Disneyana refers to the incredibly diverse world of collectibles and memorabilia related to The Walt Disney Company. From animation cels to theme park merchandise, Disneyana encompasses it all. This article will provide an in-depth look at Disneyana for both beginners and seasoned collectors.
A Brief History of Disneyana
While Disney fans had been collecting related items for decades, the term “Disneyana” was first coined in 1974 with the release of the book “Disneyana: Walt Disney Collectibles” by Cecil Munsey. This marked the start of Disneyana as a defined hobby. In 1976, Disneyland opened an official Disneyana shop, selling both new and vintage items. The Disneyana fanbase expanded rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s. Today there are conventions, clubs, and online groups dedicated to Disneyana.
Getting Started with Disneyana Collecting
For beginners interested in starting a Disneyana collection, focus on what you love. Are you a big fan of a certain character? Or do you want a piece of Disneyland/Disney World history? Decide on a direction first. It‘s also wise for beginners to start small with more affordable items. You can always upgrade pieces later. Some beginner Disneyana ideas:
Small character figurines
Reproduction movie posters
Theme park maps/brochures
Tips for Veteran Collectors
More advanced Disneyana collectors have a few advantages. With knowledge and often bigger budgets, they can target expensive and rare pieces. Some tips for veteran collectors:
Research thoroughly before big purchases
Attend Disneyana events and auctions
Connect with other serious collectors
Focus on condition and authenticity
Bringing Home Disneyana from the Parks
One of the most convenient places to purchase Disneyana is right inside the Disney theme parks themselves. Guests have a few options for bringing home souvenirs.
Shopping Disneyana Options
There are dozens of stores inside both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, offering everything from t-shirts to high-end collectibles. ShopDisney online is another option.
Package Pickup: Large or fragile items can be shipped home for an additional fee. Allow 5-7 days for delivery.
Disney’s Floral & Gifts: Specialty gift baskets and customized products can be delivered on-site or shipped.
Amazon Locker Pickup: Select Amazon lockers located inside Walt Disney World allow for easy souvenir retrieval later during your trip.
Getting Free Disneyana Deliveries
Guests staying at select Walt Disney World owned-and-operated hotels can take advantage of free deliveries when spending $25 or more.
Deliveries go to hotel bell services, generally arriving in 3-4 hours.
Valid at most Disney-owned stores and quick service restaurants in the parks.
Disneyana Collecting for Beginners
Building a Disneyana collection as a beginner can be daunting. Focus on these areas first to start small and affordable.
Starter Disneyana Items
Pins – Inexpensive and easy to display
Postcards – Vintage Disneyland/Disney World postcards are very affordable
Patches – Fun to collect from different parks and decades
Small character figures – Look for older McDonald’s Happy Meal toys
Places to Buy Starter Disneyana
ShopDisney outlet sales – Often 50-60% off
eBay lots – Bulk purchases can lower per-item costs
Mercari – Easy mobile app for buying/selling Disney items
Facebook groups – Connect with other collectors selling at fair prices
Disneyana Collecting for Veterans
From original animation cels to retired theme park artifacts, rare Disneyana appeals to veteran collectors. But these pieces come at a high cost.
High-End Disneyana Items
Original movie animation cels – Hand-painted and one-of-a-kind
Ride vehicle prototypes – Usually salvaged after refurbishments
Cast member costume pieces – Extremely limited availability
First edition books/comics – Includes original Walt-era publications
Hand-drawn attraction concept art – Often custom framed
Places to Buy Rare Disneyana
Disney art galleries – Display original cels and concept art
Auction houses – Specialize in rare Disneyana for serious collectors
D23 events – Disney’s official fan club hosts exclusive merchandise sales
Estate sales – Can uncover high-end Disneyana from private collections
Guide to Starting Your Disneyana Collection
Once you’ve selected a collecting focus, establishing your Disneyana collection takes some careful planning. Follow this guide to start out on the right foot.
Choose Your Collection Direction
First decide if you want to collect broadly across Disney history or focus specifically on an era, movie, character, or park. This helps guide purchases.
Set a Budget
Rare pieces can cost thousands. Define your budget so you don’t overspend on impulse buys. Set aside a monthly Disneyana allowance.
Research Prices Thoroughly
Use price guides to understand the fair market value of items you want. This prevents grossly overpaying. Know what your must-have pieces are worth.
Organize Early On
Establish systems to catalog and display your Disneyana collection. Keep detailed records of each acquisition including descriptions, purchase dates, and prices paid.
Connect with Other Collectors
Networking offers guidance, buying/selling opportunities, and more. Attend Disneyana events or join online collector groups to connect with similar fans.
Most Popular Disneyana Collectibles
With thousands of unique items spanning nearly a century of Disney history, what pieces tend to be the most coveted by fans? These consistently rank among the most popular for collectors to seek out and acquire for their collections:
Vintage Disney toys: Includes everything from tin wind-ups and pull toys from the 1930s-50s to mid-century plush characters.
Theme park artifacts: Especially attractions no longer operating like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or Skyway buckets.
Rare movie cels: One-of-a-kind, hand-painted animation frames given as gifts to employees or sold as part of limited edition gallery runs.
Comic art: Includes original sketches, daily strips, and pages from Carl Barks, Floyd Gottfredson, and other renowned Disney artists.
Cast lanyards: Extremely limited pins, badges, and custom pieces made exclusively for Disney employees.
