Disney Pin Trading is a popular hobby and tradition at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and other Disney Parks around the world. Guests can trade Disney pins with other guests or with Cast Members. Disney releases limited edition pins to celebrate park events, seasonal holidays, and movie anniversaries. For serious pin collectors, this can become a pretty consuming hobby. For those who just want to dabble in pin trading on their next trip, it’s quite easy to join in the fun.
I’m not personally an avid Disney Pin Trader but I do like to collect the limited edition pins, especially those that commemorate special Disney events, exclusive locations like Club 33, special edition merch lines, etc. We also have a family tradition to purchase a pin from every Walt Disney World hotel we stay at which has become a fun way to celebrate our family trips.
Disneyland just recently made a large change to how guests are allowed to pin trade in the park that may impact your pin trading for your next trip! Scroll down for the new rule changes!
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NEW Pin Trading Rules Change
Disney updated their Pin Trading FAQ page with new rules that are targeted at changing how pin trading operates amongst guests. It has been a common, if not daily occurrence, for pin traders with large stacks of binders to take up the space on the benches at the front entrance to Frontierland at Disneyland. The new rule change addresses this common trading practice directly.
NEW: Disneyland Resort updated its website with official guidelines for pin trading in theme parks and officially banned the use of benches to display pins.— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) November 9, 2023
“Benches or any other structures for the display of pins will not be permitted. Benches are for seating purposes only.” pic.twitter.com/libCjfAyUQ
In the Tweet above, you can see what this pin trading typically looked like with guests displaying their pins on the benches near the Frontierland entrance. The new rule change bans pin trading as it’s done in the photo shown above and moves it to a separate location with scheduled hours. Guests will no longer be allowed to use the front benches for pin trading which will free them as seating for other guests.
New Pin Trading Location
Disneyland has created space for pin trading to take place with a designated schedule. Pin trading, outside the use of a lanyard, will only be permitted near Westward Ho Trading Company. This change has already taken place and a sign was seen posted today also informing guests of the pin trading hours.
Pin trading hours take place from park opening to 3 PM each day.
The rule change also clarified a few points, again likely to cut down on traders laying out their binders on the benches at the Frontierland entrance.
- Only one trading bag with dimensions of 14″L x 12″W x 6″H or smaller will be allowed. No additional decorations or collateral (lights, signs, or displays) will be permitted.
- No benches are to be used for pin trading.
- Guests need to stay with their items the entire time they are displaying or trading pins.
This is a welcome change as the large groups at the entrance of Fronteriland pin trading often took up a lot of space and available benches.
What Are Disney Pins?
Disney pins come in a variety of different categories including characters, attractions, icons, special events, backstage tours, and more. Many Disney pin collectors tend to gravitate towards their favorite Disney interests with pin trading but most pin traders tend to covet the limited edition pins.
Many pins are considered open release which means there is no limit on how many pins are created. Other pins are limited edition which means that the company only manufactures a limited amount of that design.
Pins, both open release and limited edition, can be purchased in the theme parks and online on ShopDisney.com. However, the limited edition pins can be harder to track down depending on how limited they are. These can often only be purchased in the parks but sometimes are also released online on Disney’s website or with special access to Disney Visa Cardmembers, Disney Vacation Club members, etc.
There are also Cast Member Exclusive Pins that Disney gives to Cast Members only to trade with guests. Sometimes they might be popular early designs reissued or new limited edition pins. This has been called the Hidden Mickey collection which features a Hidden Mickey on the pin so traders can recognize it as a Cast Member exclusive.
How Much Are Disney Pins?
Pin trading can be affordable for open release pins but limited edition pins can get fairly pricey. Most common pins cost around $15 per pin. However, a starter set comes with a lanyard and a set of four pins. This is a great way to get started for Disney Pin Trading in the theme parks.
There are also jumbo pins which cost around $25 each and super jumbo pins which cost over $100.
These are often collector’s items, limited edition, and not often pins that are commonly traded in the parks.
You can also find Disney Pins on resell sites like eBay but you want to make sure they’re authentic Disney pins. Cast Members will only trade authentic Disney pins in the parks. The best way to tell if the pin is authentic is to check if there is a “©Disney” mark on the back.
How to Start Disney Pin Trading
Disney Pin Trading is simple and easy to do! One of the best ways to get started is to purchase a lanyard with a set of pins already on it when you arrive at the parks. They have these for sale at all the large Disney merchandise stores in the parks.
To see if a Cast Member can participate in Disney Pin Trading, you will want to look to see if they are wearing lanyards or belt packs with pins displayed prominently on them. For example, Cast Members who operate attractions are not allowed to trade pins due to safety reasons. You will most often find Cast Members to trade with at the stores around the parks. Some stores will even have a large display board on the counter featuring current pins available to trade.
Cast Members must trade with guests if they are asked to and the guest has a pin that meets this criteria: the pin depicts a Disney character, park, attraction, or other Disney icon, has the Disney copyright on the back, and has a pin back post (a straight post covered by a rubber backer, not a locking mechanism like a safety pin). Guests can trade a maximum of two Disney pins per Cast Member.
The pin also cannot be a duplicate of a pin the Cast Member already has or damaged at all. Those who are avid Disney Pin Traders follow a certain etiquette: hold the pins you want to trade in your open hand for the Cast Member to pick up, and they will do the same in return. Never try to take the pin off a Cast Member’s lanyard yourself.
Where Can You Do Disney Pin Trading?
Disney Pin Trading regularly occurs at all Disney-owned locations including the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the Disneyland Resort in California, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani in Hawaii, and the Disney Cruise Line. Each location has its own themed pins and traditions.
The largest pin trading event is held annually in September at EPCOT. Hong Kong Disneyland also has annual events on Easter Weekend. Disneyland holds occasional events, and Disneyland Paris has more frequent events happening semi-annually.
There is a fairly large Disney pin trading community associated with this hobby and there are some unofficial events that are held as well that aren’t associated with Disney.
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Yes, Disney is back to normal when it comes to pin trading after the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, pin trading was extremely limited to reduce physical contact between Cast Members and guests but now things are working as they did before. Just simply ask a Cast Member if they would like to trade!
Simply ask a Cast Member if they would like to trade pins if they are wearing a laynard with pins on it. You can also trade with Cast Members that have boards of pins inside merchandise stores.
Disney Pin Trading can be an expensive hobby but it’s easy to get started. Disney sells starter lanyards with four pins on them for around $35 at the parks.
Most Hidden Mickey pins are easy to find since they are given out freely to Cast Members but there are some hidden gems amongst them.
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