Podcast Episode 7 – Souvenirs: The Receipt Is In The Bag

Listen to the Episode:

Find Us Here:

Welcome to Episode 7 of the Retro Disney World Podcast: “Receipt Is In The Bag” We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of the previous shows along with our latest. 

This month’s podcast discusses souvenirs, souvenirs shops & pictorial souvenirs.  There will be special guests – listeners talking about their favorite souvenirs. 


The regular crew is all here, Todd, Brian, How & JT are all present and accounted for.

Todd discussed his recent trip to Disneyland.  Brian has been to Disneyland in 2006 & the summer of 2011.  Going again during the 60th anniversary. In 1998 and 2000 – How went to Disneyland.

They discussed the incredible use of space at Disneyland.  That it has a lot of retro feel.  It still has the magic shop.  Overall, it feels less rushed.  They discussed some of the old attractions that haven’t been refurbished into something else, Rocket Rods which has been left to decay, and the Sky bucket station which is still there.

Todd discusses some of his recent trip to Disneyland and how it relates back to the East Coast. He also touches on attractions left to rot away and the cast member experience. We also heard about the lack of DVC salesman…imagine that! No major updates on the World of Motion episodes, but if you’d like to go back and listen please feel free.

Main Topic

This episode is all about souvenirs and more souvenirs. The one thing every Disney fan can’t get enough of and seems to never stop collecting. Todd opens up talking up with the infamous Pictorial Souvenirs – A true gem in the retro world showcasing everything the Vacation Kingdom had to offer. We also hear about Todd’s favorite guest, the polka dot mystery girl. Your hosts also discuss their favorite souvenirs including a squeaky armed, hard plastic, cotton jumper wearing Mickey, How’s impressive LP collection and a few plush from Brian’s collection.

Todd’s favorite type of souvenir is the pictorial souvenirs as they present a history of WDW through the years.  Pictorial souvenirs are books that outlay the resorts, different lands, things you can do in WDW.  It was an inexpensive way to bring back memories of the parks and photos of the inside of attractions where you wouldn’t have had a camera.  Todd has followed the changes in the pictorial souvenirs over the years and written an article.

1969- first published book about DW and planned.  The Complete Edition of WDW.  A corporate note in there to the licensees. Standard book format

1970- Official Kick Off was The Preview Edition.  This was done in standard book format.   – more words than pictures.  Cover features a photo of the model.  Asian, the original tower, Tomorrowland has the circus like tents, the Contemporary as it is today, the Persian in the distance.  A lot of early concept art, very little construction.  Imagineers working on audio animatronics.  This was available at the preview center.

Then on to the real pictorial souvenirs.  They kept the formats for 4-5 years for the same format – covers stayed the same, majority of the photos the same, changed the back cover or inside back cover & the things to come. 

1971- 1976- There is no photography that is staged.  Candid perspective on all photos.  Kurt Shimala called it out – comparing the photos of back then to today looking more staged.  Even with that, there are some very artsy pictures in these early pictorial souvenirs, including some classic shots.  Early ones have a lot of shots of feet. Passport Dreams from old to New – did a synopsis of these.  Some things may not be complete in the background.  It is the reality of what the resort was like.

1975 polka dot shirt girl rides space mountain- the most overused stock photo of space mountain.  That photo was taken on shake down rides.  When they started with passengers’ employees were the first to ride the ride.  This was a promo shoot.   All three people in this photo worked at the Golf Resort. Back to Front – Frankie Turner, Manager of Finance, Skip Palmer, General Manager, and Betsy Shriver DeMorey, Executive Assistant of the Golf Resort Hotel.

Brian’s theory of the overused publicity photos is that some of the locations (dark rides for example) are so difficult to get shots, that once they have a good one they use it until it’s no longer relevant.  Which is sometimes 20 years or more. 

In some of the early Disneyland pictorials a lot of the photographs came from National Geographic who took them for the 1963 issue that featured the park, and then also GAF who took a lot of pictures for Viewmasters.  When they got to WDW the publicity department photos were used. 

The color saturation of this series was really pushed. 

