You could always find pins at the Disney Parks, but it wasn’t until 1999, during the Walt Disney World millennium celebration that Disney Pin Trading officially became part of the park experience. A year later, due to its overwhelming popularity, pin trading also began at Disneyland in California. Now, in addition to the original two parks, pin trading takes place at every Disney park and even on Disney Cruise Lines, with each putting out unique pins and carrying on their own traditions.
Each tradeable pin features a different Disney character, ride or attraction and can range anywhere from $6-$15 depending on the design and size. For instance you may find pins that depict Mickey and the gang dressed as characters from The Haunted Mansion, or Alice riding the tea cups. The possibilities and pins seem to be endless. If you’re lucky you might even come across limited edition or special event pins as well.
So what is Disney Pin Trading and how do you take part? Well it’s simple, you can buy pins at any of the aforementioned places, and even from private owners on ebay. However, if you are buying on ebay, make sure that your pins are tradeable! For your pins to be valid for trading they need to have the official Disney trademark on the back, as shown below. Ebay can be a great place to get pins, especially when you’re starting out, great starter packs and random lots can be purchased for lower prices than you’d ever find at the parks. Just make sure you take a moment to read through the posting and ensure that the pins are official and tradeable. If the listing does not say that specifically move on to another.
Okay, so now you have pins, what next? First find a way that works best for you to display them or carry them in the parks. When at Disney Parks, people generally prefer to carry them on lanyards. Like pins, you can find these at the parks or online, and they come in lots of different patterns featuring your favorite Disney characters.
Once at the a Disney Park or on a your cruise, you can begin trading. Cast members throughout the parks and resorts wear lanyards with pins on them that are available for trade. You can offer a trade for one of yours, should you like one that they have and they can accept or deny your offer. Usually, if they deny the offer it’s simply because they already have a lot of the pin your offering or the pin your offering does not have the official Disney pin trading stamp on the back.
Pin trading adds another level of fun and excitement to a Disney trip, and both kids and adults alike get in on the thrill. Making their way through the parks and interacting with Disney cast members to find new favorites. However, if you’re going to start Pin Trading there are some general rules to keep in mind:
- To trade a pin with a Disney cast member, the pin must be made of metal and have a representation of a Disney character, park, attraction, icon, or other official affiliation. Additionally, the pin must say “(C) Disney” on the back of it.
- Guests must trade with Cast Members, one pin at a time, with the pin back in place (pins have functional sharp posts)
- Guests can make up to 2 pin trades per cast member per day
- Refrain from touching another person’s pins or lanyard, ask to see the pin so they can bring the pin into closer view
- The pin that is traded to the cast member cannot be a duplicate of any pin they already have on their lanyard.
- No money can change hands on Disney property in exchange for a pin.
So, if you’re stopping by a Disney park soon, make sure to keep an eye out for those seeking out pins they want in between rides and other activities. It may inspire you to do the same. Plus, when you get back you have pins to enjoy and display from your vacation!