This is part one of a three part series. You can go here to read part two, and here for part three.
I'll bet you've seen me mention pin trading a time or two (dozen!) and for those of you who know about it, you understand my love! Those of you who have never done it, you are in for a fantastic experience if you do take up Disney pin trading!
What is Disney Pin Trading?
Pin trading is a really fun way to collect mementos of your favorite moments of your Disney vacation, or collect favorite characters, shows or rides, all in lapel pins.
How Does it Work?
It's super simple! First, you buy yourself some trading pins, either online, or at the Disney Parks. From there, you can go and trade them with various Cast Members working at Disney. For example, let's say I have a bunch of pins that I don't really like, but I see a Cast Member wearing a pin lanyard, and on that lanyard I see a Tinkerbell pin I'd like. I go up to the Casts Member, ask if I may see their pins, and ask to trade for that Tinkerbell pin. I give her a pin, and she gives me the Tinkerbell. Super easy!
Is it Expensive to Do?
That all depends. There are people who will spend shockingly large amounts on pins, and there are others (like our family) who will seek out the best possible price and buy the pins in advance of a trip to trade. Pins can be sold individually, starting around $8 each, and there are booster packs containing anywhere between 4 and 8 pins, for around $27. Averaged out, the booster packs are a better deal, but you can also, with a little advance planning, buy those same booster packs online for $10 each or less, making your price per pin drop way down.
What Makes This Good for Kids?
I LOVE watching my kids want to go into a store, just to chase after pins. They get the fun of wandering through the store, but are so focused on trading pins, it's rare they want to stop and buy something. It also helps them to learn good social skills. They gain confidence and get to practice their manners when talking to the Cast Members. It's a great learning opportunity for them, and sometimes, they'll even have a conversation for a few minutes and learn some neat Disney fact, or some other tip the Cast Member tells them.
Do I have to Trade?
Nope! You NEVER have to trade unless you want to! If you are looking at a lanyard and don't see anything you want, just say “Thanks! Nothing this time!” And keep on going.
Who Can I Trade With?
You can trade with any Disney Cast Member wearing a lanyard around their neck, or a pouch at their hip. Stores and restaurants and resorts also have pin boards of varying types you can trade at as well.
What Kinds of Rules Are There?
The most important rule is the pin MUST be an official Disney pin. It must say Disney on the back. These pins will always represent something Disney related, be it a place, attraction or character.
Additional rules are you may trade two pins per cast member, or board per day. With thousands of cast members though, that's a lot of pins to pick from!
You also must not touch the Cast Member's lanyard. The lanyard is usually around their neck, and an excited tug to see their pins might hurt the Cast Member, or even cause the pin backs to fall off and poke someone.
I've Got All These Pins From Trading...Now What?
Now you can find a fun way to display them at home! You can make a pin board, use a pin book, keep them on a lanyard, in a drawer or box, just about anything you want to do! Imagination is the limit and the internet has hundreds of ideas!
Disney Pin Trading is fun, and can be addictive! Like all things, enjoy it in moderation and it not only enhances your trip, but gives you wonderful memories long after!
If you've never traded pins before, I'll have some upcoming parts in this series to give you some ideas of where to buy your pins, and some do's and don't!
If you have traded pins before, can you remember the first pin you ever traded for? Mine was a yellow and red square with Mickey on it!