Beware the Ribbon Dancers!

31 Mar

Okay, I’ll admit it: It’s my fault that Cast Members’ pin trading lanyards at Walt Disney World and Disneyland always have that damn “ribbon dancer” millennium pin that nobody wants.

In my defense, I can only plead ignorance. I simply didn’t know better, back in 2005. And, well, maybe it’s not my fault alone. There were at least a couple hundred others, probably, who bought large lots of said pin on ebay, assuming that we could easily trade them for better pins once we got to the parks, since the pin is in fact a Disney pin, with a Disney logo. Not surprisingly, Disney wasn’t crazy about the way these surplus pins were flooding the parks, and the Cast Members’ lanyards. So, we saw the enforcement (perhaps the creation?) of the rule that “Guests should offer a pin that is not already displayed on the Cast Member’s lanyard,” as stated on the official Disney Pin Trading web site.

There’s at least one Kodak pin you have to be wary of too . . . but among pin traders, they’re not quite so widely-loathed as the ribbon dancers. And of course there are also the dreaded Sedesma pins, which are manufactured in Spain and generally of a much lower quality, and smaller size. I’ve got nothing against them myself . . .some of them are cute, and my son has a few he cherishes. But given the size and quality issues, I Just Say No myself.

It only makes sense that as pin trading became more and more popular, and as pins became more and more expensive, that people would resort to such tactics. The ribbon dancer pins were running about $1.25/each on ebay in large enough lots, which was a far cheaper deal than buying even the relatively-inexpensive “starter sets” onsite. (And these days, even some of those starter sets clog up the Cast Member lanyards, so I hesitate to buy those unless I actually want at least one of the pins.)

These days my strategy as a budget-conscious pin trader is to either stock up during the semi-annual pin sale at Disney Shopping online, or to hit the Character Premiere store at one of the outlet malls near Walt Disney World. And yes, I’ve still bought pins on ebay . . . . but am now much more careful about exactly what I’m purchasing.

So, as a public service announcement, and as an apology to Disney pin traders everywhere, I share with you my story. Beware of large lots of identical pins! And if anybody actually wants the pin pictured above, drop me a note, I may well be able to drop you one in the mail. I’ve still got a handful in a ziplock bag, wasting away. Just promise me that you’ll just add it to your own pin collection, and that you absolutely will not try to trade it with anyone!

6 Responses to “Beware the Ribbon Dancers!”

  1. sambycat March 31, 2008 at 8:48 pm #

    if i get that for my birthday, i’ll be slightly annoyed.

  2. Rob March 31, 2008 at 10:36 pm #

    Great thoughts on Disney pin trading here! Now I know who to track down the next time at WDW and have to wade through a sea of ribbon dancers! I was actually excited when I got “one of the original pins commemorating the millenium”, or so I thought. As I continued through the park and saw them EVERYwhere, I started to see that I had been had. That first cast member was smart to sell a newbie on a pin they wanted(and needed) to ditch. So, thanks for posting this message for new pin traders as a warning to watch out for the ribbon dancer. I’m going to put a link to your blog from my Disney pin squidoo lens! I look forward to reading more from you!

  3. Grumpwurst (aka Ray) April 1, 2008 at 10:39 am #

    I’m excited. I finally have a friend in the WDW area that will be able to pick me up one of the special Tax Year pins with Scrooge McDuck on them (if they don’t sell out before they can get it for me).

    I’m a huge Scrooge fan (despite my Grumpy moniker). We didn’t even know this pin existed until a kindly Cast Member filled me in at the Pin Trading Station at Downtown Disney.

    I, unlike the many, don’t trade. I have an ever growing bulletin board in my office that sports my pins. Each one means something in relation to our trips

  4. Jennifer April 1, 2008 at 10:45 am #

    Scrooge McDuck, yay!

    My son is developing quite the collection of duck pins. His prize pin is a Darkwing Duck, which I’ll confess I bought on ebay, and haven’t seen anywhere else since.

    Rob, the proliferation of the ribbon dancers is truly amazing. I was stunned to discover how many were on CM lanyards even in Paris!

  5. Mickey April 1, 2008 at 7:14 pm #

    good info- my daughter who is 12 yo has always had a few pins but really got into trading last year when we went for her birthday. We have learned alot about riding the rides with her lanyard and buying the more expensive backings-I think we both have alot to learn so thanks for this info.

  6. Evin March 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    I am actually interested in the ribbon dancer pin. Please email me how I can get one from you. Thank ypu for your genorosity!!!

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