Pin trading is a hobby that many park goers have enjoyed since 1999. There are literally thousands of Disney pins. They can be of Disney Parks, attractions, resorts, restaurants, characters and movies. Disney puts out some special series as well including those that are limited edition/limited release, Cast exclusive, Cast lanyard, D23 exclusive, hidden Mickey and mystery.
One of the easiest ways to get started is to purchase a “starter set”, which comes with a lanyard and a set of four to eight pins. Another option is to purchase a lanyard and a few pins separately, but since you’ll be trading them it’s more cost effective to purchase the sets.
Most people start by trading with Cast Members, what Disney calls its employees, but you can trade with anyone who is willing. There are even select locations to trade with other Disney guests. Once you find a Disney pin that you want, ask to trade. Cast Members will always trade pins with you, but that’s not true of other guests. Some are “professional” pin traders, that is, they purchase extra pins to trade and know the value of what they have. They’ll be picky about what they trade to you and what they get in return.
Disney does have guidelines for pin trading. These are the etiquette standards Disney has set forth.
• The pins must be official Disney pins to be traded. If you look on the back of the pin you’ll see the Disney mark.
• Pins must be metal. It can’t be plastic, rubber or other non-metal material.
• The pins should be in good condition and undamaged.
• Trade pins with the backs attached unless the Cast Member states otherwise. When you are trading from one of the pin boards you’ll be asked to keep your back since they are displayed without backs.
• If you are having difficulty looking at a pin or lanyard someone is wearing ask them for a closer look. As a common courtesy you’ll want to refrain from touching their pins or lanyards.
• You can’t give money or gifts to trade for a pin.
• If you are trading a pin that is part of a set and without all parts the set is not complete, you must trade the entire set. For example, Disney creates set that are made up of pins that all together create a picture. So without all of them, you can’t make the picture.
There are some additions and/or slightly different rules when trading with Cast Members.
• Cast Members must trade pins with you.
• They can’t trade their name badges and you can’t trade yours.
• You can trade a pin that isn’t already displayed on their lanyard.
• Two pins can be traded with the same Cast Member a day.
• Cast Members with green/teal lanyards can only trade with children age 3 – 12.
The key to this is to have fun. It’s a great way to meet new people and you have souvenirs of your trip.
For more information on pin trading visit the official Disney Pin Trading site.