Tuesday, August 24th


It has been just over a year since my last report about the EPCOT Pin Celebration. Wow time does fly by quickly! This year the pin event was held in August and was a wee bit different than other years. I will touch on that a bit later!


The theme for the Disney Pin Celebration 2010 was "Trade City USA" and all pin traders were invited to the 10th Anniversary “Founder’s Day Celebration" which took place August 27 - 29, 2010 at EPCOT’s World ShowPlace.


My adventure started on Tuesday.  I left home about 11 a.m. by myself and drove to Syracuse NY to catch my flight to Orlando.  I gave myself lots of time since one never knows what to expect at the Canada/USA border, but all was good and I got to Syracuse just after 1 p.m.  This gave me some time to have lunch and do a bit of cross-border shopping before I went to the airport.


I got to the airport about 3 p.m. and checked my bags.  I was the only person in line; I love this airport!  Then I made my way through the security check and found the coffee shop. My flight was scheduled to leave at 4:40 p.m. and started boarding at 4:20 p.m. I guess everyone was present and accounted for because they closed the door and we were in the air by 4:40. We not only got off the ground in good time we arrived at MCO 20 minutes early. Awesome! I picked up my luggage and my rental car and was on the road just after 8 p.m.


My first stop was Downtown Disney.  I found a parking spot in Lot 1 and went directly to The Earl of Sandwich. While I was standing in line I texted my friend and roommate Susan to let her know where I was. She came and met me and decided to have a sandwich as well. After satisfying our hunger we went directly to the Pin Store, did a bit of lanyard trading, checked out the Vinylmations and purchased a couple of pins. The next stop was the Art of Disney Store and then D Street . By now it was close to 11 p.m. and it was time to go to the resort.


We were staying at the All-Star Sports.  Susan had arrived earlier in the day so we were all checked in. We had a great location, near the parking lot and close to the elevators. The pool was at the front of our building but there would be no time for swimming.


Once I got settled and unpacked we turned out the lights. We had lots of plans for the next day.

Wednesday, August 25th


Wednesday was our free day, no official events planned for this day. Once we were up and ready we went to the food court.  We actually went to the All-Star Music food court; it was closer than the All-Star Sports food court. After breakfast we hopped in the car and drove to Downtown Disney.  We checked out the pin store again and did a bit of lanyard pin trading.  After about and hour we drove over to the outlet mall to check out the Character Outlet Store.  I have to say, this was one of the few time that I have come out of that store with no bag!!


Our next stop was Disney Hollywood Studios.  We wandered up and down the streets and through the shops.  We were searching for Hidden Mickey pins on cast member’s lanyards, no time for rides!  By then we were getting hungry and it was very hot so we went into the Commissary and had lunch.  It sure felt good to sit and enjoy the AC.


After lunch we spent quite a bit of time in the Animation shop, I wanted to look at the new cels.  I also had a nice visit with David Rippberger; he is one of the artists that still paints cels.  I decided that I had to have the Fantasmic 2009 cel; it is matted and framed with the collector pin. Gary had given me a gift certificate for a cel, so this was actually my birthday present!


It was getting late in the afternoon and we were both done-in by the heat so we drove back to the resort to cool off and unload our purchases.  It was nice to relax for a bit but we didn’t have a lot of time, we planned on meeting our friends from PA for dinner.  Refreshed and ready to get going again we headed off to the Boardwalk.  We were waiting for Mike and Ann to call and let us know that they had arrived and where we were to meet them.  We decided to go to the store and look around and what do you know, we ran into them.


We had dinner at the Big River Grille; it was the first time I had eaten there and it was very good.  We said goodbye to our friends and drove over to the Contemporary Resort.  We both wanted to check out the stores there.  When we had seen all that we wanted we hopped on the monorail to go over to the Magic Kingdom .  We both wanted to see the Electric Parade. The park was packed, it was just after 8 p.m. and Main Street was wall-to-wall people, everyone was gathering for Wishes.  We managed to get down Main Street and over to Frontierland.  We wandered through the pin shop and then decided we would go and ride Pirates of the Caribbean and then Haunted Mansion while we were waiting for the parade.


After our rides we walked up to the front of the park and found a spot to watch the parade.  We were near the exit so as the last float was coming out we high- tailed it to the monorail to beat the rush.  We were able to hop right on and get back to our car before the crowds.  It was so hot we decided to just go back to the room for the night.

