Monthly Archives: December 2019

Disney Pin Trading 101

Pin Trading at Disney World: An Overview

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Probably the most popular Disney activity is Pin Trading. If you visit Disney World, you will see many guests walking around the parks with lanyards full on pins weighing them down. Each pin with a different story of how the guest got it. Disney Pin trading started in the 1990s, and while it’s not an official disney activity it has become the most popular. It is also one that Disney supports having many cast members trading pins with guests.

The great thing about Pin trading is that you can make it what you want. Disney has so many different pins for you to collect and you can go about collecting them however you desire. If you are a fan of Star Wars, Disney Princesses, Lion King there are plenty of pins for you to collect. You can go about building your collection by simply buying the pins you want. Or you can make it a little more interesting and trade pins with other people to get your desired pins.

What is it

Pin Trading is what the name implies. You take a Disney Pin you have and trade it with another person for a pin they have that you want.   It’s really as simple as that. However it can get complicated when you are trying to decide what Pin you want to give away or what pin you are looking for. There are so many types of pins you can collect. You can collect different series of pins, favorite characters, limited edition pins, the list could go on. 

How to get started Pin Trading

In order to get started with trading, you must first have a pin you are willing to trade. The best way to get started with pin trading it so purchase a starter pack of pins. This pack will include 3-5 pins and a lanyard for you to place them on. You can either keep these pins for yourself or use them to trade for ones you see with somebody else. 

In addition to getting a starter pack, buying mystery packs are another great way to start your pin collection. In these packs you will usually get two pins. You can keep one and trade one. Once you have purchased several boxes of the same mystery set you will begin to get duplicate pins. These are the pins you want to trade.

Where to get pins

If you are looking to purchase Disney Trading Pins, you can get them almost anywhere at Disney. Most of the stores will have Disney Pins for sale. There are also designed Pin stands at the parks and Disney Springs dedicated to Pins. You can also find Pins at the Disney Outlets in Orlando and the Disney store in the Orlando Airport. 

It is possible to find Disney Pins online for purchase. If you decide to purchase them online be very careful, especially if you are wanting to use these pins for trading with other people. Without going into a lot of details about it, as it is an article in itself, many pins that you see on Amazon or EBay in large sets are almost always fake or scrapper pins.

How to trade

So how that you have your pins that you are willing to trade. You know what pins you want to add to your collection. Let the Pin Trading begin.

How does trading work. Pin Trading is very simple, just walk around the parks, resorts and even Disney Springs and look at other people wearing lanyards with Pins. If you see a person wearing a lanyard with Pins, there’s a good chance they are willing to trade them. Walk up to the person and politely ask them if they are wiling to trade pins with you. If they say yes, awesome you are off to a great start. Tell them which pin of yours you would like and show them which pins you are willing to give up. 

When trading trading with another guest you want to let them pick the pin from your collection they want. There could be a chance you have one they want. Or if they are a serious collector they will want one of equal value. There are differences between Pin Trading with guests and cast members, we will break them down in the next section. 

One important thing to remember when trading pins, is to make sure you are polite with the other person. There is no need to get upset if they don’t want to give away a particular pin.

It is good practice to make sure you have authentic pins that you are trading. If you walk up to a serious trader they will look over your pin very carefully and may reject if if they don’t find it to be authentic. With so many pins out in circulation, there is always a chance you may end up with a fake Disney Pin.

Pin Trading with Cast Members vs. Guests

There are two groups of people you can trade pins with Cast Members and Guests. Each group has different standards for trading pins.

Cast Members

Cast members throughout the parks wear lanyards with Disney pins. Certain cast members will have a pin board set up somewhere which a bunch of pins to trade with guests throughout the day. You are allowed to trade up to two pins with a cast member per day. Tell the cast member which pin of theirs you would like, they will take it off for you. Meanwhile you can take the pin you are willing to give them. Then just swap pins. Cast members normally do not inspect the pins you are giving them.

Guest

While its relatively easy to trade pins with a cast member, trading Disney pins with other guests can get complicated. While its relatively easy to walk up to a cast member, walking up to a complete stranger may be harder. Most people that are wearing the Disney lanyard with Pins on them willing to trade them. So if you see a guest with a large stash of pins on their lanyard they are probably pin traders.

Walk up to them and simply ask them if they are a pin trader and tell them you would like to trade a pin with them. Here are some rules to remember when trading pins with other guests

Disney Pins

Don’t assume they are willing to trade any pin. Tell them what Pin you are interested in and show them what pins you have to offer. There is a lot of though that can go into which pin a person is willing to accept from you in return for the pin they are giving you.  The two biggest things are what the collector is collecting and the value of the pin. A serious trader won’t accept an $9 pin for a $30 pin.

