Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pin Trip Wrap Up

I'll have a couple more posts on this pin trip, but I'm going to just pour out my thoughts in this last trip, because a few things stuck to my head. So here goes.

1. This has been one of the more memorable pin celebration event in a while, and all because of the mystery box pin set. I think Disney screwed up. They could have made TONS of money if they had more of the mystery box, but someone didn't think things through. In previous years, they mystery tins were plenty full, but not overly so as to diminish their value. This year, there were just not enough. By the beginning of the second day, people who had mystery box pins were just sitting on them and will only trade them for another box pins, and not the street sign pins one could get off the pin trading board. What started off as being fun got very frustrating very quickly. Still, I think the concept is brilliant as far as marketing is concerned. It got those of us who didn't intend on buying these pins to actually got into it. If they had made enough of the box set, it would have been a tremendous success.

2. Have the quality of cast members gone downhill very quickly. I will cite 2 "encounters" where I am wondering if they were just bad chance encounters, or if something more systematic is wrong here: (i) I entered the men's washroom on the second floor of Columbia Harbour House and saw a cast member, in full period uniform as those working in that restaurant, using the guest facility. Now I thought that was a no-no, especially if you're in uniform. (ii) I stuck my super fast pass that I got after attending a DVC member event into a fast pass machine at Buzz Lightyear attraction and got nothing. There were 3 cast members nearby who were chatting. I mentioned that I didn't get anything out of the machine, and that I was afraid that it got counted against my fast pass. As I moved to another fast pass machine, these people moved to the faulty machine, opened it up, did something to it, grabbed what looked like a fast pass, and closed it back up. At NO POINT during any of these did any of them talked to me, or even acknowledged my presence. I would have asked them a lot more, but we were in a hurry to do the attraction and then leave for the airport. So I simply dropped it.

3. Do cast members who work as cashiers say "thank you" anymore? I know they do, but someone needs to train some of those working at the check outs at Sunshine Seasons. I ate there twice. Both times, the cast members (different ones) barely even look up, and certainly didn't even say thank you after my purchase. And their attitude appears as if you were a bother to them. Since each of them didn't even turn my way, I didn't get a chance to glance at their names, and it wasn't a big enough deal for me to walk back and take a look. Still, cast members are the ones who create the magic, and they can certainly destroy the magic faster than anyone can.

I'm still recovering from the trip. I will have more to say later.


Monday, August 30, 2010

What's Your Favorite Hidden Mickey?

A short video from Disney on a few Hidden Mickey that can be found. Some of these I don't quite know where they are located.


Sunday, August 29, 2010


Yup. Trip is over. Waiting for our plane back to Chicago.

On monorail

We left MK forTTC. Our trip is over. On our way to airport.


We are at teacups. Again no lines.

Laugh floor

We did buzz lightyear and now in line for Monsters Inc Laugh Floor

Space Mountain

We are in line for space mountain.


Spending the last couple of hrs at MK.

Member celebration

At dvc member celebration.

At the Contemporary

We have arrived at the contemporary. The preview starts in 20 mins.

Off to BLT

We are on our way to BLT for the dvc member preview. We are done with Epcot.

Waiting for lunch

We are waiting for Sunshine Seasons to begin lunch service.


In the green house.

The Land

We are on Living with the Land.

Congratulations Phil

We just heard that our friend who is attending the vinylmation event right now just won the 1 millionth vinylmation purchaser. Whoa! Congrats phil. We hear that he got tons of vinylmations and free admission to next year's event.


At test track. No lines!!!!

Tron monorail

We are on one of the tron monorail.

Waiting for monorail

The monorail is slow this morning.


At the TTC. We will then backtrack to Epcot using the monorail.

Checking out

Checking out and printing boarding pass. Goodbye Boardwalk Inn.

Packiing up.

We are busy packing up. We leave this evening and will spend the morning at Epcot. In the afternoon, we will do the dvc member preview at BLT.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Trading closing

Pin trading about to close and we will make our way to the Illumination viewing area.

The Dessert Reception

The dessert reception is in full swing. Wow there are some good dessert here. I will be in a sugar shock at the end of this.

More pin trading?

Holy cow! While we wait for the dessert reception, they are continuing with the pin trading board!! So we are back in line as if we all haven't had enuf.

Waiting for dessert

Some of the folks lingering around waiting for the dessert party. They have cleared the place of all the other Pin event attendees not attending the reception.

Back at world showplace

The pin event is over but we are back at world showplace for the dessert reception. There's a storm blowing in. It is raining heavily now. I hope it doesn't go too long for our viewing of illuminations tonight.

55th Anniversary of Dumbo

Happy 55th Anniversary of the Dumbo Flying Elephant at Disneyland!


About to wind down

There's slightly more than 2 hrs left in this year's pin event. Last few chances to get the street signs pins.

Glutton for punishment

I got good pins that previous time. I'm now in another line. I will be done with this after this one.

