More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

A Closer Look at Trade City, USA

Steven Miller

by , Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Walt Disney World Resort

In a previous Disney Parks Blog article, I introduced you to the town of Trade City, USA. It is this year’s theme for the annual Disney Pin Celebration to be held at Epcot in August 2010. I recently spoke with Disney Design Group Artist Chris Chapman, who along with artist Tyler Dumas, lead the charge for creating the critical component to any event we produce – exciting, unique and fun artwork. Chris shared with me a few stories about this upcoming event.

Trade City, USA

Work on this year’s event actually began months before the last trade was made at Disney Pin Celebration 2009 last June. It takes that long to brainstorm ideas, refine concepts and finalize a storyline. The “city based on trading” theme seemed like a natural fit for this year’s event. We wanted a connection to the 10th Anniversary of Disney Pin Trading, so the idea of “Founder’s Day Celebration” for the town gave us a reason to celebrate with our Guests.

Trade City, USA

But the funniest thing is that we had been building Trade City for the past several years and didn’t even realize it! I still recall the meeting when Jon Bishop, Design Manager with Disney Design Group, made the connection that Trade City could contain Pin Trading University (the theme from Disney Pin Celebration 2008 – Go Pinbacks!) and The Museum of Pin-tiquities (the 2009 event theme). For those of you wondering, we already thinking about 2011 (but that is for another time).

Mayor Mickey

There are two items in particular that I really love, and Chris worked on both of them — the Mayor Mickey portrait and the Trade City Road Signs.

“The natural choice for the Mayor of Trade City was Mickey Mouse,” explained Chris. “We featured him in the main logo for the event, but I wanted to create an image like something you would find in City Hall.”

Chris partnered with senior character artist Alex Maher to create the dignified looking Mayor Mickey image pictured above. It took Chris about six hours to paint the portrait. I think he captured the turn-of-the-century, presidential portrait style perfectly! Back in the day, portrait subjects had to hold still for a very long time (and no smiling –- gosh, I love my digital camera even more now!). This image will be used on the completer pin for the Super Framed Set.

Trade City Road Signs

Chris also worked on a mystery boxed set featuring Trade City Road Signs. He used rough concept art created by Daniel Kaplan, one of our Trading Coordinators. Trust me, we had a ball thinking of road signs that one might find in Trade City. We ended up with way more signs than what we needed. The cool part about this set is the trading boards will feature “completer” pins that will compliment the retail set. In other words, if an event Guest wants the complete Trade City Road Sign set, she or he will need to trade for additional pins from the trading boards during the event. All I can say is, “Look out for falling pins!”

For all of the event details, please visit Hope to see you there!


  • Can you tell me where this will be held inside of Epcot? We are arriving at Beach Club on the last day and I hope to swing by if I can make it!

    • Disney Pin Celebration 2010 will be held in World Showplace located between the United Kingdom and Canada Pavilions (former home of Millennium Village). Public day will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 29. All you need is admission to Epcot to attend public day. Hope to see you there and please introduce yourself if you stop by. I’ll most likely be talking on the microphone 🙂 Safe journey!

  • this is in regards to your post: error pins… for some reason, I cannot post a comment there.

    I just traded with a cast member for a MOP 38 Pluto pin. Since I am a collector of everything Pluto, I was thrilled!

    At closer inspection, I noticed there were some painting errors. His right eye is painted gold instead of white and a pile of sand in between his legs is gold not light yellow. Here is a picture if you wish to view it.

    There is no “PP” mark on the back. But the back pattern looks a bit odd as if the press was nudged 2 millimeters.

    Any explanation or mystery solving would be gladly appreciated!

    All the best, Rachel

    • Rachel,
      Hmmm … Without being able to see the pin in person, it would be difficult to give you a fair assement of the pin. I can say that since every pin is hand made (that is colored by hand, etc), there are times when those production errors may occur. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

  • How would one inquire about hosting a trading expo? I am looking to do this for a school project. Please let me know if you have any advise.

    • Ashley,
      Great question but I’m unsure how to answer it. I know Disney fans have organized local meets before. I guess like any fan group, it would be a matter of finding folks that have a common interest in your area. Then you would need to find a location to hold such a meet. I hope this helps.

  • Why does the artist card say “Maria Clapis” for the artist for the Castaway Club vinylmation but the website and the bottom of the foot say “Randy Noble”?

    • It was a misprint. Randy Noble was the artist for the Castaway Cay Club Vinylmation.

  • I too love the Mayor Mickey Portrait. Yes, I am a pin collector, but I would really like to have that portrait in a Litho with a nice frame. Bring that to the event and it would certainly please all!!

  • I am not a pin person, I honestly just don’t get it. But I love, love, LOVE the Mayor Mickey portrait. It is just perfect.

    I AM a vinylmation person, and wish I could make it for this event (that day of the dead 9″ VM looks awesome!).

    That is all, thank you.

Comments are closed.