Souvenirs from Walt Disney World Create Touchstones for Memories

The sale of souvenirs at Walt Disney World can be a touchy subject. Some believe that Disney simply wants to separate you from even more of what's in your wallet. Fans on message boards plan and strategize to spend as little as possible on merchandise, sometimes even pre-purchasing souvenir at home and carrying them along in their luggage. The science of marketing and impulse purchases is well in play at the Disney Parks, but bringing home souvenirs is a time honored tradition that reaches back much further back into history.

Disney Pins Celebrate Every SeasonDisney Pins Celebrate Every Season
Did you know that pin trading has it's roots going back as far as Medieval Europe? Frequently peddlers in cities around holy sites would create small pewter tokens pins to sell to the pilgrims so they could remember their journey. Today, Disney pins are made for every occasion celebrated at the parks with limited runs and special editions, adding on to (or starting) a pin collection makes for a great souvenir.

Disney takes souvenir collecting to new heights with a trinket to please just about every sort of collector there is. You can find hats, mugs and glassware, snow globes, postcards, antenna balls, fine jewelry and watches, purses, tshirts and a myriad of plush. I can remember standing in the Emporium with a mountain of plush characters that seemed to reach the ceiling in front of me. As a child I would take my time and look at each and every face to be sure that the new friend I brought home would be the sweetest and best ever. Today I usually come home with more antenna balls than I have cars to accommodate.

Park T-Shirts are Traditional SouvenirsPark T-Shirts are Traditional Souvenirs
Our Facebook and fans & Twitterati had some great ideas for what they love to bring home from Walt Disney World. T-Shirts, purses and keychains make the list of traditional gifts to bring home from the Disney Parks. William Mason and Kim Keesey go old school with "Pins of course", and Audra Grosso wouldn't dream of leaving without a new pair of "Mickey Ears." @kellyloumugg twitter buys the "anniversary Commemorative Coins" when shes down in the world, and @markolwick gets creative with Personalized Christmas Ornaments.

My youngest daughter Katie is right with Mike Roberts as he tells us that "I got hooked on Pressed Pennies. I would search out the characters I like. Now have a shiny collection."

Ear Hats Are Fun For AllEar Hats Are Fun For All
Back home in your daily life the collection of Disney swag decorating your home creates a touchstone. That perfect souvenir that you picked out on vacation helps you to recall the joys your travels and opens the gate to a flood of magical memories.

Souvenirs are an opportunity to capture moments in time with a special touchstone that we couldn't have gotten anywhere else. What are your favorite Disney souvenirs? Do you have any special traditions when it comes to bringing a bit of the magic home? Leave me a comment and let me know!

JeffC wrote on Sat, 12/03/2011 - 12:42:

I always get a pin that has the year that we were there. And I always get a new ornament (or 6) for the tree.

I have a collection of ears going too - have you seen the new Pluto one with little doggie paw claws on the front? I want!

Aside from that' it's anything goes once I get inside the World of Disney....!

Kristen K. wrote on Sat, 12/03/2011 - 14:23:

Kristen K.'s picture

I'm not sure that I have a favorite Disney souvenir. When I was younger I had a beautiful gold Mickey watch that I just adored. At some point it feel off my wrist and it's been lost for 20 years. I *always* stop in the watch shop to see if there's anything even close to what it looked like, and I've never found another one. I'm still sad about losing that watch.

JoAnn C wrote on Sat, 12/03/2011 - 15:44:

JoAnn C's picture

I usually buy a shot glass and a magnet no matter where I go on vacation. I usually buy more for my friends and family than I do for myself. Last year at Disney I did buy a 2010 sweatshirt and this year I bought a watch.

Diana wrote on Thu, 12/08/2011 - 12:59:

Diana's picture

I have a house full of souvenirs but still I buy, last one was a ship of the Disney dream in sept, fly back to WDW on Xmas day so no doubt more will be in the luggage gifts etc oh and something for our collection, last Xmas we had a blown glass bowl made in magic kingdom, luckily it arrived back in the luggage safe and sound to the UK.

Dennis wrote on Thu, 06/28/2012 - 03:23:

Dennis's picture

Walk up to any cast member that is wraieng a lapel with pins. Ask them if they would like to trade a pin that you are wraieng for a pin that they are wraieng. Some places have a book that you can look through and then you can take from there and then leave one of your own, this is done at the Wilderness Lodge's pin trading stand, it may be done at other places too but that is the one place I know about. Also, if you are a child or have a child, there are certain cast members that will trade with children only (I think their lapels are green). Also, just remember when buying your pins to trade, start with a starter set. This includes your lapel and about 4-5 pins some are duplicates. When going up to the castmember, trade one of your duplicates for one of his. Don't trade pins that mean something to you. My family does pin trading all the time while we are at WDW, it is really fun you will love it.References :

kerri wrote on Sun, 08/11/2013 - 18:12:

Thanks for all the info about pin trading! Interesting!

Jeff @ Acobs Global wrote on Mon, 01/15/2018 - 09:30:

Jeff @ Acobs Global 's picture

Hi there, awesome site. I thought the topics you posted on were very interesting keep it up thanks.

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