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Collectors journey to Epcot for the "Happiest Pin Celebration on Earth"

Collectors journey to Epcot for the "Happiest Pin Celebration on Earth"

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In spite of what my wife, Flo, tells me, I have never thought of myself as a pinhead. At least not until just recently.

"What changed your mind, Jeff?," you ask. Well, I just spent this past weekend attending WDW's "Happiest Pin Celebration on Earth." And given all the fun that I had at this sold-out event, I'm now giving some semi-serious thought to becoming a full-time pinhead.

Mind you, that wasn't my original intention. I had only agreed to join my friend, Sherry, in attending this event because I thought that there might be a story in it for JHM. So -- after registering at the convention center at the Yacht & Beach Club ...


Photo by Jeff Lange

... and checking out all of the cool pins that on display in the preview area, we then made our way over to the old "Millenium Village" building ...  


Photo by Jeff Lange

You know? That huge structure between the U.K. and Canada pavilions at Epcot's World Showcase?


Photo by Jeff Lange

Anyway ... Once we got inside this carvernous building,  there were all these displays ...


Photo by Jeff Lange

... and games to play ...


Photo by Jeff Lange

... and areas where the kids could hang out while Mom & Dad traded pins.


Photo by Jeff Lange

Speaking of Mom & Dad trading pins: I have to admit that this was the part of the "Happiest Pin Celebration on Earth" that I was kind of dreading. You see, I've always heard pin collectors being described as ... Well ... sharks. People who will do almost anything in order to get their hands on those really rare pins.

I was kind of dreading dealing with these shark-types. Those pin collectors that take themselves entirely too seriously. Which was why I was kind of surprised to see people walking around wearing shark hats & t-shirts.

What's this? Pin collectors who can actually make fun of themselves?! Now this is getting kind of interesting.

What made this particularly amusing is that Disney also decided to get in on the gag. Which is why they sent over four streetmosphere performers from Disney-MGM to this event, then had them dress up like the dweebiest of pin collectors. They then sent these performers out into the hall to interact with the guests who'd registered for the event.


Photo by Jeff Lange

Plus Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and even Figment dropped by to visit with the folks inside the old "Millennium Village" building.

So -- at Sherry's urging -- I got out there and mingled with the pin collectors. Meeting some very nice folks in the process. And -- after playing some games and making some trades -- I walked away from this three day event with 15 new, very collectible pins.


Photo by Jeff Lange

Then -- when you factor in that I got two free meal vouchers along with my registeration -- paying $75 to attend this event turned out to be quite the bargain. Which is why I'm already giving some semi-serious thought to attending the 2006 "Happiest Pin Celebration on Earth." Just so I can become even more of a pinhead.

By the way: If you're a pinhead too and want to see some more shots of the pins that I saw at last weekend's event, just drop me a note. If I get enough e-mails, maybe I can then convince Jim to do another pin-related story on JHM next week.

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