1977-1982 the color saturation came down a little bit.  In this set, a lot of the same pictures were used.  There were a lot of pictures of Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain. They changed the layout a little bit, added some words.  Recreation is also in these as well.   Edna and Earl are still in there.  River Country has been added to this one & looks mint.

Fishing on Roy’s Beach in front of Roy’s Cabin?

EPCOT was given it’s own- given to Magic Kingdom Club member.  Two versions – wasn’t for sale while the park was open.  Possibly for sale during construction.  Thick, majority concept art, also some pictures of some models, ie.  World of Motion – Train Hijack Scene and the jitney bus.  There is great stock photography of people looking at computers the size of refrigerators & how the Univac Sperry system was going to work.  This didn’t have any pavilion information or photos of people doing anything. 

EPCOT opened in 1982 – but it was not added to the pictorial souvenir until 1983. This is the first time the book starts to look modern.  Specific font, a lot of the pictures had been updated.  The photos are starting to get more staged.  MK ones are like that, but EPCOT being so new still had less staged looking photos. 

Purple is the 1983 –

Blue one 1988- one of the more popular ones.  Contemporary, MK, EPCOT, using the same font.  Similar to the 1983 shot.  New picture of River Country & the water was starting to look a little green.  Only out for one year Polka dot lady is still there at 1984.

Picture on the very back cover – says the magic of Disney in California and Japan.  The Covered Main Street Arcade.  Why no curbs, why covered –

After that, 1989, the pictorial souvenirs started to decline.  Disney Hollywood Studios was added, but really was the downfall.

Have the 2000 one, but they are posed photos. 

Merchandise Venues

LBV shopping village – Candle factory.  It wasn’t as much of a strictly souvenir shop.  There was the one store that had a lot of character plush.  It had the whimsical plane hanging.  There was the Toy Store, Toys Fantastique, because it was one of the only places that if you went upstairs it had a table of windup toys and those water toys that moved to play with.  The rest was normal clothing stores, there was a wine shop, a kitchen store.  The original concept was for it to be shopping for the residents that would be in that community.  They had a great bakery there.  Arribas Bros. store cut glass souvenirs.  Dave Coolidge was an artist that had his art at the gallery there. 

Early WDW souvenirs, there was not a lot going on.  They had glass & ceramic candy dishes, ash trays, a plastic back scratcher, plush, some t shirts. 

EPCOT Centorium- the original shopping location.  On the left hand side, eventually becoming mouse gear.  It was the place to shop because it had 2 floors.  The merchandise was suddenly inclusive off all kinds of things.  Figment stuff, puzzles, little coins.  Closest thing to a department store, with sections for jewelry and clothing, toys, plushes, books, video tapes.  It was also really well displayed.  It wasn’t all Disney merchandise, it was name brand merchandise as well.  Upstairs was electronics & more expensive finders stuff. They had an Atrai 5600 next to an Atari 2600 Jr.  That they had turned on that you could play and you could try it out.   For a short time they had models of Dream Finders ship upstairs. The AC was also frigid in there.  They had a spaceship where Mickey was in the cockpit & goofy was tethered to the ship floating outside.   It was called the Centorium because it’s like the Emporium, but at Epcot Center. 

The other EPCOT gift shop, when they opened the international gateway in 1990, they had a gift shop tucked in there, the World Traveler shop.  That shop always had the neatest shop & the merchandise in there was stuff you didn’t find anywhere else.  The interiors are the same in the shop.  At the register they had a postcard booklet that was from 2006.  The interiors in that section of building are gorgeous.  Because the building is between France & England they actually purposely used architectural styles that bridged the 2 countries.   One room was done in a Charles Renee MacIntosh style.

House of Treasure – when you exit Pirates of the Caribbean, before the sombrero stand- where everyone tried on and took a picture, but no one bought one.  Interior space to the right of the outside market.  It had the coolest pirate merchandise.  Then was refurbished to do the pirate makeovers. 

