In September 1929, less than a year after Steamboat Willie, the first successful Mickey Mouse cartoon, was released, the first Mickey Mouse Club was formed by the Fox Dome Theatre in Ocean Park, California. Disney quickly saw the potential of such a Club and supplied theatre managers with starter packs containing a manual, song sheets, badges and so on. The original Mickey Mouse Club reached its peak around 1932 and buttons from this period are highly collectable.
The first Disneyland theme park opened in July 1955 and The Mickey Mouse Club TV show, originally intended to promote the amusement park, began in October 1955. Buttons and pins featuring Disney characters, TV show cast members, Disneyland and its attractions were produced in large numbers. Many different Disneyland pins and buttons continued to be produced through the 1960s and 1970s. Disney cast member buttons are among the rarest and most valued from this period.
The 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles sparked a new pin-trading craze. Disney joined in with 30th birthday promotional pins at Disneyland in 1985 and 15th anniversary pins at Disney World in 1986.
In 1999, pin collecting was given another boost when pin trading kiosks were opened at the Disney theme parks as part of the Disney Millennium Celebration.