Ever since Walt Disney introduced Mickey Mouse to the world in 1928, Disney was an overnight marketing machine. Mickey Mouse himself would quickly find his way onto stuffed animals, nightmarish Halloween costumes, and so much more. The marketing train only gained steam as time went on, and now millions of people worldwide collect Disney in one way or another. Some people focus on Disney comics, and some on animation cells. I myself collect Maleficent items! But there's one collectible in the Disney universe that grabs the attention of every collector at some point -- the Disney Park popcorn buckets.

Popcorn buckets are exactly as they sound -- they are themed buckets that hold the popcorn found across all parks.

Each park has had its own unique popcorn bucket at one point. The most common popcorn buckets are the normal pail buckets with Disney characters printed on them. These can be found at just about every popcorn stand, or wherever popcorn may be sold.

These buckets range from $10-$25 dollars, and you can refill them for $2 per refill. If you're on a big family vacation this is actually a good deal, especially in a Disney park. I've taken advantage of this as well, and I normally go with only one other person. Disney has a wide variety of popcorn aside from your standard butter, so guests can try as many flavors as their park has for a low price.

But you're not here for trip planning advice to Disney. You're here to know why these buckets are so collectible, and which ones are. The parks put out several styles of buckets every year, many for a limited engagement. Some of Walt Disney World's popcorn buckets that came out this year include Journey into Imagination's Figment, Disney's Skyliner,  an Iridescent 50th Anniversary Mickey Balloon, and solid-colored 50th Anniversary Mickey Balloon buckets.

Over in Disneyland, you can find Elliot the Dragon Mainstreet Electrical Parade bucket, an AT-AT popcorn bucket, and a Tow Mater bucket, among others. You can also find the iridescent Mickey Balloon at this resort as well.

Right now, the Elliot the Dragon bucket is a hot item with Disney fans. While the bucket itself may have cost under $30 brand new, buckets have been selling for between $50-$80 on eBay. On July 6, 2022, Elliot buckets sold for $79.95, $41, and $70. The Figment popcorn bucket caused a stir on social media earlier this year, with people waiting in line for upwards of 8 hours just to get a bucket. This bucket hovers around the $90 price point, with one selling on July 4 for $92, and another on July 1 sold for $110.50.

One could argue that the further you get away from a popcorn buckets release date the more money a bucket could be worth -- but I think it falls on character popularity. Figment has an almost cult-like status with Disney Park fans, and while Elliot the Dragon certainly is popular, I don't perceive him to be as celebrated as Figment.

Not all popcorn buckets will fetch you some extra money.

During the Halloween 2021 season, Disney released a Mummy Mickey popcorn bucket. These buckets are admittedly adorable, but they weren't flying off of popcorn carts. In fact, I bought one for myself in February at the Disney Character Outlet in the Orlando Premium Outlets for $15. Comps for this bucket range from $20-$40. On July 5th, 2022, a Mickey Mummy sold for $39.90, while another similar bucket sold for $20.50 the same day.

Let's also take a look at some of the international parks.

Tokyo Disneyland is celebrated as one of the most innovative parks, and its popcorn buckets are highly sought after by overseas collectors. In 2021 the resort released an Alice in Wonderland bucket, featuring Alice and three teacups stacked high. The bucket retailed for $24 USD, and comps on eBay are always high for this bucket. On July 6th, 2022, one sold for $56.80. On June 21, 2022, another sold for $100.93.

In 2021, Shanghai Disney released a bucket based on the cat mascot Linabell. Linabell is a part of Duffy's friend group. Duffy himself is called the Disney Bear and is wildly popular at the Asian theme parks. Sadly, his popularity never took off in America. But in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo Disney Resorts, guests absolutely love Duffy and his friends. As we said, Linabell got her own bucket and collectors went nuts. This bucket is a little harder to find on the secondary market, and when you do find one, expect to pay close to $100.

If you live near a Disney Park and want to make a quick buck on a Disney item, popcorn buckets might be a way to go. But once you factor in time, shipping, and the fact that these buckets do take up a lot of room, this may not be a worthwhile investment piece. But they do make excellent souvenirs and collector items!

So what do you think about collecting Disney popcorn buckets? They are very cute, but they also take up a lot of room. Do you have a collection of your own? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.