Just outside of Walt Disney World, Polk County sellers like Zinkann deal in an odd, if thriving, business. They sell authentic Disney furniture and merchandise from the theme parks and resorts. The items, bought and sold by longtime Disney fanatics, come directly from Disney.
Vendors say the industry isn’t too large but it’s profitable. Buyers have been known to schedule their Disney vacation around a trip to a local seller or travel from several states away to get their hands on a lamp once used at their favorite Disney hotel.
“People love just getting something from Disney that was used at the parks or the resort,” Zinkann said. Shops such as these are quite helpful for Disney collectors. Especially since it can be a challenge to obtain certain Disney merchandise.
Customers looking for furniture and other collectible pieces sold directly from Disney can find them in two main places. Collectors can go to “Forever Vintage and Surplus” in Winter Haven, and the Lakeland Antique Mall in North Lakeland.
Those looking for used Disney furniture know of Winter Haven’s most famous one-stop shop: Forever Vintage. The shop owners are Mary Jo and Stacey Reddick. The couple opened the store three and a half years ago, intending to sell vintage items and the occasional Disney surprise.
Flash forward to 2020: Stacey Reddick has to travel to Orlando about four times a week to pick up Disney items. Forever Vintage, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, only holds about a third of the stock the Reddicks have on hand.