‘The good, the bad and the dirty’: Osceola County museum seeking vintage theme park collectables

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Do you have your first pair of Mickey ears gathering dust in your closet? How about a decades-old Universal Studios map stuck in a scrapbook? What about a commemorative cup from a long-defunct Disney restaurant tucked away in a cabinet?

The Osceola County History Museum is interested in borrowing your vintage -- think pre-Y2K -- theme park collectables for an exhibit documenting how the parks have made the community into what it is today.

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“The good, the bad and the dirty,” curator Michelle Finnegan said, they’re looking for it all.

Media and marketing coordinator Christina Karandreas said the items will be displayed in a special exhibit that will open on Sept. 1.

“We are really looking for things that are specific to Florida and the parks that represent here,” she said.

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That could be anything from old park tickets, memorabilia from rides that no longer exist or even paperwork from families who sold their land to help make the parks’ footprint possible.

“Things that only people who truly enjoy the parks would know, we would love that kind of stuff,” Karandreas said. “The family who sold that last plot of land to Bonnet Creek, if they have a story they’d like to share, we’d love to hear it.”

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Karandreas said the items that are contributed will be carefully cataloged and given back when the exhibit is over, unless you’d like them added to the permanent collection.

The deadline to contribute items for display is Aug. 15. For more information on how to loan an item, email michelle@osceolahistory.org

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.