Disney Pin Trading

I know, I know…in my last post I promised you a tour of the beautiful lands of Disneyland and DCA.  However, my trip to Disney this Friday was cancelled and I’m still grieving a little.  I can’t bring myself to look upon the lands I won’t get to see this week.

However, I will talk a little bit about this thing called Disney Pin Trading.  Before I continue, I must include a disclaimer.  Disney Pin Trading is a dangerous, addictive activity and should only be undertaken with care and proper supervision.  Personally, I take a “cash only” approach to it because if I walk into a Disney Pin Trading Shop with my credit card, it won’t end well.

Pin Trading is just the collecting and sometimes trading of souvenir pins at Disney. Some people would scoff and say, “that’s lame.”  But they’re SO CUTE. People walk around with lanyards full of pins.  If you ever see a cast member (Disneyland employee) wearing a lanyard of pins, and you ask, they will trade with you.  Knowing this, they don’t always wear their best pins, but sometimes the cheaper ones are cute.

2017-06-142010-25-29My lanyard with all my pins.

I discovered pin trading several years ago, but only bought one here and there because they were cute.  However, my friend got me really into it.  There are pins for every Disney resort, every ride, land, and attraction, several for every character, collections based on theme, movies, etc.  Pretty much if it’s Disney, there’s a pin for it.  Marvel and Star Wars included.  They’re found in any gift shop in Disneyland, DCA, and Downtown Disney.  

And, just with any habit, there are always extremists.  (My friends have been instructed to stage an intervention should I get to this stage.)


Below are some of my more prized pins.

2017-06-142010-32-32 (If you get it, you get it).

This was a limited edition one. I think it’s one of 2,000.  Walt Disney loved trains and railroads, and it’s SO cute.  It’s doesn’t actually tell time, obviously, haha.

If you’re really interested in trading, you can buy a starter pack of like, 25 on Amazon.  Just make sure they’re official Disney Trading Pins.  There are several tell-tale signs of forgeries.


First, they always have the stick pin back and mouse head enclosure.  Anything else is a fake, right off the bat.  It should have the official pin trading logo (seen to the left of the pin).  The newer ones also come with prongs (hidden by the back in this photo).  These prongs help prevent the pin from spinning around too much, so it always looks just right on your lanyard.  Other ways to determine the authenticity of your pin can be found here.  It’s an exhaustive list of all the ways to tell if yours is a fake (which you only need to worry about if you buy them from a 3rd party like Amazon).

Once you have a starter pack, it gives you some stuff to begin giving away to gain something good.  In some stores, some employees will put out a mouse-shaped pad like the one below and you can trade one of your pins for one of theirs.  You keep the back of your pin and just swap out the pin itself.


If you scroll up and look at my lanyard, you will see some circle pins that have Elliot (from Pete’s Dragon), Chip and Dale, and the blue Mickey.  These come from mystery pin packages.  In the store, all the pins are on display, but there are also mystery pins that come in packages.  They usually come in sets of one or two and belong to a collection.   These ones normally aren’t as exciting, but they’re just as cute.  When you get what you want, it’s great.  When you don’t, they you have something else you can trade away.  Mystery pins are less expensive because you don’t know what you’re getting.

For my next post, I may veer a little off the Disney path…so you’ll have to wait and see!

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