The LaughingPlace Store
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Disneyland Opens the "Ultimateâ€? Pin Trading Destination
There was already a small crowd of guests - 20 people or so - waiting behind the ropes for the new venue to open - and Disneyland's Pin Mania Weekend to begin - when I got there an hour before the ceremony was scheduled to begin. Almost all of the "regularsâ€? were there - Disneyland's most dedicated pin traders - waiting for their chance to get a look at their new digs - and the murmur mill had been busy creating a buzz about a "mysteryâ€? pin to be released. As the line of people picking up the vouchers for their limited edition Adora Belle dolls - to be signed by Marie Osmond later in the morning - were finished in Star Trader they wandered over to watch the ceremony.
The anticipation - and the buzz - grew as the ceremony approached and as the Disneyland Resort Ambassador, Matt Ebeling stepped to the podium the crowd was about 250 strong. Matt welcomed the guests, saying, "...This morning we're kicking off an exciting weekend of Disney pin mania, a collection of activities that a true Disney pin collector should not miss.â€? Matt announced that, "beginning today, the ultimate pin trading destination in the world is going to be right here, our Premiere Shop.â€? He added, "Guests from around the world are going to be invited to enjoy a brand new collection of fun, exciting interactive pin activities, that we're hoping will become a tradition for both our guests and our cast members.â€?
Matt then introduced Mike Griggs, Vice-President of Merchandise and Store Operations for the Disneyland Resort. Mike welcomed the pin enthusiasts, "It's hard to believe that this day has finally come. Throughout our resort an enormous team of dedicated cast members has been preparing for this day with endless enthusiasm. With true Disney spirit and wearing their lanyards with pride, they've been collecting and selecting pins, pins and even more pins for you to enjoy. So, we're excited to share pin trading with our friends from all over the globe because we truly believe in it's magic...â€?
Mike then described the new venue explaining that there would be some truly unique pin and print opportunities in the new shop and that there would be some new additions in the near future, "Coming soon... we will be offering an Official Disney Pin Trading kiosk here. Through this kiosk you'll be able to log on to our pin web site to find out all of the latest information on the new pin releases, the pin events and other pin trading news. That's pretty much everything to do with pins at any of our Disney theme parks and resorts around the world as well as the Disney auctions, the Disney Store and catalog.â€?
Mike, Matt and the hillbillies then went on to demonstrate the "official pin trading tricks of the tradeâ€? in true Billy Hill style. As pin vests were displayed, Billy explained that they have been pin traders since they "were knee-high to Jiminy Cricket.â€? The history of pin trading - hillbilly style - is truly something to behold. Who knew that Maleficent was a pin trader who "kept trying to get us to prick our fingersâ€?? Or that Pinocchio's original name was "Wood-occhioâ€? until he got into pin trading and changed his name to "Pin-occhioâ€?? Or that Ariel had some pins in her thingamabob collection? We also learned that there was a hillbilly pin trading motto, "Don't get stuck with the same pin!â€?
A demonstration - hillbilly style - soon followed. As it got quickly out of hand with pins and backings flying all over the place, Matt and Mike called in the "Big cheeseâ€? to help restore order to the ceremony. Mickey and his pin pals Hanna and Evan showed the proper way to trade as Matt explained the "Disney wayâ€? to trade, "Look for a lanyard and wear a grin, now ask about trading a pin for a pin, now if you both agree, then make your trade, and that's how our pin trading game is played.â€? Matt then invited Mike and Mickey to cut the ribbon and officially open the new pin trading venue.
"We hereby officially welcome the world to enjoy endless pin trading fun... Share the magic, share a pin.â€? And with that a shower of ribbon confetti covered the scene as the ribbon was cut and the curtain was opened as guests streamed into the new store. It was very crowded very quickly as the rope was dropped and more guests than the venue could hold tried to file inside. It took a bit for the crowd to come under control outside while the shopping and trading was going on inside. The long-awaited venue was open at last.
But no mystery pin.