This week Disneyland released one of their many 60th Anniversary merchandise offerings. The Countdown to the 60th Anniversary Diamond pin collection has 7 pins total, all Limited Edition with only 3000 of each color available. These will be released each month from January 31, 2015 to July 2015. Each pin is a different color and features a picture and a quote from Walt E. Disney. The final pin is silver in color and will be a surprise release in July.
To date the blue, red, turquoise and purple pins have all been released, each with a growing number of Disney fans lining up to purchase these limited edition pins.
Yesterday, April 16th, was the release of the purple diamond. Crowds reached an all time high. Each of these pins has commanded a larger and larger turn out for a chance to buy these limited edition collectors items. Disneyland has issued a protocol on how to handle these large crowds and make it manageable for the guests.
- The staging area has so far been the Downtown Disney Parking lot along the side-walk, security and Cast Members are both there making sure guests are lined up safely and as orderly as possible.
- Next guests are moved inside a gated parking area to the right of Valet parking. Lines have been drawn on the ground with tape to keep things organized.
- NEW this month: A color coated card was distributed to each guest upon arrival to the staging area to track not only the number of guests arriving but also their arrival time.
The above shot was taken just a few minutes before 5:00 am yesterday. Nearly 1000 people already in line!
Cast Members proceed through the line in order at 6:30 am, issuing wristbands in exchange for the card that was previously handed out. The wristbands are three different colors signifying the different retail locations so that the masses are spread out across the resort. Roughly 1450 wrist bands are handed out, give or take based on quality of pins received, and each of these wristbands allot 2 pins per person. This allows the pins to sell out before anyone even steps foot inside a pin store.
By 8:45 this was us, just a few more people in front of us. We were relieved to finally be sure we were one of the lucky ones getting wristbands.
After getting our yellow wristbands, allowing us to go inside DCA and to Julius Katz & Sons, we moved our car to the Mickey and Friends lot from the Downtown Disney lot because we were headed into the parks.
Once inside DCA there was still a line outside Julius Katz & Sons to get into the store to purchase the pins. This line was also marked on the ground with tape. There were Cast Members walking the line previewing the pins to the guests waiting. From here things went pretty quick, about 20 minutes and we were at the registers.
At about 9:45 we finally made it to the registers, success! It was totally worth it, look at these beauties!