If you’re a Disney Parks fan who has been spending quarantine de-cluttering your home, chances are you may have stumbled upon a vast collection of trip mementos. If you’re anything like me, it’ll be guide maps. Those irresistible little maps to the magic; always the first thing you grab upon entering a park, and often the last, too. Because, of course, you have to have “a nice one to keep”. If you’re finding that your stash is getting a bit much, here is a list of 50 different ways you can utilise, repurpose, display or upcyle your collection. Because if you thought they were just for navigation, you can think again…
1. Frame them, or stick them to a canvas for easy wall art
2. Throwback to your pre-school days and use them for papier-mâché
3. Or use them as decoupage paper, and cover photo frames, vases, guitar plectrums, pebbles… whatever you can get your hands on
4. Use them as wallpaper! (I’ve never actually tried this, but would love to see it done)
5. Make paper chains with them
6. If you’re having a party, why not gathering everyone for a game of “Pin the Castle on Main Street”?
7. Use them as an educational aid, to teach your non-Disney friends how wonderful the parks are
8. Or, be *that friend* and use them to show off how great your last vacation was
9. Back them onto card, then cut them up in with jagged lines to create a jigsaw puzzle
10. Play “Spot the Difference”, using maps from different years. How much has changed since your last trip?
13. Stick them to a corkboard to create an adorable display frame for your attraction-themed Disney Pin collection
14. Fold them into easy fan-bowties to spruce up your Dapper Day outfit
15. Quiz yourself to see if you can pinpoint where all the attractions are on the map, without using the key
16. Get creative and upcycle old or thrifted furniture. Instead of paint, a guidemap and a bit of varnish can go a long way
17. Collect maps in different languages, and teach yourself some very niche new vocabulary
18. Do that fold-snip-unfold trick and make beautiful snowflakes to hang in your home during winter
19. Get artistic, and try and draw your own park map, or try your hand at writing attraction-style descriptions for things around your neighbourhood
20. Or, you could create a “Super Park” by cutting out all your favorite attractions from each park, and arranging them in your dream layout
21. Gift your travel party personalised lockets, with cut-outs of their favorite attractions hidden inside
22. Use a shaped hole puncher to punch out confetti from the maps, perfect for decorating tables at your Disney-themed wedding
23. Forget you left one folded up in your back pocket after a trip to the parks, and then spend an afternoon scraping it out of your washing machine
24. Use them as index pages inside your photo albums
25. When booking FastPasses for your next trip, close your eyes and point to an attraction at random to decide what to go on first
26. Keep them in your desk drawer at work as motivation and to serve as a reminder for why you’re there – to earn the funds for your next trip!
27. Glue one to your graduation cap, what better way to let everyone know you’ve done the Disney College Program?
28. Use them as wrapping paper or fold them into gift bags, perfect for giving out the presents you brought back from your trip
29. Tick off all the rides you’ve been on…
30. …and circle the ones you haven’t been on, so you know where to head for next time
31. Get characters to sign the maps instead of using an autograph book
32. Or, embellish your autograph book by gluing in cutouts of the exact areas where you met your favorite characters
33. Cut them into postcards, or fold them into envelopes, and write to your distance friends and family
34. Strategically leave them lying around your house, to subliminally convince your parents/roommates/significant other that you deserve another trip
35. Cut them into thin strips and wrap them tightly around a straw, adding glue along the way, to make beads, which can then be threaded onto string for easy jewelry
36. Place a cut-down map inside a clear phone cover to make a personalised (not to mention handy,) new case for your device
37. Try your hand at making your own greetings cards. Or “We’re Going to Disney!” cards maybe?
38. Bulk out your Disney Christmas tree by using the maps to cover baubles
39. If you’re feeling particularly innovative, why not update an old board game with a Disney Parks twist? Guess Who, Cluedo or Monopoly would all work, and if there’s anyone out there who’d attempt to make their own Risk board I’d love to hear from you. It was Stitch in the Canada pavilion with the Candlestick!
40. Decorate your map with Polaroid photos of your trip, using string arrows to mark where they were taken. This could also work with pressed pennies
41. Use a marker pen to draw the route you took around the park – you probably walked much further than you think!
42. Arrange them geographically on your floor to make one huge map of Walt Disney World. This would be particularly amazing if you had one of the mini Monorail or Walt Disney Railroad sets to drive around it!
43. Try out some intricate origami…
44. …or just fold them into paper planes to see how far they fly
45. Buy a bulk-bag of craft keyring sets (like the ones you used at camp), and cut up the maps to put in them as an easy souvenir idea for your friends. You could also do magnets, buttons, and snowglobes!
46. Cut them into strips, laminate them and add a tassel, and you’ve got bookmarks
47. Properly preserve them in plastic wallets and boxes, and start a family vacation archive
48. Cover smooth purses or shoes (heels work great) with maps using a clear, waterproof adhesive such as PVA. It makes for really effective, personal and unique accessorising!
49. Bind the maps into a book, and make your own version of the expensive coffee-table books you can buy in the parks
50. Finally, use them to plan your next trip!
We hope this extensive list has inspired you to get inventive and creative during the park closures. Do you have a go-to use for the park maps, not mentioned here? We’d love to know about it, so comment down below, or show us your creations on social media!