Starting in 1999, Pin Trading has become one of the most popular free activities on Disney Property.
From recreational traders to serious pin collectors, everyone is in search of the best Disney Pins.
Pin trading is a fun activity to get into. But, it also leaves you with a dilemma. What do you do those trading pins once you get home?
Disney Pin Trading Beginner’s Guide
The Basics of Pin Trading
A lanyard and a few pins is really all you need to start trading.
However, the best place to get your Disney Pins is from the Mouse, himself.
When you purchase pins on Disney Property or ShopDisney, you are guaranteed to be getting authentic pins.
Purchasing pins on Ebay and Amazon are great ways of getting multiple pins at a great price.
However, purchase with caution. In most cases, these sets will include fakes, or “scrappers.”
Even if they are fakes, these pin sets are perfect for children or Guests who only trade for fun.
But, for Guests who are looking for better trades and authentic pins, these are not for you.
How to start Pin Trading
Once you have a lanyard and a few pins, you can simply walk up to a Cast Member and politely as if you can see their pins.
This is the easiest way to start your pin trading because Disney Cast Members are not allowed to say no to a trade. However, they do have a limit of 2 trades per Guest, so pick your favorites first.
Any Cast Member who is wearing a lanyard with pins is up for pin trading. So, even if you’re cashing out or you pass a Cast Member at the Fastpass Queue, ask to make the trade.
Just remember to keep it short and sweet, so you don’t hold up the people behind you.
From time to time, other Guests may ask you to do a trade. Or you may see another Guest who has a pin that you want.
The biggest difference between trading with Cast Members and trading with Guests is that they are allowed to say no…and vice versa.
This includes serious Pin Traders who set up giant cork boards for the purpose of trading for better pins.
If they say no, don’t take it personal. They may already have your pin, or they are on the lookout for something completely different than what you have.
Remember to thank them for their time, and move on.
Where can you Pin Trade?
Anywhere there is a Cast Member is a chance to Pin Trade. Cast Members will often hold out their lanyards for you to see.
If they notice your lanyard, they may also show you a pin board with more pins on them. They may even be able to guide you to areas with secret pin boards. So, don’t be afraid to ask if they know where to find the best pins.
Some Cast Members also have Mystery Pins. They are placed backwards, so you can not see what the pin in until you make the trade. It makes trading more fun since you don’t know what pin you’re trading for.
Disney Springs / Downtown Disney
Disney Springs and Downtown Disney are the shopping districts in Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort.
But, they’re also great places to pin trade. Many Guests bring their lanyards to the Parks, but not the shopping districts. So, if there aren’t too many people around, you can take your time before making your trade.
The Resorts love to get in on the fun, as well. In fact, the Resorts may be one of the best places to pin trade.
The Resorts tend to be less crowded during the day, since everyone is at the parks. So, the Cast Members may have more time to speak to you, which is always fun.
But, the best part is when you find a Cast Members who pulls out a secret book or pin board for you to look at. It’s a truly magical moment.
Many Guests don’t realize that Pin Trading is also a popular activity on the cruise ships, as well.
In fact, Disney cruises hold an Officer Pin Trading Night, where you trade pins with crew members.
The event is extremely popular. You will want to make your rounds more than once since pins are constantly being replenished. Not only are Guests trading pins, but you may notice officers sporadically taking new pins out of their pockets.