Your recent article on Disney collectors inspired me to share my story of Disney treasure hunting. Like all good treasure-hunting stories, there’s a map involved, but in my case the map doesn’t lead me to a treasure. For me, the maps are my treasure!
For many years now, I’ve had a passion for paper items from the Disney theme parks and especially for maps from the parks. They’re a great way to remember my visit to a Disney park, as well as a way to capture a moment in Disney park history. The maps can be free guide maps picked up at the park entrance or souvenir maps sold in park shops. They can be brand new or almost 50 years old; the map can be from my nearest and favorite Disney park, Disneyland, or it can be from a Disney park that’s halfway around the world.
The best part about collecting maps is they don’t take up a lot of space — unless you have as many as I do! My favorite maps are the souvenir maps issued when a Disney park first opened; all the Disney Magic Kingdoms had one except for Disneyland, which got its first map three years after the park opened. My newest map is from … well, my latest visit to a Disney theme park! I always grab a couple of guide maps just before I go home and carefully put them away so they’re in good shape when I get home.
My two pieces of advice for anyone who’d like to collect Disney maps (or anything else Disney) are:
1. Collect what you like. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you try to collect everything, and there’s no guarantee that what you collect will be worth something to another collector someday.
2. Always depend on the kindness of others. Tell you friends and family about your new collecting hobby, and they may surprise you with something they got a long time ago, or they may bring you back something new from their latest trip.
Wherever your Disney treasure hunting takes you, have fun. And if you need a map to go on your treasure hunt, come some me. I just might have one to spare!
— Paul, 44, Oxnard, CA
Have you found your own Disney treasure? Tell us all about it!