Disney MGM Studios- the gas station off to the right sold film and soda.  It is now stoller rental.  On the opposite side in a building that looked like a house.  Sid Kohenga’s One of a Kind up until 2013.  It sold one of a kind movie memorabilia (Tom Hanks watch from Turner & Hooch) and autographs.  It then became a service station for My Magic Plus.  They once had props from TRON.  They had from Terminator 2, the impact bullet points from when Robert Patrick got shot.  It was a dumping ground for Disney publicity stuff.  Roger Rabbit posters, One sheets from the classic Disney forms, dayglo posters from Fantasia, press kits from the Touchstone movie.  8×10 publicity shots from Disney movies.  Shots from Man In Space, great shots of the actors and the animation.  Perry The Squirrel Stills from Victory from Air Power, Stills from the Magic of WDW, nice pics from the Three Caballeros.

No film restoration discussion this month.

Call Ins

This was a new thing for us, we had live on the air call-ins from some of our biggest fans. These listeners called in to discuss their favorite souvenirs and also reminisce about some of the classics. Thank you so much to Paula, Keith, and Joe for participating and taking time out of your evening to share your gems!

Paula from South of Houston – First visit in 1972, 1976, drove there.   Dad collected little miniature liquor bottles.  Traitor Jacks Grog Shop (Polynesian) & Village Spirits (LBV) still with price tags.  Favorite shop from The House of Magic on Main Sreet– skull piggy bank from the early 80’s.  Magic trick toys.  EPCOT t-shirt still in the bag possibly from the gateway in the mid 1980’s the price way $7.50.  The striped colored EPCOT license plate, the Magic Kingdom still in the bag.  Also the 1971 Blue license plate.   Fort Wilderness bumper stickers from the Trading Post, Musket Mickey.  Contemporary Resort napkins.  And tons of match books, soaps, and tickets.  Passport tickets that had string around your neck.  You were supposed to wear the passport because there were also tickets. 

Keith Schneider from Downingtown, PA- Been a Disney fan since 1978.  Blue pennant from the 10th anniversary which has the globe with the ears.  Two figment PVC figures- 1982- one with gold pot & a rainbow and 1 holding spaceship earth.  Thirty license plates.  WD productions, white with pictures & characters.   EPCOT Center the newest wonder on the world with the rainbow.  Mickey Mouse with the 15 year anniversary logo.  Backscratchers with the old logo.  The gold coins in plastic sleeves- WDW, castle with monorail.  Mickey in the middle with the lands.  Disney MGM Studios- Opening Spring 1989.  Button collection from before pins.  The oldest one mickey mouse – Walt Disney Enterprises, Living Seas – Sea Base Alpha, the EPCOT pin with the characters in the space suits. 

Joe from Georgia- First trip to WDW was Thanksgiving 1971.  Plushes from Kitchen Kaboret.  Gasporilla Grill Tray.  Old Betsy from the Davey Crockett series.  Pirates of the Caribbean flint log wooden gun.  Could put the stick caps in there.  Electrical Water Pagent record.  Dixie Landings refillable thermos.  Polynesian Village Mai Tai glass.  Canister 100 piece jig saw puzzle self-mailer.  Collection of EPCOT glasses – Contemporary Resort glass.  The America on Parade Super 8 in color film.  Horizons slider puzzle. 15th anniversary tickets- every time you entered the park, you’d get a ticket & you could win a car or an assortment of little prizes.  1971 wall map.  Original (preopening) and the pictorial souvenir of EPCOT in 1982.  Commemorative tickets from EPCOT.  Some had a silver case and there was a souvenir ticket with a silver bar.  Old LBV shopping village carry all bag.  Couple of the old Disney news magazines.  1979 guidebook.  Figment hat.  T-shirt from when he was a kid.

Brian’s collection – Mickey Mouse plush from 1980’s.  Plush from 1990’s or 2000.  Beefeater Mickey beanie baby.  Lightswitch plates – figment and they had a future world which had the spaceship from Spaceship Earth.  Beach towel throughout the 1980’s Figment laying on the towel. 

