Friday, 17 April 2015

Cast Member Issued Pins

Goren1818 signing on for another post! This time I will be adding to the blog's newest genre: Pin Trading. This portion of the site is sponsored by Check it out! It's a great site. Anyway, my main collection consists of cast member issued pins. What is a cast member pin you ask? A cast member issued pin is a pin issued by the park to the cast member. These are usually worn with the cast member's costume. Cast member issued pins are not to be confused with hidden mickeys or cast exclusives. There are a few kinds of cast member issued pins. The kind I have the most of are cast member service pins. For every 5 years a cast member works, they get a pin. These pins go all the way up to the 45 year pin! SOMEONE HAD TO WORK FOR DISNEY FOR 45 YEARS!

Cast member service pins

45 year pin
Fun Fact: For the 25th year pin there was a pin of Tinkerbell bent over. It was soon banned for being revealing. You can find that pin below.
Booty Tinkerbell pin
Another category of these pins are attraction costume pins. These pins are worn as part of a cast member's costume for a specific attraction. For example, the monorail badge!
Monorail Badge

The last category contains my holy grail pins! The infamous D-pins. These pins are shaped like a D for Disneyland. They are very rare and are only worn by tour guides, hosts, or ambassadors.

Well that sums up this week! I hope I inspired you all to go out and create your own unique pin collection! That's all folks. This is Goren1818 signing off.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Intro to Disney Pin Trading

Intro to Pin Trading
by ryan from ptdb

  • Edition sizes
    • OE - open edition (no limit to production amount)
    • LR - limited release (lot limited, but is retired after a time)
    • LE - limited edition size (will always have a number, generally 100 to 3000)
  • Places/Sources
    • DSF/DSSH - disney soda fountain/disney studio store hollywood
    • WDI - Walt Disney Imagineering - glendale, ca
    • DLR/DCA/WDW - disneyland resort/disney california adventure/walt disney world
    • DLRP - disneyland resort paris
    • DA - disney auctions, an online source of the fanciest pins that stopped existing many years ago.
    • -
    • dsuk - disney store uk
  • Databases
    • pp -
    • ptdb -
  • BT - beloved tales series (from DSSH)
  • PTD - pin traders delight series (from DSSH)
  • Grail - your most wanted, hardest to find pin.  Try not to throw the term around too much unless you are talking about pins that cost over $250 and/or only change hands once every few years or less.
  • Shark - someone who routinely tries to trade/sell/buy unfair deals, often using dishonesty
  • Scrapper - originally a term to describe a pin that didn't make quality assurance but was illegally sold on the market.  The term is often thrown around to describe any unauthorized pin such as overruns and counterfeits.

Don't feed the counterfeiters
  • Any "pin lot" you find on ebay or amazon with phrases like "100% tradeable" are 100% fake.
  • Most cast member lanyards are full of fakes.  This is because people buy those 100% tradeable lots and trade them to the cms for real ones.  The problem is so widespread that finding a cm with a real pin is truly rare.
Pretty Much Never Buy Anything From Disney
  • Just about any pin of value would have had people lining up to get it and sell out instantly.
  • If you want anything OE, you can get it aftermarket at less money than disney sells it for.

What should I collect?
  • How much can you spend every month?  Set your goals and expectations on that.
    • $1000 a month or more can get you just about anything you want, if you are patient.
    • $20 or so a month you can go after a pretty collection of oe pins.
  • Where do you live?
    • Socal, preferably near hollywood: pin trading easy mode.
    • Near WDW or Paris: a little helpful
    • Anywhere else: expect to pay aftermarket for everything, with the rare exception of a good website release.
  • What do you like?
    • What are your favorite movies/characters?  Note that some will be more expensive than others.  The more obscure your collection, the easier time you will have.
  • Never be a completist
    • They make a lot of ugly pins, and if you NEED every pin of whatever you collect, you're gonna pay a lot of money for ugly pins and encourage them to keep making ugly pins.
  • Wear a Lanyard
    • Your lanyard should let other traders know what you collect.  The pins should not be so expensive or hard to find that you would be upset if you lost them.  Even with the best pin backs, they do fall off sometimes.
How Do I Store/Display My pins?
  • Lanyard
    • Metal plunger backs are the way to go with a lanyard.  You can get them on eBay.  Mickey backs are awful about letting go, and the ratchet ones Disney sells can damage your pin posts.
  • Trader Books
    • Foam style page pin books work pretty well.  New ones are very expensive.  Used ones can usually be found for pretty cheap.
    • Binders with baseball card pages work well for pins that you want to leave on card.  The ones Disney sells are too thick.  Just get actual baseball card ones.  They also make similar pages with up to 20 sleeves per page instead of 9, for "coin collecting."  It is good to poke the posts through the pages to help prevent tampering and theft.
  • At home
    • You can just use a simple cork board
    • Your local craft store has several options for pin display
      • Painting canvases are a nice option, since you can poke through them and secure the pins with mickey backs.

