Disney Pin Trading: Getting Started On Your Newest Disney Addiction!
I have to confess: I am a thing finder. I live in a family of thing finders. We love to collect various odds and ends from our travels. We’ve got gadgets and gizmos a plenty. We’ve got whosits and whatsits galore. Want thingamabobs? We’ve got way more than twenty. In short, Disney pin trading was made for our family.
If you’ve never tried pin trading, it’s an addictive activity for Disney fans and park Guests. Here’s everything you need to know to get started (and a few special hints too).
1. How To Get Pins
Pins are available throughout the Walt Disney World parks, at shops in Disney Springs, and in the gift shops of Disney resorts. They can also be purchased on the Shop Disney webpage. Pins can be purchased individually, but starter packs are also available with a lanyard to place the pins on.
One word of warning, while it is possible to purchase Disney pins through outside vendors like Amazon, these packs are often filled with imitation/knock-off pins.
2. How To Play
There are two different ways to trade. You can trade with fellow collectors or with Disney Cast Members. You can find cast members wearing lanyards covered with pins throughout the Disney parks and properties. If you ask a Cast Member to trade with you, they will always say yes. Find a pin on the Cast Member’s lanyard that you want and then trade one of yours! It’s as simple as that.
3. Hidden Mickeys
Certain pins are not available for purchase. They can only be found by trading with a Disney Cast Member. You can identify these by the small Mickey Mouse insignia found on the front of the pin.
4. Special Event Pins
Most pins can be purchased year round, but events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party all have special pins that are only available for a limited time.
5. Green Lanyards
Cast Members wearing green lanyards have pins specifically for Guests age 3-12. To trade with those Cast Members, you must fall into that age group.
Certain pins can be collected into complete sets. For instance, a series of pins was created for the logos of old Epcot Attractions like Horizons, the Living Seas, World of Motion, and CommuniCore. Numerous guides online can tell you what constitutes a complete set.
7. Hotels and Stores
If you are at a Disney gift shop and don’t happen to see a Cast Member with a lanyard, ask about trading at the cash register. They typically have a foam board with pins for trading behind the counter.
Certain hotels have their own special areas for pin trading as well. While you can trade with any Cast Member at Wilderness Lodge, there is a special area in the lobby with a large board giving Guests an enormous range of pins to choose from.
8. The Popcorn
If you want to add a little mystery and magic to your pin trading experience, here’s a little hint. When you visit Big Top souvenirs in Storybook Circus at the Magic Kingdom, ask a Cast Member if you can “see the popcorn.” They will bring out a special tray that resembles containers of circus popcorn. The “popcorn” is covered in pins to trade!
9. Communities and Web pages
Pin trading has become so popular that you can find numerous web pages and online groups devoted to the subject. There are also YouTube vlogs and a few blogs that explore the subject.
Once you start pin trading, you’ll find it’s almost impossible to stop. Luckily, Disney continues to create new pins, adding to a collection that already numbers over 60,000 designs. That means there will always be something new to discover!