In addition to memories and experiences, one thing we collect, no matter the type of vacation or time of year, is Christmas Tree ornaments. We have ornaments from NASA, Cancun, the Grand Canyon, and Disney. . . the world and the ship. Using a Sharpie, I write the dates of our trip somewhere on the ornament so when we decorate our tree it brings back memories of our times together. Sometimes, ornaments can be difficult to find, depending on the time of year you travel, so we have substituted key chains. They, too, can be hung on a tree! We have key chain ornaments from Cuernava, Mexico, Sea World, and Aquatica Water Park.
Another thing we collect is photos. I know, dah. Besides the typical family vacation photos, we collect Splash Mountain photos from the Magic Kingdom. We call these photos our evidence of torturing our child, as you can see his pained expression while going down Slippin' Falls. We have started to challenge ourselves to display a particular pose for the photo, but the force and anticipation of the drop sort of take that cognitive control away. The husband did manage a 2 thumbs up for our latest photo as you can see below. (You can purchase Splash Mountain photos on your way out of the attraction. About $20 for an 8x10.)
Note: We aren't really torturing the child. He loves this ride and will tell you it is one of his favorites. The last time we rode, he wanted to ride by himself.
Another type of photo we collect are fireworks photos at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. We have 4 fireworks photos, one with the boy looking back at the fireworks. Not only are these photos unique, but they can be a challenge to get. I am a bit of a goal oriented person. . . I am waiting for the laughter to subside before I go on. . . so getting this photo becomes a goal.
Here's how you can get it: When you arrive at the Magic Kingdom, check the Times Guide for the Dream Along With Mickey performances on the stage in front of Cinderella's Castle. If you want to know the schedule before you arrive, click here for the latest schedule of live entertainment at the Walt Disney World Resort. Then, plan to arrive near the hub or on Main Street about 20 minutes into the performance. Snag a PhotoPass photographer and ask them if they can capture the fireworks at the end of the show. If they say yes, you are in. Just wait for them to position you, time the shots, and smile. They typically take 4-5 photos as there is more than one "firing" of the fireworks. Give them your PhotoPass Card to scan or get a new card. You can then view your photos at any PhotoPass site or on-line when you get home.
Another thing we collect, is Disney art. We have a piece of Disney art from each of our Disney trips, land and sea. Nothing overly expensive and hardly original Disney cels, just a piece of artwork that speaks to us and reminds us of our adventure. We try to use a Disney frame to display the artwork.
The last photo shows the other things we collect. One is character autographs in our custom made autograph book. It is a family affair to get as many autographs as possible. (Click here to read more about autographs.) The other, is my set of pins. While Todd buys, trades, and collects pins, I just collect. Each pin has a significance and commemorates an event. There are the pins from Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, the Pirate and Princess Party, and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party that are only available for purchase at these ticketed events. There are the two different pins from two different years at the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival held each spring. There are the 3 Disney Cruise Line pins to commemorate each of our cruises, and Adventures by Disney pin only given to those traveling via Adventures by Disney, and 2 Toy Story Mania! pins because it is an awesome attraction. (Click here to read about Toy Story Mania!) I am often approached to trade and I point them in the direction of the husband.