The Unwitting Scrapper: Scrapbooking Your Disney Vacations

by Eleanor, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 11-29-2012

Photo illustrating Walt Disney World - Making Magic

Like a lot of facets of Disney mania, my slide into Disney scrapbooking started subtly and innocently.

When it became apparent we'd be going back regularly after our second trip to The World, I picked up some fancy Disney paper clips. They were really heavy duty, with the Fab 5 molded on the tops, and I thought I could use them as a cute but functional accessory for my next PassPorter. I've always been drawn to the supplies that go with scrapping, but since I didn't have the patience for completing an entire album, I never bought them. The paper clips were the perfect compromise.

Scrapping Supplies photo
Scrapping Supplies

Each trip I would bring home a big pile of souvenir paper goods and doodads, intending to use them somehow to journal the trip, and after our third trip I knew that I wanted to jazz up the PassPorter I'd bring on my next trip. Rather than commit to going through and decorating my PassPockets with old memories for that new trip, I figured a better place to start would be to browse the scrapbook aisles looking for some fun papers to slip into the pockets in my planner, themed to the park we’d be visiting that day. Animal Kingdom's pocket received a sheet of zebra-striped paper, the Our Journey pocket got a Florida map, and I rigged a "Receipts" pocket in the back after I found some green paper covered with dollar signs. I also happened to find a Mickey-font alphabet stamp set on clearance for $2 -- we all know that hardly anything licensed by Disney is only two bucks, so it just had to come home with me.

Then our Disney honeymoon rolled around. As a break from the wedding planning, I created door hangers for "The Honeymoon Suite" and &"Please Do Not Disturb" signs for our room. I wandered the scrapbooking aisles at stores looking for more Mickey & Minnie stickers to use. I thought-up some funny luggage tags featuring my new last name, lettered using that clearance stamp set, featuring the Mad Hatter asking "This is my bag?" so I made 'em. After all, I had a stash of scrapbook papers I needed to use up, PassPockets to decorate, and clipart aplenty to adorn trip-specific lists. By adding a Mary Poppins silhouette to the top of a page, I had a "Practically Perfect Packing List" that I could tuck into the pocket but easily identify thanks to the picture peeking out of the corner.

So my journey towards scrapping continued, down the slippery slope, one page at a time.

After the two-week visit for the honeymoon, it became evident that our touring style just didn't mesh with the PassPocket style of journaling. I love my PassPorter and still buy one every year, but I decided it made more sense to use the pockets for storage and design my own pages to glue on top of them.

It was also clear by then that while I always had the best intentions to keep a fabulous journal about our fun-filled World tours, full of details about wake-up times, routes to the parks, and other little details we like to keep track of from trip to trip, I'm much better at planning to journal than actually doing anything about it. Day One's journal entry was always great, but by Day Four it was a struggle just to open my Mickey Mouse journal each night and jot down the highlights, even with a PassPocket's prompts. I needed a different system.

It hit me on the flight home; I'd combine my need to plan and make lists into something fun for the next trip! I started elaborating on the first pages I'd glued into the PassPorter, turning them into an extra-easy journal, and designed a small Mickey-ear thermometer and weather icons I could simply circle at the end of the day to tell us how the weather was. From there it wasn't a big leap to designing an entire page, what with the paper and stickers I had collected and all the sweet stuff available for digital scrapbooking. Before I realized it, I had designed my first complete planner. So I did what any proud girl does, and I brought it to work to show my friends.

That was the first time I heard someone say, "What a cool scrapbook!"

My head reeled. What!? I'm not a scrapbooker. I'd made a planner, not a scrapbook; it wasn't even done yet, and I had no idea what I was doing. There was only one spot I might be able to squeeze a photo after the trip. Yet, my friends argued with me.
"Every page has a theme."
"You used stickers to design the pages!"
"It's all color-coordinated."
"Each page has sections so you can keep notes and write down your favorite things."
"You made pockets specifically the size of the park maps."
"You added a spreadsheet with all the park hours for your whole trip to the back page."
"There are special autograph pages for each of the Santas in Epcot!"


I probably shouldn't have mentioned that I purchased a special binding machine so I could put it together; it only added fuel to the discussion. No matter how many times I claimed I had lots of uses for it, even things that had nothing to do with Disney, such as binding loose recipe cards, all my perfectly logical reasons fell on deaf ears.

That was five planners ago and no recipe cards have been assembled. Yet.

Five planners ago everyone else saw something in my pile of papers and stickers that I didn't recognize for what it was, a spot to keep the magic alive and record memories, including the memories made as it was being designed and constructed -- they are all part of the trip. Each page has a story to tell before I even put a stroke of pen to paper.

I get in deeper with each visit we make. Between trips I find myself stockpiling my favorite Disney scrapbook papers in case they stop selling them, and searching for new stickers, papers, and tools I haven't seen in other stores. Now I design pages as much for looks as for function, going out of my way to convince myself to make section dividers with some of the fancier papers. Each trip the planner has a full-blown theme, too -- this spring's was "Alice in Wonderland." I had tons of fun finding just the right embellishments to make the pages look good enough to please even the Queen of Hearts.

Despite all of this (I just used the word "embellishments!"), I still don't think of my planners as scrapbooks when I'm designing them. So maybe it's time to finally admit it; I'm not just a planner, I really am a scrapper. Surprised, reluctant, and not very savvy, but I'm sure rolling up my sleeves and hoping I've got enough pixie dust left to go on each page. Apparently I've got some scrapping to do!

Planners photo

About the Author:
Eleanor didn't even know there were four parks to see the first time she set foot on Disney property in 2007. She and her husband now squeeze in two trips a year.

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