More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

The Florida Project at Walt Disney World Resort – Décor Details, Trading and More

Steven Miller

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

The Florida Project at Walt Disney World Resort

It’s nearly time for Disney Trade Celebration 2011 – The Florida Project, the annual Disney Trading event that has been held at Epcot since 2001. I recall attending the first Disney Trading event in August 2001 while serving as a Disney Ambassador. One thing that has impressed me each year is how the event team creates a fun and immersive atmosphere for trading inside World ShowPlace. You may recall this location once served as home to Millennium Village during the year 2000. It is now used as a convention facility for many events throughout the year. I spoke with Michelle St. Laurent-Sheive, former Disney Design Group Artist turned Display and Design Manager with Park Event Operations, about what to expect from the event décor.

The Florida Project at Walt Disney World Resort

“We took about a day to think of concepts,” explained Michelle. “We used the event merchandise artwork as inspiration to create our designs that will be used inside [World ShowPlace]. One character we wanted to feature was the Orange Bird. He is such an icon from the 1970s and we know guests love him.”

The display team is creating a giant, three-dimensional Orange Bird that will be placed on the World Showcase promenade welcoming guests to the event (do I smell photo opportunity?). Michelle continued with additional details about my favorite little Disney bird.

“It will take about a week to manufacture the giant Orange Bird welcome sign,” continued Michelle. “Smaller Orange Bird cutouts will be hidden throughout the Pavilion. We think it will be a fun game for our guests to find all the Orange Birds while they are trading.”

The Florida Project Pin Trading

Trading is an essential part of this event. Similar to previous years, there will be a massive trading area for event guests to trade both Disney Pins and Vinylmation with each other. We will also offer pin trading boards, games and activities on Sept. 9-10. Guests attending the Vinylmation Showcase event on Sunday, Sept. 11, will see Vinylmation Trading. All guests (with admission to Epcot, of course) are invited to attend Public Day on Sunday from 2-5 p.m. Both Disney Pin Trading and Vinylmation trading will be offered at that time.

Disney Parks Blog Author Steven Miller with The Florida Project Vinylmation and Disney Pins

Guests attending the pin trading event on Friday and Saturday only should look for specially designed pins on the trading boards. These pins were created for the event and feature the themed lands of Magic Kingdom Park. There will be a “Cast Chaser” figure introduced to the Vinylmation trading activities on Sunday. Look carefully at the photograph above to see if you can spot it. By the way, I’m sporting the awesome retro tee-shirt that is an event gift.

There are still limited spaces remaining for this weekend of trading. Please visit either or (depending upon what you collect or trade) for more information.


  • Sonja – Florida, Thank You that was great information, as I have none and had no idea what to plan for. Traveling 4,000 miles to this event I wanted to be somewhat prepared. Thank you for sharing!!!

  • Susan-This will be my 4th pin event! I thought I’d give you a little info, if it helps. This is one event where you can bring in carts for the event. Many people use rolling luggage, my friends and I are bringing garden carts with storage and seats. We’ll use these while waiting in line for the pin boards, which are our favorite thing! There are 8-10 bulletin boards set up around the event space. When it is your turn at the boards, a CM with a timer allows you to trade any 2 of your pins for 2 pins off of the board. You usually get 1 minute to make your decision. Then, it’s back to the end of the line, or the end of one of the other lines. There is also a large area set aside for one-on-one trading among the guests. This area has tables and chairs set up. There are also special opportunities to trade with Scoop Sanderson, if you get a chance for his line, do it b/c it is usually very worth your time. There will also be displays about new pins from Disney parks all over the world. I love this event! Hope I gave you a little more information than you had!


  • I would like to start collecting the pins. I only have a few right now. Is there a program fro collecting pins that individually identify areas of WDW, and together “map” out WDW? I know you can get park pins, but are all the other areas of WDW represented (hotels, golf courses, etc.) and can they be interlocked like a jig saw puzzle, rather than just a straight side, to map out all of WDW? I think that would be a great collection/set.

  • Hi Steve ~
    I’m a long time Disney pin collector but the “Florida Project” is my FIRST Disney pin event. I’m so excited. But, I’ve studied every Disney related site I can find in regards to what the two day event will entail, what to bring as far trading and what a trading board is… etc. Just basic event inforamtion. I have to say I have found little information. Could you direct me to where I may find this information? I figured after I registered for the event I would get some information? Nothing yet.
    Thanks again,
    Susan from Seattle, WA

  • Hi Steven,

    I’m looking forward to the Florida Project but I’m disappointed that there is so little Figment merchandise compared to last year’s Trade City event. I understand you’re a huge Figment fan like myself. I would love to send you pictures of my Figment collection and get your opinion. Is there a way to do that? Thanks!! Hope to see you at the Florida Project!!

  • Hi Steven, Love the Orange Bird idea as the icon of the event! How about a Meet-N-Greet with the Orange Bird himself? You still have time! 🙂

    • @Carol – Yay! You found it. He’s awesome!

      @Daniel – Stay tuned … incredible things are coming! 🙂

      @Marshal – Unfortunately, I won’t be attending this year’s event (my new assignment = I don’t attend events as often). There will be a discussion held by the product developers for both Pin Trading (Saturday) and Vinylmation (Sunday). We plan on sharing details of those presentations on our and site. No video is planned.

      @George – How I wish! However, there are no plans at this time 🙁

  • Is there any way that Steven’s pin talk from the event will be filmed for the people who aren’t able to make it? It’s my highlight every year.

  • I’m so sorry that I won’t be able to attend this event! Or the Haunted Mansion event in October! Hopefully I’ll be able to buy some of this merchandise on eBay. I also can’t wait to see what Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily have up their sleeves! I can’t wait for our vacation in October!

  • Love the Orange Bird Vinylmation cast chaser, I see it in the background. I hope I will be able to trade for one. See you at the event!

  • Hi Steven,

    Great info as always! Long-time reader, first-time-poster! (I always like saying that, especially when it’s true!)

    Speaking as someone only attending the Vinylmation event, will we have the option to purchase that awesome raglan 3/4-sleeve Florida Project tee?

    Thanks, and keep up the great work!


    • @Kevin – Thanks for the kind words! Ah, I loved the Trade City, U.S.A. shirt from last year. It was such a fun idea.

      @Jennifer – The shirt is an event gift for guests who register for the Pin Trading portion of The Florida Project event:

      @Drew – So glad you wrote! Thanks for reading these articles. Unfortunately, there won’t be an option for purchasing this shirt since it is part of the event package for the Pin Trading portion of the event. Sorry.

  • We are leaving the 9th. Is there a way of getting the shirt you are wearing before then? I have a box from the first time I went to WDW that has that exact picture on it. Would love to have one of those shirts.

  • Another great article. I cant wait to from the fans how the event went. It looks like a spectacular weekend.

    I like the shirt that your sporting, so retro and unique. 😀 My favorite was last years T-Shirt from Trade City USA.

    I would have hoped that figure would have been available for purchase at the expo rather than a cast chaser, but still the orange bird looks great on the new mold!!!!

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