Rules of Pin trading with other Guests

  • Don’t touch their pin without asking for permission.
  • If they aren’t willing to trade, simply walk away don’t force it.
  • Understand everybody’s time is precious. 
  • Strike up a conversation about the pins, it may help make the trade easy.
  • Enjoy trading pins. 

(Insert sample Dialogue)

My recommendation is to put the pins you are willing to trade on one lanyard and your collection on another lanyard or another display. 

Cast Member Pin Board locations

You need a good eye to spot a pin on a lanyard of person walking around Disney World. However there are Cast Members throughout Disney World who have pin boards with a large variety of pins. If you are new to trading and looking for new pins, these are a great way to get some exposer trading pins.

Easiest place to find these Pin Boards are the resorts.

How to display pins

Now that you are growing your collection, you can initially display them on a lanyard. Unfortunately overtime your lanyard will run out of room and become very heavy. At some point you will have to find another way to display your amazing collection of Pins.

If you are displaying your Pins on a lanyard. I recommend you get locking back for them. You would hate to lose your favorite one.

The most common way pin traders display their pins are in Pin binders. These binders consists of heavy duty page inserts which hold your pins and allows you to carry them around. 

You can create unique display boards to hang on the wall. Pinterest has a ton of ideas on how you can display your Pin.

Costs of Pin Trading

Probably the one bugging question you have as you start your collection is how much will it cost me. The answer lies within how you want to collect pins and how large you plan to grow your collection. If you are starting out, I would tell you to expect to pay somewhere around $50 to really get started. 

Disney Pins at the Character Warehouse

A Pin Starter set will run you approximately $30 dollars and you will get a lanyard with 3-5 pins. This unfortunately isn’t enough to really begin trading. You will need to purchase some more pins. The standard pins you see around the parks will run you between $8.99 to $15.99. Speciality and limited edition pins can easy double these prices. 

One way to save some money on pins you want to trade is to purchase pins from the Disney Character Warehouses in Orlando. Here you can get guanine pins from a fraction of the price at the Parks. 

Ring in 202 at Disney World

Ring in 2020 Disney Style

2020 is quickly approaching. Have you made plans to ring in the new year? If you are looking for a spectacular way to bring in 2020, you should consider checking out some of the events planned around Disney World.

Each park will have their own unique celebrations along with many parties at the resorts.

Rooftop Celebrations

If you are looking for a great evening dinner and Firework show make sure you book your reservations at one of these 3 rooftop restaurants. Reserve early as these are great locations to watch fireworks. New Years eve fireworks at Disney will of course be over the top.

Bienvenidos 2020!

Dance the night away in Spanish flare. Enjoy a traditional Spanish cava toast as you countdown to Midnight. Savory Spanish food will be served all evening around the rooftop. At Midnight ring in 2020 with the Hollywood Studios Firework show from atop the Gran Destino Tower.

The event will run from 8:30 PM to 12:30 AM and will cost you $400 plus tax and gratuity.

Mezzanotte at Topolino’s

Enjoy a European flar New Year’s Eve celebration at the Topolino’s Terrance on top of Disney’s Riviera Resort. This will be an elegant affair complete with a champagne toasts as guests ring in the new year. Guests will enjoy views of both the Epcot fireworks show and the Hollywood Studios fireworks.

For the low cost of $550 you can enjoy this evening celebration including food and drinks.

Elegant Evening Under the Stars

Enjoy elegant entertainment and food from the California Grill on top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Ring in the new year with a glass of champagne while watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

This New Years Eve treat will set you back $675 tax and gratitudes included

Pixar Party

Are you looking for a party that’s a little more family and kid friendly. You will not want to miss the Pixar Party at the Contemporary. Meet many of our favorite Pixar characters including Woody and Buzz lightyear. Enjoy some music from some of the favorite Radio Disney Hits. There will be a large family friendly buffet for the entire family to enjoy.


Fear not, if you can’t or do not want to fork out a ton of money for one of these over the top events to ring in 2020. Disney World has numerous other events and New Year’s Eve activities going on.

Ring in 2020 at each of the parks with their own unique celebrations.

Hang out at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as DJ’s keep you moving around Discovery Island and at midnight watch the Tree of Life light up.

Or you can head over to the American Garden Theater in Epcot for some live entertainment and a special New Year’s Eve fireworks show after the nightly Epcot Forever Show.

Dance the night away at Magic Kingdom with DJs throwing dance parties in Frontierland and Fantasyland. As the clock strikes midnight, look up towards the sky as Magic Kingdom lights up with a spectacular firework show.

