We all know that Disney World is one of the top vacation destinations in the world. Millions of people flock to WDW every year to enjoy the theme parks, resorts, food, and shopping. Everyone who goes to Disney World usually has that one thing they look forward to the most while on vacation, but we probably all share the same thing when it comes to what we like least…going home. I know that every time we head home from a visit (whether it's a quick 3 day trip or a 10+ day one) we immediately start dreaming (and planning) of when we can return.
As avid Disney fans, we are constantly looking for ways to get our Disney “fix” and have wrapped many parts of our daily life in Disney magic in some way. One of the best ways we have found to help our desire to be at WDW when we’re home is to surround us with the things we like from Disney. That’s what we’re talking about today…the things that we collect from WDW (or just Disney in general). So follow along Ohana and take a look at some of the things we think are the best Disney items to collect!
MATT - Pick 1 - PINS
This is probably the most obvious selection and in my opinion, rightfully so. If you enjoy anything about Disney (e.g. a specific character, theme, holiday, resort, ride, park, really anything) there are most likely multiple (and I mean MULTIPLE) selections available in pin format! The fact that you can focus your collection on specific things that you enjoy most and will have many options to choose from make this a prime choice to start a collection. We collect various types of pins such as Star Wars, Figment, Pirates, and so on, while also trying to collect whole sets as well. One of the best parts of having a pin collection is finding the pins and especially TRADING for them! There is a huge pin trading following amongst Disney fans and it’s a great way to interact with other collectors and fans. The fact that Disney has even integrated pin trading into the parks by having cast members trade with guests is another amazing way to fully emerge yourself in the Disney Magic.
Obtaining the pins is also only half the fun, because pins also make a GREAT collection item for display! We’ve seen so many awesome ways people show off their collections. We have a few in our house including shadow boxes with a cork backing hanging on the wall in our son’s bedroom, to a “safari/fishing” vest covered in them that you can actually wear. Then of course there is the fan favorite lanyard that is easy to bring with you as well! However, you choose to show off your pin collection, in my opinion it’s definitely one of the best things you can collect from Disney!
(These are a few of Lincoln's favorite pins on display in his room!)
KRYSTLE - Pick 1 - Mugs… and other drinkware
You can never have too many mugs right?!?!?! I definitely have a cabinet full of Disney mugs, one for each day of the week and every mood. And then there's the cabinet of travel mugs and water bottles (ugh, I clearly have problem). Dear Tervis and Corkcickle, please stop making such cute durable everyday travel mugs. I'm totally kidding, please keep making adorable drinkware!
If we are being honest here there might be 10 non Disney mugs in my cabinet and that might even be a lie. Recently, I have been working on the Homestead Mug collection and am eyeing the Mickey Mouse Raised Icon Mug in pink (currently available on ShopDisney). While Matt thinks I need to pare down, I'm constantly thinking about my next purchase; I’m clearly an addict. There are just so many different shapes and styles that make waking up with coffee or relaxing with tea more enjoyable, I’ve even started using them for water!
The question “What do you do with all the mugs?” arises very often. We have several displayed in our house. The Marvel Character series hangs below our cabinets, on my desk a figment mug acts as a pen holder, and my Flower and Garden mug has become a home for a baby Aloe plant. Mugs offer such a great opportunity to share your personality in a fun and useful way that they just had to be number 1 of my picks!
(Our Marvel mugs proudly hang above our kitchen counter)
MATT - Pick 2 - T-shirts
I LOVE T-shirts. Ask Krystle and she’ll tell you I might have a slight problem. Over half of my dresser is dedicated to t-shirts (and at least 75% of those are Disney related) and she’s constantly telling me I have to “pare” them down. I just can never bring myself to get rid of a t-shirt, even if I haven’t worn them in years! T-shirts are great to collect because they are multi-purpose! You get to collect designs that you enjoy, but at the same time…they’re t-shirts, you wear them, they serve a purpose. It’s a great way to show off your personality as well. My t-shirt collection includes: my favorite characters (Mickey, Genie, Jiminy Cricket, etc…), favorite attractions: (e.g. pirates), and then also various Star Wars and Marvel themed tees. Much like with pins, t-shirts are a great option due to the massive amount of options you have that are tailored to your specific interests.
And if you’re like me and just can’t bring yourself to get rid of a t-shirt, even when they start to get worn and frayed, you can give them a second life in various ways to continue showing off your collection. We’ve seen everything from, people cutting up the shirts (saving the design piece of course)and stitching them together to make a t-shirt quilt, to using the material to create corn-hole bags. Giving your t-shirt a second life is just another way to continue enjoying your collection…maybe I need to consider doing something like this lol.
KRYSTLE - Pick 2 - T-shirts (told you we were bound to overlap!)
I completely agree with Matt here. About 80% of my t-shirts are Disney related, and the ones that aren’t are from trips to other places (wait we go elsewhere?).
(Definitely some of our favorite Disney tees)
MATT - Pick 3 - Ornaments
Christmas is by far my favorite time of year and what better way to combine two of my favorite things than with Disney ornaments. At one point we had 3 different trees in our home (we’ve reigned it into two), but our main tree is most certainly 90% covered in Disney ornaments. Disney does an awesome job offering an extremely wide variety of ornaments in all different shapes and sizes. They usually always have any character you could want, but also some great “less Disney-obvious” options as well. Lately we’ve been finding some really cool ornaments based on different attractions and buildings from Disney World as well! The other thing I really like about collecting ornaments is that they don’t have to be confined to your tree. Some are definitely more figurine/sculpture-like and can easily be displayed on a shelf or around your house. We’ve also begun hanging garland around our window which we adorn with some of our ornaments in the never-ending hunt for more space.
