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Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Disney Book Pet Winnie the Pooh-A Walt Disney World Souvenir
My first trip to Walt Disney World in Florida was in 1981. My parents, my older brother and I had just weathered a hurricane during our visit to Venice, Florida. We drove the two hours from Venice to Walt Disney World, and were very excited about what was in store for us at the Magic Kingdom.
The first thing we did was visit the Walt Disney World Shopping Village. The best part of this place was the Character Shop. At the time, an animated figure of Winnie the Pooh holding a balloon could be seen floating through the store. I was allowed to get a small, inexpensive souvenir, and I chose a Disney Book Pet of Winnie the Pooh. This was a 3-inch tall bean-filled plush toy with a vinyl head that was packaged in a small, book-shaped box that could slide open to reveal the character.
My choice probably had a lot to do with the animated decor in the store. Also, at that time, Winnie the Pooh merchandise was not easy to find, as it was exclusive to Sears stores, as well as the stores in the Disney theme parks.
The box encourages children to collect all the Disney Book Pets. I can remember seeing Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and possibly Donald Duck. I'm not sure what other characters were offered. Thanks to TokyoMagic! over at Meet The World, I know that Disney Book Pets were also available at Disneyland in California.
Here we can see the scuffed-up Winnie the Pooh toy. He is nowhere close to being Mint in the Box.
After our visit to the Walt Disney World Shopping Village, we returned to our hotel in Orlando. We stayed right across from the long-closed Circus World theme park (we did not visit Circus World, but it did look like fun).
My brother woke up that night with a severe ear infection (he got it from swimming in unclean, post-hurricane pool water). We left the hotel and went to the Emergency Room. Then we went home. So we didn't get to experience the Magic Kingdom theme park. Since I behaved myself, and didn't complain, my parents got me five Disney records when we got back home. Jackpot!
In 1983, we returned to Walt Disney World and got to experience the Magic Kingdom AND the brand-new Epcot! So, it was worth the wait.