A couple of weeks ago, I attended one of the most well-run events ever put on by D23 – a Mickey’s of Glendale shopping day. For a Disney Imagineering fan and pin-trading nerd, this was like a little slice of Heaven. There are so many neat pins that are exclusive to Imagineering and since only Imagineers are allowed on the campus, generally only Imagineers get the pins. Even other cast members from other divisions of the company don’t often get to access this little pin Nirvana. So I planned my weekend around this one event and came away INCREDIBLY happy. Not just because I got every pin I wanted (yay!), but because it was so well put together that what could have been a disaster went smoother than ice. I’ve been to other events that weren’t as well choreographed and you end up waiting in line while twenty people cut in front of you or there is a general mob scene or you spend three hours crawling to the register only to find that every pin was gone.
That’s not what happened here. Instead wristbands were handed out to mark your place in line about an hour and a half before the event so those waiting overnight could go to their cars and put their stuff away. Once the doors to this magical land opened up, your D23 card and wristband were checked and you were allowed in. They even opened the Starbucks inside so those who wanted a warm beverage could get one after being out in the cold. While we were waiting for the store to open and our numbers to be called, they had an exclusive gift for all attendees – a poster size version of the New Fantasyland promo painting and to top it off, the creators of New Fantasyland were on hand to autograph it and answer questions. They also had exclusive behind-the-scene displays of the raw plans for the area as well as photos and drawings of the completed land that you could browse through.
And once you got in the store – a cornucopia of Disney Imagineering products. I was in Disney paradise. Everything from t-shirts to notepads to pens to journals to (of course) pins were available. They even had a surprise release of the new WDW poster series and made available the WDW Railroad Poster Pin and the Haunted Mansion WDW Poster Pin. Both quite beautiful. For most of us, the piece de resistance were the set of Jessica DCA pins made available for the first (and last) time! These sold out quickly especially with a limited edition size of only 150. What a treat. They also had a continuation of the Character Sorcerer Hat series featuring the White Rabbit, Tinkerbell, Pluto, and Figaro as well as a special D23 event sorcerer hat pin! If you love pin trading and you love Disney come to the next D23 Pin Trading event. You’ll be glad you did.