8. Pin Trading
Now Disney Pin trading exists at both parks. It was introduced in 1999 and inspired by the pin trading that happens during the Olympics. People buy officially licensed pins from a Disney store and then can trade them one for one to other people. Cast members with lanyards have to trade with guests. Private individuals don’t. It can be a lot of fun. I have had wonderful chats with people over pins. We came to pin trading somewhat accidentally. We had seen the pin trading stands on our first couple of trips to Disneyland and didn’t pay much attention to them.
On our first trip to Walt Disney World that changed. The Princess and I were waiting for Jiko to open for our dinner reservation. We wandered into the shop and she decided she would like a pin as a souvenir. As we were looking at them, the young man working the cash register asked if we knew about pin trading. I told him no, but we were just going to buy one pin. The cast member told us that there was much more fun to be had. He explained the process, photocopied the page of current pins, and sold us a starter set. It was just the beginning of our pin trading adventure. By the end of the trip all three of us had lanyards and pins. We had each collected at least one full set and had a good time doing it.
A couple years later we were off to Disneyland. We stocked up on pins from ebay (ebay is great for buying pins to trade) and headed to the park. It was very disappointing. Very few cast members had lanyards, the individuals at the pin trading stations were demanding and a little mean. It wasn’t much fun, honestly. We thought maybe it was just an off trip, but we have been to both parks again since with very similar experiences.
Pin trading is fun but it is much more exciting and engaging at Walt Disney World.