Welcome back to Disney Stuff. If you’ve been reading my articles for the past month or so—and thanks very much if you have—you should be aware that last month we were lucky enough to spend yet another magical week at Walt Disney World. So, what does that mean? It means we had lots of fun, plenty of relaxation, amazing family time, some great meals, magic, magic, and more magic. Of course…what it really means is…I got some more great Disney Stuff!
It’s certainly not the main reason that I go to Disney World as much as I do. However, as a collector, it sure does makes me happy to stroll through the shops down there. It makes me even happier to bring some new, cool stuff home. This trip was no different. Some of the usual things made it home with us. The kids got toys. The wife got her blue crystal. We all got some more pins and some cool clothes. But each trip, I try to find some sort of collectible; something a little more unique and special to add to the shelves at home.
In the past that has meant unique art from the old King’s Gallery in Cinderella’s Castle, maybe a special watch from Uptown Jewelers on Main Street USA, or that great pewter train set from the Germany pavilion in Epcot.
October 1, 2011, as many of you may know, is the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World. The shops had some interesting displays of 40th merchandise. There were T-shirts, pins (which my daughter and I both bought), glassware, and special Vinylmations (Which I bought.) Most of it was nice, but I wasn’t really finding anything that fit that special description—the one souvenir that I would come home most excited about.
Then we spent a fun night at Chef Mickey’s. After a good meal and some great moments with the characters we strolled down the Grand Canyon Concourse to the two gift shops at the Contemporary: Fantasia and Bay View Gifts. Bay View is one of the nicer shops in Walt Disney World. I’ve always done well there. Sometimes there have been things that the other shops are out of and I’ve found them at Bay View Gifts. On my way into the shop from the Concourse I walked into this display of retro looking merchandise. It turned out to be a special collection of items from artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily specially created for Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary. There were some very cool mugs and dinnerware. Then this box cover caught my eye.
I wasn’t sure what they were but I knew I loved the retro looking design on the cover. Maybe it was just because I was actually in the Contemporary, moments away from boarding the Monorail itself. I think that moment enhanced the purchase a little, but regardless I had found my unique collectible.
It turns out this is a set of three mini attraction posters silk-screened onto tin. They each have a hook on the back and I’m eagerly trying to figure out just where they’re going to hang on our walls.
Tropical Serenade, what most people now know as the Enchanted Tiki Room, was the first one in the box. I'm such a sucker for a tiki. It's one of the things I think I love about the Polynesian. There are tikis everywhere.
My favorite piece of the set has to be the Walt Disney World Monorail System. The Monorail, the Contemporary and Cinderella Castle are all icons and here they are all in one design:
All three are vibrant, graphically beautiful, solid, and very well made wall hangings. I’m thrilled with the set and I’m quite sure I’ll enjoy them for many years to come. They weren’t so easy to find though. I’m kind of glad I found them where I did. It just seemed right to find that box at the Contemporary. When I spotted it, I knew I had to have it. Later on I did see them at the Art of Disney in Epcot and in the Animation Building at the Studios, but they certainly weren’t available everywhere.
Once I got home, I began to find out more about the artists, Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. Turns out they’ve been releasing Disney art and collectibles for many years now, most notably items for Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary. Kevin and Jody began working together at Disneyland itself in the Entertainment Art department. They’ve released all sorts of pieces over the years and definitely have an affinity for the Disney of the late 60’s and 70’s. You can read more about Kevin and Jody and see more of their fantastic art at their site.
I’m glad I waited for these pieces to find me. They jumped out at me as soon as I walked into Bay View Gifts at the Contemporary. The striking, retro colors and design leapt off the display and instantly caught this Disney collector’s eye. This is just the kind of thing that I look for on my trips to Walt Disney World. It’s something that I can display proudly on the walls of my home. It’s something that reminds me of Disney World’s past in all its Technicolor glory.
Most importantly, it’s something that will always take me right back to that night when I found it and remind me of that wonderful night at the Contemporary with my family. And isn’t that what collecting this stuff is all about?
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time with more of that great Disney Stuff.
For those of you that will be celebrating Walt Disney World's upcoming 40th Anniversary at the resort itself, you'll be able to meet Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. They'll be at the Contemporary Resort on Friday, September 30 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for a signing and then again at the Haunted Mansion: Room for 1 More event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Saturday, October 1, on the actual anniversary, they will be at the Magic Kingdom in the Diamond Horseshoe from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Make sure to stop by and thank these two wonderful artists for all the work they have turned out over the years.