Pin trading at Disney World is another way to add to the fun. Kids, teenagers, and adults will all enjoy the fun of pin trading.
For years I have observed others pin trading at Disney and to be honest, I didn’t get what all the hype was about. That all changed last year when the kids and I participated in pin trading for the first time. I can’t believe how much fun a simple thing like trading pins became for us. (It’s probably because Noah wasn’t there to complain about it.) Now that I know how to trade pins I am sharing everything I’ve learned with you. So, here goes!
Everything you need to know about pin trading!
Here’s the ins and outs, how to get started, and so much more.
What is pin trading?
Throughout Disney parks and resorts guests can trade one of their Disney pins for one pin from a cast member. Some people trade for fun like us and others are collectors and hunting for specific pins.
Can I trade pins with cast members?
Yes, you can trade with almost any cast member. Cast members have nine or more pins available to trade with guests at anytime. Cast members sometimes have pins to trade that are not available to the general public. Each cast member will trade two pins with you.
We were super hesitant at first to approach a cast member and ask to look at their pins for a potential trade, but after a few times we quickly realized that it was no big deal. Cast members expect you to ask them about their pins.
Can I trade unofficial Disney pins?
Yes. The pins need to be Disney themed, but they do not have to be the official pins that Disney sells, but they need to be close to the same. I suggest ordering pins off of Amazon to get you started. This is a much cheaper way to start out. You can trade your unofficial pins with cast members and end up with official ones.
A pin must be made of metal and represent a Disney character, park, attraction, icon, or other Disney type affiliation. Additionally, the pin must have a Disney copyright on its back.
One thing to consider: Keep in mind that the pins are medal and can get a bit heavy. For younger children, even a little bit of weight can cause an issue, so stick to the small pins. If you have a child that easily gets irritated around their neck, consider pinning them to a backpack or a hat instead of a lanyard. You could even order some Mickey ears that hold pins!
Is pin trading only for kids?
Anyone or any age can participate in pin trading. There is an exception. If a cast member is wearing a teal lanyard they will only trade with kids ages 3 – 12.
Remind young children when pin trading that they are not to touch someone else’s lanyard. If they need a closer look they can ask to see the pin.
I do have to mention that the first time I pin traded I was an adult with other adults and I felt really stupid participating even though the cast members didn’t hesitate trading with us.
How to Get Started Pin Trading?
It is easy to get started. Each of your kids will need a lanyard to hold their pins and 9 – 12 pins for trading.
You can buy a starter set in the parks that will include a lanyard and pins. If you want to spend less money you can buy a lanyard and pins off of Amazon. I bought a lot of Disney pins off of Amazon for pretty cheap. Check out current pin lot offerings on Amazon.
We also had a few Disney pins already from previous trips that were given to us. We have decided not to trade any of these. For fun, I thought I might share why we were given Disney pins and what they were.
- Back around 2008 when you took Jedi Training you were given a Star Wars pin and a certificate. (They may still do this, but it’s been a long time since one of my kids participated.)
- Last year when we were staying at the Coronado Resort a lot of it was under construction. When we came back to our room one night we noticed we had been left little under construction pins with the Three Cabelleros including Donald Duck.
- When Eden turned five I took her to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and she decided to be Tinkerbell. When she saw Tinkerbell later that day Tinkerbell gave her a Tinkerbell pin.
- I was at the Animal Kingdom’s 10th anniversary as press and was given a commemorative pin to mark the occasion, which was pretty amazing. Jane Goodall spoke.
Is there pin trading on Disney Cruises?
Yes, all Disney ships offer pin trading on their cruises. Inside the shops there are boards with pins you can trade for. Apparently, on the last night of your cruise, the ship’s officers have a special trading time. We completely missed this.
Is pin trading done outside of the parks?
Yes, there are opportunities to pin trade outside of the parks! Throughout Disney resort hotels there are cast members wearing lanyards that will pin trade with you. Over in Disney Springs the Disney stores have cast members that participate in pin trading. Disney’s “Good Neighbor” hotels usually offer pin trading if they have a Disney desk in the lobby.
Can you trade pins at non-theme park Disney resorts?
Yes, there is pin trading at every location Disney has.
- Aulani – Once a month Aulani hosts a pin trading night. They also have locations around the property that offer trades. These five locations have pin books: concierge desk, DVC Preview Center, Lava Shack, Aunty’s Beach House, and Kalepa gift shop. There were pins for sale in the gift shop in case you need some.
- Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort – There are three places you can trade pins here, the front desk, the recreation desk, and the Broad Creek Mercantile shop. The shop also sells pins.
- Disney’s Vero Beach Resort – You can trade pins with a Cast Member at the front desk or at Island Grove Packing Company.
What are common Disney pin trading terms?
- Scrapper Pin – A Scrapper pin is an unauthorized/unofficial pin. Many of the molds Disney uses to make pins are not destroyed after the creation of its pin order, and bootlegs are created.
- GWP – A GWP (Gift with Purchase) pin is a bonus pin given to guests who buy at least $25 of pin merchandise in one transaction. Walt Disney World has promotions sometimes where GWPs are available for $1 each with a $30 purchase.
- Piece of History (POH) – A Piece of History pin from the 2005 set is considered to be one of the more rare series in the Disney Pin Trading. Each pin contains a teensy piece of a prop from a WDW attraction.
- Retired Pins – Retired (or discontinued) pins are pins that are no longer in production. Disney periodically “retires” pins so they can introduce new pins.
Now that we know how to go about making trades this will likely be part of our Disney trips from now on. I’ve already started collecting Muppet pins, because I love the Muppets! And my daughter Eden felt like she didn’t get enough trading in and is already looking forward to our next trip just so she can continue pin trading!
Do you have any tips for pin trading? We would love for you to share them with us in the comment below!