More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Walt Disney World’s 40th Anniversary Merchandise Collage

Steven Miller

by , Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World 40th Anniversary Merchandise Collage

This October, the Walt Disney World Resort celebrates its 40th anniversary. Wow – 40 years! It seems I have spent the majority of my life either visiting Walt Disney World as a guest or making magic as a Disney Cast Member. As discussed in a previous article, I enjoy collecting Disneyana from the vacation kingdom of the world. So imagine how beyond excited I was when asked by Natalie Kennedy, Senior Graphic Designer with Disney Design Group, if she could use some of my memorabilia for a 40th anniversary collage she was creating (yes, total Disney geek moment!). I recently spoke with Natalie about her work, which is now prominently featured on some 40th anniversary merchandise.

“The first step was finding memorabilia to use for the collage,” said Natalie. “Once gathered, I imaged each item for placement into the big picture. I wanted elements from all four parks and images of Walt Disney included in the collage. From start to finish, it took me about three months to create the image.”

I first saw the collage in Summer 2010, and I still catch new details every time I see it. The “40th Collage” program is one of several art programs we will introduce for this anniversary year. The recent SHAG artwork is another example of a program created especially for the 40th anniversary (there are a few others, so please stay tuned).

Walt Disney World 40th Anniversary Merchandise

This collage is part of a global program, meaning that you will find it used on a variety of items. Natalie purposely designed it for usage in multiple categories.

“I support the lifestyle hardlines teams which include categories like stationery, seasonal, consumables or home and decorative,” continued Natalie. “From the start, I was challenged to make the collage usable for other categories outside lifestyle hardlines. From what we’ve seen so far, guests love this image!”

I asked Natalie about her first visit to the Walt Disney World Resort.

Walt Disney World 40th Anniversary Merchandise

“I first visited [the Walt Disney World Resort] in 1973,” explained Natalie. “My parents participated in the Beautiful-A-Bug contest which was held in June of that year. I can still remember driving down I-4 with my parents in our car wrapped in aluminum foil. My parents chose a spaceship theme for the contest. I included the ‘Tips on Your Visit’ brochure in the collage for my father. We got it during that first family trip and I still have it today.”

I was thrilled to see that Natalie included my EPCOT Center bag, button and classic guide map from 1982 (which I used in another Disney Parks Blog article). Natalie shared one final detail she has heard many people have loved finding.

“I’ve heard several guests remark how they love seeing the Orange Bird in the collage,” laughed Natalie. Right on – who doesn’t love the Orange Bird?!


  • In regards to the Dooney & Burke 40th anniversary bags, I really, really want one!! I was just at the MK this past weekend, and purchased several 40th Anniv. items, but I was very disappointed when I saw that they are offering these handbags at 25% this coming weekend. How can we purchase one of these handbags with the 25% off this weekend if we can not be at the MK (which I really wish I could) or at one of the other stores listed?? Is there anyway to purchase online, etc??

  • Proud to say…I have most of that stuff in it’s original form…and even my EPCOT Center Bags are in better shape than the one up there. It would have been neat to see the REALLY old Mickey Balloon Bags from early on.

  • The collage is awesome! I love it. I’ll have to use it as my phone wallpaper. Plus I’ll have to finally visit WDW. I frequent Disneyland because it is close and I am an annual passholder. But the fact that they are going to have Dooney & Bourke 40th Anniversary handbags!!!! Need to get one to go with my Disneyland 55th Anniversary handbags.

  • This is great! I love the collage and am looking forward to adding some of the merchandise to my collection.

  • HA! I spotted a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride motorcar. Finally some attention to Toady. I hope to see more of him little by little in the near future.

  • The collage is very colorful. Think it will make a big hit no matter what you put it on. Today would have been my 44th wedding anniversary. Do they ever give away complementary tickets to Disney World ? Would love to see everything in person.

  • What size does the laptop sleeve come in? Because i would love one but in the past it has been hard to find a sleeve for my laptop (13in) because most are 15 in.

  • 1970 my Parents & I moved to S.Fl because of my health problems. In 1971 my Birthday surprise was a trip to WDW. From then on, that World was my world. Our High School Chorus sang in front of the Castle & whenever I could through out my Miramar HS years I was at WDW. My Husband of 30yrs spent our Honeymoon there in 1980 & every year afterwards our Anniversary was spent there. I have been there at least 1000 days or more. I can’t wait for my sons to have children so I can bring my Grandchildren there. I consider WDW an integral part of my life.

  • Will the collage be availble on a hat or visor?

    • @Matt – Still working on an idea to make it available. More to come I hope.

      @Faith – There is a Disney Earhat that has the collage printed on it. Look for a Disney Parks Blog article coming soon about it. There are no plans for a visor or other style of hat with the collage.

  • Please let me know if / when a desktop wallpaper can be available.


  • Any chance we could see it on some Dooney & Bourke bags? I love the design and would love to get a bag with the design.

    • @Jenny – Oh my yes! They look outstanding – I just photographed them. They contain this collage print. The assortment will complement the Disneyland 55th Anniversary handbags nicely 🙂 Look for an article coming within the week about them.