Thursday, August 26th


Thursday morning we were up early and ready to go!  This was early registration day for the pin event but we had lots to do before we headed over to the Yacht & Beach Club.  After a quick breakfast in the food court we hopped in the car and drove to Animal Kingdom. There were a couple of pins we were looking for and had not found at any of the stores and we both knew that if there were any to be found they would be at the Animal Kingdom. Sure enough when we got to the pin station all the pins we wanted were there. We did a bit of lanyard pin trading with cast members and walked through the stores. It was unbearably hot so we decided we needed to leave before they had to wipe us up off the ground.


We were meeting our friends for lunch at the Big River Grille but decided to drive directly to the Yacht & Beach to find a parking spot and then catch the boat over to the Boardwalk. Parking was at a premium, the lot was full. We drove around until we found someone leaving, grabbed the spot and made our way through the resort to the docks. We were running a bit late but the boat came along within a few minutes.


We had a wonderful lunch at the Big River Grille and then made our way back to the resort for check in. 

This year was a bit different, first you had pick your registration time, so if you had not indicated on the entry form that you were coming on Thursday you had to wait until Friday to pickup your pins. The registration line seemed to move very quickly compared to other years. Once you got your package with all your information and you got your pins you had to leave the big conference room and go out to the lobby. There was another queue set up in the lobby where you lined up in to get your event gifts.  

This year the gifts included a T-Shirt and a book which included 2 pins and places to put several other pins. Some of the missing pins were in the mystery boxes that were purchased from the event catalog and the other eight pins were going to be released at the event and could be found on the trading boards. This was a bit disappointing for some, since they had not realized that the mystery pins were needed to complete the collection.  

The registration line

A prevue of event pins

Trading after registration

Another thing that was new this year was the Vinylmation event, being held Sunday morning. If you registered for that event you got your free gift from this line as well. It included the mini Vinylmation key chain and a large Vinylmation pin. After I picked up all my loot I went back into the conference room.  Half of the room was set up for registration and the other half was set up for pin trading. The pin trading room was full and remained that way until it closed at 10 p.m.


Our group found a table and we all started checking through our pin purchases and paper work. It felt good to sit down and the room was well air conditioned so I was happy to park myself there for the rest of the day. At one point Susan and I decided to go for a leg-stretch and ended up at Beaches & Cream.  It was a nice break in the day.


By the end of the evening we were all pretty tired so we decided to pass on going to Downtown Disney and went back to the room. It had been a long day and the next day we wanted to hit the ground running, the event opened at 9:30 a.m.

Friday, August 27th

Friday morning we thought we were doing well and got to EPCOT by 9 a.m. We were able to use the special entry for pin traders, where they have a sniffer dog so you don’t have to open all your bags. As we walked down through the rose garden to World ShowCase we could see the line, all the way to the edge of the rose garden, so much for getting there early (lol).

Wow - what a line!

As we walked into World ShowPlace there was a huge statue of Mayor Mickey welcoming us to Trade City .  

Inside the building the AC felt wonderful and once my eyes adjusted from the bright sun outside I could see that Disney once again outdid themselves with the decorations. It was magnificent!  World ShowPlace was filled with building facades representing the buildings of Trade City USA and there were event pins which corresponded to most buildings. 

There were several trading boards with roped queues that were already full of people.


In the back half of the room there were rows of tables and the traders were setting up their bags and books. It was fun to walk around and see everyone’s traders. This year in addition to lots of pins there were also Vinylmations. I was actually more interested in trading my Vinylmations than I was my pins. I admit I am hooked on these little guys.  

Lines for the pin boards

I met up with some of my friends and our group staked out a table and some chairs. We alternated between the table and the boards. I also took some time to walk around and look at the displays presented by Walt Disney World Pin Trading, Disneyland CA and Disneyland Paris Pin Trading and Vinylmations. Each of the booths displayed the upcoming designs for 2011.  

New pins for the Alaska Cruise

New pin concepts for the Panama Cruise

We pretty much stayed inside all day with the exception lunch.  We ran out for a quick bite which we brought back to the table to eat. It was way too hot for me to be anywhere that didn’t have AC.


At 6 p.m. we packed up our stuff and headed out of the park. There was another pin trading gathering being held at Port Orleans Riverside. It was organized by Central Jersey Disney Pin Traders (CJDPT), founded by our friend John Rick. Before heading over to Port Orleans Riverside we decided to take a quick trip back to the room to drop off some stuff and freshen up. Then Susan and I drove over to the Boardwalk to get Ann & Mike.  We planned on getting there early so that we could have some dinner before the pin action started. I have to say that the food court at Riverside is very good; I really liked the pasta bar.


Soon the area that we were in started to fill with familiar faces and the pin trading began. For me it was more of a social event, I chatted with lots of people and did very little trading. It was a nice relaxing way to spend the evening. After a few hours we were all getting tired so the four of us headed back to our resorts. It was soon lights out for us.

