I have been to Disney World more times then I can count, but every trip, there is always something new for me to try, whether its something brand spanking new to Disney, or just something I just never got around to doing before! That’s what’s so great about Disney! No matter how many times you go, there is always something new to do. And Pin Trading is something that I have just recently started doing! I still consider myself a pin trading newbie. It actually all started with my son. We bought him his first Disney pin last year (it was a Kion pin from The Lion Guard), and he was in love. From there, he was hooked! We are still learning the ins and outs of this whole pin trading business, but hopefully, this article will help you get a head start in this fun activity!
Before we go into the tips and tricks, lets back up a little bit….
What is pin trading?
Pin trading really is just what it sounds like — trading different Disney pins. There are two different ways to trade pins. The first, which is the easiest and most common, is with Disney cast members. Often, cast members will be wearing a lanyard around their neck, or even have a big cork board full of fun Disney pins ripe for trading! Another way that you can go about pin trading is with other Disney World vacationers. This one can be a little trickier because sometimes people want to trade, and sometimes they don’t. Either way you trade your pins, make sure that the pins that you are giving and the pins that you are taking are official Disney pins. They way you can tell is by looking at the back. Pins must be metal ones with the ‘©Disney’ on the back, in good shape, and usually with a Mickey backing on them. Remember, whoever you trade with, just have fun!
1. Start Small
Don’t worry about starting off right away with a huge collection. The fun of pin collecting is watching your collection grow! There is no need to have dozens of pins when you first start. Starting small is not only easier, but your wallet will thank you later.
2. Buying cheap
Speaking of keeping our wallets happy… A great way to get started is to buy pins online. Unless you want to spend a fortune when you arrive at the parks, look around for deals online before your trip. Pins in the parks start at $6 a piece and can go up a lot from there. And if you and everyone in your family want to get more then one, that’s going to start getting preeeeetttyyy expensive (think about all of the Mickey pretzels you could have bought with that dough). You can find pins on Amazon or eBay for significantly cheaper. Lots of times, you can buy a starter packs or bundles that have a few great pins in them. But make sure you read the reviews before you buy. You want to make sure you aren’t getting any scrapper pins or any fakes. These starter packs are usually random too, so you don’t know what you will be getting until your pack arrives at your door. It adds to the excitement! My son and I have bought our last few pin bundles online, and we have gotten some really neat ones! Check it out, do a little research, and I’m sure you will be able to find a great little starter pack for your Disney trip.
3. Pin Storage
Lanyards are probably the most common way to store and show off your pins (as you can see from the photo above, that’s how I store my pins!). You can find lanyards for purchase all over the parks, or even back at home at your local store. Pin books and bags are also available to contain your growing collection. Get creative! I have seen pins on shirts, vests, or even hats and Minnie ears! There are tons of ways to show off your favorite pins.
4. Helping your pins not get lost
Sometimes, the plain black Mickey backings are not the strongest, and just the littlest bumps of your pins can send one flying. Try the ‘locking’ pin backs which ensure that your favorites stay in place if you’re not looking to trade them right away (or at all). These backs are usually available to purchase where most Disney pins are being sold around the park.
5. Know The Rules
When it comes to pin trading, there aren’t too many rules, but there are a few. Cast Members must trade the pins on their lanyard or boards, but they will only trade 2 pins per person per day. You are also supposed to offer them something they don’t already have. Cast Members with green lanyards will only trade with kids age 3-12. The castmembers with any other color lanyards will trade with anyone any age.
Hopefully, that helped you pin trading newbies! Do you have any pin trading tips that I missed? Did you learn anything from this article? Let me know in the comments down below! I would LOVE to hear from you! Also, if you have any pin trading photos, tag me at @TheDisneyGrl on Instagram. I would love to see how you pin trade at Disney World!