The Trading Games
Like previous years, the highlight for many attendees was the trading games. Almost all games kept a continuous line of 15 minutes or more throughout the day. Most of the games featured a single giant trading box with 24 possible options, with an open box of vinyls sitting to the side. Each guest was allowed to trade one vinyl randomly and one vinyl in the open box, and guests could return to each trading spot as many times as they wished.
While almost all guests traded common and outlet store vinyls, Disney placed many rare, old, and unique figures into the boxes. This included the year’s cast chaser figures, emblazoned with a prominent 13 and wrapped in protective plastic. Every half an hour, cast members replaced both trading boxes, providing the lucky guests next in line some extremely difficult but rewarding choices.
Unfortunately, the regular nature of these refreshes did cause some frustration. Guests that received a refreshed trade box would collude among themselves, making sure to pick different random numbers in sequence. This meant that anyone trading after the first dozen or so ended up with no chance of anything but other guest’s reject Vinylmations. For many people, the event was an exercise in frustration, as they never managed to reach the end of the line immediately before a refresh of the boxes.
Next year, it might be beneficial to include more games with random chance. Two of the event games featured a spinning wheel, which at least extended the amount of time before all decent items were removed. Previous years have also apparently included skill based games, which could make a welcome return. There’s also the possible need to refresh the boxes more regularly, like every 15 minutes instead of 30.
Even with these issues, the trading boxes still proved to be an exciting and unpredictable part of the experience. A lucky person could find a single vinyl that would pay for their entire trip.
Like all Disney events, there had to be merchandise available. Most Vinylmations offered ahead of time in the RSP were still available at the event store, as well as most general Reflections of Evil merchandise. As announced ahead of time, the first of the new series of Meet and Greet Mickey figures was available, numbered and exclusive to the event. Also available was an early release of the new Nightmare Before Christmas blind box series. Guests were able to buy 2 individual vinyls or an entire case.
While there was a moderate line early in the day, by lunch there was little wait to buy merchandise. This was helped by having an ample supply of Nightmare vinyls available, which spread demand. A sufficient number of registers were also ready to meet demand, and cast members kept the line moving and directed guests. By event closing, there were still several of the event exclusive Vinylmation sets still available, which ended up at D-Street earlier this week.