Saturday, August 28th


Saturday was another beautiful sunny day, too bad it was just so darned hot! We arrived at EPCOT a little later this day, no need to rush. We made our way though the special entrance and sniffer dog Max gave us the go-ahead through security. 

Max checks the bags!

The entire day pretty much mirrored Friday, pin boards and more pin boards. When the event closed at 6 p.m. we all went to Sunshine Seasons for dinner, then at 7 p.m. Susan and I went back to the World ShowPlace for a special Illuminations Dessert party. This was something new this year and we both thought we would enjoy it. The dessert was very good. There were also some pin boards that were operational for trading but the lines were very long.

It was raining pretty hard so neither one of us was too fussy about going to watch Illuminations so we decided to track down the rest of our buddies. They were just going to go in to see Captain EO so we made our way over to Imagination and joined them. It was fun to watch this after so many years. By the time we got out of the show the park was closed and we were tired, so we trudged to the car and back to the resort. Another night where we just didn’t have enough energy left to go to Downtown Disney.

A lavish dessert table.

Sunday, August 29th


Sunday we were excited and up early; this was the first Disney Vinylmation Event and we wanted to be there when the doors opened. It was exciting to be experiencing something new. We arrived at EPCOT and we could still enter through the special entrance for pin traders, there was a different sniffer dog today, Max must get Sunday off.  

We got to World ShowPlace just as the doors were opening.  There really wasn’t anything different in the way the room was set up or the decorations. The pin boards were gone and in place of them were trading stations with Vinylmations. Some of the lines had flat boxes with about 20 Vinylmations in each box.  You waited your turn and then basically swapped your Vinylmation for any of the ones in the box. There were also a couple of lines that had the mystery boxes. They were the same mystery boxes that you see out in the stores. There are 24 squares and you pick a number and what ever Vinylmation is behind that number is what you are trading for.  The exciting part was that Disney had put lots of the older series out in the trading boxes. Park Series 1 & 2 and Urban Series 1 & 2 have been out of circulation for a while, so this gave you a chance to get some of the earliest and rarest Vinylmations. They also had lots of chasers in the boxes so the challenge was to be near the front of the line when the “refresh” was done. Each refreshed trading box they brought out had about 4 really hard to find Vinylmations.


It was a lot of fun and not too crowded; it seemed to go by too fast. Once the “official” event was over the room opened to the public. This was the chance for people who did not register for the pin or Vinylmation event to purchase items that were left over. This year there were only a few pins that sold out so there was a good selection.  

Next years theme - The Florida Project

Our gang was heading over to the Electric Umbrella for lunch but I still wanted to do a bit of Vinylmation trading so they left and I headed to the back room. I had an ace in my pocket!  It was a chaser from the Urban Series 1 that I had been hanging onto. I knew it was a scarce item and there were a couple of older Vinylmations which I really wanted. After working the room and talking to several traders I was able to make a good trade, my Gold Chaser for three other Chasers, the prize for me was Pongo.


I left the event a happy trader and I was still able to catch up with my friends at the Electric Umbrella. I had a quick lunch and then we all made our way over to the Magic Kingdom . It was very hot and we were moving slow.  We wandered through the shops along Main Street and decided that we should have an ice cream. We went into the Bakery to eat our treat and cool down. When we were done we decided to go to Adventureland and ride Pirates of the Caribbean . There was no line and we had our own boat - it was great. From there we went over and rode the Haunted Mansion, again there was no line.


It was getting near dinnertime but after the ice cream we were not very hungry yet. Susan and I decided we would try and track down our Canadian friends Juanita and Carrie since we knew they were at the Magic Kingdom.  We said our good byes to our friends Ann, Mike, Aimee and Donald and found Juanita sitting by the bakery waiting for Carrie. We went with them to the Columbia House and had a cold drink while they had their dinner, it was nice to just sit and chat for a while.


We left them and decided to go to Downtown Disney since it was our last night. By the time we got there we were both hungry so we went into The Earl of Sandwich and both had the BLT.  It tasted so good!  When we were done we made our way to the Pin Station and then over to D Street for one final check before we went back to the resort. It was 11 p.m. and everything was closing.  We were tired!


It had been a fun few days with good friends but it was over. I had my suitcase packed before I went to bed so that when I got up I could just get in the car and go to the airport.

Monday, August 30th


In the morning I said goodbye to Susan, she had a late flight, and made my way to the airport. It was an easy drive, my plane was on time and I was walking in the door at home in time for dinner.