Disney Pin Trading: Beginners Guide

11:42 AM

Disney Pin Trading: Beginners Guide

One our favorite thing about vacations to Walt Disney World is that we pin trade! We started pin trading when my girls were just 4 & 5, it has been come a fun family hobby ever since. The best part is, after the initial investment, pin trading can be a free activity at the parks. It costs no money to trade & you can just keep trading & trading. Though, if you are anything like us you will end up buying more pins as your love for pins carries on. {those mystery packs get us every time}

We aren't experts but if you looking to get started in pin trading or headed to the Disney Parks for the first time, this guide will help you walk through to get started! 

What is Pin Trading?

Disney pin trading is a fun experience with guests & cast members. & even guests with other guests! If cast members has pins or at the designated pin trading locations through out Disney property, you the guest can approach them to trade pins with you. Cast members are actually required to say yes to trading with you. You simply choose a pin you are okay parting with and trade for a more desired pin by you from a cast member. You make the exchange and that's it!

How to Start Pin Trading?

This can seem a bit intimating at first. But you can start with as little as 1 pin if you wanted.

First, purchase any amount of pins to begin trading. I always suggest the starter packs that come with a lanyard. They are the most bang for your buck & it gives you everything you need to get started! If you are wanting to grab your starter pack or pins before your first park day at Disney Springs they a whole store dedicated to pin trading that is full of options. But they also have pins as World of Disney & at most resort gift shops.

Next, you bring your pins to the park. When you see a cast member wearing a pin lanyard or a pin board {these look like cork boards, some are in fun shapes or decorated. But there are also mystery pin boards which have little box drawers to choose from & there are even more unique "boards"  like at Hollywood Studios they have a pinboard traffic cone!} you approach them and ask them to trade with you. Show them what pin you want & give them one of your pins in return. But, if they already have the same pin you are trying to give them, you do have to choose something different to trade. They are not allowed to have more than one of the same pins on their board. & that's it! It's that easy!

You may even come acorss other guests that are pin traders, as well! We have been approached by other pin traders asking to trade & we have done the same. We have meet some really neat people & cast members while trading.

Where can I trade?

You can trade with any cast member wearing a lanyard or designated Pin Trading locations. Grab a park map & looking for the Pin Trading symbol for the locations if you are trying to plan ahead of time. Most resorts have a pinboard as well, more times than not it is at the gift shop. But you can always ask a cast member if there is any pinboard around.

Why Pintrade?

Pin trading is a lot of fun for so many different reasons for different people. They make great souvenirs. It brings one more fun thing to do in the parks. It can be a fun family hobby that gets the whole family together. There may be one certain movie, character, or attraction you love that you can hunt those specific pins for, which makes it fun & exciting. Finding new pins, looking at new releases, or finding older pins or ones you have never seen before while trading makes this a hobby that never gets old.

Okay, I have pins now what do I do with them?

There are so many options to display & store your pins while at the parks or at home. The most popular is a lanyard. If you bought the starter pack I mentioned above you are good to go. There are lanyards of all kinds all around shops on Disney property. I have made my girls their own lanyards. & more recently gotten them bags to display & hold their pins & lanyards.

At home, you can just hang up your lanyard for Disney or packed it away for your next trip. A lot of avid pin traders like to display their pins. The most common is corkboards or banners, as well as pinfolios that are binders to keep your pins in.

Disney's Polynesian Resort

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 Our stay at Disney's Polynesian Resort was an absolute dream. We knew this trip was going to be a special trip for our family celebrating the birth of Bo but Walt Disney World was also celebrating 50 years! We wanted to go all out & stay deluxe and make sure it was a deluxe resort on the monorail as that would be easiest with a one-year-old to take breaks during the day & short travel to our favorite frequented parks. (more on this later) Disney's Polynesian Resort did NOT disappoint. This resort has always been a favorite of ours on any trip we have gone on. We always stop at least once if not twice to dine in the resort so we were thrilled to be staying there for this trip. Our trip came right at the heels of the new renovation of the rooms being updated to be Moana themed which was just a cherry on top.

