Just For Fun

#AskIt: Do You Pin Trade?

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Pins have been available at Disney Parks for decades. (I still remember my first one that I got at Walt Disney World’s 15th anniversary when people won all sorts of prizes every 15 seconds just for walking in the parks.) Pin trading really hit a fever pitch right around the turn of the millennium, with a huge focus on special events, limited releases, collectible series, and trading events at the theme parks around the world and at Downtown Disney (both east and west). But have people kept up with it? Here’s this week’s question:

Do you still do Disney pin trading?

  • I've never traded Disney pins (57%, 413 Votes)
  • Yes! (29%, 210 Votes)
  • I did, but not anymore (14%, 101 Votes)

Total Voters: 724

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The poll is live here and on Twitter. We’ll have your results next week. In the meantime, is there a special character, event, or theme you collect? What’s your most prized pin? What made you stop pin trading, or why do you still do it today? Let us know in the comments.

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Julia Mascardo

Former writer, editor, and social media manager of TouringPlans. Embarking on new adventures with husband, kid, and cats.

16 thoughts on “#AskIt: Do You Pin Trade?

  • I do, though not nearly as much as on my first few trips. I will admit I went the ebay lot route, and now I just go through my collections and grab a few I don’t mind trading for the trip. I go for villains, ride specific stuff, and favorite characters (like Stitch). Honestly, I mostly just like it as an excuse to go and spend a few minutes with a cast member- It’s lead to some great discussions about favorite characters, collections we liked, and what not. My favorite thing to do is the blind trades- when cast members put a pin on backwards so you don’t know what you’re getting. I’ve gotten some great pins from that- my favorite is this “Bosses Day” one with the Horned King from the Black Cauldron on it! ( I try to trade away a nicer Princess one for those or something like that, so it might be a good surprise for a kid later on)

  • Yes! My boyfriend and I are obsessed. I agree that the prices of pins are way too expensive; that is why I buy them in bulk on ebay before our trip and then trade for awesome ones at the park; you can sometimes get 10 pins on Ebay for the price of one in the park. Whenever I have friends going to Disney for the first time, I always give them pins to trade. One parent told me it saved them a ton of money because when their kid wanted a toy they suggested they go trade a pin instead. Trading pins is a great way to get keepsakes, get tips from castmembers, and so much more. It is awesome!

  • We love pin trading! There’s some missing pins in some sets I’m trying to collect. If you get to cast members at the right time, you can find some pretty rare ones. It’s a fun way to meet CMs too. I’m focused on getting Donald Duck, Figment, Epcot, and Chip and Dale.

    • Donald and Chip & Dale here, too! (Timothy Mouse and Jiminy are my others, and my husband loves the villains, Big Hero 6, and Daisy.) I’ve found some great ones on eBay, and traded for some for the ones I care less about – sorry, Tink!

    • I collect Villain pins and the couple pins. My boyfriend collects Disney transportation ones and Star Wars.

  • We still frequently bring pins along, but not nearly as much as we did 10 years ago. We used to find all kinds of great pins by trading with cast members, but now, we’re lucky if we get 1 or 2 over the course of a whole week. So, while I answered “yes” to the poll, I’m very close to “I did, but not anymore”.

  • The comments on here are part of the reason I don’t trade anymore. I understand the desire to save money but all of those who purchase scrap pins from eBay have really hurt those who like to trade genuine pins. Most pins on the resort boards and cast member lanyards are scrap pins. It’s really too bad.

    • I’m sure my kids would love pin trading but that’s the exact reason why I haven’t let them know about it yet. Something about trading a $10 authentic Disney pin for a $0.50 scrapper someone got from ebay or Amazon doesn’t seem right.

    • We started in 2006. My kids loved it, but by 2011 there was nothing they wanted to trade at WDW or Disneyland. They just wanted to collect the extra fancy expensive ones. Became an expensive but fun souvenir. Trading idea died a long time ago. There was rarely anything fun for them to trade with. even with the concierges on club level. Club level concierges would go out of their way to try to help my kids find certain pins, but it really is just now a souvenir purchase.

  • I said yes because my kids trade and collect. We buy large amounts from the internet and then trade mostly only with cast members.

  • We love pin trading. We try and get something me cheap but n eBay before we go so that we have some to trade. We find it gives us a good excuse to talk with cast members all over the place.

  • I said “yes” but really I only buy pins for me to keep and admire. I buy a hand full of “crap pins” each trip to trade in case I spy one on a cast member I can’t live without!

  • I only buy pins I really love, so there’s no point in trading! (For me.)

    • Agreed–I was into pin collecting at one point, but didn’t really like trading that much.

      Even if I were into trading, I rarely saw CMs with anything good–they usually had little more than scrap pins due to people buying on eBay and then trading those to CMs.

  • My niece gave my daughter (5 years old) a bunch of pins to trade; I understand that they can be bought on eBay relatively inexpensively as well. My daughter LOVES pin trading and it’s a great way to get her moving along when she stubbornly wants, for example, an expensive souvenir… “hey sweetie, let’s trade some pins! Can you find a cast member to trade with?” …easy way to save $$$ without a melt-down.

  • Disney got way too greedy with pricing and made a potentially inexpensive “fun” thing out of reach for a lot of people. They could make a lot of good money marking up the .25 cent pin to a few dollars instead of $10 or $15

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