The most popular Disneyana is almost always the older and rarer pieces tied directly to Walt-era animation, Disneyland’s early years, or uniquely created for cast members.
The Hardest Disneyana to Find
On the flip side, some Disneyana pieces barely ever surface for collectors to purchase. What are some of the “holy grail” items that almost never appear on the open market?
One-of-a-kind prototypes: Includes early Disneyland attraction vehicles and concept miniatures not approved for production.
Extremely limited editions: Such as the 500 Mickey Mouse watches given to employees in 1933 or first year debut items like the 1955 Disneyland employee handbook.
Original Walt Disney correspondence: Signed letters, internal memos, scripts, or legal documents in Walt’s own hand.
Discarded Disneyland artifacts: Especially from attractions or lands no longer standing, like the Skyway, America Sings, or the Old Mill.
Artwork gifted by Walt Disney: Including personalized, hand-drawn sketches given to close friends, colleagues, and family members.
For those with the budget and patience, tracking down these ultra-rare Disneyana grails provides the ultimate sense of accomplishment.
Assembling a Disneyana collection on a budget is very doable. From smart shopping strategies to points programs, use these tips to keep costs down:
Buy Disneyana in Bulk Lots
Large bulk buys on sites like eBay can drastically lower the per-item price when collecting in volume. Just be prepared to resell duplicates.
Use Disney Rewards Programs
Disney Movie Insiders, Disney Visa card points, and ShopDisney rewards can offset collectible costs with earned discounts.
Seek Out Cast Member Discounts
Disney employees get steep merchandise discounts. Connect with cast members in collector groups who can purchase items on your behalf.
Buy Discount Gift Cards
Sites like Raise, CardCash, and GiftCardGranny sell retailer gift cards at reduced rates – perfect for major Disneyana sellers like ShopDisney.
Don’t be afraid to make offers and negotiate with individual sellers on sites like Facebook Marketplace and Mercari.
There is a wide range of prices for popular Disneyana collectibles, from affordable items under $100 like pins, postcards, and small figurines, to rare and high-end pieces costing tens of thousands of dollars or more. Some key details on Disneyana prices:
Vintage toys from the 1930s-1950s tend to sell for $500-$1,500 at auction, with the most pristine examples going for over $1,000.
Rare hand-painted animation cels can fetch $15,000 or more at auction. Recreation cels tend to cost in the lower thousands/upper hundreds.
Theme park artifacts like retired attraction vehicles or parts can sell for thousands to tens of thousands based on rarity.
First edition Disney books and comics from the 1920s-1950s can go for five digits at auction.
Smaller and more common items like pins, postcards, patches, and character figures tend to stay affordable in the under $100 range, making them good starter pieces.
So while the most sought-after Disneyana sells for small fortunes, beginner collectors can build an enjoyable collection without breaking the bank by focusing on smaller vintage items. The sky’s the limit for more advanced Disneyana collectors with bigger budgets.
Celebrities That Collect Disneyana
A number of celebrities love to collect Disneyana or have a passion for all things Disney. Here’s a list of a few of them:
Actor John Stamos has an extensive personal Disneyana collection that includes a large Disneyland entrance sign, vehicles from the Dumbo and Snow White attractions, and other rare pieces. He outbid Michael Jackson on the Disneyland sign.
Singer Mariah Carey is a huge Disney fan – she renewed her wedding vows at Disneyland and has performed at Disney park events. She frequently visits and posts photos from Disney parks.
Model Heidi Klum launched a Disney Villains clothing line and visits Disney parks often with her family. She’s been spotted having fun at the parks.
Actor Chris Evans watches YouTube videos of Disney park trips when he’s sad and has visited the parks frequently. His wife requested Disneybound outfits for their trips.
Pop star Katy Perry has loved Disney since her earliest childhood memory and honored Minnie Mouse at her Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony.
Neil Patrick Harris has been a huge fan of Disney since his childhood. He and his family visit the Disney Parks often and hosts a number of events throughout the year.
Popular Disneyana Characters
Amongst all the Disneyana out there to collect, there are a few characters that are highly sought after. Here’s a small list of popular characters:
Mickey Mouse – As Disney’s official mascot and one of the most iconic cartoon characters ever, vintage Mickey Mouse toys, books, artwork, etc. are highly sought after by collectors.
Snow White – As Disney’s first animated feature film, Snow White memorabilia like figurines and cels from the 1930s film are very valuable.
Winnie the Pooh – Beloved character whose early plush toys and illustrations by E.H. Shepard are popular Disneyana.
Princesses – Items related to fan-favorite Disney Princesses like Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, and Elsa are collected frequently.
Villains – Disney Villains like Maleficent, Cruella de Vil and Ursula have dedicated followings who collect artwork, pins, etc.
Donald Duck, Goofy – As Mickey’s classic supporting characters, Donald and Goofy Disneyana from comics, shorts, and films is also very collectible.
Figment – The purple dragon mascot of Epcot’s Imagination pavilion who stars in the Journey Into Imagination ride. As a fan-favorite original Epcot character, Figment merchandise and artwork are popular.
Orange Bird – This cute little orange bird debuted at Walt Disney World’s Tropical Serenade in 1971. Vintage Orange Bird souvenirs from the 1970s heyday are very collectible.
Final Thoughts on Disneyana Collecting
From animation cels to theme park artifacts, few collecting genres offer the sheer diversity and passion as Disneyana. Whether just starting out or hunting high-value rarities, the vibrant world of Disney collecting welcomes fans of all levels with endless discoveries.