From the second you set onto the property you are greeted with an "Aloha" & leis! The scent of the lobby, the decor & amazing cast members are sure to start your stay off on an amazing foot.

Disney's Polynesian Resort Location & Transportation 

As mentioned above the Poly is located on the monorail giving it one of the many appeals to the property. The Polynesian is considered a Magic Kingdom resort making it only one from the Magic Kindom. Since it is on the monorail it makes it just a ride over to Epcot, as well. You have options to get to Epcot you can take the monorail back to the TTC, stopping at Disney's Grand Floridian, Magic Kingdom then the Contemporary then switch over to the Epcot monorail at the TTC {trasportation & ticket center} or take a very short walk {about 5 minutes} from the Poly to the TTC & get on the Epcot monorail from there. We did both options more than once & with either, you can't go wrong. If you are in a crunch for time walking to the TTC is the best option. If you have time & could the monorail as a ride like we do, taking the ride & making the switch is a great option as well. 

The monorail isn't the option to get Magic Kindom from the resort. Disney's Polynesian Resort has a number of traspotation options. A short walk to the dock & you are able to take boat transportation across the Seven Seas Lagoon. You can also walk the new walkway from the Grand Floridian to Magic Kingdom. And of course the complimentary bus transportation to the Magic Kindom, all other parks & Disney Springs.

Because Disney's Polynesian Resort is a Magic Kingdom resort you get the perks of being able to see the castle on property. This means you are able to watch nightly fireworks from the beach. They batch in the music so you are able to hear & watch right from the beach. Magic Kindom resort always get the nightly treat of the Electrical Water Pageant. A little not well-known fact is that the water pageant was actually the first function attraction at Walt Disney World. They used it get people excited about the opening & showing what they could do entertainment-wise. It is one of our families' favorite things, every trip. It was a treat to be able to walk out our door, take a few steps to the beach & watch it there.

Disney World Electrical Water Pageant from the Polynesian Resort Beach

Disney's Polynesian Resorts Rooms

In 2021, the rooms at the Polynesian got renovated to include Moana-themed rooms! We are huge Moana fans so this theming made us very excited. The theming is very subtle & there are little hints of the movie through our room that you may even miss! Deluxe resorts boast bigger rooms than those in value resorts & some moderate. Though the monorail deluxe resorts aren't known for their room sizes but proximity & ease of location & monorail use. We found our room for our family 5 just perfect.

The couch pulls out & makes another bed, if needed.

Moana framed are on wall in room.

Moana & other character on Lampshade

Hei-Hei makes an appearance at the coffee bar.

The rooms are very updated with herringbone tiles for flooring. Double sinks & a roomy shower/tub {depending on your room. The bathroom features a separate toilet room with its own door which we are grateful for staying in a room with the whole family! The amount of storage in this room was amazing, as well. Lots of drawers & two large closets with more shelving. Under the beds are lifted to store your suitcases.

There are 3 of these closets in total. One to left is not pictured. 2 are full closets the third is full of shelves.

Disney's Polynesian Resorts Pools

It doesn't matter that we are at Disney World, my kids love a pool. Somedays they will ask at the parks to go back to pool because they are just so fun at the resort. Disney's Polynesian Resort is no exception. They have two amazing pools. 

The first being the Lava Pool was my girl's favorite. The Lava Pool has a huge volcano, a waterfall & fun 142-foot-long water slide. It also has a zero-depth entry which makes it very easy to enter & exit while making a fun spot to splay for toddlers like Bo! Food is just steps away which makes it easy to grab lunch or snacks & a enjoy a drink by the pool. There is also a little splash pad right next to the pool.

Kiki Tikis Splash Pad at Disney's Polynesian Resort

If you are looking for more of a relaxing spot to swim or get some sun, the Oasis Pool is another great option. It's sort of hidden with lush gardens all around, it has more of a tranquil atmosphere. We rented a "cabana here" for a home base. It was amazing & I highly recommend it. There is a small bar for drinks at this pool & a hot tub that we utilized at the end of the day to soak our feet. 

