Pin trading is an inexpensive way to have fun and interact with Disney Cast Members! When we first tried pin trading in 2008, Ashley loved it. At first she was really shy and wanted us to ask for pins, but after a day or so she got used to it and was quickly on a mission for all the “baby” Disney Characters.
How does it work? Well, you get a lanyard (or anything that you can keep pins on, some kids and parents use a purse or a backpack) and get some Disney pins. Then, when we come across a cast member, which you will every second or so, see if they have pins on them!! Look at what they have, and then if you like one, you trade one of yours for one of theirs!! They usually have really cool ones too, pins you can’t buy anymore or rare ones. For the official rules, click here.
Before we went, I researched how to get started. I knew that we could buy a pin starter kit in WDW, but I knew that it would be less pricey if I found one before we left. You need at least a few pins to get started, and then you can always buy more once you are in the World. I searched around the net and found some really great prices on Ebay. I ended up getting Ashley a High School Musical lanyard and a set of Disney Princess pins as well as a set of “trader” pins that weren’t anything special that she wouldn’t mind trading. I think I spent around $15 for the lanyard and about 10 pins!! A starter kit that includes the lanyard and 4-5 pins will set you back around $20. So I got a great deal!
Plus, an added bonus to pin trading is that is a great Disney souvenir. We gave Ashley her set the first day we were there; it was fun for her and as she was 8 then, it stopped her from wanting to buy everything in sight! All she wanted to do was trade pins!! When we got home, we kept it out and looked at it now and then and thought about more sets that we wanted to trade for when we returned for our next trip.
There are great pin stations all over WDW. Our favorites are the kiosk at Fort Wilderness (the cast members are always so nice there) and under the hat in Hollywood. It’s a great and free (once you buy the starter stuff) way to get involved in and experience the magic of Disney – we love talking to the cast members!! Their smiles and stories and kindness are part of why we love Disney so much. If you haven’t tried it, you should on your next trip! Its a bazillion percent guaranteed that your kiddos will love it!
Tina works full time as a school counselor in an elementary school. She lives close to Baltimore, MD with her husband Dave and her 13 year old stepdaughter, Ashley. They also have a furry family member, a cat name Frodo, that keeps life interesting in their house! Tina began visiting Disney World as a child with her family, and now her, Dave & Ashley take a trip to the World every year. She considers herself a Disney “fanatic” and once her family is finished one trip, she is already planning their next one. Tina loves to find the best deals, even in the busy seasons (she can only go when schools are off!) and loves sharing those deals & tips with anyone and everyone! What Tina loves most is the magic of WDW, it makes her feel like a kid again. She hopes that every family has the opportunity go to the World and experience the magic for themselves because it has a way of reminding its visitors that dreams do indeed come true! Read more of Tina’s work on her blog A Not So Bland Life, where she writes about home decor, cooking, couponing, traveling, and and of course, Disney!