"How come I don't remember hitting my head that night?"

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Lake Buena Vista, United States
Working Full-time for the Mouse at the World of Disney.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Pin Traders of The Carribean!

I don't know how I missed it, having lived in Orlando for the last six years, but pin trading has become a big deal at Disney. A BIG deal. People plan trips and come visit the resort for the sole purpose of trading little pieces of metal with each other and collecting more of them. Needless to say this is awesome and I'd totally be hooked if I had the capital. No joke. I'm down for collecting random items for no reason. I find it comforting to not have a point. One of my favorite things about being a cast member is the random parts of my day where a guest will come up to me and ask to see my pins. We're assigned our very own lanyards (mine's #178 although I like to cover the 8) with which to trade with guests and I covet the happiness and acceptance that comes with being able to supply something they're looking for. Yes I know, it's sad but typical all at the same time. We have specific rules for pin trading:

* Guests can only trade with a cast member up to two times a day on any given day.

* Guests can't trade a pin to a cast member that the cast member already has.

* Children control their own lanyards. Parents can't make them trade for something and can't stop them from trading with a cast member.

We also have limited edition pins that are called "Cast Lanyards" because you usually have to trade with a cast member in order to get one. The most popular of these are the "Hidden Mickey's" which have a set of Mickey Ears somewhere on the pin. There are several different series of these, one of the most popular for this year being the monorail series:

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Imagine that but with several different colors in the set. I think there's eight to collect. So what happens is that people will buy a starter set of pins, like one of different Disney 2007 characters, and then walk around trading with cast members as they tour the resort. It's fun for kids and adults and allows them to interact with the cast more, which we all love. (Who doesn't want more attention?)

Also, we have pin trading sessions at the store, which today I was in charge of. There are many benefits to doing the pin trading, for one thing it kills time. A LOT of time. It takes about thirty minutes to get the pin bag ready for trading (we have to add fresh pins and remove lame ones). About an hour to go in, trade, and get out while people who "just got there" howl in frustration. And about another half hour to reset the pin bag. Today I was training another cast member so it took more time. Plus it bracketed my brakes so I think I wound up spending four hours today either on brake or doing something involved with pin trading. It was a good day.

The other benefit I get is first access to hidden Mickey's and the pins that guests traded TO us. Needless to say my lanyard is now loaded and I should be popular the next couple of days.

Labor Day is coming up which means HOLIDAY PAY which makes me a very happy person. Labor day is for extra labor right?

Disney Collector Tips:

Disney recently announced that we will be changing the name of the Disney-MGM Studios to Disney's Hollywood Studios. So if it says "MGM" on it then it's a keeper.

Also the hand and wand have (finally) been taken down from Spaceship Earth at Epcot. So anything with them is now a collector's item.

If you're looking for Jack Skellington or Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise I suggest visiting the Days of Christmas store in Downtown Disney.

We just got Halloween merchandise. Get it while it's hot.

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