EPCOT Center Salt & Pepper Shakers

EPCOT Center opened on October 1, 1982, as the second of four theme parks built at Walt Disney World in Florida. The first park being the Magic Kingdom. It was bigger but took a while to catch on to become the beloved full-day destination it is now.

Finding merchandise from the early years of the park is always a treat! The name of the park has changed over the years, first dropping the ‘Center’, then lettering ‘epcot’ in capitals, then not, then doing so again. For some, Epcot will always be the center of Walt Disney World!

I recently found a set of EPCOT Center Salt & Pepper Shakers from the first year of the park:

Spaceship Earth looks amazing on this shaker set. If I had to find a flaw, I’d say that it would have been nice if the images weren’t simply repeated on both shakers.

Of course, the one hole for pepper and three holes for salt is consistent with other shakers. You should always count the holes in any shaker set you buy to make sure they are different, and someone hasn’t put two salts or two peppers together to make a set. Some people can be so spicy!

I bought these from a private seller for just $5.00 and then promptly broke one. Arghh! Normally I discard broken items as I don’t want them in my collection. I am making an exception in this case until I can find a replacement for the salt shaker.

The other thing I am definite about before buying salt & pepper shakers is that they have the original plugs in the bottom. These do have the plastic plugs in perfect condition.

It’s rare for pieces of merchandise like this to have a date on them. But these are stamped with ‘copyright’ 1982 Disney and the place of manufacture as Japan. So these would have been sold at the park between October and December of 1982, or possibly in the first few months of 1983 as left over stock.

The hunt for an EPCOT Center Salt Shaker is on!

Posted in Ceramics, Collectibles, Food, Kitchen, Souvenirs, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dark Crystal ‘See, Hear, and Read’ Record

It’s always good when children can develop a love for reading. These wonderful little soundtracks are perfect for that reason!

Today I’m sharing The Dark Crystal ‘See, Hear, and Read’ Record:

This story may have been a bit scary for some children back in 1982 if not so much today. But certainly it was an interesting piece of work! The plot revolves around Jen and Kira, two Gelflings on a quest to restore balance to the world of Thra and overthrow the evil, ruling Skeksis by restoring a powerful broken Crystal.

Let’s get into the book itself:

Rather than an artist rendering of the characters and story, we have actual images from the movie itself. It does make it easier to remember what you had seen on the big screen! Now we are ready to see, hear, and read:


Please enjoy the following pages at your leisure:

If you have finished with the pages above, let’s listen to the ending as written on the last page:


Although these are 45-sized discs they play at 33 1/3 speed.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a look back at one of Jim Henson’s more unusual but intriguing productions!

Posted in Books, Characters, Movies, Muppets, Records, Soundtracks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Wild: Disney Princess ‘Piggy’ Bank

I almost bought this item found In the Wild: Disney Princess ‘Piggy’ Bank. But I didn’t for a very specific reason. But first, let’s have a look at the top:

The top is rendered in a nice castle motif. The slot is plenty big enough for the biggest coins! Any materialistic child should love this.

The sides are adorned with three of the Disney Princesses. Two are legacy era and one is from the famous Renaissance ear. Let’s have a look:


Some ceramic items aimed at children can seem pretty cheap but this one is actually quite well done. So why didn’t I buy it? Observe:

The original stopper is missing! The horror! There was a time when I would have bought this, but I have so much Disney stuff now that I have to be more judicious of what I purchase. So if an item is not complete, I don’t buy it. Simple rule.

But I did think it was nice enough to share!

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Vintage Walt Disney World Passport Tickets

Have you ever wished you could buy a ticket for the way things were at Walt Disney World back in the 1980s? You know, when prices were lower and fun was funnier? Well, we can’t do that, but we can see what a ticket looked like back then!

I’d like to share some Vintage Walt Disney World Passport Tickets for your pleasure. Let’s start with a 2-Day Passport for a Day Guest from 1981:

So $20.00 for two days in the Magic Kingdom? Yes please! But wait, do you want a discount? Of course you do. If you plan to stay on property, you can get a 2-Day Passport for Resort Guests:

That’s a whopping savings of $1.25 for the two days! Just think of how much merchandise you could buy with that extra money!

