If you’ve visited Walt Disney World before, you’ve no doubt seen stores filled with Disney pins. Disney pin trading is a popular activity with individuals of all ages, and the company is constantly bringing out new releases and limited edition pins for people to collect. Today we’re going to share with you everything you need to know about Disney pin trading and how to get started with this fun activity on your next visit.
What is Disney Pin Trading?
Disney pin trading dates back to 1999 when Disney started their Millennium Celebration in October of that year. Before that, pins were always present in the Disney parks, but they were treated as a souvenir to take home or a badge to wear on your clothing or bag. Pin trading at Disney came about after they held the Odyssey of the Mind function, where pins were being traded between attendees. In 2000, the idea also spread to Disneyland, but Walt Disney World has always been considered the home of pin trading. If you are lucky enough to travel to other Disney destinations around the world, you’ll also be able to participate in this fun activity.
Disney pin trading involves trading official collectible Disney pins. You’ll see many cast members in the parks wearing lanyards or pin holders with their costumes, and you can ask to see their pins and trade. Some stores and resorts also offer pin trading boards with a wide selection of pins. If you are serious about pin trading, you can join in local pin trading events and gatherings. Pins can be purchased in almost any store in the resort, and you’ll find different selections available throughout Walt Disney World. Pins start at around $9.99 each, but if you are looking to purchase rare pins or discontinued ones online, expect to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for the rarest pins.
Who Can Get Involved With Pin Trading?
Pin trading is an activity that’s suitable for people of almost all ages, and children of about five years old and above love getting involved in the fun. The only consideration when pin trading with younger children is that the pins are sharp on the back of each Disney pin, so they’ll probably need assistance from an adult. Pin trading is certainly not a cheap activity for kids to get involved with, but many enjoy adding to their collection during their Disney trips. When it comes to finding cast members to trade with, you’ll primarily find them in stores. If you see someone wearing a green pin trading lanyard, these are reserved just for children. Anyone operating a ride can’t wear pins, so keep this in mind when looking out for someone to trade with.
The great thing about trading with cast members is that they can’t say no to your trades. They have a selection of about a dozen different pins, and you will be able to trade anything in your collection with them. It’s important to ensure you always use official Disney pins when trading, as otherwise, you won’t be able to take part in this activity. Keep this in mind if you are purchasing pins online before your visit, as many of the inexpensive ones aren’t going to be official. You can trade up to two pins with one cast member in a day, so you have plenty of opportunities to enjoy trading in the parks.
How to Get Started with Disney Pin Trading
No doubt you are itching to get started with Disney pin trading by now, and we don’t blame you. It’s an exciting activity that anyone can enjoy on their upcoming trip, and you’ll find that you have some great interactions with cast members in the parks, thanks to pin trading. To get started, you’ll need to begin with a small collection of pins and somewhere to store your pins. In the parks and resorts, you’ll find some great starter sets for sale, which contain a small collection of pins usually based on one theme. They offer greater value for money than buying pins individually and are a good way to start off your collection. Try to find a set that comes with a lanyard, as this is generally the preferred way to store your pins. If you become more serious about pin trading, consider upgrading to a pin trading book or folder, where you’ll be able to store more pins for your trip.
Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to start hunting down pins in the parks. Keep your eyes peeled for cast members in the parks who have lanyards or are looking after a pin book or board. Enjoy browsing their selection of pins, but don’t feel obligated to trade if you don’t like anything on display. Pin trading is a fun way to get involved with cast members around the parks, and you’ll create great memories just from doing this activity on your upcoming trip.
When you get home from your vacation, you may want to think about how you are going to display your pins. One of the best ways to have them out on display in your home is via a cork board, which is an easy and inexpensive way to display them. You might even want to consider purchasing a hat or a vest to show off your pins. Use your imagination to find a way to incorporate your Disney pins into your home, and you’ll love looking at them until you head off on your next Disney vacation.
Types of Pins
Not all Disney trading pins are exactly the same, and you’ll find some pins have various markings on the back of the pin, which indicate its rarity or the collection it is part of. These are a few of the most important types of pins you should know about when you are starting off your collection:
- Limited Edition – Only available for a certain amount of time or as part of a special event
- Limited Release – A small number of these pins were created, making them a much rarer option
- Cast Member Exclusive – These pins were only available for purchase by cast members at the cast member stores on property
- Surprise Pins – These are rare pins that can sometimes be found in Disneyland and may be released during pin trading events. Walt Disney World.
Looking After Your Pin Collection
When you’ve started to invest time and money into your pin collection, you’ll want to take good care of them. One common issue is losing the backs of the pins, so you may want to invest in a bag of spare official Mickey Mouse backs, which you can find at many of the pin trading stores. Check out the Epcot pin store or the Disney Pin Traders at Disney Springs for a great selection of pin accessories. You’ll also want to avoid just chucking your pins into a bag, as they may get scratched or damaged. Find a good way to look after your pins between trips so that you are ready to get them out again on your next Disney vacation.
Disney pin trading is an activity that individuals of all ages can enjoy, and you’ll soon see how addictive building your pin collection can be. We encourage you to keep an eye out for all of the pin trading locations around the parks, as it’s a fun way to add a new activity to your upcoming Disney vacation. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get started, and even if you want to keep your collection small, you’ll still be able to join in with all of the fun of Disney pin trading.