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Looking for a more advanced guide? Check out our article “Secret Pin Trading Locations at Walt Disney World”.
We’ve been pin trading for over 15 years. It is one of our favorite past times at Disney, and something we look forward to most each year! Whether you are passholders who have never pin traded, or you are headed to your first visit to the parks, this guide will walk you through how to pin trade, and what makes it so exciting!
What is Disney pin trading?
Disney pin trading is an interactive experience with guests and cast members. Guests with official Disney pins can approach any cast member and ask to trade pins with them. The cast members always say yes (it’s required). Disney releases different collections every year that can only be found on cast member lanyards. They also sell a huge variety of pins with your favorite parks, rides, characters, and more on them. There are Disney pin traders all over the world, it’s an activity that brings thousands of people together!
How do I begin?
It can seem daunting to start pin trading. But, we started with only 3 pins and a lanyard. Here’s how to start pin trading!
- Purchase any amount of pins to begin trading with. These pins can be bought in the parks, the Disney outlets, or online. If you buy online, be careful not to buy “fake” Disney pins, which closely resemble real pins. For kids, we recommend buying a starter set of pins. This comes with 4 pins and a lanyard, and can be found on the Disney store website, in some Disney outlets, at most gift shops in Walt Disney World, or on Amazon.
- Bring your pins to the parks. When you see a cast member wearing a pin lanyard, or a pin board (cork board with pins on it) you can ask them to trade with you (they will always say yes). Show them what pin you want, and give them one of your pins in return. It’s as easy as that! If they already have the pin that you want to give them, you will have to give them something else
- Now you’ve started collecting pins! You can also buy pins that you don’t want to trade. Any official Disney pin can be traded with a cast member. You can also trade with other guests, but just know that you may not have a pin that they want!
Who do I trade with?
You can trade with any Disney cast member that has a pin lanyard or sash, or any pin board you see in the parks. For more details about pin boards, head over to our secret Disney pin board locations article!
Where do I keep my pins?
There are multiple options for places to store your pins! You can keep them on a Disney pin trading lanyard, like shown below. This is an easy way to display your pins, but it can be risky because pins fall off. It also gets heavy when you have too many pins on it.
The other options are pin books. Disney sells Disney pin trading books with soft pages inside to attach your pins too. We have these books, but we’ve since found a better solution. The Pinfolio by Gopinpro solved all of our pin trading needs. The Pinfolio is in simple terms, a pin trading book. But, what sets it apart is that you do not need backs to use the book. It makes trading and transporting pins so easy!
Being silly & Pin Trading with our friend @lildiznerd at #HollywoodStudios. Cast members are so much fun to trade with and many times we get to know so many of them. Pin Trading is a great conversation starter! . . #LapelPins #disneyig #pins #pintrading #DisneyPins #pincollector #pinstagram #disneygram #disneyworld #GoPinPro #GoPinFolio #PinFolio #wdw #PinTrader #disneystyle #disneyinspired #DisneyGirls #disneyphoto #hiddenmickey #disneylove #disney #disneykids #disneylife #disneyfamily
The Pinfolio has rubber like material inside. You take the back off, and stick your pin in the rubber (like you would a cork board). The pins will securely stay on, and we were able to fit about 60 pins in ours! It also has a piece of felt in the middle separating the pages to prevent scratching of pins.
You can also customize the character you want on the front of the Pinfolio, or opt for their Pinfolio “show” that has a clear front to display your favorite pins. This is definitely one of the biggest tricks we have to pin traders new and old!
What is the best part of pin trading?
Pin trading is a lot of fun for many reasons. We love how we can get a souvenir each trip that showcases something we did: for example, if we attended Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, we’ll get a pin from there! You can collect so many, and never run out of options to get more.
We also love the hunt. Disney releases new pins every year, so we always have something to look for at the parks! We each have over two hundred pins, and we always want more. Overall, it’s a lot of fun to have as a hobby and something else to do in the parks other than rides and attractions!
- If you want to get started buying pins, consider starting with Disney pin trading starter sets, available at most merchandise stores on property and online! These come with 3-7 similar pins, (like all Muppets, Hollywood Studios, or Mickey and pals at the beach) and are a great way to get a collection going!
- If you have questions about Disney pin trading rules, don’t hesitate to ask a cast member! All cast members are trained on pin trading and more than willing to help guests out!
- Want to find rare Disney pins? Try the resorts! The concierge at the Deluxe Resorts have pin trading binders. Or, check out these pin trading spots!
- A great source for more information on pins, rules, and pin trading events is the Disney pin traders website!
Wrapping It Up
It’s never too late to start trading! Grab a couple of pins from the outlets and try it out, you might end up loving it! Let us know what you think of our guide in the comments below!