Pin Trading is a great way to stay entertained during the “down” times in the parks. The best part about pin trading is that you get to decide how much time you want to spend on it. Some people, like myself can spend hours, while for others it’s a way to pass the time.
If you want to spend hours or merely minutes, the tips will help you find the pins you’re looking for!
For starters, I’ll go over the different types of pins that you can either trade for (or buy).
The first three will be the easiest to find at the parks. Everyone has access to these; therefore there is more availability. But don’t let that stop you from looking for the others!
- Mystery Pack – typically there are two per pack ($15)
- Standard Pin – can be found at all of the parks and Disney Springs. There will be a color on the back to denote the price
- Hidden Mickey Pins –you cannot buys these. They are a lot of fun to trade for an have a little Mickey head on them. There is usually a chaser or all silver version to look out for too!
The next few are harder to find. Less are made and the likelihood of getting a duplicate is lower. With that being said keep your eyes peeled! You never know what you’ll find.
- Limited Edition – tend to be seasonal or with a new attraction
- Annual Passholder – you have to be an annual passholder to purchase this pin. They can be park specific or yearly
- DVC– you have to be a DVC member to purchase this pin
- Tour Pins – are given out with an experience (not all experiences offer pins)
I like to trade a lot! So I personally like to bring about 50-80 pins with me every trip. I may not trade them all but I’d rather not trade a pin I just had to have. I like to buy bulk pins from Ebay, which is typically more cost effective. Just make sure to look at the reviews and
the description to make sure you’re getting real Disney pins! By buying in bulk I’ll have plenty of low value pins to trade.
Once you have your pins, it’s up to you to decide how you want to carry them. I keep mine in a little pin bag. I like carrying mine around in this over a lanyard because I’m afraid to lose pins on rides. But I know many people will wear theirs. Either on a lanyard, jean jacket, or hat to show them off as they trade!
A cool trick is to keep all of the pins you want to keep on one side of your lanyard and all of the ones you want to trade on the other.
How to Find Your Bucket List Pins
- For starters, you are capped a 2 trades per Cast Member
My friend and I trade a lot together and will specifically trade for pins the other wants. That means sometimes she’ll get one for me if she knows there are 3 I just have to have! Or I’ll find a pin I think she’d love when I’m traveling with my family and she’s not there. It’s a team effort!
- Look for non-stationary Cast Members
A great example of this is the custodial Cast Members. They tend to have amazing pins because they are not always as easy to find.
- Check the same place more than once
People trade pins throughout the day. Someone might be
trading what you are looking for. Cast Members also change shifts. New Cast Members = new pins!!!
- Carry extra pins to trade!
I cannot say this enough. Younger children can get very excited about pin trading. If you do not have a low value pin to trade, you could end up trading a really expensive one. That’s how I have gotten a couple of my pins, including the Halloween one above.
- Ask a Cast Member
Cast Members have been known to work a little Disney Magic (even if that just means sprinkling some pixie dust for luck). They may be able to tell you where they’ve last seen the pin you’re looking to trade for or buy. This does not mean the pin will still be there, even if you run but…it’s a start.
- Some Cast Members will have mystery pins!
They will either turn all of their pins backwards (so you can’t see any) or just a handful. Sometimes they’ll let you blindly trade or they’ll ask you a Disney question. I personally enjoy this because I tend to learn something new about Disney and it adds to the excitement.
- Don’t forget to check the Disney Store at Orlando International Airport!
Site Specific Trading Tips
- The Parks
This is where most of my pin trading occurs. They are everywhere. Most cast members will have a lanyard around their necks or a small pouch on their belt. There are a
lso boards throughout the park. Just ask around! Certain stores will have them tucked away for limited times throughout the day. If the line isn’t too long, I’ll also pop into Guest Services to look at their pin book.
Not all resorts have pin boards in the same location, so be sure to ask. Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa has a board near Check-In, whereas the Contemporary Resort has their pin board in their market place.
- Disney Springs
I tend to get lucky here. The World of Disney is a wonderful place for pin trading BUT you need to have extra patience. It can be chaotic with so many of the cast members actively helping customers all over the store. There is also a row of registers. PIN HEAVEN!!! This is probably the most difficult place to trade but if you are willing to wait you can find some of the best pins.
The big pin store is also located here. I love going in here! They have the current Hidden Mickey Pins showcased, so you know what to search for. They also have a huge board that will occasionally come out.
- The Airport
This often gets overlooked but you can pin trade at the Disney Store at the airport. It’s the perfect way to pass the time while waiting for your flight.
What are your favorite ways to pin trade? Do you have any tips or tricks I missed? I’d love to read them! Drop me a message in the comments.
Want even more? Head HERE to see my live video on all things pin trading!