I like the back of the above ticket because the user listed all of the rides they did with how many times they rode each. Three times for Big Thunder Mountain. Nice!

Let’s up the ante with a 3-Day Worldpassport for a Day Guest:

In 1984 this would cost you just $45.00 for one adult. But look what happens when we zoom ahead to the year of 1987:

We now have to pay $78.00 for the same thing! That’s a 58% increase in just three years. Obviously it would be best to stay back in 1984, as we will do with this 3-Day Worldpassport Day Guest ticket for children:

Only $37.00 each to take the little ones along with you. That’s 18% less than an adult ticket. I guess Disney figures children have less fun than adults!

Present day prices range from $109.00 for just one day and up with Park Hopper or other options added. I’ll leave you to do the math! Ah, for the days when prices were reasonable and crowds were low.

Posted in Attractions, Ephemera, History, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walt Disney World Eyes & Ears Cast Newspaper

The jury is still out on whether it is good or bad to be a Walt Disney World employee. I will never know but I imagine there are certain perks that make the experience somewhat more magical than flipping burgers at McDonalds.

One such perk must have been this Walt Disney World Eyes & Eyes Cast Newspaper from 1987:

Number 1 of Volume 17 was published on January 1st of 1987. The content starts with a recap of some of the milestones within the Disney Company for 1986. You can find the answers for each picture on Page 3.

Before I leave you to read for yourself, it appears that this publication began in 1971, the same year that WDW opened. So right from the beginning this small piece of ephemera was being prepared by Cast Members for Cast Members!

“Read on, McDuck!”

As you’ve seen, the content is wide and varied. Company announcements, local news and events, discounts, Cast activities, and more are covered.

And what newspaper is complete without a classified section! What are some of the items up for grabs? Why you can get a chain saw, a free cat, an expensive dog, an alto sax, a Commodore 64 computer, a talkative parrot, or a building lot for your dream home. On Walt Disney World wages? Maybe stick with the free cat!

If you enjoyed this blast from the past, check out my old edition of The Disneyland News from 1985. It’s a Special Edition reproduction but still a lot of fun to read!

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The Story of TRON ‘See, Hear, and Read’ Record

It may be a small record formatted to a 33 1/3 speed, but it carries a big story and even bigger adventure! Walt Disney Productions has done it again with a very nice piece of cross-over marketing.

The Story of TRON ‘See, Hear, and Read’ Record is a fairly faithful adaption of the 1982 digitally enhanced live-action movie:

This record was also released in 1982. It doesn’t feature any of the original cast favoring studio voiceover actors instead. Likely to save money. The likenesses of the actors from the movie are also slightly off. This is likely due to Disney not having the full rights to use their likenesses in all marketing materials.

With that said, let’s hear the opening words of the story read to us including pages one through three:


Following the electronic sounds is easy and would be no problem for even the youngest of listeners. Let’s continue with the story, but in pictures:

Flynn’s first battle within the computer is also omitted. In fact, a lot of ‘business’ is left out for timing. We’ll stop here to provide a clip from the record that highlights the narration, character voices, and sound effects. This dramatizes the exciting Light Cycle race:


Now back to the pictures:

There are a few drawbacks of such adaptions. Obviously, the entire story of the movie cannot be replayed on a small record. So many key characters are omitted. A third member of Flynn’s team inside the computer, named RAM, is gone, and Dr. Dumont, and his computer counterpart, the Guardian, are also gone:

It’s too bad, because the Guardian was a fun character! Now back to the pictures:

The final comeuppance of Dillinger is completely omitted in favor of a shortened, happier, ending.

This record must have been well-loved and well-played because it is pretty beat up. Thankfully it has only one major skip on Side 1.

For a more elaborate version of this type of merchandise, check out The Grasshopper and the Ants Record-Reader.