If you are not looking to head to the parks either for New Year’s Eve. Many of the resorts will be ringing in 2020 with special celebrations.

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. If you have ever visited the the Boardwalk you know it is a popular place to be and of course New Year’s Eve is no difference. Enjoy delicacies and drinks while you ring in 2020.

No matter what kind of celebration you are looking to have for New Year’s Eve, Disney World has festivities for you. .

Weekly Mouse Memo

Weekly Mouse Memo

Vol. 1. Issue. 1 12/13/2019

This week has been a busy week for Disney World. There has been a lot of activity going on around the parks and resorts, with the biggest excitement being the opening of Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy’s Edge. The Weekly Mouse Memo has you covered on the latest news happening around Disney World.

Fire at Big Top

When guests showed up to Magic Kingdom on Wednesday 12/11 hey found the Big Top Souvenir closed, with little explanation. This included Pete’s Silly Sideshow and the Character Meet and Greet areas. It has been confirmed that there was a fire in the store overnight which caused significant damage inside. Disney has relocated several of the surrounding attractions to new areas for guests. At this time Disney has not provided any specific details of the fire or a reopening date. 

Many Dates released for ride openings

Disney has released the opening dates of several upcoming attractions that are set to open in 2020.

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad is set to open on March 4, 2020.
  • Awesome Planet- The Land at Epcot opening on January 17, 2020
  • Canada Far and Wide, Circle-vision 360 Film opening on January 17, 2020
  • Beauty and the Beast Sing-a-long opening on January 17, 2020. Swapping out with Impressions de France. Animated Feature, clips from the movie and new animations
  • Ducktails Family is a new adventure coming to the  Play Disney app, You will help the Ducktails family search for priceless treasures around the World Showcase in Epcot. This will be replacing the current Replacing Agent P’s adventures around Epcot’s World Showcase. 
  • Mickey Shorts Theater- Former Path of the Jedi Theater. Enjoy many our our favorite classic Mickey Shorts. No official date is confirmed however we suspect that this will open right around the same time as Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad. 

Make sure you check out our full list of upcoming attractions for more details.

Rise of the Resistance

Rise of the Resistance opened on December 5th in Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios. Many fans have been super excited for this attraction, with many guests waiting well before dawn to get on the attraction. For the past week guests have been arriving at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at well before 5:00 AM to wait in line for Rise of the Resistance. The demand for the ride has been so great that they have stopped issuing boarding passes by noon everyday since it has opened.

In order to get on Rise of the Resistance, you have to be in the park and use the MyDisneyExperience App to get a boarding group (basically a Fastpass). Once your boarding group is called for the ride you will then have 2 hours to report to the entrance for Rise of the Resistance and enjoy the attraction. 

Beaches & Cream Soda Shop Reopening

The famous Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is set to reopen on December 26. Beaches a& Cream is known for the famous Kitchen Sink Sundae. There are a lot of other great food options located here as well.

They are now accepting reservations, so start booking them how. Reservations will begin filling up quickly and this will once again become a difficult spot to get a bite to eat.

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Disney’s Riviera Resort is set to opening next week. On December 16, Disney will host the grand opening of the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort Disney’s Riviera Resort. 

2019 Christmas Tree Trail

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs. Enjoy the perfectly decorated Christmas Trees with various themes down the trail.

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
Fantasia
Fantasia Christmas Tree
The Lion King
The Lion King
Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins
Peter Pan
Peter Pan
Cinderalla
Cinderalla
Pinocchio
Pinocchio
Villains
Villains
Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion
Toy Story
Toy Story
Mulan
Mulan
Frozen
Frozen
The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid
Aladdin
Aladdin
The Princess and the Frog
The Princess and the Frog
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
  • Dumbo
  • Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse
  • Robin Hood
  • Snow White
  • Star Wars
  • Tangled
  • Theme Parks
Galaxy's Edge

Galaxy’s Edge: Hit or Miss?

So we finally were able to get around to visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios new Galaxy ‘s Edge land, a few months ago. Since it’s opening there has been a lot of of controversy over it. Some guests love the land. Some say it’s to much. There is speculation that it did not draw in the crowds that Disney World was hoping for.

I am not a diehard Star Wars fan, but I have watched most of the series. From my perspective, Disney World imagineers did an excellent job recreating the land to represent what was depicted from the movies.

If you enter Galaxy Edge through the tunnel from Grand Avenue, you will notice an instant transformation into the galaxy. However, when entering from Toy Story Land, you will feel a sense of being taken into a different world. The Imagineers did an excellent job transitioning between the lands, especially when entering from Toy Story Land. You will be drawn away from one world and into Galaxy’s Edge.

