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Disney Pin Trading 101

Pin Trading at Disney World: An Overview

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Probably the most popular Disney activity is Pin Trading. If you visit Disney World, you will see many guests walking around the parks with lanyards full on pins weighing them down. Each pin with a different story of how the guest got it. Disney Pin trading started in the 1990s, and while it’s not an official disney activity it has become the most popular. It is also one that Disney supports having many cast members trading pins with guests.

The great thing about Pin trading is that you can make it what you want. Disney has so many different pins for you to collect and you can go about collecting them however you desire. If you are a fan of Star Wars, Disney Princesses, Lion King there are plenty of pins for you to collect. You can go about building your collection by simply buying the pins you want. Or you can make it a little more interesting and trade pins with other people to get your desired pins.

What is it

Pin Trading is what the name implies. You take a Disney Pin you have and trade it with another person for a pin they have that you want.   It’s really as simple as that. However it can get complicated when you are trying to decide what Pin you want to give away or what pin you are looking for. There are so many types of pins you can collect. You can collect different series of pins, favorite characters, limited edition pins, the list could go on. 

How to get started Pin Trading

In order to get started with trading, you must first have a pin you are willing to trade. The best way to get started with pin trading it so purchase a starter pack of pins. This pack will include 3-5 pins and a lanyard for you to place them on. You can either keep these pins for yourself or use them to trade for ones you see with somebody else. 

In addition to getting a starter pack, buying mystery packs are another great way to start your pin collection. In these packs you will usually get two pins. You can keep one and trade one. Once you have purchased several boxes of the same mystery set you will begin to get duplicate pins. These are the pins you want to trade.

Where to get pins

If you are looking to purchase Disney Trading Pins, you can get them almost anywhere at Disney. Most of the stores will have Disney Pins for sale. There are also designed Pin stands at the parks and Disney Springs dedicated to Pins. You can also find Pins at the Disney Outlets in Orlando and the Disney store in the Orlando Airport. 

It is possible to find Disney Pins online for purchase. If you decide to purchase them online be very careful, especially if you are wanting to use these pins for trading with other people. Without going into a lot of details about it, as it is an article in itself, many pins that you see on Amazon or EBay in large sets are almost always fake or scrapper pins.

How to trade

So how that you have your pins that you are willing to trade. You know what pins you want to add to your collection. Let the Pin Trading begin.

How does trading work. Pin Trading is very simple, just walk around the parks, resorts and even Disney Springs and look at other people wearing lanyards with Pins. If you see a person wearing a lanyard with Pins, there’s a good chance they are willing to trade them. Walk up to the person and politely ask them if they are wiling to trade pins with you. If they say yes, awesome you are off to a great start. Tell them which pin of yours you would like and show them which pins you are willing to give up. 

When trading trading with another guest you want to let them pick the pin from your collection they want. There could be a chance you have one they want. Or if they are a serious collector they will want one of equal value. There are differences between Pin Trading with guests and cast members, we will break them down in the next section. 

One important thing to remember when trading pins, is to make sure you are polite with the other person. There is no need to get upset if they don’t want to give away a particular pin.

It is good practice to make sure you have authentic pins that you are trading. If you walk up to a serious trader they will look over your pin very carefully and may reject if if they don’t find it to be authentic. With so many pins out in circulation, there is always a chance you may end up with a fake Disney Pin.

Pin Trading with Cast Members vs. Guests

There are two groups of people you can trade pins with Cast Members and Guests. Each group has different standards for trading pins.

Cast Members

Cast members throughout the parks wear lanyards with Disney pins. Certain cast members will have a pin board set up somewhere which a bunch of pins to trade with guests throughout the day. You are allowed to trade up to two pins with a cast member per day. Tell the cast member which pin of theirs you would like, they will take it off for you. Meanwhile you can take the pin you are willing to give them. Then just swap pins. Cast members normally do not inspect the pins you are giving them.

Guest

While its relatively easy to trade pins with a cast member, trading Disney pins with other guests can get complicated. While its relatively easy to walk up to a cast member, walking up to a complete stranger may be harder. Most people that are wearing the Disney lanyard with Pins on them willing to trade them. So if you see a guest with a large stash of pins on their lanyard they are probably pin traders.

Walk up to them and simply ask them if they are a pin trader and tell them you would like to trade a pin with them. Here are some rules to remember when trading pins with other guests

Disney Pins

Don’t assume they are willing to trade any pin. Tell them what Pin you are interested in and show them what pins you have to offer. There is a lot of though that can go into which pin a person is willing to accept from you in return for the pin they are giving you.  The two biggest things are what the collector is collecting and the value of the pin. A serious trader won’t accept an $9 pin for a $30 pin.

Rules of Pin trading with other Guests

  • Don’t touch their pin without asking for permission.
  • If they aren’t willing to trade, simply walk away don’t force it.
  • Understand everybody’s time is precious. 
  • Strike up a conversation about the pins, it may help make the trade easy.
  • Enjoy trading pins. 

(Insert sample Dialogue)

My recommendation is to put the pins you are willing to trade on one lanyard and your collection on another lanyard or another display. 

Cast Member Pin Board locations

You need a good eye to spot a pin on a lanyard of person walking around Disney World. However there are Cast Members throughout Disney World who have pin boards with a large variety of pins. If you are new to trading and looking for new pins, these are a great way to get some exposer trading pins.

Easiest place to find these Pin Boards are the resorts.

How to display pins

Now that you are growing your collection, you can initially display them on a lanyard. Unfortunately overtime your lanyard will run out of room and become very heavy. At some point you will have to find another way to display your amazing collection of Pins.

If you are displaying your Pins on a lanyard. I recommend you get locking back for them. You would hate to lose your favorite one.

The most common way pin traders display their pins are in Pin binders. These binders consists of heavy duty page inserts which hold your pins and allows you to carry them around. 

You can create unique display boards to hang on the wall. Pinterest has a ton of ideas on how you can display your Pin.

Costs of Pin Trading

Probably the one bugging question you have as you start your collection is how much will it cost me. The answer lies within how you want to collect pins and how large you plan to grow your collection. If you are starting out, I would tell you to expect to pay somewhere around $50 to really get started. 

Disney Pins at the Character Warehouse

A Pin Starter set will run you approximately $30 dollars and you will get a lanyard with 3-5 pins. This unfortunately isn’t enough to really begin trading. You will need to purchase some more pins. The standard pins you see around the parks will run you between $8.99 to $15.99. Speciality and limited edition pins can easy double these prices. 

One way to save some money on pins you want to trade is to purchase pins from the Disney Character Warehouses in Orlando. Here you can get guanine pins from a fraction of the price at the Parks.