Polynesian Resort Restaurants & Dining Options

The Polynesian resort is one of our favorite resorts for dining options. In fact, the first time I ever went to the Polynesian was for dinner at Ohana. Thus began the love affair. 

While unfortunately, Spirit of Aloha Dinner show is no longer taking place. There are still lots of great options.

Pineapple Lanai: located right outside the lobby in the small courtyard where they do resort activities you can get a dole whip! Yup, that's right you don't have to be in the parks to get your beloved Dole Whip. This makes a great stop to grab a dole whip before the fireworks & Electrail Water Pagent to eat at the beach.

Captain Cook's: located on the first floor of the main lobby/ Great Ceremonial house. This is actually probably my favorite quick service location on property. Some of my favorite foods come from this quick service. The pork nachos & thai meatballs are divine. If you are a huge fan of Tonga Toast they also have this for breakfast while they do not have the strawberry compote, which is my favorite park, it still is a great option if you are unable to get a reservation at Kona or in a rush. They have all other normal quick service options as well, even Mickey Waffles!

Kona Cafe: located upstairs of the main lobby this is the Polynesians more casual restaurant. As mentioned above it is known for its amazing Tonga Toast & Macadamia Nut Pancakes. 

'Ohana: is also located upstairs right next to Kona Cafe. This is one of the most popular dining restaurants on Disney property. For breakfast, Lilo & Stitch host the character breakfast. There is even Stitch waffles that come with your Mickey waffles. At dinner, meals are prepared in a huge open-pit (it smells delightful) & served family style. 

For more info on the character dining you can click on my resort character dining guide HERE.

Trader Sam's Tiki Terrace: is also located on the main lobby floor next to caption cooks, or you are able to get drinks at the outdoor lounge. The inside bar is "hidden" & can boast up to 2+ hour wait. Kids are welcome til 8 when it is adult only.

Is the Polynesian Resort Worth the Cost?

For most families, staying at Disney's Polynesian Resort is going to be a splurge. The most common question I got during our stay is, is it worth it? As a Disney World deluxe resort, you are paying top dollar for it's location & amenities... but do we think it is worth the price tag? We do! 

When you consider all they have to offer & just the monorail alone we find it completely worth it the splurge. Especially when having young kiddos. Getting back to your room is a breeze & a short trip making naps, leaving at the end of the day & those chaotic mornings getting to the park at a breeze. The deluxe resort's extended park hours also make staying at Disney's Polynesian Resort worth it for our family.

Disney's Space 220 Restaurant REVIEW 👩‍🚀🚀

1:24 PM

 Disney's Space 220 Restaurant REVIEW

My oldest {the one pictured in the majority of these photos} is the biggest space lover & hopeful astronaut one day, so the announcement of this restaurant she was so excited about. When we found out it would be open for our Walt Disney World trip I knew I had to get reservations. We had told her to not even think about going because they would be too hard to get. But, little did she know we had snagged one to surprise her with! Her reaction was amazing. {video of us telling her & other parts of the restaurant below}

Here I will tell you everything you need to know about the brand new Epcot Space 220 restaurant including the Space 220 menu, what we ate, if it was good & of course the pressing question... if it's worth the cost! This is the review you need to read before you go!

Let's start with: 

What is Space 220?

Space 220 is one of the newest restaurants to open on Disney property! It is located in Epcot at Walt Disney World! It's right on the other side of Mission Space in the Space Pavilion, in Future World West. The name is Space 220 because the restaurant simulates dining in space & traveling 220 miles away to eat there.

I know what you are thinking... simulates dining in space? How? Boy, am I glad you asked.

