Imagine yourself in the middle of the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. Not only are you amazed by the sights, sounds, and aromas around you, but the latest craze in merchandise is awaiting you in one of the many gift shops on Main Street USA. Disney’s newest smash hit, pin trading, has taken visitors around the world by surprise. If the Disney theme parks themselves were not enough enjoyment, Disney has furthermore enhanced the overall guest experience by introducing the pin trading hobby that has spread across not only the U.S. but across the world, in astronomical fashion.
The concept of pin trading allows visitors with the opportunity to trade Disney collectible pins with other cast members or other guests at the various Disney theme parks, resorts, and stores. Thousands upon thousands of these pins have been created and retail from anywhere from $6.95 per pin up to even $35 for a jumbo pin, according to Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_pin_trading) The hobby was not introduced until 1999 at the Disneyland Resort in California but has spread like wildfire to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida as well as to Disney’s international theme parks such as Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disney.
What makes this hobby so exciting is the fact that not only do you have the opportunity to trade with and meet people from around the globe, but each pin contains unique characteristics such as the design; special features such as being a slider pin, or a pin containing parts that move, or the pin may have been constructed in a limited edition. Limited edition pins seem to be the most valuable as only so many were made. There are some pin designs that may be as limited as having only 100-1000 copies made. The joy of trading for a pin that you like and then finding out that it is extremely rare is an extra bonus to guests.
In order to pin trade while on Disney property, there are several basic guidelines that are to be followed and that even Wikipedia has documented before you decide to go all hog-wild with buying and trading pins. Take note of the following guidelines that are used to uphold the Disney pin trading tradition: (available via Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_pin_trading)
- To trade a pin with a Disney cast member, the pin must be made of metal and have a representation of a Disney character, park, attraction, icon, or other official affiliation. Additionally, the pin must have a Disney copyright on its back.
- Guests must trade with Cast Members, one pin at a time, with the pin back in place (pins have functional sharp posts)
- Guests can make up to 2 pin trades per cast member per day
- Refrain from touching another person’s pins or lanyard, ask to see the pin so they can bring the pin into closer view
- The pin that is traded to the cast member cannot be a duplicate of any pin they already have on their lanyard.
- No money can change hands on Disney property in exchange for a pin.
Obviously, other guests are not bound to trade with you if they do not want to give up one of their pins, but the interaction and deliberation is what makes the hobby unique and exciting.
As Disney has prevailed over the years in the retail and sales industries; the creation of a world-wide hobby has again not only reinforced the unique atmosphere of creativity and innovation on Disney property, but also encourages one to further develop social skills, networking skills, and hobby expertise. Disney has taken a raw concept and has built it into an international phenomenon.
If you visit http://eventservices.disney.go.com/pintrading/index you can search for a comprehensive listing of pins that were developed ever since the hobby phenomenon began. The site allows viewers to not only see the unique array of pins that are available to collectors but also with the opportunity to add to your collection and purchase the pins from the online Disney store.
The hobby is only expected to grow as the years go on, with new designs being created and implemented daily. Disney pins have become such a hit, that the Walt Disney Co. sponsors official Walt Disney pin trading events that even allow visitors/fans the opportunity to meet and have their pins signed by the original artist/designer of the pin at select events.
Pin trading has evolved not only into a keepsake hobby, but a profitable e-commerce platform as well. Disney pins are being traded and sold online at an amazing clip. By searching http://www.ebay.com/ you can find rare and coveted pins across the e-commerce market on the world-wide web. As Disney pins are sold at select Disney properties, you cannot run and find them at just any retail outlet. In order for one’s collection to grow, you must be willing to purchase and even trade online if desired.
Disney pin trading only exemplifies Disney’s motto of “bringing the magic to you.” These carefully crafted and imaginative designs have captured the hearts of thousands, if not millions of people around the world. Collect them, trade them, or invest in them, Disney is sure that for whatever end means, you will feel like you are a part of the “magic” when integrating and participating in Disney’s unique corporate culture.