Before our first trip to Disney World, my nephews told my kids all about pin trading and because there’s not enough to do at Disney World (insert eye roll), our kids wanted to get in on the action of pin trading too. They loved it! Pin trading is a fun and interactive experience where kids (big and small) trade official Disney pins with Cast Members and other guests during their vacation.
The initial start-up cost of pin trading was a little shocking to my credit card, especially with 2 kids but the fun the kids have trading while on vacation is so worth it. Pins range in price from about $7 up to $16 so we found the most economical way to stat the kids on their pin trading adventure was to buy them a lanyard pack that already comes with pins. Starter kits and pins can be purchased across Disney in the resorts, park and Downtown Disney. Once you have your pins you are ready to start trading!
TIP: On our last vacay, we bought the kids pin trading pouches which seemed easier for them to carry and zipped closed so nothing could go missing. Highly recommend getting these
How it works
The act of pin trading is really quite simple and a great way for the kids to interact with the Disney Cast Members. The kids simply approach anyone wearing a lanyard or green pin pad and ask to take a look at their pins. If they find one they like they can then ask for the pin and then they can select one of their pins to swap the new pin for. Ideally they will give their least favourite pin to the cast member as they will never refuse a trade. Throughout your entire vacation, your kids will feel like they are a treasure hunt for the best pins.
TIP: Encourage the kids do the transactions themselves as they will have great interactions with the cast members and why not throw in a lesson on manners while on vacation. You can never go wrong with some please and thank yous
Where can you trade pins?
Disney pin trading can be done in any of the Disney parks, Downtown Disney and even at your resort. Basically anywhere there are people working, you are bound to find pins.
Within a Disney Park, you can trade them with any Cast Member wearing a lanyard or green trading square
All Parks have Pin trading boards where there will be a large selection of pins to choose from
You are only allowed to trade 2 pins with a cast member per transaction so thankfully Disney employees like a trazillion people!
Tips to pin trading
Buy a pack of pins that your kids don’t like – Sounds kind of mean I know, but they won’t want to trade ones they like and then it kind of defeats the purpose
Buy pins off eBay prior to going to Disney – Many returning guests know that you can buy pin lots off eBay for cheaper. For instance you can buy 25 pins for $25 which is a great deal seeing as pins start around $7 in the parks
Buy locking backs – Pins come with a cute mickey shaped plastic backing on it which tend to fall off and then you lose your pins. For $10, you can purchase backs that lock onto the pins so there is no losing them
Find pins with hidden Mickeys – Pins that have the hidden Mickey on them are cast member pins and therefore you can’t even buy them
Why our kids say they love pin trading
- Every day is a new adventure! We never know what cool pins we are going to find
- Mommy & Daddy let us do all the trading ourselves. Sometimes i’ll ask if they think i’m making a good trade but mostly it’s all my good trading.
- We get to choose to pins that mean something to us and remind us of our favourite characters, parks, rides and shows.
- Our pins come with us on every Disney vacation and there are always new pins out
- We get a new pin that says what year we were at Disney every time we go