Sudden Disneyland Ban on Years-Long Practice Leaves Guests Shaken

in Disneyland Resort

Frontierland at Disneyland Park now empty of benches often used for pin trading.

Credit: Reddit user u/sandeybeech78

Pin trading is a popular guest activity throughout Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, and Downtown Disney. For a guaranteed trade, Disney cast members wear pin lanyards or staff pinboards for guests to pick from. But, some guests come to Disney Parks just to trade higher-value pins with each other.

This seemingly harmless activity has caused problems in the last decade, with pin traders setting up camp on benches outside Westward Ho Trading Company in Frontierland at Disneyland Park. Guests long lamented the takeover of one of the few remaining seating areas in the large, often hot Southern California theme park.

Weeks ago, Disneyland Resort removed the benches outside Westward Ho, but it didn’t solve the problem. Pin traders spread out into seating areas in Tomorrowland, Downtown Disney, and even Disney California Adventure Park.

Teacups spin on the Mad Tea Party at Disneyland.
Credit: Disney

But Disneyland Resort didn’t give up. On Thursday, it updated its website to reflect new pin trading rules. Guests wearing lanyards may pin trade with each other throughout Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney, and Disney California Adventure Park. But guests with trading bags must adhere to the new guidelines.

“Guest Pin Trading, outside of the use of a lanyard, will only be permitted in Disneyland Park near Westward Ho Trading Company, as directed by a Cast Member or a sign with the exact location, from park opening to 3:00 PM daily (subject to change),” the updated rules read.

Additionally, guests must limit the items they bring. Only one trading bag, 14 “L x 12” W x 6” H (36cm x 31cm x 16cm) or smaller, is allowed. Such bags and lanyards are the only items permitted for Disneyland pin trading – signs, displays, lights, and other items previously utilized by Frontierland pin traders are banned.

The Disneyland Fire Engine parked in front of the Disneyland Fire Dept. on Main Street, U.S.A.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Guests must utilize the official trading area and cease non-lanyard-based pin trading at 3:00 p.m. daily or when instructed by Disney cast members.

“Benches or any other structures for the display of pins will not be permitted,” Disneyland Resort writes. “Benches are for seating purposes only.”

Traders must stay with their pin trading bags and lanyards at all times. They may not leave items on display to “claim” a space.

Daisy and Donald Duck statues at the Pin Traders store in Disney Springs
Credit: Disney

In a statement to Nexstar news reporter Scott Gustin, a representative of Disneyland Resort said the following:

“We regularly evaluate and adjust our policies and operations. Pin Trading is a fun, magical activity for our guests and these updated guidelines will create a designated location near Westward Ho Trading Company in Disneyland Park during specific times, which will enhance the overall guest experience at Disneyland Resort.” 

Disney Parks fans were thrilled at the announcement.

“Get the hell outta here you bench hogging jerks!!” said Reddit user u/SAS_Britain. “Bye bye!!! Love these new rules!!”

“I’m shocked that Disney is actually doing anything about this, but this is great news,” u/forlorn_hope28 agreed. “Dunno what prompted this change, but I like to believe this is a lesson in Disney taking guest complaints to heart and that no matter how long the odds are, it’s always good to leave your thoughts with guest services after a trip to the parks. A lot of times your suggestions will go unacknowledged, but if a large enough number of people complain, then management will work to enact changes to improve the guest experience.”

Are you happy about the changes to pin trading at Disneyland Resort? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on personal Disney Parks guest experiences. No two guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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