12. Pin trading
Pin Trading is a popular Disney hobby for sure! Guests trade pins with other guests, or with Cast Members. They purchase or trade pins and carry them proudly on lanyards or in special bags or books. If a Cast Member has a purple lanyard that means they will only trade with children. The rules are you can trade up to two pins with any Cast Member or Pin Board or Book in Disney shops or resorts. You can buy Disney collectible pins all over the parks, at the resort gift shops, several places in Disney Springs but the best place is the Disney Pin Traders at Disney Springs Marketplace. Watch for Pin Trading Nights held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports and smaller pin trading events at some of the Disney pin selling spots in the parks and at Disney Springs. Make sure you look at the back of the pin to make sure it says Disney and if you think a pin looks damaged or somehow “off” don’t complete the trade. There are some knock-offs rotating out there. If you are just starting out I pin trading you may like to look at the beginner sets that is a combo pack of a lanyard and a set of pins that you can begin trading with right away if you like.
Collecting Autographs from Disney Characters is a lot of fun. It will take you awhile to get autographs from all of the Disney Characters so it is something you would plan for on future trips. Now you can get FastPass+ for many Character meet and greets. The Characters do more than just pose now, they interact with the guest as much as they can and it is a very fun experience. Many people have the nicely made Walt Disney World autograph books but you can make your own at home, or bring something like a pillowcase or picture frame for the character to sign.
10. Hidden Mickey’s
Looking for Hidden Mickey’s while walking into an attraction or standing in the Stand-by line gives everyone something to do. The Imagineers have left us Hidden Mickey’s in unexpected spaces as well as easy-to-spot Mickey’s. It is fun to see how many each person can “collect” if you are a bit of a competitive person. There is a website dedicated to finding Hidden Mickey’s that is quite helpful if you have gone on a ride over and over to spot that really difficult-to-see icon and still have not seen it. For instance it is believed that the Imagineers gave a nod toward Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit by placing a Hidden Oswald on the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train Ride, but I have not been able to spot it, but this site showed a quickly-snapped photo showing where it was supposed to be. There are also published books that lead you to where the Hidden Mickey has officially been spotted and gives you a chance to look for it and find it yourself.
9. Penny Press Machines
Penny Press Machines are scattered all over the Parks, Resorts, and at Disney Springs. You will need two quarters and a penny in order to get a Disney character imprinted on the squished penny from one of these machines. There are areas, mostly in the resorts, where the machines are dispensing a greater number of pennies by you paying with a credit card. You do not get to turn the crank to get a pressed penny in the newer machines, sadly. There are machines that also will press other coins and of course, you will have to pay an additional amount for the machine to run. You can purchase special Disney albums made for the pressed pennies giving you an easy-to-enjoy book to look at your whole collection. It is fun to collect more with each future trip to Walt Disney World because the number of machines are always increasing. Tip: Use the older pennies they make a better impression.
8. Drinking around World Showcase
Drinking around World Showcase is something guests have been challenging themselves with since Epcot opened. Some do it better than others. If you are doing it as a group consider getting one drink in each country and splitting it amongst yourselves. You can pick up extra cups at the first location and carry them with you as you take your tour. You may want to get the T-shirt with the countries on it and a check box that you can check off as you complete each one. Better yet, only check a few of those off and save the rest for future trips. There is honestly too much alcohol in each country these days to try and do them all. It is the people that try to try every one that wind up hanging onto the stone pole in the center of the United Kingdom pavilion just trying to stand up. What is the point? You won’t even remember it and you probably won’t complete it. My guess is that the people I see in UK, having started in Mexico, don’t make it past the bathrooms in UK. When you pay Disney prices for drinks you should at least remember them, and enjoy them, in moderation.
Running is an exhilarating experience when it happens during the early morning hours and you get to run through a Disney Park, or maybe the one through all of the Disney Parks, being cheered on by Disney characters and your own cheering squad. If you want to experience this go over to runDisney.com and see what you need to do to sign up and all the great memorabilia you get while you are participating in the races. You really get to experience Walt Disney World in a whole different light.
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Many of us try to capture the things we love about Walt Disney World using photography, or collect photos of ourselves and our friends and family enjoying WDW together, through the eyes of someone else’s camera. Bring your camera, but not a Selfie Stick, and collect WDW through your own lens. If you do not want to have to carry your photographic equipment then we recommend purchasing the Memory Maker package that will actually get your digital photos of yourself and anyone in your group that you add to your Memory Maker package. This includes all the ride photos too, which many of us like to collect.
5. Hat Collecting and other memorabilia
Do you like to collect Disney hats or different sets of Mickey Ears? Well they are always adding new styles of these and chances are you will find new ones each season. There are special even ears/horns/etc. for special events and don’t forget the holiday versions. Other memorabilia would be Vinylmation That are constantly having new ones added and people trade with other collectors. Popcorn Souvenir Buckets are becoming hot collector items as well. Christmas Ornaments are picked up each year as well. On a higher cost group Art of Disney Animation is an important stop for Disney art collectors. With all the merchandise at WDW a collector could be happy for years!
This is the name given to people who like to pull items together from regular apparel that gives them a look like a Disney character. For instance a Pooh fan may wear golden yellow pants or skirt, with a matching top and a red vest, a honey pot necklace, etc. You have probably seen them in the parks, maybe not realizing the connection until later. I love looking for them whenever I visit the Parks and make sure I ask to take their photo before doing it. They are some of the happiest visitors. Maybe you would like to try this?
People who love studying history love seeing the details put in place by the Imagineers that reveals something specific about a time period or a culture, which may not be fully appreciated by others. Learning more about the man Walter Elias Disney at Walt Disney Presents in Hollywood Studios (formerly One Man’s Dream) is great fun for history buffs and I think fun for everyone who wants to know more about this great man.
2. Scavenger Hunts
This is something that every family can pull off, depending on how well the writer knows Walt Disney World. I used to make these for my family after we invested in Annual Passes and knew we would be traveling to the parks more. It worked great until stuff started moving around or disappearing, like the peg leg parrot that used to talk outside of Pirates of the Caribbean that was moved inside the attraction since we were last there. That kind of messed up my plan. It is easy enough to check out your clues are still there before handing out the Scavenger hunts though. You can find some online if you want to download them before you come, but you might run into the same problem. It makes it a different experience from the “usual”.
1. Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom
This interactive card-collecting game is at Magic Kingdom. Everyone who comes into the park can get a new set of cards to play with at the Firehouse in Town Square. Enlistees use the cards to battle Disney Villains inside the park. A Map tells you where to go first to begin your adventure then clues at the interactive “portals” tell you where to go next. Even after you conquer a Disney Villain, you keep playing, the game goes on. New cards are added if you attend any of the hard ticket party events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. You can buy gear, such as large books to store your cards in, a home version to play when you are not at the parks, and apparel that will help you battle the Villains. You can start at any time even though the game has been around for a couple years now. If you are new to the game they will explain the rules and how to play the game at the Firehouse. Come join the fun!