Disney’s Missed Opportunities Lead To Worse Experiences at the Parks

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space mountain at disneyland

Credit: Disney

Disney is facing an escalating problem, as fans point out missed opportunities to improve the experience at the park.

Walt Disney’s original theme park in Anaheim, California, is one of the most popular destinations worldwide, welcoming millions of families, friends, couples, and Disney fans of all ages every year.

Pirates of the Caribbean, iconic Disney ride, failing during the well scene at Disneyland Park
Credit: Ed Aguila / Inside the Magic

Its timeless attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and Peter Pan’s Flight, innovative experiences, immersive lands like Avengers Campus, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and Cars Land, unique entertainment offerings, and more, have made Disneyland Resort — home to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure — a staple of family fun in America for nearly 70 years.

At 68 years young, Disneyland Park and Disneyland California Adventure continue to change and improve, staying true to Walt Disney’s values and ideals and pushing toward creating the best and most magical experiences for all guests. This includes constant efforts to set a billion-dollar project in motion at the Southern California Disney Resort to bring a third theme park to life!

Disney100 banner with Sleeping Beauty Castle in the background at Disneyland Resort
Credit: Disney

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However, according to many guests and fans, Disney fails to see its missed opportunities by not addressing an escalating problem at the parks, affecting thousands of guests’ visits every day. And no, it’s not line jumping, although the shameful practice has sparked conversation multiple times.

Inside the Magic recently reported on an overnight renovation at Disneyland Park that allegedly removed multiple benches in the Frontierland area of the park, where avid pin collectors and traders set up a Disney pin “flea market” that has been harshly criticized online.

A Cast Member shows two young Guests pins
Credit: Disney

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The reported move caused polarized reactions, from fans applauding the fact that Disney had taken action against the abusive guests to those like u/IDrinkurmilksteak, who commented, “The traders are just going to take over another area now. They aren’t going to shrug their shoulders and go away.”

Unfortunately for Disney guests who are not particularly fond of the avid collectors, Redditor u/Disney_Princess_73 recently posted a photo on the Disneyland Subreddit, sharing that “They’re back.”

They’re back
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While it would appear that Disneyland refuses to address this polarizing activity, Disney fans and parkgoers quickly took to the comments to share their opinion on the divisive practice, pointing out the missed opportunities surrounding Frontierland’s infamous Disney pin traders.

User u/RockNRoll85 commented that Disney should set up a designated area for these collectors to set themselves up without taking seating spaces from other guests. At the same time, u/arubablueshoes suggested that Disney used “Starcade or one of the other 19526295963 empty buildings in Tomorrowland.”

A sign for Space Mountain in front of the ride building.
Credit: Disney

While this solution would seem beneficial for all guests involved, it is unlikely that Disney would set up a pin trading area in the park, especially since these collectors are not official Disney cast members and do not represent the company or its values. However, designated areas could be created elsewhere on Disney property, as a netizen commented while suggesting that incentivizing these excessive pin displays may be counterproductive for Disney.

Redditor u/Tomomori79 commented, “Disney please end this. If you’re reading this, please allow people to use these benches and set something up for these people in one of the hotels or outside of the parks. Inside the park is not the place for this. They do not represent the company, the park, or anything else. If you allow this then why can’t I set up my Etsy shop just outside of Star traders to sell my own junk? I’ve got some great Disney collectibles like mugs and shirts I could sell or trade. STOP.”

several Mickey Mouse-inspired pins and a Disney Pin Trading sign at Disney's Pin Traders in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort
Credit: Disney

Unfortunately, Disneyland officials have not come forward to address the growing problem of Disney pin traders and collectors taking up entire benches in Frontierland or other areas of the park. Therefore, the polarizing issue will likely continue at Disneyland Park, impacting the experience for thousands of guests daily.

If you haven’t heard about Disney Pin trading, the cherished Disney tradition introduced as we know it in October 1999 with the launch of the Millenium celebration, lets guests buy pins at the official shops inside Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and Downtown Disney District, trade with cast members and fellow collectors, and watch their collection grow.

Disney Pin Trader Cast Members_feature image
Credit: Disney

Disney states, “Whether you’re an avid Disney pin trader or just getting started, this pin-trading location has everything you need, from starter kits to lanyards to carrying cases. If you wish to buy a single pin to remember your trip to the Disneyland Resort, you can do that too; but with an ever-changing selection of more than 60,000 pin designs, you may be hard-pressed to pick just one!”

Guests can trade pins with cast members wearing a pin-trading lanyard or at the designated locations across Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, Downtown Disney District, and the Disneyland Resort Hotels when they find a Disney pin with their favorite Disney character, attraction, movie, or design.

What do you think about pin traders at Disneyland? Should Disney designate an area for these collectors? Share your opinion with Inside the Magic in the comments below!

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks guest experience. No two guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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