You can find Disney ornaments in almost every gift shop in Disney World, but if you want to really get in that Christmas spirit, you have to be sure to visit Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Magic Kingdom (definitely one of my favorite shops in WDW). Disney ornaments range to fit almost anyone’s budget and also make a solid gift idea as well - you can even have them personalized with names and dates to make them extra special!
KRYSTLE - Pick 3 - Mouse Ears
This is a relatively newer collection for me, and as the variety of available ears has grown so has my interest in them. I’ve begun sharing my collection with my mom (why do we need two of the same purple Minnie ears when we can have rose gold, gold, yellow, pink… I think you get the point) as an easy way to add to our collection and save some money. While we have MANY official ears from the Disney parks, we have even started requesting special designs from Etsy designers. For the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in 2019 we dressed as Toy Story Characters and I ordered Minnie ears from an Etsy shop to Match our costumes. This was a fun addition to the Bo-peep, Jesse, and Mrs. Potato head ears we also ordered for the rest of the girls in our group!
One of the hardest things that I have encountered as my collection has grown is where to store them. Currently, my ears are in a hat box in the closet waiting for our next trip just hoping that they will be selected. My mom has her Ears framed and displayed on a wall at her house, which makes for very festive decor. You could even change them seasonally!
(So...many...ears! photo cred Disneyfoodblog)
MATT - Pick 4 - Magnets
I had to include magnets on my list because it was the first thing we started collecting when Krystle and I began going to Disney World together and although we don’t collect as many as we used to, they still hold a special place in my heart and honestly do make for an easy thing to collect. Magnets are also probably one of the most budget friendly things to collect from WDW and offer just as wide a range of themes as most everything else on our list. We started out collecting magnets from the hotels we stayed at during each visit (and we actually do continue to do this, but we’re running out of new hotels). We also collected magnets of any special event we got to enjoy (ie. MVMCP and MNSSHP, etc…). As DVC, D23, and AP members, we’ve also been enjoying the magnets Disney sends for being a part of each of those groups. You can easily find magnets for your favorite characters, movies, and attractions as well and they can be displayed almost anywhere. Our fridge is covered in them at home and even our filing cabinets at work have been “Disneyfied” by magnets!
KRYSTLE - Pick 4 - Magnets (great minds really do think alike!)
Again, I agree with Matt here but for both the same and yet different reasons. On Lincoln’s first trip to Disney World we began collecting year magnet frames. I love this keepsake because now on the side of our fridge I have the year and a picture from that trip. Some years we have multiple trips and when that happens I might pick an extra magnet frame that relates to our trip in one way or another, like a resort or park magnet.
MATT - Pick 5 - Funko Pop
I can’t believe I’m including this because when they first came out I basically swore we’d never have a collection of these big-headed figurines, and while this collection definitely isn’t as numerous as the ones I selected so far, I have to admit that we do in fact have a growing collection. What started out as just purchasing one of my favorite characters, and another of Krystle's, has turned into having at least 20 of these things. Ranging from smaller, individual characters, to larger attractions like the Jungle Cruise boat or even Cinderella’s castle, Funko Pops are extremely easy to amass into a collection simply because they are so freaking cool-looking. Add on the fact that our son loves them as well and it’s easy to see how quickly that collection can grow. One of the things that I really enjoy about collecting these though is that they are a perfect item to have autographed to further enhance the collection. For example, we have a Steamboat Willy autographed by Bret Iwan!
The one thing I would point out though that can make collecting these a little difficult is their size. Unlike pins, magnets, t-shirts, and ornaments, Funko Pops are definitely on the larger size. Especially when you start getting into the attraction based ones rather than the individual character ones. I’m sure we’d have many more in our own collection if we had the space to display/store them. However, in my opinion this is also one of the things I have actually grown to appreciate about collecting them, because it forces us to consider which ones we really like the most rather than just giving into impulse buying them all! Overall, Funko Pops are a fun item to collect, offer so many themes, and while they are a bit bigger (and some can be kinda expensive) that actually makes the collection you amass more selective and meaningful to you!
(Just a few of our Funko Pops - Spy the Bret Iwan auto in the middle!)
KRYSTLE - Pick 5 - pressed pennies
Ever since I was a kid pressed pennies have called to me. I remember staying at the Wilderness Lodge and finding my first one outside Whispering Canyon. Back then, we didn’t “hunt” for them or go out of our way to find them, it was more if we stumbled across one that had an interesting character would we then stop. But it was exciting running up to the machine and seeing if it had a Character we wanted.
Now I have a new appreciation for them. Lincoln has become obsessed and he calls them his treasure. He has a penny press book that we carry every trip, and he is allotted $20 per trip to spend on new pressed pennies. Pennies that I do not count against his 20 are celebration related and dated coins. For me those are more special and I feel that as we are collecting these we will be happy to have them. For now these pennies as mentioned are in his pirate treasure box, but a summer project is to frame some of the best in a shadow box. I have seen cute displays with the “Up” house and the pennies as balloons, super cute and I think that might be my project.
LINCOLN’S BONUS PICK: Pez Dispensers!!!!!!!
(A few of Lincoln's Pez dispensers in his monorail holder for them!)
Well, there ya have it folks, our TOP 5 HIS and HERS things to collect from WDW. We know there are so many other things you can collect to bring a little bit of Disney magic home with you (check out the quick list of other things you can easily collect below) and everyone has their own personal favorites. I’m sure you all have collections of your own that will continue to grow and with how good Disney is with the merchandising, I’m also sure we’ll be introduced to even more new things to start collecting in the years to come. We’d love to hear from YOU over on the FB page about what Disney collections you have at home. Be sure to share pics of your collections too and to answer our “post” question on IG!
Thanks for reading along and as always, See Ya Real Soon,
Matt, Krystle, (and Lincoln)
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