Monorail Glass Gift Trays from Walt Disney World

How awesome are these? I love the monorail and share Walt Disney’s dream of seeing them play a more prominent part in transportation across North America. Walt Disney World has proven them to be a viable alternative to standard trains. But the powers that be seem to disagree!

We’ll have to be satisfied with enjoying Disney’s Highway in the Sky until city planners get on board and lay those iconic concrete beams across our cities.

Until then, let’s have a look at a unique piece of merchandise that was likely sold at Walt Disney World throughout the 1970s:

Sometimes it’s hard to tell just what Disney marketing was thinking when they green lighted things like this. What would this be used for? It’s called a Gift Tray. Is it for candy? Just a simple display piece? An ashtray? We may never know, but it is an attractive collectible.

This would have also made an inexpensive gift to take back to family and friends. For only $2.00 plus tax you had a compact Disney-themed present for those who couldn’t ‘be there’, no matter how much you ‘wished’!

Due to the image on the tray I would imagine this was likely sold as an exclusive item at the Contemporary Hotel. It comes from a time when resorts had their own merchandise designed just for the guests staying there. Although anyone could visit the Gift Shop and purchase one!

These are also an example of the tendency to offer variants on a certain piece of merchandise. This gives you a chance to buy your favorite color or, more likely, to get you to buy all of them to complete your collection.

So far I have found only these three examples, but I am sure there must be more colors represented, as there are many more colors represented in the Monorail fleet.

A design anomaly is found in the color coordination between the monorail color stripe and the border color. With Monorail red, the stripe and border colors match. But with Monorail Green we see a blue border, and with Monorail Blue below, we see a white border. This makes no sense and it’s hard to understand this design choice.

Regardless, I still love these Gift Trays. Even though I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with them! Expect to pay between $10 – $20.00 U.S.D. for a good example with or without the original box. These trays are approximately 5″ x 7″ in size.

FUN FACTS: These trays were likely done by the Houze Art company which also did glass collectibles for the 1964-65 World’s Fair. Yup, the same fair that Walt Disney debuted It’s a Small World among other classic Disneyland attractions!

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