Friday, July 1, 2011

Pin Trading at the Disney Parks

Pin Trading at the Disney Parks

       So you might be asking what the heck is Pin Trading and how do you do it. The simple answer is you buy any Disney pin, or bring them into the park with you and you can trade them with any Cast Member or Guest with a lanyard, pin book or pins to trade.

       Pin Trading can be a very expensive hobby. I suggest you look around and find a place you can order trader pins in bulk. You can usually find them for $1.50~$2.50 each. Usually the more pins you order at one time the lower the price is per pin. Make sure you do check on the seller you are purchasing from. You can then trade these pins for pins people are trading in the parks. There are fake pins out there and if you try to trade them in the parks you will be greatly disappointed because people will not want them. It is not always easy to tell a fake from the real pin. Usually the colors are not right on fakes.

       Not everybody will trade just any pin for the pin you want. Other guests trading pins have the right to say no to a trade. Cast Members on the other hand have no say and if they have a lanyard they must trade any pin you have for whatever pin you want. If a Cast Member has a Black lanyard or waist pin trading pad anybody who wishes can trade. If the lanyard or waist pad is Teal Green only kids under 10 years old can trade for pins on that lanyard. You can fine limited edition and other special pins on their lanyards.

Any pins you do not wish to trade do not put on your lanyard or in a pin trading book you show while trading. Keep the pins you want to keep in a separate place. It is best if you just leave them in your room while at the park. If you still want to have them on a lanyard have one lanyard for pins you are willing to trade and a second different color or patterned lanyard for keepers.

       If you see another guest walking around the park or in a line that has a lanyard feel free to ask if they wish to trade. If they say no don’t be offended. You will find Pin Traders at tables outside the stores that only sell pins. In Disneyland these stores are Westward Ho Trading Company in Frontierland and Little Green Men Store Command in Tomorrowland. Each Disney Park has at least one pin store and often there pin traders there. If you are a new or novice pin trader I do not suggest trading with the Pin Sharks at the tables. Stick with trading with Cast Members and other guests that have a nice attitude.

       My husband and I love to “trade pins”. The thing is we usually only trade with children or families. We stay totally away from the Pin Sharks who will take your best pin while giving you a worthless pin in trade that you have no interest in if they can. We don’t care what pin a child takes or gives in exchange. The idea is to enjoy the experience and maybe get a few nice pins in the process. We usually end up keeping over half of the pins we trade for. We trade simply for the joy of it.

       My husband does the trading. I carry a bag with trader pins. Sometimes a child does not have pin to trade for a pin they see my husband has. When that happens my husband will tell the child to go over to me with a message. The child will then come over to me and say, “Your husband needs a pin. He asked me to get one from you for him.” I’ll then reach into my bag and hand the child a pin. I tell the child to return to my husband and trade that pin for any pin they want. This brings such joy to the child and therefore to us. We usually give out 5 pins each day we visit the park.

       The most important thing about pin trading is have fun and make new Disney Friends. When trading pins trade for the pins you like and don’t just look for “value”. Watch for sets you like. They will usually all be of the same shape or have something that is the same. On the back of the pins you may see 2 of 9 or LE 2.000. If it has 2 of 9 that means it is the second pin in a set of 9. LE stands for limited edition and the number tells you how many were made. Obviously the LE of low numbers are more valued than open edition pins. Still collect the pins you like open edition, LE or set.

       For more information on Pin Trading and to learn a little about how to tell a fake pin from a real Disney Pin check out the following two links at Walt’s Basement.


  1. Thanks! I learned something, I'm still a novice trader. I didn't know about the cast members colors on their lanyards. That is sweet how you do the kids :-)

    I've collected pins since they started the Disney Store special set of 100. I've been collecting buttons since I was 8! I take picture frames, staple fabric into them and display my pins in them. My stairwell to my basement is full of buttons and pins! They are moving into my den!

    I'm going in 39 days, can't wait to add to my collection!

  2. Once again I can't get this to stay logged in to respond.

    I'm glad I helped with new information.

    I'm glad you are going to Disney. If you are going to Disneyland then let me know at I have an Annual Pass to the park and go at least once a month. Maybe we can meet.

  3. Well I figured out how to stay signed in to reply!! What I said before stands.

  4. I just recently bought a lanyard and my first pin which I'm really excited about! But I have a I have to trade my pins if somebody asks me? I just want to buy pins I like and add them to my lanyard and I'm only planning on buying pins that have special meanings to me. But I don't want to be rude and say no to someone at Disneyland! What should I do?

  5. Very good question! You are not required to trade with anyone you do not feel comfortable with. Also if someone offers you a pin you are not interested in you do not have to trade.

    Once again I say the Cast Members and kids are the best to trade with.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.