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Pin Traders at Down Town Disney WDW

By Princess Diva

Years ago on one of the Disney Brother’s first trips to Disneyland, they started asking about all the pins that everyone was wearing.  At that point, I knew nothing about pin trading, but the more and more that the boys trade, the more we all learn.  First of all, we needed to get the boys their own pins.  

At each pin cart or store (pins can seriously be found just about anywhere in the parks or at the resorts…Downtown Disney or Epcot have the best selections) you can find starter sets.  These can run from $26.00 up to almost $50.00  They have sets especially for kids and sets for just about any of your favorite characters.  These starter sets usually come with 4-6 duplicate pins to begin trading.  Now the real fun can begin!  You can trade your pins with Disney cast members or with other Disney guests.

Here are some of the basic rules for Disney Pin Trading:
Disney Brothers ready for a day of pin trading
  1. To trade with cast members, guests should offer a pin that the cast member does not already posses.
  2. Pins should be metal, undamaged and have a ©Disney on the back
  3. Pins from Disney affiliates like ABC and ESPN can be traded
  4. Pins should have their backs
  5. You may trade up to two times with a cast member per day (this rule does not apply for guest to guest trading)
  6. There are some cast members that will only trade with children.  They are set apart by wearing a different colored lanyard (green at Walt Disney World and teal at Disneyland)
  7. You cannot trade name pins, plastic pins or clasp style pins with cast members
When pin trading, remember to be respectful, but have fun!
  1. For most pin traders, this is a fun way to make memories; be patient for those new to trading and just learning the rules (we by no means know all of the rules and usually learn something new each time we visit with cast members). 
  2. Don’t break up a set of pins…if pins are meant to go together, you have to trade them that way.
  3. If a pin is turned backwards, it is a mystery pin.
  4. Look, but don’t touch another person’s lanyard.  Ask them to get a closer look at a certain pin.
  5. And hand your pin over with the back cover on…I can’t tell you how many times I have stabbed myself while helping the Disney Brothers attach their new pins to their lanyards.
I know this sounds like a lot of rules, but Pin trading really is a lot of fun.  The Disney Brothers LOVE it…Here are some of their favorite things about Disney Pin Trading.
Pins from Aulani
  1. We have two sets of pins.  Ones that we take to trade at the parks, and ones that we collect to display at home.  The boys have a cork board in their room that they keep these on.  Oldest Disney Brother collects Nightmare before Christmas, Middle Disney Brother collects Star Wars, and Disney Baby collects Mickey Mouse.
  2. When we go to the parks, it is fun to try and collect a whole set of something new.  Middle Disney Brother likes to talk to the cast members and find out which pins you can’t buy (only the cast members can get…these have a special silver hidden Mickey somewhere on the front) and will try to find them all in a trip.
  3. Our parents let us decide which pins to trade.  The pins that are on their lanyards are theirs, and the trade is up to them.  There are been a couple of times where I have questioned them for making a trade that I never would have made, but cast members have even commented on how great it is that we let them decide!
  4. Pins are everywhere.  Not only do almost all the cast members have pins, but most places that sell pins have pin boards or pin books that you can trade with too. 
  5. We like that pins can start conversations with other guests.  Middle Disney Brother loves to kill time making new friends on the monorail and while waiting in lines.
  6. We get pins for special events.  We got new pins when we went to Aulani and when we rode the Tower of Terror for the first time!
  7. We can get a lot of pins instead of a big souvenir.  We most likely have to fly to get to a Disney park, so these are great and easy to get home without taking up tons of room (just remember that they can’t go in your carry on).
Disney Brothers’ pin collect at home
Silver hidden Mickey pins’ 

There you have it.  That is how the Princess Diva’s family trades pins.  Do you have any great pin trading stories?  How about a special pin?

Not sure what to do once your home with your pins? Check out Disney Diva’s craft project