Disney Pin Trading has been around for many, many years. If you’ve ever been to a Disney park, I’m sure you’ve seen the pins on display for sale. Walls upon walls of them are in just about every large gift shop in the parks. Not only that, but you can find whole carts of pins for sale – and a landmark for people looking to trade – in many of the parks and around Downtown Disney/Disney Springs, depending on which park you’re visiting.
For years I’ve gone to Disney parks, admired the pins, and seen people trade – but only recently did I actually take the jump and start trading myself! This past visit to Disneyland was the first time I started pin trading. I am excited to get my collection started, and I’m going to be collecting more pins before our next trip!
Here is your complete guide to Disney pin trading – what it is, how to start, and how to display your pins with pride!
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What is Pin Trading?
Quite simply, pin trading refers to purchasing official Disney pins and trading them with other collectors and cast members. In addition to trading, you can purchase your own pins for your collection to keep at Disney stores. All the pins currently in circulation are not available at all stores, nor are they available forever. If you see a pin you like, snag it! Once they’re retired, you can’t find them unless you trade or purchase through a secondary vendor (like eBay).
Word of caution whenever you’re buying pins online, though – make sure it is an authentic Disney pin before purchasing! Whenever you purchase pins outside of Disney, make sure it has the authentic Disney Pin Trading logo on it before purchasing. There ARE fake pins out there – don’t let yourself get fooled and scammed out of money!
How Does It Work?
First things first, get yourself a pin trading starter kit. These are available on shopDisney, at the parks, or if you don’t like those options you can try Amazon. Just be sure to be careful where you buy, as I stated above, there are a lot of fakers out there!
Starter kits generally come with 4 separate pins based around one theme. For example, I bought the Princess Starter Kit before left, so I got a lanyard with 4 Disney Princess pins. You can keep these if you want, but the idea behind them is that they’re generic enough that you won’t miss them as you start trading them away!
Believe it or not, there are a lot of rules when it comes to Disney pin trading. You generally do not trade with fellow guests – you’ll be trading with cast members!
Not all cast members engage in pin trading. Ride operators, for example, simply don’t have time to stop and trade with guests. Therefore, they won’t be wearing a lanyard with pins on it. Most cast members in the stores are the ones you’ll be trading with.
Cast members who are up for trading will be wearing lanyards with all the pins they have available. Sometimes, they’ll have a board of pins either behind the counter or near their station that have additional pins you can trade. If you’re interested in any of the pins, simply go up to the cast member and ask to trade!
There are a few rules you’ll have to follow before you go trading pins willy nilly, however:
- You can only trade with cast members wearing pin trading lanyards or who have the black pin trading boards.
- You can only trade 2 pins per day per cast member. Sometimes it’s hard to pick out which pins you want from the lanyard because you like all of them, but unfortunately, you can’t have ALL of them!
- You cannot trade a pin that they already have on their lanyard.
- You cannot touch or pull the pins towards you to get a better look. If you wanna see one closer, ask the cast member if they can take it off and show it to you
- You cannot pay someone for their pins on Disney property. So this does NOT refer to people selling their pins on eBay and other sites.
Make It Your Own!
As you start collecting, there are lots of ways to increase your collection and make it your own! What once was a simple starter kit becomes your own personal hobby after a while. Here are some ways to make pin trading unique to YOU:
- Attend pin trading events! Disney resorts often have many pin trader meetups where collectors can meet and swap pins. If you’re really looking to get in to it, you can see if your local city has a group dedicated to meet ups!
- Buy Disney pin mystery packs, available around the park. These themed packs usually come with one or two mystery pins, which are perfect if you’re looking to build a collection. You can buy a few to try and get all of them, and trade away extras! Or if you get a few you’re not a huge fan of – it’s more trading options for you!
- Customize your lanyards with different options. I started with the Disney princess lanyard that came in my kit and then purchased a Disney cat and dog one for myself!
And there you have it! A complete guide to Disney pin trading and all the info you need to get started with pin trading on your own. What’s your favorite part of pin trading? Let me know in the comments below!
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