Ever wonder what Mickey Mouse would look like in the world of TRON? Well wonder no more as our part-time contributor Nick shares his Mickey Mouse as TRON action figure!

Posted in Characters, Collectibles, Comic Books, Merchandise, Movies, Records, Soundtracks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shadow Box Disney Display of Tiny Memorabilia

I love collecting small pieces of Disney memorabilia because they don’t take up much space. My wife likes that! But then comes the problem of just how do I display them, because they are so small.

My solution is this Shadow Box:

Some of the little guys are a bit squished, but it makes a very interesting display!

You can see how I usually arrange my bigger items by clicking the link here.

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In the Wild: Vintage Minnie Mouse Glass Mug

I always thrill to find Disney stuff in my travels! Even though I may not buy it, it’s still a lot of fun to find something I haven’t seen before. Mugs are perhaps one of the most common souvenirs that people pick up when visiting a Disney Theme Park. So it was no surprise, but still nice, to find this In the Wild.

Behold the Vintage Minnie Mouse Glass Mug:

This was likely a 1980s or 90s offering. It is smaller than most stein-type mugs, but still heavy, as it is made of study and thick glass.

If I can find a piece of merchandise with the original price tag, I am super excited! For this alone, I almost bought this mug. But I had already found many other items to add to my collection and so was being good by staying in my self-imposed budget.

Would you have bought it?

Posted in Animation, Characters, Collectibles, Glassware, In the Wild, Kitchen, Mugs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toy Story Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear Small Plush

Or just plain Lotso, for short. He is the main antagonist of the 2010 Pixar animated film, Toy Story 3. He is a large, or small with an unusually big head, magenta pink strawberry-scented teddy bear who rules the Sunnyside Daycare with the iron fist of a prison warden.

This Toy Story Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear Small Plush is much more lovable:

Official Description: “Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear is a jumbo, extra-soft teddy bear with a pink and white plush body and a velvety purple nose. This lovable bear stands fuzzy heads and shoulders above other teddy bears because he smells like sweet strawberries! With a smile that will light up your child’s face and a belly just asking to be hugged, Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear is sure to become a bedtime necessity. Stain-resistant. Spot clean plush surface with a damp cloth.” Oh. And he’s a jerk.

This little guy doesn’t smell of strawberries. He just has that big childlike head that makes your heart melt!

I picked my newest plush at a local Charity Shop for just a few bucks. He will never be replaced!

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‘Welcome to the Magic of Tencennial’ Brochure

Welcome back to 1982. The place is Walt Disney World. The occasion is the tenth anniversary of Walt’s second Theme Park.

The thing is the ‘Welcome to the Magic of Tencennial’ Brochure:

Tencennial – it’s a year-long ‘smile-wide’ celebration and we’re the guests of honor. At least we were if we were there in 1982. Were you one of the guests who at-ten-ded this event? Yes, the puns just kept coming with this promotion!

Inside this brochure we learn that EPCOT Center was yet to open but that there was a Preview Theatre on Main Street where you could learn what was to come. It also mentions the opportunity to purchase a Special Edition Commemorative Ticket effective on October 1st, 1982.

Of course, these brochures always have some helpful hints. Like pray it doesn’t rain, keep your shirt on, don’t even think about sneaking any food in, and leave your pet at the Walt Disney World Kennel Club. Got all that? Good.

And what would a visit to a Disney property be without shopping? There is a whopping 20 shops to choose from! Count ’em: 20! Have breakfast, get yourself charmed, and get ready to party hearty until 9 p.m. Then it closes. Yup. No shopping until you dropped back then. At least there was no charge!

If you love these old pieces of ephemera like I do, then you will also enjoy reading my ‘Welcome to the WDW Vacation Kingdom’ Pamphlet. It’s from 1983. EPCOT Center was open and prices were pretty much the same. Remember when you could get into a Disney Park for three days for just $35.00? Me neither. Sigh. I want to live in the past!

Posted in Advertising, Anniversaries, Ephemera, History, Promotions, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment