Disney Pin Trading Secrets and Tips

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

kids pin trading with cast membr

Credit: Disney

It’s no strange sight to see Disney Guests and Cast Members alike strolling through the parks, clad with shiny pins. Displayed in a trading backpack, on a lanyard, or a belt panel, Disney Trading Pins almost have their own culture. Guests and Cast Members will swap pins, trade for collections or browse what’s new, without ever stepping foot in a gift store. If you’re looking to learn about Disney Pin Trading, or simply want a few tips to make it easier, we’re hEAR for you! Let’s trade!

kids pin trading with cast membr
Credit: Disney

Purpose of Disney Pin Trading

Why do we trade pins? Honest to goodness… it’s just fun. It provides the rush of winning an eBay auction at a fraction of the price, the score of a scavenger hunt, and the hope of treasure all in one. Disney pins have been sold since (what feels like) the beginning of time. Lapel pins have been a fashionable accessory since the 1800s, and Disney has capitalized on this accessory with characters, themes, Hidden Mickeys, and more. Official Disney pin trading started in 1999/2000, with the Millennium Celebration, and has been a fantastic tradition ever since.

pin trading at Disney with cast member
Credit: Disney

Many pin traders will attempt to “trade up” their Disney trading pins, starting with a smaller, less desirable option and moving up towards more complex pins with moving parts, or rarer/older pins with higher value.

Other Disney traders look to complete collections, such as the Disney hat collection, or the Hidden Mickey Orange Bird pin set (both pictured below). Some Disney Guests come armed with a list of pins to look for, while others just consider pins individually and trade for what they find attractive. Why you trade and what you trade for is a personal choice, but don’t keep yourself from finding joy!

worthpoint disney trading pins
Credit Both Images: Worthpoint.com

Where To Trade Pins at Disney

This is by far the biggest tip for success. Many people will trade with Cast Members displaying pins, or on the large pin boards located in the gift shops of attractions, but there are more boards to look for! Remember that you can make two trades per pin board or per trading session with a Cast Member. More than two trades per board is discouraged in order to keep selections fresh for upcoming Guests. But don’t worry, there are so many boards to consider, you’ll have plenty of options!
Post-COVID trading policies are a bit different and should be noted. A Cast Member used to allow you to make your own two trades on the board, but now, you lay your pin down, and it is cleaned before being pinned on the board and your pin will be given to you. Some trading places will have a bowl for your “discard” and clean them in batches. Hand sanitizer is also available for your use. Traditionally, there have been pin boards in nearly every gift shop, attraction stand, resort front desk and more, but they were pulled entirely during the bulk of the pandemic. Trading has returned to the Parks, but locations are still rolling out. You may see fully visible Mickey Boards, themed cork boards or the new mystery drawer display where two mystery trades can be carried out.
Pin Trading Cast Members
Credit: Disney

As mentioned before, a Walt Disney World Resort’s front desk usually houses a pin trading board. Some of these are themed to the location, while others are the black velvet Mickey head. Simply approach a CM or Concierge at the Front Desk and ask to trade a pin! You’ll also find locations in the Parks, such as the Magic Kingdom Main Street Emporium, Mickey’s PhilharMagic Merchandise Shop, Momento Mori, and the Frontierland Trading Post (this is the big pin store). At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the 2022 pin trading location to visit is the Discovery Trading Post across from Island Mercantile. You’ll also see boards appearing at places like Harambe Village and the front entrance store.

When visiting EPCOT, you’ll see a pin trading location at the International Gateway (the central stop before turning left or right into World Showcase), and the Pin Trading Central Store (under Spaceship Earth in the old camera store). At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, be sure to stop by the 5&10 store for your trades as more locations open up.

trading pins with disney couples
Credit: shopDisney.com

How Much Disney Pins Are Worth

“How much is my pin worth?” Well, that depends on who wants to buy it. You’ll find answers akin to the “How much is my black diamond Disney VHS worth?” Which is… not much… or just what someone else will pay. Inherently, some pins are worth more because of their size, limited edition, or “function.” Collectors may want pins to complete their sets, or may offer a limited edition trade.

Oftentimes, Disney fans will trade pins on Instagram, Facebook, or other social media platforms, not allowing money to change hands, but only pins to be traded, which is a unique and fun option if you are unable to travel to the Parks.

Disneyland Pins for sale
Credit: Disney

When purchasing pins, you can get a deal on a multi-pack if you’re just looking to trade up or make several trades for fun. Other pins with certain characters, those commemorating a film or event, etc. can cost as much as $20.00 for a single pin. Disney will display pricing signs that correspond to color stripes on the hangers. This allows them to change pricing without adjusting all the price tags. Shop by color or shop by character – the choice is yours!

How to Get Started With Trading Disney Pins

Ready to start trading? You can begin with as little as one pin! If you are at World of Disney, Walt Disney World Resort, or Disneyland Resort, start by purchasing an official multi-pack of pins. This will allow you to make several trades during your trip, making the most of your fun!

Alternatively, you can purchase a grab bag of pins from a reputable source, like MousePins Online, a small shop with honest business and a lot of fun. Pins come in little bags, protecting the paint, and are guaranteed to be real pins. Half the fun of ordering a grab bag is seeing what you get, deciding on what to trade, and keeping personal favorites.

This reporter would advise caution with sources like FB Marketplace or eBay, as there are so many unknown sellers and this is often where fans are saddled with “scrappers,” or fake pins with defects. A scrapper pin is not an acceptable trading pin and will not be accepted at the Disney Parks, as it is not an authentic Disney pin.

disney pin trading around the world
Credit: Disney.go.com
Disney has a mini page on Pin Trading on their website, which is a fairly outdated yet still useful page. The Disney.go.com page gives future Disney Guests some basic details on what to expect from Pin Trading in their Parks, from how to get started to what you can trade.

What is Disney Pin Trading?Disney Pin Trading is an exciting, interactive experience where our Guests can trade Disney pins with our Disney Cast Members and other Guests. It’s fun for the whole family and CREATES cherished “pin pals” to last a lifetime! Start a new collection or exchange pins for the ones you’ve always wanted.

How can I experience the magic? It’s simple and fun! Just visit Walt Disney World, the Disneyland Resort or Disneyland Paris, locate a Cast Member wearing a lanyard with Disney pins and find a pin you’d like. Then present another Disney pin to the Cast Member in trade. Bringing home the magic is that simple. Plus, we have some quick and easy guidelines to help you trade at each park.

Which ones should I collect or trade? The fun of Disney Pin Trading is in the amazing variety. Find YOUR FAVORITE pins to personalize your Disney experience. Guests of all ages can hunt for favorite characters, attractions and features. Whether it’s the Little Mermaid or Mickey Mouse you seek, pin hunting is guaranteed to add thrills to your Disney adventure. Go find the pins you want and make some new friends! It is all up to you! Have fun! Disney Pin Trading is a great way to share the magic and bring home wonderful Disney memories.

disney trading pins
Credit: Disney Parks

What are your best tips for trading Disney pins at the Parks? Leave us a comment below!

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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