Space 220 is all about the experience. Yes, spoiler alert, the food is amazing. But, you aren't dining at Space 220 for the food. First, you start your experience by checking in outside of the restaurant. You may see a long line. This is for the people hoping to snag a walk-in. If you have a reservation, walk on by & check-in. They then will send you on through toward the back. {Note: you can take your stroller all way with you to this point, so you won't need to keep your stroller out in the Future World stroller parking} Once you enter the automatic sliding doors you head to the desk where they give your space station boarding pass. You wait your turn to board the elevator that will take you to the space station. This didn't take long at all.

Next, was one of the coolest parts of the experience and that is riding the elevator. As you enter, you give them your boarding pass. You can watch on the top and bottom as the elevator goes 220 miles into the air. As you are holding the bar you can feel the rumble and simulated movement as you go up. As you are watching yourself go up higher to the space station, you can see the shape of Flordia and even before that above everything in Epcot as things get smaller & smaller. This was very cool to see, the entire family loved it. As you get near the space station, you see it come into view overhead as you land then the doors open & you are led to the hallway which brings you to the dining room.

There is a really neat revolving garden as you pass by that is labeled "your food".

Then the big wow. The most amazing part of the entire experience. Walking into the dining room with panoramic windows for you to look into outer space. Earth is visible in the distance, space shuttles go by, even astronauts make some appearances. 

What was really neat is our dinner was just before sunset. So as we went up the elevator & entered the dining room to see earth it was light. But as the dinner went on, it got dark. Earth through the windows reflected that & showed the lights from earth. On the way down it also was dark & showed the lights from Flordia & Epcot lit up. It was mindblowing!

It truly feels, what I imagine, like actually going from earth to space.

There are defiantly better seats than others, but really every table has a great view. There is also now lounge reservations which is toward the upper part of the dining room {not as great of a view} but an easier reservation to come by. However, note that the menu is different. & there is a bar.

Space 220 Reservations

Okay, Okay so I am sure you all want to go now right? Space 220 reservations can be made on the My Disney Experience app or on the Disney World website. Everything books up extremely fast & far out. This is one of those reservations that is tough to get & probably will be for some time as it's the newest of restaurants & so neat. 

If you can't get reservations, remember how I mentioned that line out front? You can always try to walk up & see if they have anything available. 

Let's break down food at Space 220

- Adult Dinner {ages 10+} $79 and includes one appetizer, one entree & one dessert
- Adult Lunch = $55 and includes one appetizer and one entree

- Kids Lunch or Dinner = $29 and includes one entree, one dessert, & one drink. We added a fun drink that had pop rocks {moon rock drink} to their meal which was $12 and came in a fun rocket cup & a pack of collectible trading cards. However, you can add the cup for $5 to a normal included drink as well.

NOTE: Since this is a pre fixe menu and an unique dining experience it is a longer meal. It took us about 2 hours til completion. Something you will want to know and plan for with fireworks and ride reservations. 

What did we order from Space 220?

My husband & I both got pretty much the exact same things. Looking back we should have at least gotten different appetizers because they are HUGE. We were genuinely full after just the first course.
We ordered {all pictured below}:
Starry Calamari
8 oz. Filet Mignon
I got the Chocolate Cheesecake & my husband got the Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake
I also ordered Atmospritz which had a cotton candy "cloud" it. {such a fun presentation, clip of it in the video below}

Our girls {ages 11 & 9} ordered: 
Space-Ghetti {comes with a chicken meatball}
Moon Rocks Drink
Cosmic Cupcake

Is Space 220 worth the cost?

For our family, absolutely. Do I think we will eat here every Walt Disney World trip? Probably not. This is kind of like eating at the castle. I really recommend doing it at least once. The experience alone was worth the money for us. It was a cherry on top that the food was great as well. Taking in the factor that our middle is a space addict, we thought it was well worth the cost. If you are still wanting to experience but worried about cost, you could do a lounge reservation instead.

@mrsmumaw Space 220 was everything!! 🚀👩‍🚀#disneyparks #disneyworld #epcot #space220 #28DaysOfEucerin #disney50 #nasa #surprise @Disney Parks ♬ original sound - mrsmumaw