Friday, January 9, 2015

#33 - Pin Trading

Mr. Potato Head eyeing Zach's pin collection
Category: Interactives/Memorabilia
Category Rank: 2

Park: N/A

This is one of the most famous of Disney interactives within its parks, and indeed, pin trading is a staple of all its parks, not just WDW.  The practice started with celebrations at the part at the turn of the century.  The pins themselves have been around for much longer, but as part of the Millennium Celebration, the park sponsored the activity of trading those pins.  More specifically, cast members would have pins on hand that you could trade for (you could assumedly always trade with another tourist).  Its popularity led to quickly codified etiquette regarding the trading practice:

• Pins have to be official Disney pins with the pin back
• Trades have to be 1:1
• You can't trade a pin to them that they already have
• The pins have to be of "similar" value (though they have tended to be pretty lax on this).
• You cannot touch their lanyard or pin satchel without asking politely to see their pins first
• The maximum is two pins traded per cast member per day, though there is no limit of cast members you can pester into trading

Disney quickly marketed this into a golden opportunity, making collector's pins and signature pins, and special edition pins, and any other special designation you could wordsmith.  Admittedly, some of the pins are really neat to look at.

As with all of our Disney trips, we were advised by a close colleague (the infamous Disney Rob) about the ins and outs of pin trading.  He suggested our top advice for others... seek on eBay for a collection of cheap pins, and then trade your way up to the collection you would like.  You can save quite a bit of money that way.

Disney has many different collection opportunities, be in ornaments or vinylmations, or whatever else they invent that people collect over their visits.  The intent is to bring some magic quality to repeat visits, and though Disney is not the sole proprietor of this selling method, they do it very well.  We mentioned that simple collectibles don't qualify for this list.  Disney has recognized this too, and thus integrated the interactive component to that collectible keepsake where they can.

As we mentioned in our post on the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, these interactives are a perfect activity to do for certain ages, or for your 3rd or 4th trip, where you have explored the basic attractions a park has to offer.  In fact, here are our interactives that we have done, including the ages of our kids:

Zach being weighed down by the sheer mass of the pins.
• Christmas 2009 - Autographs and Pix at Meet and Greets (4, 7, 9)
• 2011 - Pressed Pennies (5, 8, 10... it was the 10 year-old's quest)
• 2012 - Pin Trading (6, 10, 11... it was the 6 and 10 year olds quests)
• Christmas 2013 - Scavenger Hunts (8, 11, 13... each had their own favorite)

I'm rating pin-trading the highest interactive out of these four, and in all likelihood, it will remain the most nostalgic of all the interactives the park will offer in future years (with the exclusion of the top-rated in this category, which I'm not sure fits in this category... semi-spoiler).  Why?  What about pin-trading raises it to that level?

Pin trading has easily had the most success.  There is a store in Downtown Disney dedicated to the act, and many cast members carry around the pins (if not most).  The proliferation at the parks is overwhelming, as is the staying power... this activity has survived for 15 years.

My guess with pin trading is, if a person was considering interactives at all for a list like this, they would definitely include pin trading.  For some, they would rate this event even higher.  For us, it was a one-trip thing... our pins are buried in some junk bucket in the kids rooms now, meaning that the nostalgic value is somewhat tempered.  However, finding those pins does make us reminisce back to the World.

Our next item is technically a "restaurant", though it very loosely fits that category.  It also is one of only two items at Downtown Disney on our list, which we designate as a "park" in the same tradition that "Rest of the World" is a park as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment