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One of my favorite activities on any Disney Vacation is pin trading. I want to share some things you need to know about pin trading at Disney. These are based on my personal experience. 

Pin Trading Sign Outside the Disney Pin Traders Store in Disney Springs

What is Pin Trading?

Pin trading is a thrilling activity in which you can exchange pins with Cast Members. In most cases, trading with Cast Members, you select the pin you want on the display that the Cast Member is running. In return, you give them one of yours of your choosing. 

You can trade pins with other pin traders. Keep in mind that you both have to agree on what to exchange. Just a little different from trading with Cast Members.

Click here to learn more info about Disney’s Pin trading.

Guidelines for Pin Trading at Disney

Some guidelines came from the pin trading board located at the Cabberian Resort back in June 2021. 

  • Pins must be metal pin that represents a Disney Event, Location, Character, or Icon. Make sure pins are not counterfeit. I like to make sure that pins are official Disney trading pins. 
  • Pins need to be in good condition. No damage to them. 
  • Trade one pin at a time with a max of two trades per cast member/area. 
  • Guests may trade only one pin of the same style with a Cast Member/area.
  • Guests need to trade a pin that is not already displayed.
  • Disney name pins may not be traded.
  • I was told that the pin must have a Mickey-shaped backing when trading. During recent trades, Cast Members told me to keep my pin backs and only give the pin. 
Guidelines for Pin Trading at Disney

I found some more in-depth guidelines for pin trading here. It states it is from Disneyland. I advise asking Cast Members for the most current guidelines. 

Ways to Pin Trade

There are different ways to trade your pins at Disney with Cast Members.

Pin Boards

Pin Boards are boards that display pins available to trade. I have seen them in all sorts of sizes and shapes. I have seen some organized while others are crammed full. The picture below is an example of one.

 Pin Trading at Disney- Pin Board
Pin Board at Disney’s Art of Animation back in Feb 2021

Mystery Pin Box Display 

Mystery Pin Box Display features a set of boxes in which each box contains a pin. You can pick up to 2 boxes to reveal per trade. You can only trade a max of 2 times per pin trading display per day. The good thing is that if you do not like the pins reveal, you do not have to trade.  

 Pin Trading at Disney- Mystery Pin Box Display

Cast Members Wearing Lanyards with Pins

Before Covid, you could trade with Cast Members who wore lanyards filled with pins. Last time when I was at Disney in January, this is not an option due to Covid. I hope it makes its way back soon. This was one of my favorite ways to trade pins. UPDATE APRIL 2024- Pin trading with Cast Members officially returned on April 7th, 2024 in the parks.

Pin Binders

When I was on the Fantasy in 2020, the pin trading occurred in the gift shops with what looked like binders full of pins. In the Facebook groups, I am in about Disney Cruises, people mention that pin trading is on hold due to Covid. 

I have not seen pin binders anywhere else other than pin trading events.

Pin Trading Events

There are pin trading events that you can trade with different pin traders and Cast Members. Some events are Disney official, and some unofficial ones are held by pin trading fanatics. Click here to see the upcoming official pin trading event at Walt Disney World: 2022 Pin Celebration – One Family. 

When I was on the Disney Cruise Ship the Fantasy in Feb 2020, the ship hosted a pin trading event, in which we got to trade pins with the Captains. It was a great experience. Below is one of the pins I got during the event.

 Pin Trading at Disney

Where to Pin Trade

Pin trading is available at different locations throughout the parks of both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Some are in shops throughout Disney, while others are near attractions.

It is also available at most Disney Resorts. I found most of the boards available at/near the gift shops. Some are not visible, so I always ask the Cast Members to see if/where the resort pinboards are located. Disney’s Pop Century Resort also had a pin trading board at the front desk when we stayed in January.

Sometimes resorts bring out another board during certain times. The Aulani app shows that the pin trading offered there occurs at 3 pm (Hawaiian time) and lasts for an hour.

It is best to ask the cast members at the resort about their pin trading opportunities. Each one has something a little different. 

Pin trading was available on Disney Cruise Ships but has been suspended due to Covid. I hope it makes its return to the cruise ships soon!

Watch Out for Counterfeit Pins 

Even though you are not allowed to trade counterfeit pins, some do end up on the pin trading options at Disney. I ended up with a few. I have learned to spot the difference between counterfeits ever since then.

On Tiktok, Disney Pintopia does an excellent job of going over the difference between counterfeits and authentic pins. Here is an article I like to refer to as well. 

Places to Purchase Pins

Before you start pin trading, you need to purchase pins to trade. Some pins are sold individually, while others are sold in a pack/set. They even sell starter sets. All range in a variety of price points.

Pins are available to buy at shops at Disney. In Disney Springs, Disney’s Pin Traders is my favorite place to shop for pins. It mainly sells pins. Sometimes they have pin trading opportunities as well.

 Pin Trading at Disney

Pins are also available to purchase on shopDisney. I try to buy them from shopDisney during a sale. Sometimes I find pins available for purchase while shopping at Disney’s Character Warehouse.

A pack of pins during one of shopDisney’s sales.

Sometimes I buy pins on Mercari and Poshmark to save money. Buying trading pins can get expensive.

Before I buy, I make sure that I can see a close-up picture of the pins (front and back), and/or make sure that they are in the official Disney package. I read the reviews of sellers too. Both Mercari and Poshmark have buyer’s protection which gives me extra confidence.

Types of Pins I Look for While Trading

I like to find anything related to Disney Princesses, Beauty and the BeastStar Wars, ones representing my favorite characters/vacations, or ones that I think are too cute not to get.

My hubby gets involved in pin trading too. He looks for Marvel pins.

Pin trading is a great and fun extra activity to add more magic to your vacation. It is a thrill trying to find pins to complete a collection and/or find your favorite characters, rides &, etc.