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!
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.
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!
Where To Trade Pins at 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.
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.
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.
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.
What are your best tips for trading Disney pins at the Parks? Leave us a comment below!