Hal had attraction LPs.  Hall of Presidents, side 1 is a complete recording of the entire show featuring The Whisky Rebellion.  All of the LPs had a booklet with some of the artwork.  Where someone calls Abe Lincoln a tall drink of water.  The fold is a diagram with all the placement of all the Presidents.  The Orange Bird LP.  The Adventureland Steel Band – which is JP and The Silver Stars.  Michael Iceburgs when he played his synthesizer at the Tomorrowland Terrace.  He got a remastered copy of that which he will link.  He also has th Country Bear Jamboree, The Enchanted Tiki Room, The B side of that is a straight version of the Jungle Cruise.  The EPCOT Center LP which cost 5.98 and has the computer songs.  Other favorite souvenir was a powder blue penlight that had the old WDW logo down the side. In the 1990s they had monorail pens. 

Todd- 1975 – Vinyl Mickey Doll with overalls.  Favorites include EPCOT LP, pictorial albums, the Horizons slide puzzle, the 1971 license plate, the EPCOT coins, the Ephemera, the ceramic salt & pepper shakers from EPCOT with the rainbow.  The Commemorative WDW Book.  Walt Disney’s EPCOT book.  A figment plush.  Started to save the give away items. 

How has a project going on, offering t-shirts with retro designs to upgrade equipment.  One design based upon the electrical water pageant and a second design a 4th of July fireworks design.    


Audio Puzzler

Congratulations to our winner, Robert Myers, guessing the ferry between TTC and the Magic Kingdom. He wins the 1993 WDW Calendar!  If you think you know the answer to the audio puzzler this month, email us! podcast@retrowdw.com – You can win the amazingly cool Disney transportation and attraction poster.  All correct answers will also be entered into a drawing in December of 2015 for a Paul Hartley reproduction map from wdwmap.com!!

Shirt Project

We are going to start to offer some limited edition, RetroWDW exclusive T-Shirts! Exclusive to our listeners and fans and will help us update some of our audio equipment – check out the designs here: www.retrowdw.com/supportus

Be sure to get your shirt, iPhone case, tote bag, pillow or coffee mug today: www.retrowdw.com/supportus

Some of Our Latest Designs

Viewer Mail

This month we have an email from Johnny K, showing us a piece of jewelry from the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village. The box has the old logo on the inside of the box.  The jeweler used those boxes the first couple of years.  This is a great souvenir from the early years of WDW and a true example of classic merch from the village.

Next month’s prize is a Disney transportation and attraction poster.

 Thank you Johnny!  Send your questions to podcast@retrowdw.com

Listener Memories

Keep the calls coming, sharing your memories and giving us feedback. If you would like to call and leave us a message, please dial 978-71-RETRO.

Tweet at us, send us a Facebook post or message, tag us on Instagram or send us your thoughts.

We hope you have enjoyed this episode! If you have any questions, suggestions or find errors please email us podcast@retrowdw.com.

Film Restoration

We will be back next month for another great film restoration.  Please take a look at our YouTube Channel for some great films.  

We hope you enjoyed this episode! If you have any questions, suggestions or find errors please email us podcast@retrowdw.com. Check back with us very soon for Episode 8 – The team is also in contract negotiations to possibly record some mini episodes from time to time… one should be coming very soon..

Until next time… “Make it a stretch. . .On the other hand, make it a super stretch”

Enhanced Show Notes by Donna (April 2021)

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Nick Sweedo
September 16, 2017 12:00 pm

In the late 80s/early 90s I liked to go to the shop outside Hall of Presidents and spend a few minutes admiring a Revolutionary War chess set that was in the corner. It was the British vs. the American Colonists, and George Washington was the king. It was hand carved and cost a lot, I want to say 4 or 5 grand. I wonder who ended up with that — unfortunately it wasn’t me!

October 11, 2019 10:21 pm

If anyone has any suggestions for places to find ephemera from around 1977 (other than eBay) please let me know as I’m in high nostalgia mode right now!! Thanks!!!

B.J. Major
March 27, 2021 2:36 am

Todd: I enjoyed hearing your views on visiting Disneyland. I have visited there myself a total of 3 times in my life, the last being in 1992. I enjoyed it for no other reason than I love seeing “originals” and we all know that if it were not for Disneyland, there would be no Walt Disney World. I am a collector of Pictorial Souvenirs myself; I don’t have all of them but certainly have most of the vintage era (1970s through 1980s). I also have most of the vintage “Yearbooks” on WDW, beginning with “The First Decade” book, which remains my favorite. I also collect… Read more »

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x