizes 1.5”, 3”, and 9”, these collectables come in a variety of different patterns, markings, colors and characters. Each Vinylmation figurine has Mickey Mouse’s famous round ears whether or not the character painted on them is Mickey himself. There are various series of Vinylmation to choose from and each figurine is sold in a sealed package, making the actual character in the series they are buying a mystery (though the series they are purchasing is clearly printed on the package). There is even a create-your-own series which comes with blank figurines for the purpose of allowing the purchaser to become the artist. There are many hardcore Vinylmation collectors out there, and just like many collectables, Disney continues to come up with new ideas for figurines and series, creating an even greater demand for these cute little statuettes.
3. Snow Globes
Who doesn’t become captivated with wonder at these transparent water-filled domes capturing a magical Disney scene as “snow” or glitter swirls around and falls? Most of these precious collectables often come equipped with a built-in music box and as you turn the dial a melodic, enchanting tune from a beloved Disney classic can be heard. From the elaborate and large to the small and simple, collectors can choose from a seemingly endless variety of these sometimes spinning and “dancing” globes and you can find them almost anywhere on Disney property! It’s no wonder that these fun souvenirs have collectors spinning in a snow-like frenzy!
2. Pressed Pennies
Elongated coin machines started appearing on Walt Disney World property in 1994 and have been drawing out determined collectors of all ages ever since then. These press machines give you an inside look on how the Disney-themed engravings appear on the coin as two rollers flatten the inserted coin with 2500 pounds of pressure. The end result is a magical image of Disney delight. On Disney property, there are currently machines able to press pennies, dimes and quarters, giving a variety of shapes and colors to the devoted collector’s coin books. Penny for your thoughts?
If you don’t already know, there is a whole world of pin collecting and trading going on at Disney. Perhaps you’ve seen these lanyard clad collectors in the theme parks, eagerly trading pins with cast members. Perhaps you are a collector yourself and have hundreds upon hundreds (maybe even thousands!) of these Disney-themed badges. These little treasures are everywhere you look and are so irresistibly fun it’s not shocking that so many people start the adventurous journey of becoming an official pin collector! Yes, it can all be overwhelming for the newcomer, so grab yourself a starter kit that catches your eye and build it from there with pins that make you smile. After all, it’s the collector, not the collection, that makes this popular hobby so special!
What are your favorite things to collect at Disney? Share them below!