• Claire Gell

Up pins

Have I mentioned that I like Up? This is my very modest pin collection.

At Disney parks, pin trading is HUGE. Pins (often called badges in the UK) are sold at all the shops in Disney World, and there are even dedicated carts across the resort that just sell pins. Most cast members (the staff who work at the Disney parks) wear lanyards with pins on too, and you can ask to see their pins and trade them for one of yours if they have a pin you'd like – for free! However, there are thousands of different kinds of pins, and before you can trade pins you have to have pins to trade with, so this can quickly turn into an expensive hobby. For this reason I've avoided pin trading, I really like the concept of finding a set you like and trying to collect those or collecting only pins featuring your favourite character, but I'm just not willing to let myself spend that amount of money. I enjoyed pin trading with guests when I worked at Hollywood Studios for a summer, and really liked chatting to folks about which kinds they were hoping to collect, but I've managed to hold back on sliding down the slippery slope that is proper Disney pin trading.

As you can see, I have allowed myself a few special pin purchases. When I was working at Disney World I noticed that some people had the grape soda pin, also known as the Ellie badge, and I really wanted one, because it looks just like the one from Up, complete with it's safety pin. I checked a few shops, but didn't manage to find one for myself until our 2017 trip when they were stocked in almost every shop we visited! My Ellie badge is looking a bit bashed now, because I wear it on my rucksack that I take to work every day. I don't mind too much though, because I imagine the badge Ellie gave to Carl when they were kids would have got pretty scratched and worn too.

I also treated myself to the lovely pin of Carl's house – it's a double pin of sorts, because it has a fastening behind the house and also in the balloons above it. I really like the colourful balls that represent the balloons. A few months ago I managed to bust this pin on a train journey after shoving my rucksack under a seat and nearly cried in front of some strangers. Thankfully I think we found pretty much all the "balloons" and Eddy managed to fix it for me. Phew! I'll be more careful with what I wear it on in the future! I've had lots of compliments on it while it's been displayed on my rucksack, which is nice – I love when I can bond with people about Disney.

The other two pins, featuring young Carl and Ellie, came together as one purchase. Eddy and I bought these on our 2017 trip as well and decided it would be nice to buy them since they came as a pair. For the rest of our holiday Eddy wore the Carl pin and I wore the Ellie pin – aren't we just the cutest…………

I'll probably allow myself a few more pin purchases on our next trip (hopefully next year *crosses all fingers!*), maybe some Disney World parks related ones or a Hollywood Tower Hotel pin?

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