Are you a Disney pin trader? Do you collect Disney pins? Do you have children who would like to join in on the fun? Maybe it’s your first trip and you’ve never heard of this wonderful activity?
Photo courtesy of MagicalMemoryMaker.com
Here’s the how-to guide to introduce your children to the wonderful world of Disney Pin Trading.
Disney Pin Trading Basics. First things first, if you don’t know what pin trading is you’ll need the basics so your children can have fun with it. There are hundreds and hundreds of pins to choose from (thousands have been produced since it first started) and as long as they are official Disney trading pins you’re good to go! Find a Cast Member wearing a lanyard (strap hanging around their neck) or a hip lanyard (a fabric square usually worn by the waist belt) displaying Disney pins and you can trade one of your Disney pins for one of theirs. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. There are a few rules to follow though; according to the official Disney Pin Trading website, “Guests can make up to two (2) trades per “lanyard,” per Cast Member, per day.” And of course, all pins have to be an official Disneyland or Walt Disney World trading pin. Check out the official Disney Pin Trading FAQs for more details and rules.
Finding pins to trade. Pins can be purchased at the Walt Disney World Resort and most merchandise locations have Disney pins for sale, however the larger stores and Disney Pin stores will have a wider selection. Disney pins are sold individually, as starter sets, and in mystery boxes, etc. You can also buy Disney pins on ebay before you go on vacation, however be aware that not all pins sold on ebay are legitimate Disney pins (check the seller’s feedback and ask a question if you’re not sure). When picking out pins to trade, try to find some that you know your child won’t like. If you pick out pins they like they may not want to part with them and you’re left without any pins to trade. Picking out a few pins that are not to their tastes ensures they’ll have some to trade.
Keeping cost down. Disney Pin trading can be quite costly but you can keep costs low and set limits. Don’t buy individual pins to trade but look for pin trading sets or starter sets, the cost per pin is usually less than buying individual pins. Set a limit as well for your child. Tell them they have x amount of dollars to spend on pin trading or give them a set number of pins to trade at the beginning of the vacation and explain once these are traded that’s all they get. Younger children may do better with a set number of pins to trade while older children can handle a pin trading budget.
Making it fun. Encourage children to focus on a theme or character when looking for pins. Children quickly become overwhelmed with the sheer volume of pins and want everyone they see. If they have certain pins they are collecting it will make the hunt that much more fun for them. It will help them to focus as well and trade just for the pins they want. Of course the beauty of pin trading is if they have a pin they no longer like or regret trading for they can always trade it again, and again, and… you get the idea!
A lesson in manners. Pin trading is a great opportunity to get children interacting with adults and being polite. Pin trading holds its appeal because of the wonderful Cast Members you’ll meet and the conversations that follow. Remind children to always ask a Cast Member if they can see their lanyard and to never grab or pull on a Cast Member’s lanyard. And of course, always say thank you for the trade. Encourage children to do most of the interacting themselves and before you know it they are confident pin traders. Also, note that Cast Members at Disney World with green lanyards trade only with children ages 12 and under, however children are always free to trade with any Cast Member wearing a lanyard.
Photo courtesy of MagicalMemoryMaker.com
Touring with pins. Lanyards are a popular way for pin traders to carry and display their own pins but beware that pins can fall off lanyards (especially if it gets hooked on something). Letting children keep a couple pins on a lanyard is a safe way for them to be independent but it won’t be a huge loss if they fall off or get lost. For younger children it may be better to keep the pins on yourself, a little zipper baggie of pins in your day pack works well. If the child has a special pin they want to display on their lanyard you may want to invest in the locking pin backs which are much more secure and will ensure that special pin doesn’t get lost.
Displaying the pins. Now that you’ve successfully turned your child into a Disney Pin trading addict, what do you do with the pins at home? You can always just keep them on a lanyard and hang it in their room. If the budget allows, you can purchase pin trading binders or cases that have the fabric pages to attach pins. Another great way to display pins is on a cork board, a small display of pins in their room can be quite the special souvenir that will remind them of their trip to Disney World.
Your children are now set to hit the parks and start Disney pin trading. It’s a fun (and addictive) hobby and it only adds to the magic of a Disney World vacation. Happy pin trading!
Sarah Barnes is a stay at home mom living in Newfoundland, Canada (a.k.a she’s a Newfie). She loves warm weather and is convinced she was born in the wrong climate. When she’s not homeschooling her two children she spends her day thinking about, talking about, and planning her next trip to Disney World.