Disney World Removes Another Free Amenity, Cancels Service Indefinitely

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The Walt Disney World Railroad boarding station near the entrance of Magic Kingdom on Main Street, U.S.A., during a cloudy day with guests and security cast members.

Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

In a shocking move, Disney World has quietly terminated a free offering, removing it from the parks indefinitely.

When visiting Walt Disney World Resort, guests can find many free surprises throughout the parks. And when staying at a Disney Resort Hotel, the free benefits increase even more.

Sadly, the decades-old tradition of Disney pin trading has received a sudden change, forcing guests to spend more money on this fan-favorite Disney Parks activity.

Disney Pin Trader Cast Members_feature image
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Park Bans Pin Trading, Effective Immediately

During a recent visit to Magic Kingdom Park, Inside the Magic discovered that cast members are no longer allowed to hand out free pin backs to guests trading pins at multiple locations across the resort.

This, of course, came as a surprise, as most stores at Disney World had buckets full of pin backs to hand out to guests engaging in the traditional Disney pin trading or those who lost them at the parks.

Inside the Magic asked cast members at the Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A., the largest gift and souvenir shop in Magic Kingdom Park, if they had spare pin backs, to which they replied that they no longer did that.

Cast members working at the Frontier Trading Post in Frontierland gave a similar answer and suggested buying a pack of Mickey pin backs from the store if necessary.

A Cast Member shows two young Guests pins. Disney pin trading is a free offering at Disney World and Disneyland
Credit: Disney

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When asking at Disney Springs, cast members were confused after being asked if they had any spare pin backs and were surprised to find out that the boxes they used to have behind the counters to hand out were gone.

Cast members were apologetic in all cases about this sudden removal. However, they could not pinpoint the date on which the free offering was terminated or whether it would ever return to Magic Kingdom or Disney Springs.

Sadly, the sudden removal of this free offering at Disney World implies that guests trading pins or those who lose their pin backs when visiting the parks are now forced to buy a pack of pin backs at multiple locations across the Disney Parks and Disney Springs for $6.38 after taxes and before discounts.

Packages of 12 Mickey pin backs that guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort are now forced to buy at $6.38 after taxes and before discounts, since the free offering has been removed from the parks and Disney Springs
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

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Ironically, just last month Walt Disney World announced the long-awaited return of cast member to guest pin trading to Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Disney Springs, and across Walt Disney World Resort.

This variant of pin trading adds more magic to this iconic Disney Parks activity, making it more interactive between guests and cast members, not to mention that some cast members have exclusive pins you’ll definitely want to add to your collection.

Cast member to guest pin trading was removed from Walt Disney World Resort in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The offering remained unavailable until April 7, 2024, when The Walt Disney Company announced its long-awaited return.

The announcement was made through a TikTok video posted on the official @disneyparks account, which you can see below or click here to watch.

Dust off your pin lanyard! #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #DisneyPins #DisneyPinTrading #PinTrading #MysteryPins

@disneyparks

Dust off your pin lanyard!📌 #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #DisneyPins #DisneyPinTrading #PinTrading #MysteryPins

♬ original sound – Disney Parks

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Unfortunately, this is not the first time Disney World locations have terminated complimentary services. Last year, Inside the Magic reported on a Disney Springs location shutting down a free offering after an internet trend caused guests to flood the luxury store. 

And let’s not forget the internet trend that completely changed Walt Disney World Resort’s policies.

A Guest wears a bikini into the entrance of EPCOT, but is stopped.
Credit: @heliniofficial on TikTok

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In 2021, dozens of videos showed female guests taking advantage of Disney World’s dress code and policies, showing up to the theme parks in revealing attire to receive a “free shirt” when entering the park.

This trend continued through early 2022, forcing Walt Disney World Resort officials to modify their policies, making  guests purchase an appropriate shirt to enter the parks or return to their hotel rooms to change.

The former benefit the parks provided to ensure the enjoyment of all guests while maintaining a family-friendly environment was terminated. Discounted or free items were no longer offered to guests purposely violating the Orlando-based Disney Resort’s dress code.

You can see an example of this viral TikTok trend in the video below or click here to watch it.

Disney doesn’t like backs I guess…. #epcot #disneyworld #disney #dresscode #fyp #foryoupage @jessiedipasquale

@jordyngraime

Disney doesn’t like backs I guess…. #epcot #disneyworld #disney #dresscode #fyp #foryoupage @jessiedipasquale

♬ how i love being a woman – editdiaary

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Fortunately, other free offerings are still available at Disney World, like celebration buttons, which can be acquired at the Guest Relations offices at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT.

These buttons can also be found at most shops throughout Walt Disney World theme parks and at Disney Springs, and cast members can even help personalize them for each guest’s special occasion!

A Cast Member in VIP Tour guide costume high fiving a kid and his father in front of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT
Credit: Disney

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Additionally, guests visiting EPCOT can make the most of their tour around the world (or World Showcase, at least) by finding the Kidcot Fun Stops at each pavilion to meet friends from around the world and pick up an international memento at any or all 11 of the World Showcase stations.

More on Disney pin trading

The decades-old tradition of Disney pin trading has stirred debate across Disney Parks worldwide.

Last summer, Disneyland Resort restricted pin trading, introducing strict measures to control the activity at the park, particularly at Frontierland, which was a known problem for thousands of guests.

Cast Member displaying lanyard of pins for children who also of lanyards with pins on them. Disney pin trading is a free offering at Disney World and Disneyland
Credit: Disney

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Tokyo Disney Resort took its actions one step further, completely banning all forms of trading, including Disney pins, on February 28, 2002.

Guests have not held back in voicing their opinions about the current state of Disney pin trading at Disneyland and Disney World, with many commenting that the activity “is not what it used to be” due to pin boards across the Disney Parks being full of fake pins.

If you haven’t heard about Disney Pin trading, the cherished Disney tradition introduced as we know it in October 1999 with the launch of the Millenium celebration, lets guests buy pins at the official shops across Walt Disney World Resort’s theme parks, hotels, and even at Disney Springs to trade with cast members and fellow collectors to watch their collection grow.

Cast Member and Guest exchanging Pins
Credit: Disney

Disney World’s official website lists the following locations as the best to trade and shop for pins for guests looking to grow their collection:

  • Disney’s Pin Traders at Disney Springs
  • Frontier Trading Post at Magic Kingdom park
  • Pin Traders – Camera Center at EPCOT
  • Discovery Trading Company at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park
  • Celebrity 5 & 10 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

However, guests can find trading pin boards at almost every store across Walt Disney World theme park shops, at Disney Springs, and at most Disney Resort Hotels.

Additionally, with the return of cast member to guest pin trading, guests can enjoy this free offering throughout Disney World and trade with any cast member wearing an official Disney pin trading lanyard.

Have you noticed the removal of this free offering at Disney World? What do you think about it? Share your opinion with Inside the Magic in the comments below!

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