Pin Trading: Tips & Tricks

I can’t believe that I have 35 days until I get to Disney! AHHHH!

Well, after my little freak out of excitement there, I’d love to hop in to my blog post for today which is all about the super entertaining world of pin trading! I’ve been pin trading since December when my fiancé’s family introduced it to me, but they’ve been trading for so darn long now haha.

To give you a little explanation of pin trading, Disney creates official Disney pins that are in several collections with a multitude of characters and designs. The name of the game is to collect whichever pins tickle your fancy. I love classic (red) Minnie Mouse as well as Minnie and Mickey pins. I’m also a sucker for collections, so if I see one that I particularly like, I’ll start building that collection.

You can obtain pins one of two ways, through purchase at a Disney park or purchase online. Obviously, Disney is the more reputable of the two, but their pins come at quite the premium. I’m talking $6-$10 per pin, which can rack up to quite the amount of money. You can also purchase official Disney pins from sellers on Amazon, Ebay, and the like, but be sure to do your research beforehand. There are knockoff pins that are not eligible for trade at a Disney park, so read up on a sellers reviews and products before you buy anything.

In order to pin trade, you’ll need a collection of ‘throwaway’ or ‘tradable’ pins, pins that are great on their own but you personally don’t want. Once you get to a Disney park or the Downtown Disney/Disney Springs areas, you’ll see cast members with lanyards that are also full of pins. All you have to do is walk up and ask to take a look at their pins. You made trade one pin per cast member, and all you have to do is give them one of your pins in return. Many of the merchandise stores also have pin boards that you can trade from, just ask for it from the cast member at the register. The Disney Vacation Club people also have boards, pretty much every single one we saw while walking around DTD had a pin board that we could check out, so keep an eye peeled for their carts and stores 🙂

One thing that I would mention before I finish up however, is that if there are any limited edition pins on sale in the pin/merchandise shops, I’d snap those up because they’re pretty hard to find from cast members. Some cast members will do a ‘mystery pin’ where they put a pin upside down on their lanyard and you have to pick it without knowing what it is, and those can be special pins but they’re few and far between. My sister-in-law got one that way pin trading in December, but I didn’t see another one in all four days we spent time there.

If you have any other questions about pin trading or Disney in general, feel free to drop me a line in the comments. Otherwise, have a magical day and I’ll see y’all real soon. 🙂

Disney Bucket List!

In light of my recent plans to go work and live near Disney World for the next few months, I’ve decided to update my bucket list of things to do at Disney. Of course, some are simple and easy to accomplish while others are downright difficult (#collegebudgetproblems). Anywho, onto my lovely list…

  1. Watch Fantasmic! – I nearly watched this last time I was in Disneyland, but unfortunately I got sidetracked by a parade coming down Main Street. Whoops. (Completed 6.19.16)
  2. Watch the fireworks show – Another near miss last trip to Disney. We had planned on watching them the last night we were there, but they got cancelled due to high winds. Sad face. (Completed 5.28.16)
  3. Eat my way around the world at Epcot – Sampling food from across the cultures all in one place? Count me in. Bonus points for finishing the Food & Wine festival passport. List of countries to check off: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, The American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, Canada.
  4. Dress up for Dapper Day – Dapper Day is an unofficial Disney dress-up day where you came to the parks looking spiffy and more fancy than usual. Bonus points if I can Disneybound at the same time. (Completed 11.12.16. See my favorite photo from the day over on my Instagram.)
  5. Complete an Epcot World Showcase Passport – Pretty sure I did one of these when I was a kid, but I also don’t remember it all that well, so it’s going back on my bucket list. (Completed 6.19.16)
  6. Collect every Disney pressed penny – This one might be a toughie, as I’ll have to hunt down every single machine throughout the parks, and there’s certainly acres and acres of park to search. Not to mention getting the coins for them since I don’t really do cash… (Update: I gave up. There’s way too many of these haha.)
  7. Finish the Kitchen Sink – This particular item is a sundae created in a mini sink with enough ice cream for more than four fully-grown adults. Anyone up to help me with the challenge? 🙂
  8. Get an autograph from every princess – Especially Mulan, because she is nigh impossible to find at Disneyland and she was one of my favorite princesses growing up. (Completed 7.15.16)
    List: ArielAnnaAuroraBelleCinderellaElsaMeridaMulanJasminePocahontasRapunzelTiana, Snow White
  9. Stay for the Kiss Goodnight at Magic Kingdom – After park closing, the castle changes in a rainbow of colors as “When You Wish Upon a Star” plays. At least, so I’m told. (Completed 7.8.16)
  10. Stay in a deluxe Disney World resort – Easy, you say, except for the fact that I’m a broke college student working for Disney at minimum wage 😉
  11. Check out Cast Connections and Mickey’s Treasures – This is the cast member-only store that offers discounted merchandise as well as cast-member only pins. Music to my pin-loving ears! (Completed 6.1.16)
  12. Take a backstage tour – I’ve heard so many good things about these, I’d love to see behind the magic and find out how things at Disney work 🙂
  13. Collect maps from all Walt Disney World parks – I have Disneyland and California Adventure, so it follows that I need to collect the maps from the other parks as well. (Completed 5.26.16)
  14. Get a Disney medley storybook and have the characters sign their pages – I still haven’t found my favorite book yet, so once I do I’ll certainly be bringing it along to the parks for all the characters.
  15. Visit all the resorts – Especially the Grand Floridian, because who doesn’t want to see the amazing fanciness that is the Floridian?
    List to check off: The Grand Floridian, Port Orleans – Riverside, Port Orleans – French Quarter, Animal Kingdom Lodge, All-Star Music, All-Star Movies, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, Old Key West, Wilderness Lodge, Fort WildernessBeach Club Resort, Contemporary Resort, Yacht Club Resort, Boardwalk Inn, Dolphin Hotel, Swan Hotel. (Completed 7.15.16)
  16. Ride every ride (Completed 6.26.16!)
    • Magic Kingdom – Complete as of 6.19.16!
      • Astro Orbiter (6.11.16)
      • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (5.28.16)
      • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (5.28.16)
      • Dumbo the Flying Elephant (6.18.16)
      • Enchanted Tales with Belle (5.28.16)
      • Haunted Mansion (5.28.16)
      • “It’s a Small World” (5.28.16)
      • Jungle Cruise (6.6.16)
      • Liberty Square Riverboat (6.12.16)
      • Mickey’s PhilharMagic (6.18.16)
      • Monster’s, Inc. Laugh Floor (6.11.16)
      • Peter Pan’s Flight (6.12.16)
      • Pirates of the Carribbean (5.28.16)
      • Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel (6.11.16)
      • Space Mountain (6.9.16)
      • Splash Mountain (6.12.16)
      • Stitch’s Great Escape (6.8.16)
      • Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train (5.29.16)
      • The Barnstormer (6.18.16)
      • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin (6.18.16)
      • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (6.18.16)
      • Tommorowland Speedway (6.9.16)
      • Tommorowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (6.9.16)
      • Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid (6.11.16)
      • Walt Disney World Railroad (5.29.16)
      • Mad Tea Party (6.18.16)
    • EPCOT – Complete as of 6.25.16!
      • Journey Into Imagination With Figment (6.16.16)
      • Living with the land (6.16.16)
      • Soarin’ Over California (6.16.16)
      • Soarin’ Around the World (6.25.16)
      • Mission: SPACE (5.29.16)
      • Spaceship Earth (5.29.16)
      • Test Track (6.8.16)
      • Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros (6.9.16)
    • Hollywood Studios – Complete as of 6.18.16!
      • Muppet*Vision 3D (6.18.16)
      • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (5.29.16)
      • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (6.6.16)
      • The Great Movie Ride (5.29.16)
      • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (5.29.16)
      • Toy Story Midway Mania! (5.29.16)
      • Fantasmic! (6.19.16)
    • Animal Kingdom – Complete as of 6.26.16!
      • Dinosaur (6.10.16)
      • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain (6.4.16)
      • It’s Tough to be a Bug! (6.26.16)
      • Kilimanjaro Safaris (6.4.16)
      • Primeval Whirl (6.26.16)
      • TriceraTop Spin (6.26.16)
      • Wildlife Express Train (6.15.16)
      • Kali River Rapids (6.4.16)
  17. Have my family come visit – maybe I can convince them with some free or discounted park tickets… 🙂

Well, that’s all I have for now folks. At the end of my time at Disney, I will certainly be coming back to see this list again and see how many I can say I’ve crossed off. If you’d like this in video form, check it out on YouTube here.

My Latest Disney Trip: Day 3

Our third and final day at the parks was far more laid back and relaxing. By this point, we’d done most of what we had wanted to accomplish and the crowds had lessened, so it was much more enjoyable.

We headed over to Disneyland first so that we could meet more characters and go a couple rides again (ahem, Pirates, which is one of the best rides ever haha). On our way down main street, we actually came across Christmas Mickey, so naturally we stopped to take a picture with him.

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I also dressed in as much Minnie Mouse clothing as I had, which included a red Minnie shirt you can’t see under my jacket, my Minnie ears, a charm bracelet with Mickey, Minnie, and the 60th anniversary castle on it, and a Minnie Mouse watch 🙂

Next we headed over to Toontown because I hadn’t been there yet. My mother-in-law convinced me that I needed to go on Rodger Rabbit, and I haven’t actually seen the movie but the ride was super fun. Right outside the exit for the ride there’s a door that says “don’t open”, which, in Disney, naturally means you should open it. My mother-in-law decided to do so and screamed when the sound and lights meant to simulate an explosion appeared haha.

I took a few pictures around the fountain and by Goofy’s house because Isaac’s favorite character is Mickey, so of course I had to. Speaking of the boys, they were still in the hotel at this time slowly getting up and ready for the day. There was no way I was sleeping in when I could go to Disneyland!

After I took pictures by Goofy’s house, Malane and I headed over to meet both Mickey and Minnie. Mickey was in his Fantasmic outfit and Minnie was in her classic polka dot dress 🙂

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Pluto was also hanging around, and he’s Malane’s favorite character so there’s no way we were leaving without getting another picture with him.

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Overall, our entire trip to Disney was the most magical thing I’ve experienced in a very long time. The fact that I got engaged there just added to the experience, and it’s not going to be forgotten for a very long time.

My Latest Disney Trip: Day 2

Onto day two of my latest Disney adventure 🙂

This day was actually the shortest one out of all the days. I slept in that morning because I was tired from all of the excitement that last night. Well, let me rephrase that, I slept in until maybe nine in the morning and then sat up and looked through all of the photos and videos that had been taken from the day before.

Cass and my in-laws-to-be all got up earlier to head out to the parks that morning, leaving us to relax a bit. Once Isaac and his best friend Calen who was also hanging with us in the hotel room woke, we slowly got ourselves ready for the day and headed out to the parks. John and Malane (my lovely in-laws) had gotten four fast passes to Splash Mountain, which is how I persuaded to boys to get ready and even come to the parks instead of lounging around more.

Once we arrived in Critter Country, we had about five minutes to use the fast passes and we thankfully got on the ride. I actually didn’t know this, but Isaac hadn’t ever been on the ride yet and neither had Calen, so they were a small bit apprehensive. Cass and Isaac both had sweatshirts on too, so Calen and I convinced them to sit in the front so that they’d take on the brunt of the water 🙂

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Following that ride, we decided to eat at the French Market Restaurant. I had this awesome corn chowder dish and we all split some beignets. Then, since we were in New Orleans Square anyways, we hopped on over to the Pirates of the Carribean ride. One thing that I will say, Isaac’s grandparents who also came along with us couldn’t walk all day long, so they had the electric scooters, and it was kind of a nice perk to go on a ride or two with them because we got to hop on through the exit. Pirates was one such ride.

I found out during lunch that the rest of the group had also procured two fast passes for Indiana Jones, and since neither Calen nor I had gone on it, we were chosen as the lucky pair. Calen is actually not a big fan of rollercoasters or thrill rides (as I had discerned from the Splash Mountain escapades), he was extremely hesitant to get on Indy. in line the ride broke down for a bit and it was not helping his resolve to go on said ride. But, I did manage to get him on it, and though he quite nearly flipped out as we were taking off, he made it through and the ride is now one of his favorites. The same thing happened with Big Thunder Mountain.

 

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Someone looks pleased about riding Big Thunder Mountain 😛

Once we’d conquered the coaster, we headed back over to California Adventure because there were a few rides that I wanted to go on there. John as well as Isaac’s grandparents headed back to the hotel because it had been a fairly long day for them. Tower of Terror is one of my favorite rides, so I was super happy to head over there again.

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Can you find me? 😀

Isaac still had an essay to write, so the two of us headed back while Cassy, Calen, and Isaac’s mom Malane still played in the park. It actually ended up raining a bit as we were headed back, so the three of them enjoyed the park with little to no wait times because no one wanted to hang around in the cold, December weather while it was raining. I actually ended up falling asleep for the night ironically enough, so there ended my nice and relaxed day two of Disney 😛

My Latest Disney Trip: Day 1

Why hello there! Fancy seeing you again.

I figured it would be quite fun to recount some of my favorite memories of my most recent Disney trip, which was to Disneyland and California Adventure last year in December.

Day 1
Our first day in the parks, I had decided to dress up as Ariel in her date outfit and my friend Cassy was to be my trusty sidekick Sebastian. So, I set my alarm for 6:30 am to get ready so that we could be in the park for the Extra Magic hours since our tickets included them. Unfortunately enough for the people sleeping in the same room as me, I left my phone on the Arizona time zone and the alarm went off at 5:30 am instead. Oops. Went back to sleep for about forty-five minutes and then actually got up at the right time to get ready.

Our first stop of the day was Space Mountain at Disneyland because we knew that the lines would be super long later in the day. It was also one of the only fast-paced rides that Cassy could ride due to her heart issues, so she and I went on together. It was great to beat the lines and hop right on the ride in 10-15 minutes. If your tickets include Extra Magic hours, definitely use them! It’s worth it.

After that, we headed over to the Dumbo ride and indulged our inner little kids a bit. Once we exited the ride, we immediately spotted Peter Pan just around the corner and had to go take a picture with him as he’s such a great character to interact with.

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Ariel and Sebastian pose with Peter.

Our next plan was to head over to California Adventure to go get fast passes for the World of Color show later that night. On our way out of the park, two random girls stopped me and asked for a picture with me, which was kinda cool and strange at the same time. They also wanted Cassy as well once we told them who she was. As soon as we headed into DCA, a PhotoPass photographer also stopped us and wanted to do a mini-photoshoot with Cass and I. She was so bubbly and fun, it was great and the photos turned out fantastic. #CelebrityStatus.

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The photographer even got a dinglehopper from a nearby restaurant to complete the look.

Anywho, we popped on over to California Adventure to get the tickets and had planned to return to Disneyland to go visit characters, but I got distracted by all of the fun rides and adventures. We visited Soarin’ Over California, rode Mickey’s Fun Wheel, I got a fast pass for California Screamin’ since Cass couldn’t come with me (sad face), and then we also went on the Jumpin’ Jellyfish, the Golden Zephyr, Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, and the Silly Symphony Swings.

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Fun times on the Jumpin’ Jellyfish

For lunch we stopped by Corn Dog Castle and purchased two corndogs as well as took a look around for pins and souvenirs the might be of interest to us. Following lunch, we took a ride on Grizzly River Run and then hopped over to Tower of Terror so I could get a pass for later. We noticed two PhotoPass photographers hanging out around the corner and asked what was happening, and they told us Frozone and Mrs. Incredible were headed our way, so we got in line and collected some autographs from them.

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Afterwards, out feet had been getting tired, so we decided to take a ride on the monorail around the entire track to rest our feet and get a bird’s eye view of the park. When we got to Disneyland, we actually had to get off and then get in line to get back on, so while we were there we stopped by Autopia since the monorail is right next to it.

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Selfies are allowed as long as the car is on a track right? 😉

Then we got back on the monorail to return to California Adventure for the night. As we approached the gates to re-enter DCA, Cass suggested she hold onto my bag for a while as well as my camera, so I handed them over to her. Walking back into the park, we were stopped by two other PhotoPass photographers who said they’d seen the pictures their co-worker took earlier in the day and that they’d been looking for me all day to say how awesome the pictures looked. I thanked them for the compliment and turned back around to see my boyfriend who I hadn’t seen the whole day because he was hanging out with his friends.

He took me from there and his sister headed off in a different direction. We sat down in the little gazebo area on Paradise Pier to talk for a bit. He then lead me down to the promenade where people gather to watch World of Color. With the sun setting and Mickey’s Fun Wheel lit in the background, he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him.

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I can’t say it was a complete surprise because I’m a perceptive person and he gets too excited about things to keep them a secret, but it was very magical nonetheless. Our family came out right after to congratulate us, and even my parents and grandmother had flown in from Texas that morning to come celebrate. My now-fiancé (whose name is Isaac by the way) had made reservations for Ariel’s Grotto for dinner just afterwards, and we headed over there to hang out and let everything sink in. I was too excited to eat anything, though I did try a little bit of food. Disney gave us the bride and groom Minnie and Mickey ears as well as a custom dessert, which made the night even more amazing.

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Our dinner included VIP tickets to World of Color, so our family walked that way to get some seats while I and a few friends hopped on California Screamin’ for a quick ride. And, of course, they decided to yell to the whole crowd waiting in line that I’d just got engaged, which turned me a nice shade of pink at all the attention.

World of Color was amazing, especially since it was customized for the Christmas season. Following the show, Isaac, our friends, and I all headed back over the Disneyland for one or two last rides since DCA was closing first. We hopped on Star Tours since the line was super terribly long, but only after snagging a few churros first.

All in all, our first day of this particular Disney trip was full of magic and memories and one I won’t be forgetting for quite some time.

Tune in soon for day two of my Disney trip 🙂

P.S. Here’s the highlight video of our trip!

Adventure is out there!

Why hello there!
It seems that you have come across, my blog, which you have found for one of a few reasons:

  • You search ‘Disney College Program’ and came up with this blog.
  • You came through a link from my YouTube page
  • You saw something I posted on Instagram or Facebook
  • You’re my family (hi mom 🙂 )

Anyways, this is the beginning to my grand adventure. To be fair, I still don’t know if I’ll be accepted to the program yet, but since this is the only semester that it will work for me, I am genuinely hoping and wishing it would happen. It will be very difficult to be apart from my fiancé especially since I’m a person that needs time together, but I’m also not looking to miss out on a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I just submitted my application two days ago and got through the web based interview, and my phone interview is on February 12th. I’ll let y’all know how that went over once it’s said and done with, so just hang tight for now 🙂