Magical Blogorail: Disney Souvenirs Under $20

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we share souvenirs you can find at the Disney Parks that are under $20.

I’m suggesting the new Rapid Fill Cups:

Just under the $20, even after taxes

Or way under the $20 if you only stay for a day or two! I have to admit that I haven’t used the new Rapid Fill mug system yet. On the surface, I’m not a fan! I feel that Disney can afford to give free unlimited refills of cheap beverages like pop, hot chocolate, tea and coffee after charging you for the cup.

The new dispensing system (above) limits the amounts you can get. But let’s not focus on the negative side of these souvenir cups!

So many colors to choose from!

Each year Disney produces a new graphic design for these cups. Usually there are three or four (or more) lid colors to choose from too. This is handy, as you can differentiate your cup from the cups of the other members of your party.

Over the years, you can create quite a collection of cups!

How many different designs are in YOUR Disney collection?

The benefit of these cups is that they will remind you of your Disney vacation for years after you arrive home. You can link each design to the year and location of each individual vacation. By taking these mugs along with you to school or work, you can extend your Disney fun!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | Disney Souvenirs Under $20 Loop:

  • 1st Stop – Adventureland Pam | Disney Trading Pins
  • 2nd Stop – Family Travel Escapades | Disney Plush
  • 3rd Stop – Cool Nouns by Lee Beatens | (you are here)

Splash Mountain Decorative Collectible and Pooh Too!

My favorite attraction in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland is Splash Mountain. It gives one of the longest rides. It has perhaps the most animatronic figures. And… it is one of the most awesome flume rides ever!

So when I can find unique collectibles featuring this ride, I snap them up. The piece I’m featuring today was found in a large flea market in Florida:

    

    

This is a great concept as it makes a nice piece even when it is not opened up. But when you open it, the display potential explodes!

Tigger and Winnie the Pooh are riding the flume together and can be removed from the piece. Why these two Disney characters were added to a Splash Mountain collectible is unclear, although they do appear to be having fun!

    

At least Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear get to wait in ambush, but I think they’ll be surprised when they catch a Tigger and a Pooh Bear instead of Br’er Rabbit!

“Please keep paws and cute noses inside the log at all times.”

It’s pieces like this that make my day as a disneyana collector!

The Grasshopper and the Ants Record Reader

From WDP comes a Capitol Records release of a truly entertaining Silly Symphony: The Grasshopper and the Ants. Released in 1934, this was one of Aesop’s fables, reimagined by the animators of Walt Disney.

A Capitol Record-Reader was a cherished item for any child of the pre-TV era. They came with two double-sided 78″ (unbreakable) records which enabled the child to hear the story being read by announcer Don Wilson while reading along by turning pages when the sound of a bell was heard.

Pinto Colvig was the voice of the grasshopper, whom you might better remember as the first voice actor behind Goofy. His distinctive voice is clearly heard here, along with Goofy’s signature song ‘The World Owes Me a Living‘. But the Grasshopper sung it first! Goofy wouldn’t warble the tune until 1935 in the Disney Short entitled On Ice.

The record-reader is filled with many illustrated full-color pages, such as these:

Just as an aside, the ants sound a lot like Chip and Dale. And if you think about it, maybe this silly symphony was on the minds of the animators at Pixar when they thought up A Bug’s Life. There we have the similar theme of industrious ants storing up food for the winter, and lazy grasshoppers who just want to have fun, leaving the hard work of preparing for the winter to others. Of course, the outcome is different, but the bones are there!

Walt Disney Treasures released a complete DVD collection of the Silly Symphonies on December 4th, 2001.

You can find The Grasshopper and the Ants on disc one under the heading of Fables and Fairy Tales.

I found this record-reader at a local antique shop and was able to purchase it for just $30.00 CAN. It is in near-mint condition with only natural yellowing of the paper. It was released in 1949, so a little yellowing is to be expected, and I doubt a better copy exists! There are some scratches on the records, but none that cause the records to skip.

