An easy and super fun way to commemorate your trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disneyland Paris is to jump into Disney Pin Trading.
Disney has always had collectible pins for park goers to purchase and add to their favorite Disney lanyard, bag or pin board. To make things even more fun and to kick off the new Millennium, in 1999, they launched Disney Pin Trading.
Thousands of Disney enthusiasts began trading pins with each other and cast members within the parks. It is a tangible way to collect and keep the memories of your Disney trip stories. It is also a fantastic way to pass down your love of Disney from one generation to the next.
The process is simple, begin purchasing and collecting pins throughout the parks when you visit. There are so many options to choose from. If you love Disney movie classics, you can find character pins from The Little Mermaid, Lion King, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland and more. If Star Wars is your jam, then you will surely find Boba Fett and Jedi Knights. The possibilities are endless, and while some folks choose to snag a mystery pack and gamble with the pins they will get, others are more methodical and search for the exact pin they want to add to their collection.
Pick your display of choice while walking in the park. Popular options are lanyards, hats, jackets and fanny packs. Yes, we said fanny packs. Once that is set, get your trade on!
There are also ways to collect Disney pins without being in the parks. There are websites like Amazon where you can purchase starter packs to begin your trading days.
Common pins are Hidden Mickeys, small pins with hidden ears on them. Characters – your favorites. Series, they usually have 4-8 pins per grouping. Retro Disney pins, characters, movies from yesteryear.
One of the more popular collections is the Collectible Key Pins. These pins come in sets or singles and range from old school Disney with Mickey, Minnie to Star Wars, Inside Out and Monsters Inc.
There are several Disney pins that are extremely valuable. Those serious collectors tend to hold on to these pins for their family members. The most valuable Disney pin is valued at $11,225 and is the famed Mickey Sorcerer pin. There were only 100 copies of this particular pin made, and the enamel is signed by the original artist, Elisabet Gomes.
While Disney pin trading is very popular, there are some guidelines to consider. Having the proper Disney pin etiquette is important when trading and collecting the pins.
Let’s start with some easier more common sense guidelines to consider when Disney pin trading.
*Pins should be in good, undamaged, tradable condition.
*Trade one pin at a time, hand to hand.
*Trade pins with the backs attached so you don’t hurt anyone with the pin.
*Be aware of the other person/cast members space. Don’t reach for a pin on a lanyard or bag, but make sure to ask before touching.
A few guidelines on which pins are accepted in trading.
*Only pins with a Disney, Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort Affiliation will be accepted in trading.
*Other Disney affiliates and businesses may be accepted as well, including ESPN and ABC.
*Counterfeit and lower quality pins e.g. plastic pins, rubber pins or non-metal will not be accepted for trading.
*Certain pin sets can only be traded as a set. If you have questions on this, Cast Members will be able to assist you.
*Do not offer a pin to a Cast Member that they already have on their lanyard.
It does seem a bit overwhelming to follow these guidelines for Disney pin trading, however, the purpose is to have a great time interacting with other Disney Nerds, like us!
Here are some Nerd Tips to getting the pins you want while in the parks.
*Begin early, find the Cast Members who are there to trade pins, and find them in the morning. They are generally stationed outside of gift shops.
*Disney Cast Members are trading pins provided to them by Disney, so for the most part, a trade will be made regardless of the value of the pins being traded.
After your trip is all said and traded, where do you store your Disney pins?
Most people don’t walk around wearing a Disney lanyard on a day to day basis. Though this is an option.
You can also find several fun, creative boards here. Display them in your room at home, use it as decoration in the kids bedrooms.
Hats are also a popular storing space. Again, you probably won’t wear it everyday, but you can hang it on the wall to promote nostalgia about your recent or past visits to a Disney park.
Overall, we Nerds love this fun and easy way to collect unique Disney souvenirs. What do you think of Disney pin trading? Are you a fan or foe? What pins have you collected?
Wherever you land on Disney pin trading, get out there and meet new Disney enthusiasts and Cast Members and enjoy your time in the parks!