Pin trading is something that we discovered during the first trip to Disneyland. There are cast members around the park who have lanyards packed with pins. These are the people who are able to trade a Disney pin with one of your pins. It’s a free service, all you have to do is have pins to trade.
Last time, we bought a set from Pin Traders in Downtown Disney 7 pins for about $27. They were baby Goofy, Minnie and Mickeys.
This time we took a chance and ordered from eBay. The “civilian traders” who are serious collectors really dislike these eBay pins because sometimes they are fakes and cheap. Luckily, we just collect to see if we can commemorate our trip.
1st trip: I traded a Minnie for a Goofy since I love Goofy, my second trade was a Donald pin for a Buzz Lightyear since Izzy loved Astroblasters and my final trade was a Pluto for a Classic Mickey Mouse for my work lanyard.
My 2nd trip: I traded for an EVE, Aurora since Izzy loved her this year, a Jiminy Cricket since he reminds us to wish upon a star, and a fireman Mickey because I wanted to get rid of my “fast pass” pin. I also bought an Aurora and Paradise Pier pin just to add to my lanyard.
Izzy likes to trade any pin for princesses and random characters. She doesn’t really have a rhyme or reason. Jasper is very selective about his trades. He looks for specific pins. Lisa looks for characters she likes, Pirates of the Caribbean.
There are rules to trading:
1- You can only trade 2 pins with each cast member.
2- The pin you trade must be different from the ones already on the Cast Member’s lanyard.
3- You take the pin off your lanyard and put the backing on before you trade. The backing should be a Mickey head backing.
4- You have to trade Disney trademarked pins.
5- Ask to see the pins, don’t touch the cast member’s lanyards or pouches.
6- There are some traders who ONLY trade with children- Their lanyards are teal.
Some helpful notes:
– Check out the cast member above… her lanyard is hidden. This was during the Minnie and the Fly Girls performance. I am assuming that out of respect for the performance, you won’t see pin trading occurring. Both cast members in the area that were trading a moment before put their lanyards inside their vest so you couldn’t see their pins.
– Trading with people near the Pin Traders seem to yield newer pins that came right out of the trading packs in the store.
– There are tons of Ebay pins out there. Some that always seem to show up are the “Fast Pass” and the “Vegetable Mickey heads”.
– Not ALL Cast Members are traders.
– Some traders have lanyards to “pull you in”, like the Disney Vacation Club people and the Photo Pass people. So be prepared for a sales pitch if they are stationed at a booth.
– There are also guests who specialize in trading pins. They often have books and will be stationed at specific areas in the park. I have not traded with these people before.
Have fun. We love trading pins.
More helpful links about trading pins: