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. 🙂

College Program Packing List

So this is the fun part where I let y’all know what’s on my list to fit into two suitcases and a carry-on for the flight to Orlando. I figured I’d post this so that if you’re needing a little help with what to bring to the DCP, you can take a look and get some inspiration. Granted, I might add or take away a few things in the two months that I have until then, but we’ll see where it goes 🙂

To Bring

  • Pillows – I might have to grab a new one while in Disney because I have two fluffy pillows that really aren’t very good to sleep on, they’re more decoration, and then one sad little pillow that’s become so smooshed.
  • Sheets – preferably black or red ones, because when in Disney, one must go all out 🙂
  • Blankets – I have several fuzzy blankets (I don’t have an addiction, I don’t know what you’re talking about) so those will definitely be joining me on this trip.
  • Tupperware – Leftovers for the win!
  • T-shirts – Including and with special emphasis on Disney items 🙂
  • Jeans – For the days that get cold (which, I’m told, won’t be for a while. Score!)
  • Shorts – No one wants to overheat when visiting Disney!
  • Sweater – Specifically for Traditions, a nice cardigan perhaps
  • Jacket – I have a Minnie Mouse hoodie I absolutely adore, so that’s definitely coming, along with a a grey trench coat I wear all the time.
  • Nice flats – Another Traditions staple.
  • Slacks – Besides Traditions, I probably won’t be wearing these.
  • Nice shirt – Three guesses and the first two don’t count. What’s this for? 🙂
  • Sunglasses – I am notoriously bad at breaking/losing/generally maiming these, so $5 cheapos for me!
  • Bathing suit – I really need a good Disney themed one, but navy with polka dots will work for now. Also, this includes a rashguard and boardshorts. Less exposed skin = less sunscreen. #Gingerprobs
  • Beach towel – Specifically, a little mermaid one because what better princess than Ariel to keep me company at the waterparks?
  • Bath towels – Just got some red and black ones, the perfect colors for a Disney lover
  • Chacos – These shoes I got when I worked at summer camp, and they actually are super nice to walk around in all day.
  • Converse – These are my dedicated park shoes. Wore them all three days last trip.
  • Flip flops – You can’t go to the waterparks without ’em.
  • Toothpaste – Kinda a given.
  • Toothbrush – Ditto.
  • Makeup – Thankfully I’m not a super heavy makeup person, so I won’t have to pack much.
  • Bras – No explanation needed.
  • Bath mat – I really want a Mickey one, but I have a black one so that’ll do for now.
  • Hairspray – Gotta keep those hairstyles in place.
  • Lotion – Not sure If I’m going to need this as much as I do in Phoenix.
  • Hangers – There’s no way I’m fitting everything in my dresser.
  • Laundry bag – The chances of us being in Commons is pretty small, so I’ll need this to carry everything.
  • Passport card – Another document for the new job process.
  • Laptop & charger – What good blogger/vlogger/student can survive without one?
  • Camera & equipment (battery, charger, tripod, lenses) – I must appease my inner film student 🙂
  • Phone & charger (2 chargers, one for room, one for park) – With as much as I record on my phone, it’s going to perpetually die. I might have to grab an extra battery or mobile charger…
  • Earbuds – Life is a music video only you can hear 🙂
  • Backpack – Gonna need something to carry all my park essentials with! Keep an eye out for the “What’s in my park bag?” post that will inevitably come.
  • Power strip – There’s probably not going to be enough outlets in our apartment.
  • Ethernet cord – That internet life.
  • Command hooks/strips – For hanging decorations. No one likes blank walls!
  • Decor – Disney themed, of course 😉
  • Sunscreen – Again, #Gingerprobs
  • Hairbrush – Another given.
  • Nail polish/remover – I’ve recently become attached to red nails. It must be the Minnie lover in me.
  • Ariel/Mulan outfits – Disneybounding for life.

To Buy/Ship There

  • Raincoat – Rain is unpredictable, and since I don’t actually own one of these, I’m gonna need it.
  • Rain boots – Again, I live in Phoenix. Totally don’t have these.
  • Gloves – I do have a pair of knit gloves, but they catch on my ring, so I’m thinking a different pair is in order.
  • Mattress pad – No one likes sleeping on the standard issue mattresses. Might as well make them nicer.
  • Shampoo/conditioner/soap – I really don’t feel like dealing with these at the airport, or them exploding in my suitcase.

Hopefully this post has been helpful with all of your DCP packing questions. If I didn’t add something you think should be on there or just have anything to ask in general, feel free to drop me a line in the comments 🙂


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.

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 🙂