Couple opens own little slice of Disney with Winter Garden store
WINTER GARDEN The couple honeymooned at Disney World and later watched Disneyland fireworks from their home in Anaheim, California.
The new business stems from the Phillipses’ long hobby of selling Disney collectibles through eBay for eight years under the name SnowBallBears.
Enter the store, and you’ll hear Disney music. You’ll see Disney items of all kinds, too. The store does three things: buy, sell and trade. If people have older Disney items that they want to sell, they can take their items into the store and get values on them. If the seller agrees to the price, the store will purchase the item.
All items displayed in the store are for sale — a wide variety of new and used items, such as lamps from the Animal Kingdom Lodge, a uniform from the Disney Cruise Line and Disney pins.
“What we get a lot of is people who want to get cheaper pins that they can go in the parks and trade with the cast members,” Tom said.
Most of the pins in the store are $3 — much cheaper than pins sold on site at Walt Disney World, which typically start at $8 and can cost much more.
The Funko Pop! figures and Mystery Minis are also well-stocked in the store.
“They’re very popular,” Tom said. “They’re very similar to what Disney used to do in the way of Vinylmation.”
TD Collectibles also sells Breweriana items — beer taps, signs and glasses connected to brand names such as Coors Light, Samuel Adams and The Hard Rock Cafe.
The store also provides a space for people to trade Disney pins. The store has a trading book full of pins that customers can look through. Some days, customers go to the store to trade with each other. Saturdays are popular days for pin trading.
The Phillipses have worked for some collectibles stores in the past, so they have experience.
The Phillipses’ love for Disney extends beyond selling items.
Tom’s first visit to Disney was before the parks even opened. He visited the Disney preview center in 1970. When he married Diana, the couple lived in California and Chicago but came to Florida for vacation. During one trip, when they were checking into a hotel, Diana looked into a room where people gathered around a collection of Disney items. They learned it was a Disneyana convention.
The next year, the Phillipses registered for the convention. During a break, they walked into a lounge to find people trading pins.
“From that point on, we both got hooked,” Tom said.
In Chicago, the Phillipses joined the Windy City Pin Traders. They moved to the Orlando area in 2005 and formed a group that traded pins at a pizza shop in Clermont. They called themselves the “Windy City Pin Trader South.”
ADDRESS: 1218 Winter Garden-Vineland Road, Suite No. 112.
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays
Contact Jennifer Nesslar at firstname.lastname@example.org.