I had a friend tell me how much fun her children had collecting and trading pins on their last Disney vacation. I decided to look into it for my DD6. What I discovered is that there is a whole world out there of some serious Disney Pin Collectors! There are even pin conventions all over North America where collectors can meet and trade pins.
Since we were just beginning and were doing this for fun only, I decided to look into the best and cheapest way to get started. I found that you could buy “lots” of authentic Disney pins from Ebay in batches of 20 or more. The only catch is you have no idea what pins you will get, they only guarantee no duplicates. I also purchased my daughter a Disney Princess lanyard on Ebay. When the lot of pins arrived we were really excited to see all of the different pins. You can also buy starter sets at The Disney Store or throughout WDW.
My daughter made up two different piles, “keepers” and “traders”. Once we arrived at Disney World, she placed some of the pins she wanted to trade on her lanyard and off we went. She was a little shy at first asking Cast Members to trade pins with her, but by the end of her trip she was quite the pin expert and confident enough to ask by herself for a trade.
Here she is after making her very first pin trade:
A word of warning, the Mickey Mouse backings on the pins are not very secure. This happy face soon turned to tears when a short while later we noticed the Tinkerbell pin had fallen off her lanyard and was lost! I ended up putting all her “good” pins in my purse while she kept a couple of trading pins on her lanyard.
Fortunately, a few weeks after our vacation Mickey and Minnie came across my daughter’s lost pin when they were on a walk in Fantasyland. They mailed it my daughter, who was overjoyed at having her pin back! (Hint: Ebay is a pin trader’s best friend.)
There are a few locations around WDW, including Downtown Disney and Epcot where they have trading walls. Basically you wait in line and you can trade up to 2 pins each turn. If you see a pin you like on the big trading wall, you take it, and then take one of yours and put it on the wall as an exchange.
Of course you can also buy individual pins throughout Disney World. We bought a 2011 Commemorative Pin, the pins are all colour coded and correspond with a different price value. They begin at about $6.95 per pin and go up from there. You can also purchase mystery bags that contain a couple of pins, but you won’t know what they are until you open the bag!
The question is what to do with all these pins when you get home? We decided to display her favourite pins on a cork board along with some other special pictures to remember the trip.
In preparation for our next trip, we purchased a pin trading bag for her birthday last year. It’s a great way to organize pins and keep them safe until you’re ready to trade them. Since my daughter has become such an avid pin collector now, everyone has gotten in on the action and brought her pins, including: Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny and even the Tooth Fairy! She’s all set for pin trading on our next trip this summer!
The cork board and pin trading bag are a great way to relive your Disney memories between trips!
About our author Jessica: I am a mom to two girls (4 and 7), secondary school teacher, and author. Planning for our trips to Disney is half the fun for us! We look forward to travelling to Disney from our home in Ontario, Canada as often as possible ;o)