Someone I swore I’d never become…

Saturday, I initiated my new Disneyland annual pass. Over the past several years I have had many annual passes, occasionally taking a year off here or there. This past year my pass expired in May; I decided not to renew due to my pass. When Christmas time rolled around I was wishing I had a pass again. To my surprise, my parents decided to buy me a pass for Christmas, I couldn’t have been more excited!

When I heard it was supposed to rain Saturday I decided it would be a great day to throw on some rain boots and bundle up for some fun in the rain. My girlfriend Rachael decided she too would be down for some girl time at Disneyland, so we headed to Anaheim Saturday afternoon. As we drove to the theme park the sun ended up coming out and the rain clouds disappeared, but we weren’t going to let the surprise of beautiful weather ruin or day, rainboots and all.

A part of Disney Passholder culture comes a very popular and longstanding tradition of Pin Trading. You can often see serious collectors huddled throughout the park with binders full of collections of pins. The unique part about pin collecting at Disney Parks is that once you buy a pin, any pin… you can then trade your pin with any pin that a Disney Castmember wears on their black lanyards. They can’t refuse your inquisition to trade, and you can walk away with all sorts of treasures. Cast members can have a variety of pins that can be recent pins, old pins, and pins from around the world. The possibilities of what you may find are endless.

Unknowingly, I went to Disneyland with a PinTrader. My friend Rachael was totally undercover, she didn’t display her lanyard proudly around her neck, no binders, or pins on her bag. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. When I mentioned I would never be a pin trader, that I didn’t really understand the whole pin obsession, she got excited and started to tell me all about the grand treasure hunt of pin trading.

Next thing I knew, we were buying my first pin and I started my first treasure hunt with an ugly flip flop pin. Of course we bought the most inexpensive pin we could find in anticipation of trading for an awesome treasure. All day we stopped at several cast members to inspect their pins and decide whether they were worth trading for. I got quickly addicted and never would I have expected it. Rachael was able to find a Disney World pin and was stoked on it. Then as we were about to leave the park, we looked at one last Cast member’s pins and she found a princess pin that is part of a collection she had been searching for! Knowing the treasure we found I quickly gave up my “nerdy goofy” pin to give her the pin she had been searching for.

Because I felt unsettled leaving the park without a pin I went and bought another one with intention of trading to get my “nerdy goofy” back. I found a set of two pins from the movie “UP” and I fell in love. I bought both and traded the dog for my old pin. So at the end of our trip, I ended with two fabulous pins that left me a person I never thought I would be, a pin trader.

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