October 19 - 21, 2007


This past weekend I attended the Central Jersey Disney Pin Traders Swap ‘til you Drop pin meet. It was a blast.

It all started for me on Thursday night when Susan, my friend and traveling partner from Toronto arrived at our house about 9:30 p.m. She and I had been planning this since the September EPCOT pin event and the day had finally arrived. Our plan was to get on the road by 6 a.m. Friday morning so we could get to Somerset NJ in time to meet a couple of other friends and take a quick trip into New York City to see the World of Disney Store. We left our house in Kingston right on time, crossed the border without much delay and started down I-81. It was a nice sunny morning and the colours were beautiful as we drove through New York State and Pennsylvania. As we entered New Jersey we couldn’t believe how fast the trip had gone. We checked into the Hampton Inn, where the weekend event was being held shortly after noon.

Our home for the weekend

World of Disney Store in The Big Apple

We unloaded the car, dropped our stuff off in the room, met Kelly and Christy and off we went to the Big Apple. By now it had started to rain so we didn’t get to see much of the skyline; it was very overcast. The World of Disney store is very cool, I just kept wandering around saying “wow”. I bought some Disney NYC keepsakes before we left to go to the Trump Towers to have a bite to eat. We then rushed back to the hotel since the pin trading started at 7 p.m.

Lots of Pins to be found here

Susan and I with the Mickey statue

Now you have to understand that this is for die-hard pin traders, I mean the fun starts at 7 p.m. Friday and ends at noon Sunday. The only break is from 5:00 to 7:00 Saturday evening when it is encouraged that you go and get some dinner! The whole weekend is about pin trading but there was also a lot of other fun to be had. There were games such as PINGO and there was a Pin Bag Scavenger Hunt, Disney Word Search, Name that “Toon” and Trivia. There was a Chinese Auction with fabulous prizes and a gift exchange that 51 traders participated in, it was similar to the MouseFest gift exchange, lots of steals and laughter. Saturday night there was a costume contest and parade, there were hourly raffles and so much more.
Everyone brought food so there was a buffet of chips, dips, cheese, crackers, veggies, cookies and cold drinks. New stuff just kept appearing. People were coming and going, some were local and could drop in for a couple of hours but there were traders there from California, Florida and several neighboring states. All of this doesn’t just happen without some great organizers. There was a team headed up by John Rick, they did an amazing job of making everything run smooth and welcoming us. I had met John at MagicMeets where he had been a participant and hosted one of the breakout sessions. He organizes several meets throughout the year and information can be found on his site www.cjdpt.com.

The costumed Pin Traders

Neither Susan nor I managed to do the all night trading but we did stay both nights until after midnight so by Sunday we were running out of steam but we were having such a good time and had met some great people so we decided to stay until the end and then go for lunch with the gang before heading up the highway. We got away about 2:30 p.m. and had a smooth drive home, the weather was great and we rehashed the weekend so the drive passed quickly. We arrive back in Kingston about 9 p.m. Sunday night, Susan was too tired to keep going to Toronto so she stayed over night and left first thing Monday morning.

It was a really fun weekend and I hope to be able to go again next year. I did come home with a note from John to mark my calendar for MagicMeets ’08, there will be Pin Trading meets set up for Friday and Saturday evening from 8 p.m. to midnight and a possible meet held Sunday morning before the Hershey Park excursion. I know I plan to be there!