It has been said by many fans that they have submerged you so well into the land that you can forget you are at Disney.

Disney World has been improving their immersive experiences for their various lands around the parks. I do have to agree with the statement above and say that the Imagineers did an excellent job in immersing the guests into the Galaxy. Everything from the design of the structures, the attractions, displays, and cast members draw you into the Galaxy and you can forget that you are Hollywood Studios.

My first observation in the immersive experience are the cast members. They were all dressed to fit the roll. Even the managers that walk around the parks where dressed in Star Wars themed clothing. The cast members would speak to you in the native galaxy language and are more interactive in character than you sometimes notice in other parts of the parks.

Galaxy Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Crowds

The one hot button issue with Galaxy’s Edge are the crowd levels. Experts have said that the land did not bring in the crowds they are had anticipated. While there were large crowds from the opening of Star Wars, with 100s of visitors lining up the night prior to opening. It appears that they crowds have not maintained the high level Disney World was expecting.

When we visited the land last month the overall crowd levels were relatively low throughout most of the parks. We never saw unusually long wait times for rides and I would say that Star Wars wasn’t any different. While this part of the park had the most crowds, I would still say the crowds weren’t unbearable. I was able to easily walk around the galaxy with a stroller and not worry about running into other guests.

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run wait time during our visit to the galaxy hovered around a 60 minute wait time. This isn’t a long wait time when you compare it to Slinky Dog and Frozen. Both of these attractions have been open for well over a year and almost always have a wait time greater than 60 minutes.

With Rise of the Resistance opening last Thursday, the crowd levels have definitely increased. The real question is whether or not the crowd levels will continue after the initial hype wears off. Boarding passes for Rise of the Resistance have been sold out before noon, everyday since opening.

What’s in the Land

Currently, there is 2 attraction, 5 dining options, and 2 interactive building stations and several stores. There are a couple store attractions which allow visitors to buy and build either a light saber or a droid. Outside of the two attractions, everything else costs money in Galaxy’s Edge. Leaving your average Disney goer wondering what is there for me to do here.

Rise of the Resistance

The newest attraction in Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This has been the attraction everybody has been waiting for. The one that has been said to turn Disney World around. The first week for this attraction has overall been a success. While it has had its hiccups initially, the crowds continue to show up in droves for this attraction.

Is it a ride, show, or what. Rise of the Resistance, combines multiple elements to create this attraction, which lasts almost 15 minutes. You will first start in a virtual 3-D ride, then you thrown into an interactive walk-through area and finally you board a craft for the third part of your adventure trying to escape the First World Order.

There are a lot of moving parts with this attraction, if any one part goes down it will easily mess up the entire attraction for everyone else. This will ultimately affect a large number of guests, as this attraction can easily handle a large crowd at once.

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Choose your crew and step into the cockpit of a Millennium Falcon for a daring flight. The success of the mission is up to you and your crew. You will be racing through the galaxy fighting your way through, so make sure you have a top notch crew to be successful.

Build a droid.

Probably the most expensive attraction in Galaxy’s Edge, you have the ability to build a custom droid. You walk into the warehouse and select custom parts to the droid. Once you have all the pieces you will assemble th droid at a workstation. Once it’s assembled you can purchase various accessories for your droid. One of these accessories is a computer chip which will give the droid a personality. It will be able to move around on its own and even interact with other droids. The cost to build a droid can run you around $99.

Handbuilt Lightsaber

Head over to Black Spire Outpost and get ushered into Savi’s Workshop to build your own Lightsaber. Choose 1 of 4 themes for your saber. Collect the components and walkout with a fully assembled lightsaber battle ready. This experience is expensive and will run you $199 for one fully constructed lightsaber.

Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Food Options

Oga’s Cantina- This lounge is where all the locals hangout to refuel, conduct meetings and enjoy local music. Oga’s Cantina specializes in creating drinks with ingredients from all over the galaxy. The only downside to visiting the Cantina is the limited food option. They only have 1 snack option, the Bantu Bits.

It is recommended that you make reservations at Oga’s Cantina if you are looking to dine there.

Docking Bay 7– Is the place to go for food in Galaxy’s Edge. This is a Quick Service restaurant, with Mobile Ordering.

Milk Stand– Looking to taste the popular drink of the locals. Grab a blue or green milk.

Ronto Roasters– Another quick service option with delicious grilled meat from around the galaxy.

Kat Saka’s Kettle– Enjoy sweet and savory popcorn. $6.49.