The 8 Best Things to Collect at Disney
If the first image that pops into your mind when you hear the words “Disney” and “collection” in the same sentence is heavy, weighted-down lanyards bearing Disney pins hanging from the necks of Mickey bar chocolate-stained children, you’re not alone. For a long time, I was under the impression that collecting Disney pins was the one and only way to join in on the Disney collection fun, and that was never a commitment I was ready to make. There are so many great things to collect at Disney!
I would want to wear my pins around the Parks were I a collector, and the thought that another fan could trade me for my favorite pin was more than I could bear, so I told myself that Disney collecting was never a path I would take.
Fast-forward to my teenage years, and my wrongful assumption of what Disney collecting is fell by the wayside as I discovered that pins don’t even begin to scratch the surface. I came of collecting age during the pinnacle of the Vinylmation era (oh how I miss it) and the rest, as they say is history.
Until I took a hard look at my allowance envelope when I returned home. Yes, collecting can be expensive depending on what you like, and while you can and should certainly start a collection of merchandise-based Disney items, there are plenty of free-of-charge ways you can join in on the Disney collection fun too!
The Best Merchandise to Collect –
Let’s get this one out of the way first. Of course the Disney pins are huge among collectors, and with literally hundreds of available designs to choose from, it’s a versatile, easily accessible, and exciting way for anyone to start a collection! Of course, pins are great to collect at Disney!
Pins are available Property-wide and can be traded with other guests and Cast Members while you’re on vacation, so if you’re looking for a simple and easily accessible way to start a collection, this is for you!
The adorable plush that first made waves among guests at Tokyo DisneySea a few years back not only made its way across the Pacific to land in our domestic Resorts, but it has made equally as impressive waves right here at home!
With practically every character under the sun having been made into Tsum Tsum form, fans of every and any facet of Disney (and Disney’s IP’s like Star Wars and Marvel) will find plush fashioned after their favorites. Plus, special-edition and location-specific Tsum Tsums become available from time to time, so always keep a wary eye on merchandise announcements to ensure you don’t miss a release!
Ok fellow toy lovers, this section was created with us in mind! I know Vinylmation collecting is a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t fantastic Disney toy series out there practically begging to be collected! Right now, my top pics for toy-loving folks dying to begin a collection are as follows: Disney Funko, Toybox Action Figures, and dolls and figures from the Animator’s Collection.
If your vacation doesn’t coincide with the Holidays this year, have no fear! Disney’s Days of Christmas at Disney Springs is fully stocked with a full arsenal of Disney ornaments year-round! Not only do they stock Parks-exclusive ornaments, they also carry the gorgeously designed Sketchbook Collection of ornaments that, no matter how many times I see one in-person, I am never NOT stunned by the artistry and detail that went into their creation. Picking up a new Disney ornament each year is a great way to get the whole family involved in the fun of collecting!
Freebies to Collect
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Cards- Located in the fire station in Town Square, the sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Cards are part of a Magic Kingdom-wide interactive game that each and every guest is welcome to play, free of charge!
You don’t have to play the game to collect the cards though (I’m living proof), all you have to do is ask for a new deck each time you enter Magic Kingdom, and you’ll soon be well on your way to collecting the awesome character-inspired cards!
TIP: If you’re visiting during a hard-ticketed event like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, don’t miss your chance to pick up a Party-exclusive card!
Walt Disney World Transportation Cards
If you’ve never heard of them, you can get the full run-down on these cards by following this link. Each and every time you board a new vessel, ask your captain if he/she has any Transportation Cards to add to your collection!
Although the cards were probably created with children in mind, the captains/drivers/conductors don’t discriminate based on age…because I have a full collection!
An Epcot map is an Epcot map, right? Wrong! Depending on the Park, there are Festival-themed maps, seasonal maps, special event-specific maps, hard-ticketed event maps, anniversary maps…the list goes on!
Just this year, Disney’s Animal Kingdom turned 20 years old, and along with the other fantastic events, an anniversary-exclusive map was offered just for guests visiting on that day! If your family visits once a year or once every few years, it’s fun to hold onto the maps and compare attractions as the Parks continue to grow and evolve! Park Maps are great to collect at Disney!
If you’re visiting the Resort for something special- like an anniversary or graduation- on your vacation, your Resort will have the pin to coincide with whatever you’re celebrating! Simply ask a Cast Member for a complimentary pin that signifies what you’re celebrating, and you’re well on your way to starting a collection!
You can really get into this one by planning all future vacations around the events that are signified on the pins…can you collect them all?
There are so many things you can collect from the Disney Parks that a definitive list of all the possible options doesn’t exist. Travel World Showcase and pick up a piece of merchandise from each Pavilion, or head to the Resorts and purchase a keepsake bearing its name- see if you can collect something from all of the Resorts!
Like I said, there are as many unique ways to be a Disney collector as there are things to collect, so leave a comment and let us know what you and your family collect!
Plan Your Trip and Collect at Disney!
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer thrilled to be a part of your Disney vacation planning! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!