More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

‘I’m Just Making This Up…’

Steven Miller

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

Disney Pin Creations by Julie Young

“I’m just making this up.” That phrase is one of my favorites that I frequently hear from Julie Young, long-time product developer for pins with Disney Theme Park Merchandise. When Julie says that phrase, it is typically followed by some rough pencil sketch (to which I save on the back of my office door), and an idea that will soon become the next highly-desired pin. Following a recent business trip, Julie was inspired to create some of my new favorite pins using a classic icon everyone knows and loves.

Disney Pin Creations by Julie Young

“When I joined Disney in October 1994, I started as a fine jewelry buyer for Resorts and shops like the former 24KT Precious Adornments store at Downtown Disney Marketplace,” explained Julie. “So naturally, I’m drawn to jewelry. I like designing pins that can be used for more than just trading.”

Julie joined the Disney Pin Team in 2002 and has developed everything from limited edition to open edition pins and accessories. I’m continually amazed at her ability to create fresh, exciting and (the most important ingredient) fun Disney pins. In recent years, she has created several Mickey Mouse icon pins featuring everything from animal prints to pumpkins. There is something wonderful about simple designs that have the ability to effectively convey a story. In fact, one of our most popular and longest selling open edition pins is the Mickey Mouse icon featuring the American Flag. It’s a simple design and Guests have loved it for years!

Disney Pin Creations by Julie Young

“After a shopping research trip to Manhattan Beach, California, I began wondering what else I could do with the Mickey Mouse icon shape that had not been done before,” continued Julie. “An overall theme I saw in the marketplace was homespun design – using fabric, wood and other materials to give items a handmade look. I wanted to find a way to apply that idea to the next Mickey Mouse icon pins.”

Disney Pin Creations by Julie Young

Of the new homespun designs coming in 2010, I asked about her favorite. “I love the buttons,” exclaimed Julie. “There will be four different colors used for the ears and three different colors for the center circle. This means each button pin will be a unique handmade piece of art.”

I have to agree – those pins are as “cute as a button!” (which is another phrase that Julie loves to say and probably why she loves them so much). Look for these designs on coming to Disney Parks later in 2010.


  • Will any of these pins be available online? I love the pins that I see you post, but they are never in the parks when I am! I hate to bug my friends in the area to constantly pick up pins for me.

  • I was thinking the exact same thing as Cindy: A mood ring mickey pin. The first picture really made me think of them and they are such an icon!

    Loving the button pins though! I’m an eclectic sewer so these are perfect for me 🙂

  • really love these pins. They are subtle so you can wear your love for Disney on a daily basis without being obvious 😉

    • Denise,
      Thanks for the kind words …. and right on! That is one of the things I liked the most about these pins – the simplicty of design.

  • Really like these pins. Wish they would be on the ship in June!

  • I like Dippin Dots…What abou tMichey Mouse shaped Dippin’ Dots for the 4 parks! Just an idea…

  • Just to let everyone know something I discovered on our trip to WDW last week. I use the pin back locks and found out when I went to move my pins to my new lanyard, that the lock and hex wrench have been changed since last year. The new hex wrench I got with my new pin backs was larger, so I couldn’t use it to remove my older pin backs. Don’t throw out those old hex wrenches or your pins will be really permanent.

  • Im def getting one of the wooden pins next time Im at Disney. The rustic look is sweet.

  • Soooo disappointed that it sounds like these won’t be ready when I visit in 2 weeks… 🙁 But I DO LOVE THEM!!!

    • Frank,
      Sadly, they won’t be ready for your visit. On average, it takes about 180-200 days for a pin to go from concept to being available on the sales floor.

      After reading all of these wonderful comments, I spoke with Beth, our Category Planner, and Julie about moving up deliveries of some of these pins. We are now targeting October 2010 for the button, wood and natural pins. The bright resin (that look like bouncy balls), the black and white plaid (which Julie is holding in the picture) and the tye-dye pins will be released in February 2011 (as Julie said they look more “springy” – that’s an exact quote 🙂

  • Julie, why not a “mood” Mickey pin . . . like the Mood Ring? Just an idea!

    • Cindy,
      Great thought. We actually had some “mood” pins released in early 2008 (see this example:

      There were four styles – Mickey Mouse, Grumpy, Stitch and Tinker Bell. Originally, they were planned to be limited edition pins but Julie saw the artwork and changed them to open edition. They have since been discontinued.

  • LOVE ’em! don’t yu guys need an assistant? I’d LOOOOOOOOVEEEEEEEEE to work in that creative department! HIRE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Oh, my gosh I love all of them!! I hope they still have them in the parks when we go back in the next year or so. Otherwise I will have to have a friend pick some up for me.

  • I love the bouncy ball pins. They are too cute!

  • OK I MUST look for these pins on my next trip, they are so much fun!

  • Oh this is sooo great! My son is going to be so excited that there are more pins for him to buy! He is six and loves the pin collecting the most when he is there! 🙂

  • I absolutely LOVE this! The wooden Mickey pins are amazing! Thanks for profiling Julie, as well — what a fun job and what an innovative person!

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