Where do the good new pins come from?
  • Disney studio store in hollywood usually releases 2 sets of pins a month
    • Pin Trader Delight sundae is the only pin you can get any day at any time that is always a decent trader
  • WDI, in glendale, has been releasing high quality pins recently.  You have to be a castmember or have one bring you to get in though, unless you go to the D23 membership events which are maybe twice a year.
  • The parks: 
    • Weekly new pins release at the parks.  They usually are higher in edition size and less wanted, so less valuable.  Sometimes they release something popular though.
  • The websites:
    • Sometimes, and the european counterpart, get good, low edition, tradeable pins.
Is There a List of All the Pins?
  • is the biggest, oldest pin database.
  • is the newest, coolest pin database.  It has more advanced and useful stats, a chatroom, and a trade auction system.
  • Disclosure: the developer of ptdb wrote this.
Should I trade or buy?
  • Almost always just buy what you want.
  • If you are after high end pins, you will find that some pins are not for sale.  In that case you will need to collect a collection of high end traders.
  • Trading is also a fun social thing, so keeping a collection of traders is also useful for this.
For goodness sake, don't be the jerk who drives prices up.
  • A pin's value is however much the highest bidder bids.  It is so important that buyers be responsible about not overpaying, because that affects the entire community.  A great rule to try and follow is Never Pay the Most Anyone Has Paid for Something.
What's a Pin Worth?
  • It's not perfect, but the most common method of valuation is to check recent ebay completed listings.  This can also be compared with the LOWEST available ebay price.
Where Can I Buy/Sell/Trade pins?
  • eBay has the most, but most people avoid it if there are other ways of finding it.  eBay charges sellers about 10% of sale, so expect it to cost 10% more there or more.  As long as you use paypal as goods to pay, you have pretty much the same protection.
  • Facebook has many groups for buy/sell/trade.
  • Many people buy/sell/trade on instagram, but I don't recommend it.  Communication on that interface is difficult and frustrating.
What is some trade etiquette?
  • First try to agree on the value of the pins you are both interested in.  Be respectful, some people use different types of valuation.  There will be times when you just can't agree, but that doesn't mean you can't still be friends.
  • The most important thing is to be consistent in your values.  Don't overvalue your pins and undervalue their pins.  You will run into people who do this.  Respectfully avoid them.

How Can I Avoid Being Scammed?
  • NEVER send paypal as gift to friends and family!  Unless they are friends or family and you are ok losing your money if something goes wrong.  Sometimes people with good feedback decide to scam everyone and leave forever.  You never know what someone, even with good feedback, will do in the case of something like mail errors.  The rule is the seller is responsible for the delivery to the buyer.  Seller has to replace/refund if lost in mail.  Not all sellers know or honor this.
  • You have 45 days to file a claim with paypal for something you paid for as goods.  Don't let that expire if they didn't send.
  • For trading, there really is no protection.  You are both trusting eachother.  On facebook, see if you have any mutual friends and if someone can vouch for them.  Ask them where they have feedback.  You can ask mods of larger groups for any outstanding warrants on a person.  ALWAYS get delivery confirmation, and if it's high value, get signature for the extra couple bucks.
  • For selling, you can also get scammed when the buyer says they didn't receive your shipment.  Follow the same precautions for trading.
What to Do When You Are Scammed
  • Tell a parent or grown up you trust.  Tell the mod/admins of whatever platform you arranged the purchase/trade/sale.  They may be able to resolve it, and if not, they will spread the word so the person can't scam others.
How Do I Mail A Pin?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The Be Our Guest Restaurant

As you may know by know I was in Walt Disney World at the end of January. While there we did everything including going to the Be Our Guest Restaurant which opened with the new Fantasyland expansion. The theme is that you are in Beast's Castle for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Once you enter the castle there are three rooms in which you can eat at. The Ballroom, the Gallery and the West Wing. In the Grand Ballroom there is a full wall of glass that simulates snowing like seen in the movie. In the Gallery you see all the books as well as the Beast and Belle dancing. In the elusive West Wing however you can see the damage of the beast as well as the cursed rose.

The Grand Ballroom

When I was there in January we weren't able to go for dinner as reservations were gone the instant they were available. We were however able to go onto a site to book Be Our Guest for lunch. There is a site that you have to know a Cast Member to get the URL and you book food up to 28 days in advanced so you don't have to wait in line when you get there. This is a huge advantage as the line found outside for lunch is long from first thing in the morning until lunch is no longer available.

The view from the outside the line. The entrance is at the rocks in the background.

As you can see, the line adds up quite fast so the URL is quite beneficial! Unfortunately this URL is no longer available as it was a test run. Now it is all fastpasses. I would have shared the URL with you if it was still available.

This is just the beginning of this experience! Once you go to the site and order your food you then wait for that day to come! When it's your slotted time for lunch you get to go along the left side of the bridge skipping the line! You then enter the castle and pay the guards for the meal you ordered online. This is where it gets exciting!

Once you pay they tell you to sit in whichever of the three rooms you want to sit in and the food will be brought to you. These seemed a bit confusing as we weren't given a table placard and it was even more confusing as my family had messed up and we were two orders but sat at the same table. We thought that it was maybe possible so we found a table right a long the wall in the Grand Ballroom (which is my favourite room of the three). It was pretty neat as the food runners all had their individual carts they were pushing around instead of trays making it cleaner due to no spills. 

The food cart

Now wait! It sounds pretty amazing right now right? WRONG! It gets even better! The cart pushers that have your food know exactly where you are sitting! How you may ask? Magic!

(No it isn't really magic. That is what they say however. The way it is actually done is through RFID scanners under the table, the same scanners used for fastpasses. The magicband is scanned so that the food runners know what table everyone is sitting at so that they can bring the food to the right table without an error. Once I figured it out it was a pretty genius move I must say but it was shocking when they first brought the food out.)

All in all the Be Our Guest restraunt is one of the things I remember about the trip the most and is now my 2nd favourite restaurant in WDW surpassing the Biergarten.

Until next time!!