Disney Pin trading started in 1999 and has become a stable at all Disney parks and attractions (including Downtown Disney). Disney pins are fun and unique way for you to show your Disney side! Trading pins with cast members is a great way to have fun interactions with them. Trading pins is also exciting because you never know what special Disney pins you are going to find. A great starter tip for beginners is to buy starter sets that are sold at all the Disney Parks. These sets typically contain a lanyard and 4 pins and cost around $25.00. This is a much better value than buying items individually when you are first getting started.
Listed below are 6 ways to get more bang for your buck when trading pins!
This can be a great way to buy pins in bulk. Buying pins this way is less expensive for a greater quantity that you can take to the parks and trade for the pins you actually want in your collection! There is always a gamble with purchasing in bulk but with a little research, you can come out with a good collection to start trading.
Bonus tip – Make sure you see images of the pins you are buying! You are only eligible to trade official Disney pins. This means it must be a metal pin bearing a ©Disney mark on the back.
You can find Disney pins in bulk to purchase at a less expensive rate than buying pins in the park to trade. It’s important to do your research on the seller you are buying pins from. Check out their reviews on Amazon and make sure they are not selling “bootleg” pins. If a seller has good reviews, it’s a good indication that they are selling the real deal pins. Again, you are looking for metal pins with the copyrighted Disney on the back.
3. Trading Up
Looking for that special pin or a special character? Purchase a less expensive pin and find that special one on a cast member! Disney cast members are great about stopping whatever they are doing and letting you check out their pins. Make sure you plan time in your day to make occasional stops to check out pins. Another great option for “trading up” pins is to buy the mystery grab bags of pins at the stores and kiosks located around the parks and at the resorts. These are mystery packs so you don’t know what type of pin you will get but they are less expensive.
4. Disney Store Online
If you plan in advance buying marked down pins on the Disney store online website can be a great way to get pins that are on sale. If you have a Disney store in a mall near you, this can be another great way to find pins that are marked down greatly in price.
5. Trading With Other Park Guests
This is not as common as trading with Disney cast members but it can be a fun way to interact with other Disney guests and try and find rare and pins that mean a lot to you. Please remember that when you approach another Disney guest they do not have to trade with you – only official Disney cast members are required to trade their pins when you ask.
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6. Look Beyond The Lanyards
Looking at cast members’ lanyards is the most obvious place to find pins for trading. However, there are many other places to look for pins! At all Disney theme parks you can find areas with pin boards, books and even by park stroller rental locations. Every Walt Disney World resort (except the Swan and Dolphin) has pin trading somewhere in the resort. These areas can be hidden, if you ask the concierge they will gladly direct you to these secret pin-trading areas.
Downtown Disney is also a great place to purchase pins and also trade. There is a store in Downtown Disney dedicated to pin trading called Disney Pin Traders. They have an entire pin wall that is open often and can have dozen of pins up for trading, often times rare pins.
Disney pins you want to keep: When you come across a Disney pin you know you want to keep and you will never trade it’s a good idea to invest in a secure lock pin back. This is a good way to secure your pins to your lanyard. Another great way to display pins that you know you will never trade is to make a pin board. Below is an example of a pin board made with cork board, scrapbook paper and decorator tape.
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