Every Disney Parks fanatic has numerous treasures from their trips. After thirty years of traveling to Walt Disney World, I have a lot of collectibles. Some are the standard like pins and vinylmations. Some are a little different. The most illogical of all of my Disney Parks collectables is the Disney shopping bags. You might say I have a lot of baggage.
The bags come in all sizes and different artwork from the different years adorns the front and back of each bag. If you get a shopping bag at the Magic Kingdom today it will not have changed much if any in the last couple of years. Cinderella Castle on one side and Sleeping Beauty Castle on the other with Disney Parks emblazoned on the bottom. These seem to be the set design for Disney shopping bags. But that’s not how it use to be. The bags use to change every year. On each family trip I was always amazed by the changing designs on the shopping bags. The best part about collecting bags was that they were free with a purchase. You didn’t have to buy an expensive item to get one.
My bag collection starts from the early 90’s with a white paper bag with Walt Disney World in the lower center and Mickey pointing the way to the vacation kingdom. This bag has everything from gangsters at MGM Studios (the original name of Hollywood Studios) to the fireworks of Illuminations.
I have multiple 1997 bags celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. All white with Sorcerer Mickey centered and pointing his wand at the 25th sign is nice, but there could have been more to make the celebration stand out. When I visited in 2000 Walt Disney World showcased the four park symbols with Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto holding hands commemorating the new millennium. I have these in blue and yellow.
My bag collection goes beyond Walt Disney World.
From Disneyland I have an early 2000 bag with Grizzly River Run and California Adventure stepping out to prominence. But the best Disneyland bag I have came from a travel agent, with Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Happiest Celebration on Earth title commemorating the 50th anniversary of Disneyland standing out proud.
When my wife and I honeymooned in Paris in 2008, I was able to expand my collection to Disneyland Paris. From a small white one with the symbols of the two parks standing tall to big blue ones with the 15th anniversary sign and characters like Mickey, Tinker Belle, and Lumiere welcoming you to the celebration.
Somehow I managed to get a bag from Tokyo Disneyland. I can’t remember how, but it is a prized possession amongst my collection. Filled with bright colors and all the Disney characters, this might be my only connection to the Tokyo Disney Resort.
The best bags are the ones that you know will never be duplicated because the location is gone forever. In 2007 and 2008, my wife and I visited New York City and I loved every minute I spent at the World of Disney Store near Central Park. Unlike other Disney Stores, this one sold only theme park merchandise; you could trade pins, and even buy candy that was only found at the parks. I have fond memories of the times spent at this store and the bright red and yellow bag with Mickey on it is a rare artefact that holds my New York memories.
Disney collections do not have to be expensive. When I think of my bag collection I think of our family trips and the many things bought and carried in these bags. I don’t care what other people think; I love my bag collection. It’s too bad that there is no variety to the shopping bags anymore.
Even if your wife teases you or your older brothers laugh at you, find something that appeals to you and start collecting!