There are a ton of fun things that visitors of the Disney parks love to do while they're on a trip to their favorite park. From going on their favorite rides to enjoying their favorite treats and even picking up some souvenirs, there are so many fun ways to enjoy your time in the Disney parks. One thing that many visitors like to do is take part in a fun Disney tradition known as pin trading!
Although many Disney fans have likely taken part in pin trading or at least heard of it, there are a few things about this hobby that not everyone will know. Here are some tips to help you have the best possible pin trading experience next time you go to the Disney parks.
To see 10 things you never knew about pin trading at Disney, keep reading!
10 When Did Pin Trading Start?
Pin trading has been a popular way for Disney fanatics to collect and trade the enamel pins that are sold in the different Disney parks and stores for a long time. But how did pin trading get its start? When did it become the huge deal it is now?
Pins have always been one of the souvenirs sold at the Disney parks but the act of pin trading didn't become popular until the Millennium Celebration back in 1999 at the Walt Disney World Resort. That means that pin trading is a tradition that has been part of the Disney parks for over two decades!
9 You Can Buy Trader Pins
Don't want to spend a ton of money to pick up pins at the Disney parks that you're just going to be trading? Considering pins can range from $8 to over $100 each in the Disney parks, the idea of buying so many just to trade them with other visitors or cast members might sound crazy.
Luckily, if you check eBay, Amazon, or other selling apps, you can find lots of pins that people sell solely for people to buy and trade. But buyer beware! Some of these lots contain counterfeit pins, also known as "scrappers." Make sure you check the seller's feedback and do a little research before you pick up these cheap pins to ensure you're not taking fakes to the park.
8 Cast Members Have Exclusive Pins
When you're at the Disney parks, you might notice that there are Disney cast members wandering around the parks that are wearing lanyards with pins of their own on them. Some of these pins have a small Mickey Mouse head somewhere on the pin - that's how you know that it's a cast member exclusive pin. In order to get your hands on one, you're going to have to approach the cast member and offer to trade one of your pins for one of theirs!
7 You're Not Taking Their Pins
If you see a cast member that has an exclusive pin that you just have to have, don't feel shy about asking them! The cast members don't actually own these pins, they're given to them to wear around the park solely for trading with the visitors of the parks. So, if you see a really cool pin on their lanyard, don't feel bad about asking them to trade it!
Simply approach the cast member and politely ask if you can check out their pins. If you see one you like, point it out and the cast member will take it off for you and trade for one of yours. Never touch someone else's pins without permission!
6 But Mind Their Lanyard
As long as you're offering them an authentic Disney pin to trade, Disney cast members actually can't turn down any trades. They wear those lanyards just to trade with the visitors at the parks, so it's not a problem for them to hand over one of their rare cast member exclusive pins.
But make sure you double check the color of the cast member's lanyard before you approach them for a trade! Most cast members will be wearing a black lanyard that's covered in pins, but if you see one wearing a green lanyard, that means they're only open to trade with children.
5 You Can Trade With Pin Boards
Cast members and other park visitors aren't the only places that Disney visitors can trade pins! While those are two great places to find awesome Disney pins that you've been looking for, there are also pin boards at various locations around the park that are available to trade with, too.
Simply walk up to one, find the pin that you want, and replace it with one of your own pins. This can be a fun way to find some really interesting pins that people have decided to let go from their collections and even find cast member exclusive pins. The lines can get long at pin boards, so be patient!
4 Some Pins Get Seriously Pricey
Depending on the pin, some pins that are sold at the Disney parks can get pretty expensive. While many of them are priced at around $7.95 but special pins can cost almost twice that cost and limited edition pins, pins by featured artists, and pins released during special events can cost up to $125! Pretty crazy, right?
This means that trying to buy and collect pins that are sold in the parks can be pretty expensive. Some pins are even sold on websites like eBay and apps like Mercari for way more money than they originally cost. It's important to consider just how pricey a pin was before you trade it away because it may be hard to pick up again.
3 Some People Try To Break Disney's Rules
Pin trading can be fun but unfortunately, there are some people that like to take a little of the fun out of it by trying to break Disney's rules. We all know that some Disney souvenirs can fetch a pretty penny on websites like eBay, so a lot of people try to buy the more sought-after items and resell them.
Disney isn't a fan of people doing this and actually doesn't allow for people to sell things - including pins - in the parks. In order to try to get around this, some people will offer a pin in exchange for a certain amount of other merchandise in order to add up to the money they want for the pin. This is totally uncool and bad pin trading etiquette!
2 There Are Different Types Of Pins
Part of the fun of pin trading at the Disney parks is the fact that there are so many different types of pins! Some people that are seriously into collecting pins may post on social media or a pin trading board saying that they're looking for a certain type of pin. They may say that they want a certain set, a slider pin, a Piece of History pin, or even a Hidden Mickey pin. What does it all mean?
The different words that people use to describe the pins like "slider," Piece of History, and "chaser" describe either where the pin came from or what the pin is actually of. Different types of pins have different values, so be sure to do some research on them before you start trading.
1 Different Shops Have Different Pins
Part of the reason that people get so into pin trading is because there are so many awesome pins that Disney releases. They feature our favorite Disney characters, rides, foods, and even locations within the park. Because of this, many people just have to collect them all and trading to get the ones they want is a fun way to do that.
One important thing to keep in mind is that not all of the stores in the Disney parks sell the same pins. So, if there's one you see someone trying to trade that you really want but isn't available at the park you normally visit or you haven't seen in a store, don't pass it up!