  • Hey steve, do you know if we can buy those merchadise online? I live in california and I would love the desktop saver and a box that has the 40th anniversary on it. please let me know if you can.thanks! 😀

  • I would love a giant poster of this in my room!

  • I’d also love a 1920×1200 version I could use as wallpaper on my desktop. Pretty please, with pixie dust on top?

  • These retro WDW items are indeed incredible.

    Hope that WDW will do a big celebration for the resort’s 40th anniversary.

  • Steven,
    Is this the merchandise that has more to do with “The Florida Project?” Or can we count on more special vinyls and pins at that event. By the way, can we get more info on that event. Im planning my next vacation around that event and would like to register soon. Thanks!

    It was nice meeting you at the Merry Member Mixer event this past Dec.!

    • @Carrie – Yes, the Orange Bird shirts are at The American Adventure pavilion. Great stuff!! You’ll more likely see items that were “inspired” by the 1970s opposed to direct duplication of items. I’m writing another Disney Parks Blog article about the colors selected for the 40th Anniversary program which should explain this concept better.

      @Michael – Great to see you too 🙂 This is not the merchandise for “The Florida Project.” Look for another article in March about the event. I just photographed the first sample of the figurine for the event – AMAZING!!

      Keep watching this page on as details will be shared as soon as they are finalized:

  • Autumn & Barbara: Some of that merchandise is available now.

    It’s fun to look through the collage at individual pieces of artwork, like that concept art for Spaceship Earth. It would have been nice to have products featuring one selected piece of original art, or perhaps a completely new piece of art inspired by the old, rather than just one generic design featuring everything. I think the Orange Bird T-shirts being sold now at the American Adventure Pavilion are a good example of this.

  • Awesome Steven! Are these available for purchase now? I’m leaving for WDW next week and am so very hopeful these are available!

  • A hi-res wall paper would be perfect! The collage is really great!

    @autumn, @Barbara: the merchandise is already available at WDW. I was there last January and bought some! The pattern is even prettier than it looks on the pictures! =)

  • This is my favorite “clip art” graphic that Disney has produced since Randy Noble’s poster for the 2001 “Official” Disneyana Convention. Great job, Natalie! And since it had the color logo and the pewter medallion gift from the first “Official” Disneyana Convention in 1992, I had to buy the merchandise that showed those two items.

    There is also a cool jigsaw puzzle that shows the complete collage. The reversible laptop bag has recently disappeared from store shelves.

    What a great opportunity this could have been for Disney to use social media to ask fans and enthusiasts to submit ideas for “items” to include in the image. This image would also be great as the start of a series of collages featuring cool collectibles from Disney World’s history. Why not create one aimed at collectors with shots of the best and most sought-after merchandise items produced over 40 years. That would be a great chance to network socially with fans and collectors as you seek input about what items should make it into the collage. Hmmmm… maybe D23 The Official Disney Fan Club should do something like that.

    • @Product Availability – Many of the items with this collage are already in merchandise locations in Florida. I spoke with Natalie who visited the World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney Marketplace today. She said there is quite a selection present in the store. There will be additional items rolling in throughout this year with the collage.

      @Daniel – Right on! That piece by Randy was pretty awesome. As you have gathered, several of these items (e.g. laptop sleeve) have been pretty popular since launch. They will continue to be offered as additional orders arrive.

      There are also some select items offered via the on-line Disney Theme Park store – (try key words like “1971,” “71” “40th Anniversary”). More items will be added throughout the year.

  • Any chance of seeing that collage in a larger, high res version so I can make it my desktop wallpaper?

  • Any plans for a poster-type print?

  • Will these items be available online sometime? I’m not sure if we’ll be able to make our annual trip this year 🙁

  • Also wondering when this merchandise will be available? We are going in May and I would love to pick up some of them! thanks for the story behind the collage!!! So much history behind it all!!! 🙂

  • these products look so great :> they bring back great memories from my childhood and are done in such a great display. thanks for sharing with us.

  • Thank you Thank you Thank you for making more retro merchandise! I’m going to need to plan a trip ASAP just so I can come buy one of everything! I love the design! (Any chance you could release it as a computer wallpaper? That would be great!)

    • @Kyle – Would be extremely difficult to translate this image to a 9-inch Vinylmation figure. Yet we have other 40th Anniversary themed figures coming for a future Park series.

      @Desktop wallpaper images – Hmmmm, let me think on it. I will need to confer with some partners first.

  • When should these items start appearing in the parks??? We are there in March and September and I am LOVING this. 🙂 Happy 40th WDW 🙂

  • I really love these collages! Very creative.

  • I LOVE the collage!! I think it would make a great desktop wallpaper. Wink. Wink.

  • Could you possibly post a nice, super high-res version of that collage? I would LOVE to use it as my desktop background!

  • Hey Steve
    This collage would be perfect for a 9inch vinylmation. Any plans to
    put this on a vinylmation in the future.

Comments are closed.