Here is an image of the original poster for the theatrical release in 1934:

If you’d like to further research this particular Silly Symphony, you can read a condensed version in the 360-page coffee table book Walt Disney’s Mickey and the Gang: Classic Stories In Verse (2005, Gemstone, ISBN: 1888472065). On pages 14 and 15, you can read the history of the film, and of its place as the first installment of the Good Housekeeping series of full-page illustrated versions of the classic Disney films (1934-1944).

Each version of this fable is different, although all rendered by Disney animators and artists. The most detail is found in the film version, of course, but one detail is added in the record-reader: The Queen offers the Grasshopper a chance to join the ant colony and work along with them, living with them through the long winter. She does not do this in the theatrical version. He refuses, is reminded of his poor choice later, where he admits his mistake. The Good Housekeeping version strips the tale of almost all details, leaving only the basic moral in tact.

Magical Blogorail: Reasonable Disney Trip Splurges

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing ways to splurge on your next Disney trip that won’t break the bank.

If you’re like me, you take an extra suitcase with you on your Disney vacations just to carry all of the merchandise you buy back home. Yes, I’m that addicted to Disney swag! At one time I had over 5,000 individual pieces of Disneyana. I went through a purge to fine tune my collection, making room for better additions.

But I totally get that, collecting even a small amount of Disney swag, can be expensive. So how can you splurge on keepsakes without forsaking your budget? Here are three ways you can add Disney swag to your collection without feeling guilty:

Something to Use Throughout the Vacation

For about $20.00 or less, you can buy something that you can use throughout your Disney vacation. Like the pair of Mickey Ears our handsome model is wearing above! I won these Ears during the Year of a Million Dreams, but even if I’d had to pay for them, it would have been a reasonable expenditure.

After all, I got to wear them often and can wear them again during subsequent visits. You can also buy light toys, water fans, resort mugs, and the like.

Something to Commemorate the Vacation

We attended the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival for the first time in 2010 and picked up two Trading Pins to commemorate the event. At under $10.00 each, it was an inexpensive way to remember the experience. But you could justify spending a bit more for one special piece of merchandise, like the Mickey Garden Gnome above.

After all, you can only get a product like this at the Festival (initially) and it will last for years to come!

Something Special and a Little More Expensive

 

    

Our lovely model, Karen, is wearing a beautiful Mickey Jacket. This was under $100.00 (as it was on sale) and has gotten much use since it was bought on one of our Disney trips. A splurge like this becomes that extra special memory that can be revisited each and every time it is worn, years after that impulse buy!

You may prefer a Big Fig or some other article of clothing, like a jacket or hoody. Or perhaps it’s an expensive piece of jewellery? No matter the product, it can be a justifiable splurge, if… the price-to-joy ratio is right!

So do you splurge on Disney swag? What do you consider to be a reasonable splurge?

For more information on Reasonable Disney Trip Splurges, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Reasonable Disney Trip Splurges Loop:

Pixar’s Luxo Jr. LED Articulating Book Light

One of Pixar’s earliest successes was with a little character called Luxo Jr., the little lamp who just couldn’t contain his enthusiasm!

Luxo Jr. was a 1986 American computer-animated short film produced by Pixar and directed by John Lasseter. The two-minute short film revolves around one larger and one smaller desk lamp. The larger lamp, named Luxo Sr., looks on while the smaller, “younger” Luxo Jr. plays exuberantly with a ball that it accidentally deflates. It is the source of the hopping desk lamp included in Pixar’s corporate logo.

And now in a case of life imitating art imitating life, I bring you Luxo Jr. the LED Articulating Book Light:

    

A dollar store find

OK, I admit this is not a piece of official Disney-Pixar merchandise, but it is an accurate representation of the original Luxo lamps that the Pixar Short was based on. So in my book, it counts! And you can see what products Luxo is producing now by clicking here. For a short history of the famous Luxo lamp, click here.

Luxo stands about 3″ tall, if he stands up straight

    

So what do you think? Can I let this little guy join my Disney collection? Or should I brand him an imposter?

I hope you can find it in your hearts to accept him, because he’s already made himself at home!