Pin games

Stanging in line for more pin board games. They just replenished the board and I am 12 back. I'm hoping to find good pins by the time I get to pick.


We had a late lunch at Yakitori House. It was OK. Don't expect high quality japanese food.

But on the way back I got a cream puff and an apple tart at the bakery at France. Yum!

We are back at pin event.

More pin trading

We are in and back for more pin trading.

Saturday morning

It is barely 9 am and the lines getting in world showplace is horrendously long. The event opens at 9:30.

Donald's Great Adventure - Trade City, USA

Hello there my legions of fans. This is your lovable Donald Duck reporting from this year's Pin Celebration event - Trade City,USA at Epcot. ZapperZ finally let me out of the bag, and I can wonder around the wonderful pin event this year.

They really have put up quite a number of props to decorate the place to look like a small town. Why, they even have a commuter train!

Of course, most of the time was spent standing in line for the pin trading game.
I also went into the pin trading area to meet my many fans. Boy, are there a lot of pins here!

I was stopped by the Sheriff of Trade City, USA. I thought I was speeding, but it turned out that Sheriff Speedtrap only wanted to have a picture with me. I told you that I have legions, LEGIONS of fans here, including the law enforcement people!

I then went to have lunch at Sunshine Seasons. Well, ZapperZ had lunch. I just watched. Boy, he sure eats a lot! Someone needs to tell him that he's getting a bit pudgy around the middle.
After lunch, we went back to more pin trading. But guess what? ZapperZ brought back a strawberry shortcake AND a cinnamon roll. You'd think after all that food, he'd be full. Although, I did hear him say to a few pin traders walking by that he'll trade the cinnamon roll for a couple of pins. It didn't work.
We then had dinner at Marrekesh. I, on the other hand, got to ride the camel. This one doesn't spit like the one in Adventureland.

On our way out of Epcot, I noticed this lovely window display. They obviously think very highly of me and my nephews. If only they stay this still when we go out.

Anyway, that's it from me for now.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Chilling out

We are back at the Boardwalk. We are going to just hang out around here and recharge. It has been a long day and tomorrow is going to be another one.

Good dinner

Having a wonderful time at dinner. Marrekesh is a great place for dinner. We have a big group of 11 people.



Heading towards morocco for dinner reservation at Marrekesh.


Waiting in line for Soarin'. We took a break from pin trading for a while.

Near the front

I'm close to the front of the line but I think the board is well picked over. Bad luck and timing again.

New pin boards

They switch and replenish new pin boards on the half hour. It is hard to time it just right when the lines are long and slow.

They just switched the one I'm in line for but there are about 20 people ahead of me. It doesn't look good.

Long lines

The lines for pin trading games are very long. People are trying to get the 4 or 5 street signs pins that you can get only at the pin trading board. It is madness.


New this year, ipads are everywhere. People are using it to look at pins while standing in line.

No luck

First trip to pin trading board was a bust! It was well picked over. They replenished the board after my pick. Drat! I'm in another line. Can't be any worse than before.

Pin trading game

Standing in line for a pin trading game. You get 1 min to trade 2 pins off the pin board.

Pin trading event

We are here! The event is now in full swing.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Leaving MK

We are leaving MK on the ferry.


On main street waiting for Wishes. Man is it humid tonight and hardly any breeze.

Bring on the parade

We have a spot in liberty square and waiting for the electrical parade.

Haunted Mansion

At haunted mansion. There is barely any lines.


At splash


Having dinner at columbia harbor house. The park so far is not busy.


We are at MK. Planning to stay for Electrical Parade and Wishes.

Off to MK

At TTA. A friend is redeeming her give-a-day voucher.

Registration Gifts

Since Patty asked about the gifts, here is a brief description of them.

The first give that we got was a t-shirt for the event. It is actually quite nice. Here is a look at the front and back of the shirt.

But the one that got ALL of us talking was this next one. Now, you must know first of all that one of the pins being offered for sale at this event is the mystery set consisting of "street" signs.

Now, we already decided that we're not going to purchase this at all, because we didn't want to get into the "buying" and trading mode to get the complete set. Well guess what, folks? In what I called the most evil AND brilliant move they've made, the gift to the event this is very elegant box that they called the "travel kit". It consist of a very well-made album box.
When you open it, you see THIS!
The top left and bottom left are pins included in this box. But the rest of the painted street signs are, get this, part of the mystery pins!! Holy cow!

So essentially, what they did, is made an enticement for us to get the mystery pin boxes to try and complete the whole damn box! Man, I'm suffering here. I was certain I wasn't going to buy this year's mystery pins. And now, I can feel my resistance melting like an ice cream in the Orlando's hot weather right now! I am not that strong to resist this! Like I said, this was evil and brilliant at the same time!

I anticipate a run on these mystery pin boxes tomorrow when the shopping opens at the pin event, and then a flurry of activity for people to trade what they need. Oh, I need help!