If you go to a Disney park, on a cruise, or even shop at your local Disney Store you are sure to see some Disney trading pins. Pins have become a huge part of Disney merchandising. This post will serve as an intro into the world of Disney pins so that you can play along on your vacation.
What Are Trading Pins?
Disney Trading Pins are a line of Disney official merchandise enamel pins. These pins are created and sold by Disney and feature an official seal on the back of them. They feature all sorts of Disney characters, attractions, hotels, cruise ships, food and all things Disney.
There are all sorts of styles of pins in addition to the hundreds of “normal” styles you can find when shopping there are also “special” kinds of pins.
- Sets – These are pins that are released as part of a set. For examples a set of 12 pins that each feature a Princess’s shoes.
- Limited Edition – Some pins are released in a limited quantity these can be in high demand.
- Special Events – New pin designs are released for EPCOT festivals, holiday parties, special anniversaries, specific cruise sailings etc.
- Seasonal – For most holidays new seasonal pins are sold each year.
- Pass Holder / Card Holder – Annual pass holders and Disney Visa card holders are able to purchase special pins that only they can access.
Where Can I Buy Them?
Everywhere! Basically every shop at a Disney location sells pins. You will however find that different locations will have some variety in the pins sold. For example your hotel will feature pins specific to the hotel that you won’t find at other locations around the park.
If you are at Disney World the largest selections of pins can be found at these stores:
- Disney Pin Traders – Disney Springs
- World Of Disney – Disney Springs
- The Emporium – Magic Kingdom – Main Street
- Frontierland Trading Post – Magic Kingdom – Frontierland
You can also shop for pins on ShopDisney.com as well as at your local Disney Store. Some Disney Stores, such as the one in Times Square, NY even have their own special line of pins.
When on an Adventures By Disney trip you will receive pins though out your trip from your Adventure Guides.
Ebay is also a great source to find specific pins you may want, or bulk quantities. Just make sure they are official Disney pins, they should have a mark on the back showing this.
Collecting vs. Trading
There are two basic ways to approach Disney pins you can collect pins or trade pins or you can do a little of both.
Collecting would be purchasing pins and keeping them all to wear, or display. You might want to collect a certain kind of pin, for example all of the Small World themed pins, or all of the villains pins. You may want to collect pins from each trip that remind you of your experiences during your vacation. Or you may just want to buy the ones you like best no matter the theme. There is no wrong way to collect them.
Trading is when you trade one of your pins for another official Disney pin.
- Cast Members – Many Disney cast members wear lanyards or other pin displays. Simply ask them if you can take a look at their pins. If there is a pin you would like to trade for point to the pin you want and offer them the pin you want to trade with. They will remove the pin and the two of you can trade.
- Pin Boards – At many stores, hotels, and throughout the parks you will find small bulletin boards covered in pins. These are pin trading boards. Sometimes they are behind a store counter and sometimes they are out in the open on a stand with a cast member manning them specifically. Ask a Cast Member nearby if they can show you the board and the trading process is the same as above. You can trade any pin you have for any of the pins you see. There is normally a limit of two trades per person.
- Mystery Trading Boards – Some trading board are a mystery where you blindly pick a number the cast member then shows you what pin is in behind that number. If you like it you can choose to trade for it if not you can move on. Each person can choose to see two numbers.
If you want to wear your pins during your vacation the most popular way is to wear them on a lanyard. These can be found where pins are sold, or if you want to come prepared and save a little you can come with a lanyard from home. I have even found Disney themed lanyards at Five Below, Walmart, Hot Topic and Amazon.
A lanyard can also be a fun way to keep and display your pins from each vacation at home.
If you plan to trade a lanyard is also the best way to signal to others that you have pins. You will see cast members throughout the park wearing lanyards full of pins.
Pinterest, Etsy, and Instagram are full of ways that you can keep and display your pins at home. There are so many fun options.
If you are looking for a way to store your pins not on display, Disney does sell pin books and bags, essentially nice binders to keep your pins in. There are also not official Disney options online. I use and enjoy the bags from gopinpro.com .
How Do I Start:
If you want to collect and keep your pins then simply purchase the ones you want while you are at the parks and go from there.
If you want to trade I suggest one of the two options to start.
- Disney Starter Kit – You will see these sold throughout the parks they feature a lanyard and a few pins. It is a great and easy way to get you first few pins and you can trade and buy more from there. This option is the easier of the two and involves no pre-planning. I would also suggest it if you are not sure if you will enjoy the experience of trading, you can get a taste this way without putting a lot of work into it.
- Ebay bulk pack – Ebay if full of bulk pin packs. This is the most cost effective way to get a large amount of pins. This allows you to have a wide variety and larger quantity to trade from. Also, chances are you will get a lot of pins that you are not attached to and will not mind trading. I recommend this option if you have multiple members of your party who want to trade or if you know you want to try and collect a lot of pins from a specific series or theme. You will also get the best deal per pin with this method.
- Make sure you are buying from a reputable seller with good reviews and that you are buying official Disney pins with the seal on the back of them.
You are now ready to collect and trade during you Disney vacation!